Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Income and Tax History

Reading one of ESI Money's millionaire interviews I was inspired to track our income from previous tax returns (all on this blog). While I was at it, I added the tax as well:

Moominmama's income has actually been more consistent. From 2015-16 there was a fall due to taking maternity leaves and a spike last year due to trading income in her account. My income was low at first after we moved to Australia as I didn't have a job and was trying to trade. My tax was actually negative in those years due to franking credit refunds. My income rose to the $50k zone when I got a part-time academic research job and then very steeply when I became a professor. Since then it has drifted slowly upwards.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

2019-20 Taxes

I just completed our tax returns for this year. As usual they only took a few hours as I am very well-prepared with spreadsheets updated throughout the year. Preparing taxes is mainly a case of checking that all the spreadsheet links and calculations are correct and refreshing my memory about some of the details of what goes where on the tax form. Last year's taxes are here.

Here is a summary of my taxes (To make things clearer, I reclassify a few items compared to the actual tax form):

On the income side, Australian dividends, capital gains, and foreign source income are all up strongly. My salary still dominates my income sources but is not really growing and we have a pay freeze for next year.

Interest is Australian interest only and is up strongly due to interest on Macquarie, Woolworths, and Virgin Australia bonds.

Unfranked distributions from trusts is up strongly due to the huge distribution from the APSEC fund I invested in just before the end of the tax year. That was a bad move. Foreign source income is mostly dominated by foreign bond interest and losses on futures trading. Other income is gains on selling bonds. These aren't counted as capital gains.

After recording a net capital gain for the first time in a decade last year, I again have zero capital gains and I am carrying forward around $150k in losses to next year. Foreign source income is mostly from futures trading and bond interest. 

In total, gross income rose 6%.

Increased deductions are mostly due to losses on selling bonds. Interest rates are historically low and most bonds that you will be able to buy have higher nominal interest rates. As a result, these bonds are priced above par. If you hold them to maturity you have a loss that is more than offset by the interest received.

Dividend, foreign source income, and trust deductions are all mostly interest on loans.

Total deductions rose strongly, and as a result, net income fell 2%.

Gross tax is computed by applying the rates in the tax table to the net income. In Australia, you don't enter the tax due in your tax return, but I like to compute it so that I know how big or small my refund will be.

Franking credits (from Australian dividends), foreign tax paid, and the Early Stage Venture Capital (ESVCLP) offset are all deducted from gross tax to arrive at the tax assessment. I again expect to pay extra tax.

I paid 30% of net income in tax. Tax was withheld on my salary at an average rate of 32%.

Moominmama's (formerly Snork Maiden) taxes follow:

Her salary was down a lot because of maternity leave. Dividends and capital gains were up strongly due to investment in various listed investment companies and Commonwealth Bank hybrid securities. Foreign source income was down strongly due to losing on trading this year rather than gaining last tax year. As a result, total income fell by 23%.

Deductions rose dramatically, because of recording trading losses as deductions and starting to deduct interest against dividends. As a result, net income fell 42%. Tax was 15% of net income. Tax withheld on her salary was really high for this income level.

Because income was very high last year, Moominmama had to pay tax installments every three months over the last year. As a result, her expected tax refund is almost as large as my expected tax payment. On net, we need to pay about $500 in extra tax.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Completed Internal Rates of Return

I posted recently the internal rates of return for 66 of my investments. I've now completed the calculations for all 94 investments that were held for more than one year:

Shaded returns are investments that I currently hold. The median rate of return is 5.1%. Most of the larger investments are above the median as are the majority of current investments. The median return of current investments is 9.1%.

Powertel and Looksmart were some dotcom era investments that worked out. DeepSkyWeb one that didn't. I can't even remember what FTS was. I held it in 2007-8. Newcastle was a mortgage fund that blew up in the GFC. Legend was a Joe Gutnick mining company that went to zero and HIH an insurance company that was the worst bankruptcy in Australia's history.

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

August Investment Performance

As my performance statistics over the last 5 years are looking good again, I thought I would start posting them again :)

The first two rows give the average annual rate of return and the Sharpe statistic in the two currencies. These are the kind of numbers I would aim for... Until recently, I was performing better in Australian Dollar terms. Now it depends on which statistic you look at. 

