Thursday, March 01, 2012

Monthly Review - February 2012

February saw the value of the portfolio continue to move higher, largely in line with the movements in equity markets and favourable exchange rate movements. Positive cash from on the properties (fully leased) and a reasonable savings rate added to the gains.
Here are the details:

1. my Hong Kong equity portfolio appreciated. I purchased shares in HKR International, Tibet 5100, NWS and CKI Holdings. I sold small positions in CMOC, AUPU and Allan International;

2. my AU/NZ equities appreciated; ETFs appreciated in line with the local markets, with all being positive. I purchased a few units in the Vitenam ETF;

4. my commodities advanced, led by silver.  I made a small additional investment in silver;

5. all of my properties were occupied with all tenants paying on time. One property became vacant at the end of February. The unit has not had any substantive decoration for six or seven years so I am looking at a substantial expense and a 2-3 month vacancy;

6. currency movements were positive, as the NZD and AUD appreciated against the HKD/USD;

7. my position in bonds remains small. No bonds were purchased this month. I would like to add some more bonds to the portfolio but am finding direct purchases of bonds through the banks I have accounts with to be something of an exercise in frustration in Hong Kong;

8. I had no open derivative positions;

9. savings were moderate with very low expenses.

My cash position declined slightly due to new investments and a transfer to mrs traineeinvestor. I currently hold 55.2 months of expenses in HKD cash or equivalents. This is close to an all time high - in fact it is too high given current inflation levels and the near zero nominal yields on bank deposits.

For the month, my net worth increased by a huge 6.09%. The year to date increase is 15.68%. The year is off to a good start.


Tim said...

You mention that you are frustrated by your inability to buy worthwhile bonds via banks - can you clarify:

Reason is that I'm also finding the selection available extremely limited - and when there appears to be something that might tempt me, the bank's dealing desk spreads seem to be unjustifiable.

traineeinvestor said...

Hi Tim

The basic issue is that all the banks I have approached will only offer a very limited selection of bonds in the secondary market at yields which are very unattractive - the combination of secondary market pricing and enormous spreads make these very unatractive.

So far, I have not been able to find a bank willing to allow me to buy on a primary offer basis direct fro the issuers when the bonds are first issued - all of them will only do this for private banking clients. The issuers/book runners will only place to institutions.