Tuesday, 30 August 2016

August 2016 Review

August saw my net worth increase by 1.3% with continued strength in financial markets and decent savings in the month.

The value of my investment portfolio increased around 3% following a continued rally in most markets.  I took the opportunity of market highs to dispose some non core investments (mainly smaller holdings of higher cost legacy ETFs), simplifying the composition of the portfolio.

Pension unit prices were around 2% higher, on the back of the rally in global equities markets.

All rent was received broadly on time with a minor expense.  One tenant has just renewed tenancy for another year with the same rent, and only one small maintenance request. The property in question has been constantly let for 6 years so is probably due some refurbishment, but as the tenant is currently happy these can wait a bit longer! I have also now committed to the next property investment.  It may take another month or so to fully complete but i would hope to have everything done and tenants in place by the end of the year.

Cash balances were materially higher following investment disposals and reasonable savings. Ignoring travel, BAU expenses were actually well under plan for the first time in a few months. Cash balances should drop a lot in the next month or so as the property investment progresses.

Year to date net worth growth: 18.3%
Year to date savings rate: 68%

Friday, 29 July 2016

July 2016 Review

July saw my net worth increase by 1.8% with a strong rally in financial markets increasing my pension & investment portfolios.

The value of my investment portfolio increased around 5% following a strong rally across global equities throughout the month.  Some large dividends came in at the beginning of the month and most sectors performed well.

Pension unit prices were around 4% higher, on the back of the rally in global equities markets.

All rent was received on time.  I am now in the process of starting another rental property investment which should be complete hopefully in around a month's time. It is in a similar location and of a similar value to my investment last year.

Cash balances were lower following an initial payment towards the property investment. Expenses were high again but better than last month and included some travel costs for later in the year. Excluding travel expenses were in line with target.

Year to date net worth growth: 16.8%
Year to date savings rate: 69%

Friday, 1 July 2016

June 2016 Review

June saw my net worth increase by 1.6% with significant fx gains and investment performance following the Brexit vote offsetting very high expenses.

The value of my investment portfolio increased around 6% following a wild ride in the markets.  This was mainly driven by exchange rate movements, in addition to a strong rally in a number of investments in the last few days of the month, after an initial drop following the vote. Some large dividends came in at the end of the month and a few more are expected in July.

Pension unit prices were fairly flat, but the value increased around 2% with fx movements.

All rent was received on time, including a catch up for some overdue rent from the prior month.  I am actively considering another property investment in the uk and should have more news in the next few weeks.

Cash balances were higher with no investments, but expenses were very high. Whilst a lot of this was some one off fitness / health related costs, underlying expenses and in particular food and drink remain high. There were also some travel, gift and property costs in the month.

Year to date net worth growth: 14.7%
Year to date savings rate: 71%


June was one of the most interesting months for British politics and its implications on the financial markets. Being a Brit and having a lot of GBP based assets i've been following very closely.

With the markets having priced in a remain vote, the initial shock to the financial markets on 24 June was significant, and beyond anything i've seen in one day.  These were the main immediate impacts to my finances:

With the value of GBP falling around 10% compared to USD (and HKD) the value of many of my assets fell but my HK based assets and income increased in value in GBP terms.  I translate my portfolio to GBP as a base currency so this has generally appeared as a positive, although obviously the opposite is true if i were to consider my net worth in USD terms.

My equity investments initially fell sharply in value but have rallied strongly over the past week. In addition, a number of my uk listed and GBP denominated ETFs have underlying investments in non GBP currencies and have appreciated sharply.

My pension funds initially fell in value following the referendum result, but have rallied back to similar levels. The non GBP portion has gained in value due to the fx movements.

Overall, when viewing my portfolio in GBP, Brexit has had a positive initial impact, with most of this driven by fx movements. It remains to be seen what the longer term implications will be.

Specific considerations for myself going forward include whether i intend to be based in the UK in the future, whether GBP should continue to be the base currency of my portfolio, and if any changes are needed to the broad diversification of my assets in terms of asset class, geography and currency.

Monday, 30 May 2016

May 2016 Review

May saw my net worth increase by 0.4% with a weaker month and higher expenses than usual.

The value of my investment portfolio fell by around 1.5% although it had been down a lot more in the middle of the month.  HK seems to be lagging behind most global markets which is suppressing the overall portfolio value.  There were also not many dividends this month, although a number of ETFs are due to pay in June. I made some small additions to my HK and Asia ETF positions during the fall in markets in early to mid May.

Pension unit prices were fairly flat, but had been down a lot mid-month, before a rally in the last week.  My pension is quite heavily weighted towards HK which doesn't help.

There has been a slight delay on part of one of my property rental payments, although i think this is an admin issue with the tenant having previously paid in advance and forgetting to restart. Fingers crossed it is rectified shortly.

Cash balances were slightly higher despite a couple of small investments and higher than average expenses. I need to take a closer look at what is driving the more general increase in expenses as it is starting to move well ahead of plan.  However, part of this is extra gym costs which will be a recurring theme as i make more effort with fitness, and part was a one off treat this month.

Year to date net worth growth: 12.9%
Year to date savings rate: 75%