Saturday, August 26, 2006

Adjusting Investments

It might seem like all I've been doing lately is trading. But I also have been adjusting my long-term investment positions. I am cutting back on a couple and increasing some others in an attempt to make the sizes of the different positions more consistent with the goal of having about 1.5% of net worth in each individual stock, not counting closed end funds which have shown their ability to withstand market corrections. I sold entirely out of IYS. This was originally a "corporate event arbitrage" trade -the fund was going to be wound up and was trading much below the final payout level. But recently we got a letter from Deutsche Bank saying that in order for the bank to pay us we had to agree to a settlement with the Australian Taxation Office. This introduced a risk of complications for foreign investors like me - I am an Australian Citizen but I am resident in the US. So I decided to get out now with a decent profit. I am planning in the coming week to reduce my positions in Telecom NZ and Challenger Infrastructure Fund. I've been waiting for Telecom's dividend book closing which happened on Friday. I just have too much of that stock. The latter looks like it is performing well but reading the annual report, there is a lot I don't understand about its accounting. So following Warren Buffett's maxim I am reducing my position. I have also put a bid in to buy more of Everest Capital after the destapling of this hedge fund management firm from its fund of funds which I am also invested in. Oh, and I also reduced my position in Ansell. There is probably something else I have left out. So actually I have been pretty busy.

PS: Wikipedia has a nice graphic of real UK house prices. The growth rate over the period is 2.4%. I suspect that rate will be lower when a few more years of data accumulate. And leverage doesn't make this look much better if you are paying 1-2% real interest on your loan.

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