Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Financial Review - April, 2015

April was an unbelievably good month for my investments.

Net worth took big jump on the back of booming HK/PRC stock markets.  Asian equities appreciated, my Au/NZ equities more or less went sideways in local currency terms, silver nudged slightly higher and FX movements were marginally favourable. Expenses were moderate as I expensed the remaining half the cost of renovating a flat.

Here are the details:

1. my Hong Kong/China equity portfolio increased. I sold all my shares in Sinolink (HK:1168) for a very nice profit (too soon, of course);

2. my AU/NZ equities were flat. There were no transactions this month;

3.my equity ETFs appreciated (India, Vietnam, Hong Kong and China) in line with the local markets. There were no new purchases;

4. my commodities rose slightly. Silver is my only position;

5. all tenants are paying on time. One property is vacant and is currently undergoing renovation;

6. currency movements were positive with the NZD and the AUD gaining slightly;

7. my position in bonds remains small;

8. expenses were moderate as I paid for a short holiday to Japan over Easter and prepaid the air tickets for our summer holiday to take advantage of a special offer from Cathay Pacific. Expenses next month will be very high as we are about to pull the trigger on our home renovation project;

9.I made a transfer to Mrs Traineeinvestor this month and will make another one next month.

My cash position fell. I currently hold 40.8 months of expenses in HKD cash or equivalents. 

For March, my net worth jumped by 7.38%. Effectively, the portfolio generated enough positive return in one month to cover nearly three years of living expenses. The year to date increase is 8.79%. 


Anonymous said...

congratulations on a great month. its times like this i wish i had been more heavily invested in china & hk. I sold out of most of my china exposure at the beginning of the year but had still made a good profit.

when you have some spare time i'd be interested to read about what factors you considered in deciding how much was enough for you to move into retirement. it can get complicated with so many variables such as inflation, future investment returns, buffers for unplanned costs etc


traineeinvestor said...

Hi beancounter

Thanks for dropping by.

Although it's nice to see the portfolio doing so well, it comes after a long period of being underweight US and European equities etc, so to some extent it has been a case of playing catch up.

In terms of retirement planning, I started with keeping track of our expenses for a few years and then made some arbitrary assumptions to make sure than any errors were on the conservative side - I added 20% to our cost of living to provide a cushion, I assumed the children would be on the payroll for ever, I excluded the part time incomes we have. That gave me a target for annual income (after tax).

I then assumed our investments will have to produce at least that much income each year without relying on capital gains or draw down of principal and that the sources of income would have to be mostly in assets which had at least a chance of growing to match inflation over the longer term (i.e. equities and bonds) with a small allocation to cash/near cash to make sure we will never be in a position were we are forced to sell assets at a bad time.

I also used some of the on-line retirement calculators BUT as a sanity check only because (i) most are designed for US investors and (ii) most/all assume draw down of principal which is dangerous when the retirement period could be over 50 years.