Thursday, March 31, 2011

Monthly Review - March 2011

March was another great month for my investments and positive progress towards my retirement goals.

The standout performance was from my Hong Kong equities which advanced strongly. The ETFs made more modest gains and the Australian equities and commodities increased marginally.

All properties are fully let out and tenants are paying on time. There was only one repair. Cash flow was positive.

FX movements were slightly positive with the AUD and the NZD both rising against the HKD/USD.

Savings were minimal as income as low and expenses were inflated by the cost of our trip to New York. I continued to accrue for long term expenses.

Here are the details:

1. my Hong Kong equity portfolio increased signifcantly and was the biggest contributor to this month's performance. This month I made investments in K Wah (HK:173) and Xtep (HK:1368); ETFs were all up with the sole exception of Vietnam;

3. my commodities rose modestly with silver jumping significantly, the commodity ETF being flat and small declines in the HOGS and NICK ETCs;

4. all of my properties are occupied, the tenants are paying on time and there was only one small repair bill (I will have a larger one at some stage on a property suffering from a persistent leak). I had one lease expire and the tenant has renewed at a higher (but below market rent);

5. currency movements were slightly positive, as both the AUD and NZD appreciated against the HKD/USD. This had the effect of compounding some of the gains;

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

7. there were no outstanding derivatives;

8. savings were very poor with low income and high expenses. The former is inherent in the nature of my remuneration package and the latter the result of our trip to New York.

My cash position was reduced due to equity purchases. I am now down to 19 months of expenses in cash or equivalents (compared to 26 months at the end of February). This is more cash than I need and one of my current tasks is to find somewhere to invest at least some of it.

For the month, my net worth increased 2.61%. The year to date increase is 9.48%. 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 less than a year from today.

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