Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Monthly Review - December 2012

December was another month of excellent financial progress with gains in my equities being more than sufficient to overcome declines in commodity values and a slight loss on FX movements and was supported by savings (in spite of a blow out in holiday expenditure). Cash flow from the properties was about break even with all properties back to fully occupied but having to pay a few repair bills. The result was a solid increase in net worth.

Here are the details:

1. my Hong Kong equity portfolio appreciated sharply. This was the source of most of the gains this month.  I added to my positions in Hutchison and Sinolink and made a small investment in Paladin;

2. my AU/NZ equities appreciated moderately; ETFs appreciated in line with the local markets;

4. my commodities fell with most of the loss being in silver. I added to my silver position;

5. all but one of my properties were occupied with all tenants paying on time. There was one vacancy at the beginning of the month. There were repair bills and agency costs associated with the new tenancy;

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

7. my position in bonds remains small. I rolled a small amount of RMB into some PRC quasi government bonds

8. there were no open derivative contracts;

9. savings were average with good income being matched by high expenses related to a family holiday to Australia and general Christmas spending and the need to buy a new camera;

My cash position fell with more money going out than coming in due to new investments. I currently hold 33 months of expenses in HKD cash or equivalents. This is above my target floor of 24 months.

For the month, my net worth increased by an impressive 2.3%. The year to date increase is 30.2%. My retirement date has been fixed for the middle of next year for reasons that have nothing to do with finance - financially, I am past the point where I can afford to retire.

As this is the last review for 2012, it only remains to add that, from a financial perspective, I wish every year could be as good as 2012.

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