Wednesday, April 29, 2009

March 2009 Final Performance Report

Now all the unlisted fund returns are in for March I can present the final performance numbers. Australian Large Cap stocks, mainly via the CFS Geared Share Fund, provided the largest returns in dollar and percentage terms.

Our foreign stocks appeared to perform poorly relative to the benchmark indices. But the numbers are confusing because there is an important distinction here between individual stocks and Australian based foreign stock funds. In the former, performance is computed as total return in USD, Euros, or Pounds. I then convert those numbers to Australian Dollars at the end of month exchange rate (and to USD too for the European investments). The effects of changes in the exchange rate on the value of these investments are then included in the foreign exchange item below the subtotal line in the table. The returns on these stocks should be compared with the MSCI in USD terms. By contrast an Australia based managed fund reports monthly returns in Australian Dollars and incorporates any effects of the exchange rate on asset values in that number. Therefore, those funds' returns need to be compared to the MSCI in AUD terms which only rose 0.39% for the month.

Real Estate had a negative impact on returns as did private equity and commodities (Man OM-IP fund).

The rise in the Australian Dollar over the month from 64 U.S. Cents to 69 U.S. cents caused exchange rate losses in AUD terms and exchange rate gains in USD terms. Either way we beat the market though time series estimates of our portfolio beta are around 1.2 so we should expect to outperform a rising market.

No comments: