Thursday, August 05, 2021

July 2021 Report

It was another month of increases in world stock markets. The MSCI World Index rose 0.72%, the S&P 500 by 2.38%, and the ASX 200 rose 1.11%. All these are total returns including dividends. The Australian Dollar fell from USD 0.7500 to USD 0.7350. We gained 2.96% in Australian Dollar terms or  0.90% in US Dollar terms. The target portfolio is expected to have gained 2.31% in Australian Dollar terms and the HFRI hedge fund index is expected to lose 0.33% in US Dollar terms. So, we outperformed all benchmarks. Here is a report on the performance of investments by asset class (currency neutral returns):

Gold contributed the most to performance followed by real assets, Australian large cap, and private equity.

Things that worked well this month:

  • Gold gained AUD 32k followed by WAM Alternative Assets (15k), US Masters Residential Property Fund (URF.AX, 14k). The latter gained 23% for the month.
What really didn't work:
  • The worst performers, not surprisingly, were the two Pershing Square Funds: PSH.L (-AUD 12k) and PSTH (- 10k). The SEC stopped Bill Ackman's planned purchase of shares in Universal Music. Now the hedge fund, PSH.L, will have to buy more than planned and the SPAC, PSTH, will have to look for another deal. Third worst was, also not surprisingly, the China Fund (CHN, -7k).

The investment performance statistics for the last five years are: 

The first two rows are our unadjusted performance numbers in US and Australian Dollar terms. The following four lines compare performance against each of the three indices. We show the desired asymmetric capture and positive alpha against the ASX200 index. We are doing about the same as the median hedge fund levered 1.6 times. 

We maintained roughly the same distance from our desired long-run asset allocation. Hedge funds is the asset class that is now furthest from its target allocation (4.7% of total assets too little). Our actual allocation now looks like this:

Roughly two thirds of our portfolio is in what some consider to be alternative assets: real estate, art, hedge funds, private equity, gold, and futures. We receive employer contributions to superannuation every two weeks. In addition we made the following investment moves this month, which was a relatively quiet month:

  • I bought 10,000 shares of Pengana Private Equity (PE1.AX) around its announcement of a good gain in NAV.
  • I bought 1,000 shares of Scorpio Tankers baby bonds (SBBA).
  • I closed a losing soybeans trade.
  • I bought shares in another painting.
  • I transferred my shares in the Macquarie Winton Global Alpha Fund to our SMSF.

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