Friday, May 29, 2009

Monthly Review - May 2009

May was a spectacular month for my investments. The majority of my investments were up strongly. The exceptions were few and, in absolute terms, insignificant. Currency movements were positive as I benefited from the weaker US$. In addition, I continued to enjoy full rental income from my properties.

Here are the details: actively managed funds all appreciated during the month. I am still 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 index tracking funds were up. I currently have exposure to Hong Kong, India, Taiwan and Russia. The Indian election result was a huge boost to the value of my India funds;

3. my legacy equity portfolio depreciated slightly;

4. my embryonic portfolio of Hong Kong stocks showed holding gains in the first month;

5. my commodity investments were went up (with an increase in the price of nickel and a rise in my commodity ETFs more than offsetting a further decline in the price of lean hogs;

6. 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);

7. currency movements were positive as the US$ declined.

I increased my investment in a commodity ETF (2809), purchased several Hong Kong shares (Hutchison, Fairwood, Sichuan Express, Jiangsu Express and Hang Seng Bank) and entered into four OTC option contracts:(i) short NZD/USD (ii) writing a put option against the HK Tracker Fund and against China Construction Bank and Hutchison.

Income was steady (it will be erratic under the new job) and contributed to the gain for the month. My spending was high due to (i) indulging myself during the en primeur season and (ii) paying a deposit for our holiday at Christmas. I already make accruals against my net worth for holidays, luxuries and tax, so the latter items did not affect the net worth calculation.

For the month, my net worth increased by a staggering 7.45%. Most of the gain came from the combined effect of higher asset values and a weaker US$. The year to date increase is 28.39%. Even allowing for the payout arising from changing jobs, it has been fantastic progress this year.

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