Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Monthly Review - June 2009

May was yet another positive month for my investments. Modest gains in mark to market investments (shares, funds etc) were amplified by favourable currency movements and supplemented by positive cash flows from my investment properties. However, the biggest boost to the private portfolio came from the final payout from my previous job which arrived this month.

Here are the details: actively managed funds were mixed. 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 slightly. I currently have exposure to Hong Kong, India, Taiwan and Russia;

3. my equity portfolio appreciated slightly. I currently have meaningful investments in 13 companies listed in either Australia (3) or Hong Kong (10). I also have some smaller residual positions dating back many years and some small speculative day trading positions which, collectively, are not meaningful;

4. 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. I am now convinced that not only do pigs not fly but they are in fact burrowing animals;

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). A bill for fixing two air conditioners did not change this;

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

I purchased several Hong Kong shares (CNOOC, Pacific Basin, Amvig, Yangzhou Coal and China Molybdenum) , one Australian share (Caltex) and entered into four OTC option contracts:(i) short NZD/USD (ii) writing a put options against Sinopec, China Construction Bank and Hutchison.

Income was strong (it will be erratic under the new job) and contributed to the gain for the month.

As mentioned, I received the final payout from my previous job which was a major boost this month.

My spending was low due to an absence of major items. The increased mortgage payments resulting from the refinancing completed yesterday will bite next month but most of the payments will be principal.

For the month, my net worth increased by a staggering 12.1%. The gains came from the combined effect of higher asset values, a weaker US$, a high savings rate and the payout. The year to date increase is 43.9%.

Even allowing for the payout arising from changing jobs, it has been fantastic progress this year. The possibility of retiring at the end of 2011 is, once again, very real.

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