Friday, June 01, 2012

Monthly Review - May 2012

May saw a huge fall in the value of the portfolio with major declines in the value of equities and commodities being magnified by adverse exchange rate movements. Positive cash flow from the properties and positive savings were not enough to offset the losses.

Here are the details:

1. my Hong Kong equity portfolio fell hugely. I made small additions to my positions in BCIA, Hang Seng Bank, Vodone, Cosco Pacific, VTech and China Blue Chemical. I made a much larger investment in Henderson Land. So far this has been an exercise in catching multiple falling knives;

2. my AU/NZ equities were marginally lower; ETFs fell in slightly line with the local markets, with all being negative. I added a few more units in the Vietnam ETF;

4. my commodities fell, led by silver;

5. all of my properties were occupied with all tenants paying on time. There were a couple of minor repair bills at all this month;

6. currency movements were adverse, as the NZD and AUD fell significantly 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. I will subscribe for the new issue of iBonds in June bu;t do not expect to get a meaningful amount

8. I entered into a HK/AUD FX contract which was exercised against me. I have used the AUD proceeds to enter into a AUD/HK FX contract;

9. savings were solid with good income and moderate expenses.

My cash position declined due to new investments. I currently hold 34 months of expenses in HKD cash or equivalents. This is above my target floor of 24 months.

For the month, my net worth fell by 4.9%. The year to date increase is 8.2%. In spite of the losses  this month, I remain on track to retire at the end of 2012.

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