Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Financial Review - April, 2014

April was a very mixed set of returns for my investments.

Net worth inched higher as gains in my Australian/ New Zealand equites and rental income were enough to overcome living expenses, a small decline in Hong Kong equities and marginally unfavourable FX movements. Expenses were high.

Here are the details:

1. my Hong Kong equity portfolio declined fractionally. There were no transactions this month;

2. my AU/NZ equities appreciated - with most shares being up a bit. I received a number of dividends this month and added shares in Genesis (NZX: GNE), National Australia Bank (ASX: NAB) and Hellaby Holdings (NZX: HBY) to the portfolio; equity ETFs were up (India and Vietnam) or down (Hong Kong and China) in line with the local markets. All movements were very small. There were no new purchases;

4. my commodities were lower. Silver is my only position;

5. all properties are back to full occupancy and all tenants are paying on time. This month's repair bills were higher than normal as they included repainting and a few other jobs which needed doing on a change in tenancy and the agency fee;

6. currency movements were slightly adverse with a small fall in the NZD. The AUD was flat;

7. my position in bonds remains small;

8. expenses were high due to our Easter holiday but the costs had been largely accrued so there was little impact on the balance sheet;

9. I transferred some money to Mrs Traineeinvestor this month. This is treated as an expense.

My cash position increased slightly. I currently hold 46.9 months of expenses in HKD cash or equivalents. This is now calculated on a different basis from last year - I have included the principal component of the mortgage on our home as an expense and added some additional near cash items to the cash side of the calculation.

For March, my net worth rose by 0.36%. The year to date increase is 0.37%.

Although seven months is too short a period from which to draw conclusions, it is encouraging that (so far) returns from my investments are exceeding our living expenses (and the transfers to Mrs Traineeinvestor).

Update on recent investments

This is a bit late (even by my usual standards), but, hey, I'm retired.

Over the last few weeks I have added the following to the private portfolio:

1. Genesis Energy (NZX: GNE): I subscribed on the IPO at NZD1.55 on the basis that a 10% projected dividend yield + a 1 for 15 loyalty bonus if held for a year was more than enough to overcome prevailing political risk and the medium term run down of the Kupe oil field;

2. National Australia Bank (ASX: NAB): this is the smallest of the big four Australian banks and sells on the lowest multiples. Given the bank's rather patchy track record and its problems in the UK, there is good reason for that. However as a yield proposition and with the possibility of an uplift if/when the UK business is sorted out, this is one I am comfortable putting in the bottom draw. I paid AUD35.56 per share;

3. Hellaby Holdings (NZX: HBY): this is a mid-cap (for New Zealand) company which holds a number of industrial companies of which auto-parts and services is the largest. A trailing 4.7% dividend yield which I hope will grow over time is the main attraction of this company. I paid NZD3.05 per share.