Saturday, November 24, 2012

Income per Capita in Australian States

According to this nominal income per capita in Western Australia is double that in the US and in the ACT double that in the UK. This shows the overvaluation of the Australian Dollar but also the high incomes in these states. I find the numbers hard to believe though. Nominal gross income per capita has doubled in the last decade but only increased by 50% in the decade before. These also imply that academic salaries have fallen back a lot relative to averages in the last 15 years. Snork Maiden's salary (not counting superannuation (retirement) contributions is less than average gross income per capita now. My salary at the same rank was about 50% above it back in 1996 when I first worked in Australia. It's hard to believe that a professional salary is less than income per capita (which includes children, retirees etc in the denominator), but that is what the ABS claims.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Spain, Dubai, and Australia

I am now in Spain, where I arrived yesterday. I have never been here before but it feels very familiar as an amalgam of places I have been. It almost feels strange that I can't speak the language. Reading it is a lot easier of course. I know French quite well and am generally good at languages, especially reading them. Unemployment is 25% in Spain right now and supposedly it is a country in financial crisis. There are a few closed stores in town but generally you wouldn't know about the crisis. Maybe one sign was when I got on the Iberian flight at Madrid airport the plane felt very old, rundown, and cramped. Well, after flying on Emirates, the first leg of which was on an A380. My first flight on Emirates or an A380. But Madrid airport was huge and grandiose. Dubai airport at 5am is totally packed with crowds of people from all over the world buying duty free goods and scurrying around. It was a long trip around 33 hours door to door and 4 flights to the coast of the far west of Europe from inland south east Australia. Following up from a comment I just made on my last post in response to Financial Independence's comment that an income of $4,000 a month is sufficient. As, I said in Australia that is less than the average wage. A couple each earning the average wage will make $11,000 per month or $130k per year. The median price of a house in the major cities in Australia is around $500k which is about 4 times their annual income. So we are making about twice the average and looking at houses that cost 50% more than average which would be 3 times our annual income. This hopefully, gives some perspective on average numbers for Australia and our relative position. In much of the world these numbers will seem enormous, but you aren't facing Australian prices. Here in Spain, a beer from the mini-bar in the hotel room is about half the price of a beer in a typical pub or restaurant in Australia, for example.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Moominvalley Financial Report October 2012

Financially, things went OK again this month. We hit new net worth highs in both Australian and US Dollar terms of $A701k (+$23k) and $US728k (+23k). The Australian Dollar was very stable.

Our rate of return was 1.84% in USD terms versus -0.64% for the MSCI and -1.85% for the S&P500. In Australian Dollar terms we made 2.04%. This is mostly due to strong gains in Australian shares for a change. We gained 2.59% in large cap Australian shares and 4.80% in small cap Australian shares. The monthly accounts (in US Dollars) look like this:

Spending was around recent averages - after removing work expenses $5,846 ($A5,638). The monthly accounts show that we earned $14.3k in salaries etc. Retirement contributions were $3.4k. But there is also a $9135 transfer from retirement to non-retirement, which is me cashing out my Roth IRA. My Roth transfer is finally spendable in my brokerage account and I put an order in to buy 500 BTF. I had 175 BTF in the old account as well as HSFGX.

Total investment returns were $13k. The house-buying fund reached $A132k, which was flat for the month. We don't look like going house-hunting again till December and so I transferred a little money back to a brokerage account to reduce margin debt.