Thursday, May 31, 2018

Financial Review – May, 2018

May saw a small increase in my position with gains in my equities largely offset by weakness in the AUD, NZD and bonds. Silver was more or less flat for the month. The end result was a 1.21 percent increase in net assets.

For the year to date, the portfolio is up 2.07 percent. The adjusted change from when I retired in September 2013 is a 29.47 percent increase. Hong Kong liquidity stands at 38.13* months of estimated outgoings, significantly increased from the start of the year's 26.68 months due to net asset sales. 

Here are the details:

1. my Hong Kong equities rose. There were no transactions this month other than taking a trivial loss on the IPO of Good Doctor;

2. my AU/NZ equities were were up. I sold my shares in Caltex (ASX: CTX) after becoming concerned about increased headwinds and losing some conviction in management's strategy. Purchased the shares more or less trebled between 2009 and 2015 but have gone sideways over the last three years. I reinvested the sale proceeds in AGL Energy (ASX: AGL) which offers a higher dividend; equity ETFs were up (India, Hong Kong and China) in line with the local markets;

4. my position in silver was more or less unchanged;

5. all tenants are paying on time and all properties are let. However, one long standing tenant will move out at the beginning of July so I will have a vacancy and the inevitable repaint/repair/agency expenses then. A second tenant has also given notice;

6. the AUD and NZD were down against the USD/HKD;

7. my position in bonds remains modest. There were no additional purchases this month. Recent interest rate increases have pushed the holding values of some of my bonds to  below par - since I intend holding to maturity (other than a solitary perpetual) this is not a problem. I have a margin facility in place and my carry trade is doing its thing and generating a small amount of additional income. However, the spread between the interest earned and the interest paid has narrowed to about 2.1% and will likely narrow again as interest rates increase further;

8. expenses were high as I paid for an air ticket and hotel accommodation for a recent trip to New Zealand;

My HK cash position fell slightly during the month. I currently hold 38.13* months of expenses in HKD cash or equivalents (up from 26.68 months on 1 January). 

Total household gearing ((debt+accruals)/assets) is 9.27% of total assets. Property prices are as at 1 January, 2018 and will not be marked-to-market until year end and I do not net off cash. With a mark-to-market of equities, bonds and FX this number will fluctuate even if the amount of debt is being slowly amortised. 

*The liquidity number reported for April, 2018 was a typo.