Monday, January 31, 2011

Monthly Review - January 2011

January was a month of positive financial progress. Equities appreciated slightly with gains at the beginning of the month marginally outweighing the end of month sell off. Commodities declined. FX movements were neutral with the AUD falling against the HKD/USD and the NZD and RMB both rising. Cash flow on the properties was positive now that we are back to 100% occupancy. Savings were excellent as I received my bonus at the end of the month and expenses were low.

Here are the details:

1. my Hong Kong equity portfolio appreciated slightly. This month I purchased shared in China Metal Recycling, Specialty Fashion and added to my position in Tai Sang Land. I also made a very small (and stupid) speculative investment in some call warrants on China Merchants Bank;

2. my ETFs were flat with gains in Russia, Vietnam and Hong Kong being about the same as declines in India, China and Taiwan;

3. my commodities fell slightly with silver falling by enough to outweigh the small gains in my commodity ETF and ETCs HOGS and NICK;

4. all of my properties are now occupied, the tenants are paying on time and there were no repair bills (I will have at least one next month);

5. currency movements were neutral, as the decline in the AUD was offset by gains in the NZD and RMB against the HKD/USD;

6. my position in bonds remains small. There were no purchases this month;

7. I have written a put option against the HKD/NZD;

8. savings were very strong with high income due to payment of my bonus and low expenses.

My cash position is now high with 26 months of expenses in cash or equivalents. This is much more cash than I need and one of my current tasks is to find somewhere to invest at least half of it. I have transferred some of it to mrs traineeinvestor.

For the month, my net worth increased 4.08%. The year to date increase is 4.08%.

My target retirement window remains sometime between early 2012 and early 2013. While the possibility of a one year extension exists, it will take some adverse market conditions or other unexpected event to require that. Every passing month brings me closer to my retirement goal - it's possible that I may be handing in my notice a year from today.

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