Thursday, May 01, 2008

Monthly Review - April 2008

April was a good month financially.

As a group, my mark to market investments appreciated in value by meaningful amounts, although the gains were partially offset by adverse currecny movements. Here are the details:

1. my actively managed funds appreciated. I currently have investments in actively managed funds investing in Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, Eastern Small Companies and European Small Companies. The MERs are far too high and I will not be adding to these positions;

2. my equity ETFs also appreciated. I currently have exposure to Hong Kong and India. I may add to my India position (but probably the iShares product instead of the Lyxor one which I already hold;

3. my residual equity portfolio appreciated;

4. my commodity investments went sideways during the month. I continue to hold a commodity ETF and lean hogs and nickel ETCs;

5. my properties are all fully rented and tenants are paying the rent on time. I have both a positive cash flow and a surplus of income over expenses (which represents an increase in net worth). The cash flow and the surplus have benefited from recent cuts in interest rates. I have low expectations that last night's 25 bp cut by the US Federal Reserve will filter through to Hong Kong mortgage rates;

6. currency movements were adverse (the USD recovered some of its losses) and partially offset the gains on investment. Currency movements have played a major role in determining the returns on my investments over the last 6-12 months.

There were no investments made this month.

My income was at the low end of expectations this month. My spending was moderate due to the remaing payments for our Easter family holiday as the cost of car rental and some other items came through in my credit card statement (no effect on net worth as I had adequately provided for the expense) and the adoption costs of a kitten. The resulting savings helped to boost the effects of gains on my investments. The end result was an increase in net worth of 1.8% for the month. The year to date increase is 5.2%.

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