Saturday, January 31, 2009

Monthly Review - January 2009

January saw the new year start off badly for my investments. While the mark to market assets were mixed to slightly down, the currency effects were heavily adverse with all materials currencies depreciating against the US$.

In spite of being unemployed, savings were positive due to the fact that I cashed out a long service entitlement from my previous employer. Also, I continued to enjoy full rental income from my properties and low interest rates on my mortgage loans.

Here are the details: actively managed funds were mixed with a net decrease during the month. I am holding losses on many of them. I currently have investments in actively managed funds investing in Thailand, Taiwan, Eastern Small Companies, European Small Companies and Vietnam;

2. my equity were also mixed with a net decrease during the month. I currently have exposure to Hong Kong, India and Taiwan;

3. my residual equity portfolio appreciated in local currency terms but lost money due to adverse currency movements;

4. my commodity investments went sideways. I have small positions in the Lyxor Commodities ETF, nickel and lean hogs;

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 has moved out and will cease paying rental at the end of April;

6. currency movements were heavily unfavourable as the USD gained against a number of currencies.

One portfolio investment was made near the beginning of the month (HK Tracker ETF). Income was not meaningful due to the combination of being between jobs and cashing out my long service payment from my old job. My spending was moderate.

For the month, my net worth increased by 10.40%. The year to date decrease is 10.40%. Without the cash out from my old job, I would have experienced a decrease in net worth - largely due to the adverse currency movements.

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