The remaining four lines compare performance to the MSCI (global stocks), ASX200 (Australian stocks), and HFRI (Hedge fund) indices. The first two have all dividends and tax credits included. My portfolio has a subdued reaction to the first two indices (beta < 1) but is more volatile than HFRI. Alpha is the annual return after deducting the part explained by the index. It helps increase the upside and reduce the downside moves.

The final two rows show the same thing in a different way. Down capture divides the average return of the portfolio by the average return of the index in the months that the index went down. Up capture does the same in the months that the index rose. I have a positive asymmetry against all three indices.

Saturday, September 05, 2020

Internal Rates of Return

I have now computed the internal rate of return for 66 investments including all current investments. I excluded all trading involving futures, shorting etc and all names held for less than a month. There are still around a hundred closed investments that need to still be evaluated. In the meantime, here are the results:

  • The top performer was held for under a year. Probably, I should drop everything held for less than a year...
  • At the bottom are two investments that went to zero. 
  • The median return is 6.25%, but most of our larger investments are above the median.
  • I bought shares in Colonial in the demutualization and then it was taken over by Commonwealth Bank. This was my best investment in terms of rate of return.
  • Pershing Square Holdings is looking very good at #3.
  • AAPT was an Australian telecom that did very well and was acquired by Telecom NZ. I think I bought that in an IPO too.
  • I only held Qualcom for a short time.
  • Rounding out the top 10 are five recent investments that are strong performers.
  • A lot of the entries in the right hand column are bonds.

Friday, September 04, 2020

August 2020 Report

The US stock market continued to rise as the US dollar fell. The Australian Dollar rose from USD 0.7159 to 0.7380. The MSCI World Index rose 6.16%, the S&P 500 7.19%, and the ASX 200 3.09%. All these are total returns including dividends. We gained 3.03% in Australian Dollar terms and 6.03% in US Dollar terms. The target portfolio is expected to gain 1.89% in Australian Dollar terms and the HFRI hedge fund index 2.46% in US Dollar terms. So, we outperformed the latter two benchmarks and almost matched the stock market indices. Here is a report on the performance of investments by asset class:
The returns reported here are in currency neutral terms. Small cap Australian stocks performed best and hedge funds contributed the most to overall return.
Things that worked well this month:
  • Regal Funds (RF1.AX) was the top performer, up AUD30k, closely followed by Bluesky Alternatives (BAF.AX, 22k), and Hearts and Minds (HM1.AX, 19k).
  • Domacom (DCL.AX) doubled in price from 4 to 8 cents. Half my position was bought at 2 cents a share. But then the company voluntarily suspended its quotation pending an announcement about a major transaction. The trading halt started on 19 August and there is still no news, though the company did release its annual report.
  • The Aura Venture Fund reported that it performed very well in the June quarter. In retrospect, it was easily the best performing investment that month.
What really didn't work:
  • Winton Global Alpha Fund continued to lose money. The fund announced that a special meeting of unitholders will consider broadening the strategy and lowering the fees.
We moved further towards our long-run asset allocation. The share of hedge funds rose most while the shares of bonds fell the most:

On a regular basis, we invest AUD 2k monthly in a set of managed funds, and there are also retirement contributions. Other moves this month:
  • I bought small positions in URF.AX, CDM.AX, RF1.AX, TGF, AX, and PE1.AX in my Commsec account (for a total of 1% of net worth roughly) with the aim of getting better tax information on distributions than provided by Interactive Brokers.
  • I bought 13,719 shares of Platinum Capital.
  • I bought 25,000 shares of Bluesky Alternatives and 1000 shares of 3i to increase our private equity position a little.
  • I opened an account with Masterworks and bought 500 shares in my first painting for USD 10k.
  • USD25k of Goodyear bonds, USD25k of Safeway bonds, and USD28k of Xerox bonds matured.
  • I bought net AUD 60k and GBP 14k and sold net USD 61k.
  • I closed the 2 year-10 year US treasuries September futures spread and shorted 1 contract of December 10 year bonds  futures.