Friday, November 28, 2008

Monthly Review - November 2008

November was the sixth successive month in which my investments declined in value. However, savings and net rentals were sufficient to result in a small increase in net worth for the month.

In financial terms, my investments declined (again) and the currency moved against me (again). In both cases the adverse movements where much smaller than in September or October.

Here are the details:

1. my actively managed funds all lost money. I am now holding losses on all of them. I currently have investments in actively managed funds investing in Thailand, Taiwan, Eastern Small Companies, European Small Companies and Vietnam. In a demonstration of the high beta nature of emerging markets and the leverage of the currency factor, some of my funds are down about 50% in HKD/USD terms;

2. my equity ETFs all lost money. I currently have exposure to Hong Kong and India. I added to both positions towards the end of the month;

3. my residual equity portfolio lost money local currency terms and lost more money due to adverse exchange rate movements;

4. my commodity investments went sideways. Fortunately, I only have positions in nickel and lean hogs left and these are very small (even smaller now that they have declined so far);

5. all my properties are all fully rented and the 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). One lease has expired and the tenant is staying in place while we see if we can reach agreement on a new lease;

6. currency movements were adverse as the USD strengthened and compounded the loss on my investments this month.

Two portfolio investments were made towards the end of the month (Hong Kong and India ETFs). I made made two small trades in warrants on the Hang Seng Index - one profitable and one loss making.

My income rose during the month but this is not expected to be sustainable. My expectation is that my income will decline by at least 20% from its peak. My spending was moderate. I did have to pay for the airfares and accommodation for our Christmas holiday - however this was already provided for. The resulting savings and the net rentals on the investment properties were greater than the losses on my investments - but not by much. For the month, my net worth increased by 0.37%. The year to date decrease is 4.25%.

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