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Strike While the Iron is Cold

November 1st, 2007 at 08:28 pm

Back on the 12th of August I http://enoughwealth.com/2007/08/time-to-buy-some-stocks.html that it might be a good time to buy some stocks for DS2. At that time the All Ords Index had dropped sharply to 5,965.2 - since then it has rebounded at today was at a new all time high of 6,808.2 (a gain of 14%). Goes to show that you never can tell which way the market will move in the future, but you can be 100% certain where it has been. Looking at a long term plot of the stock market accumulation index, buying when the market had dropped 15% below its recent long-term trend line would almost always turn out to be a good buying opportunity.

However, there are a few problems with this as an investment strategy:

1. When the market has rapidly dropped more than 10-15% you're always worried that it's the start of a bear market that could last several years. As in this case - I delayed buying any stocks for DS1, and could very well never get another opportunity to buy in at those prices.

2. You have to have some spare cash to invest when such opportunities arise - this generally would either mean that you've been sitting on a large cash allocation during a bull market (which would have cost you significant profits), or you'll need to borrow more to invest. And increasing your margin loans when the market has dropped is often very difficult, as it the time when you are most likely to be close to getting a margin call.

Looking at the chart the other thing that comes to mind is that I need to buy some more XAO put options when my current ones expire in December! Although the p/e of the Australian stock isn't out of line with historic averages, and company profits are continuing to grow, the chart does look remarkably similar to previous bubbles - and even just thinking "this time it's different" sends a shudder down my spine.

Copyright http://enoughwealth.com 2007

Time to Buy Stocks?

August 12th, 2007 at 05:36 am

With the 4% drop in the Australian stock market on Friday the "correction" is now about 8%. While there could be further drops in the coming weeks, even if this is just a correction rather than the start of a bear market, I think it may be time to start looking at stocks to buy for DS2's portfolio. DS2 turns 1 next month and I'd like to buy him a couple of stocks to establish an investment portfolio - perhaps some http://au.finance.yahoo.com/q?s=CSL.AX or http://au.finance.yahoo.com/q?s=COH.AX. I'm looking for stocks that over the long term should have good growth prospects but don't pay out large dividends - getting too much "unearned income" results in punitive childrens tax rates.

Copyright http://enoughwealth.com 2007

How Closely Does my Portfolio track the All Ordinaries Index?

August 9th, 2007 at 03:09 am

The graph below shows how well my portfolio of around 30 Australian stocks has tracked the All Ordinaries Index since 1 June 2007. As you can see there is fairly strong correlation between my portfolio and the Index (red and blue lines respectively). The chart also shows the effect of gearing (via margin loans) to amplify gains and losses (green line).

Copyright http://enoughwealth.com 2007

Dividend Income

July 28th, 2007 at 07:07 am

I usually get a large dividend payment from my CDF holdings at this time of year, and use it to repay the margin loan interest pre-payment that I've made in late June. Most years I initially pay the interest using my Citibank Redicredit Line-of-credit account and then pay off the citibank debt using my CDF dividend, but this year I chose to capitalise the margin loand interest payment. This means that the $8,416.63 dividend that was paid into my Credit Union account yesterday can be used to make other investments.

Copyright http://enoughwealth.com 2007

News Flash: The Stock Market can be Risky!

July 27th, 2007 at 08:06 am

Yes, I know that's not news to anyone. So, why all the kerfuffle about a drop of a couple of percent? The Australian stock market even managed to out-drop the US market - falling 174 pts (2.8%). On paper this knocked $15,000.00 or so off my net worth in one day, but I'm a long-term investor with an "aggressive" risk tolerance, so I should expect this to happen once or twice every few years. If it keeps going down another 10% we might even have a genuine "correction".

I can't decide which headlines are more amusing - the ones that say that this is a market "bloodbath" and the start of a bear market, or those that think a 2% decline is a "correction" and a buying opportunity...

Copyright http://enoughwealth.com 2007

AU Shares - portfolio update: 17 July 2007

July 17th, 2007 at 07:08 am

Just in case anyone is interested in what stocks are in my Australian Share Portfolios, here's the latest update. Don't take this as any sort of stock recommendation though - a lot of these stocks have been sitting in my portfolio for over a decade, and I'm just too lazy to go through the entire portfolio and try to work out which stocks are worth keeping and which should be ditched. Aside from laziness there are a few other reasons not to tidy up my portfolio:
* Selling stocks would realise capital gains, which would not only reduce the amount of capital invested, but would reduce the amount of family allowance DW gets this year by boosting our combined taxable income.
* The number of stocks in my portfolio means that I'm pretty much diversified out individual stock risk and am left with market risk. These days I tend to think that stock selection is too hard (even most professional fund managers don't beat the index most years) and when I want to add to my portfolio I just buy some more CDF shares (a low-cost index ETF). I do occasionally get bored and buy a particular stock, such as my recent dabble in IPE options, but the amount is trivial and is more to alleviate boredom that to try to boost my portfolio performance.

Current holdings:[font=courier]
Leveraged Equities Account (loan balance $158,711.04, value $314,560.04)
stock qty price mkt value margin
AAN 295 $15.17 $4,475.15 70%
AEO 1,405 $1.95 $2,739.75 65%
AGK 510 $16.00 $8,160.00 70%
AMP 735 $10.41 $7,651.35 75%
ANN 480 $12.48 $5,990.40 70%
ANZ 1,107 $29.47 $32,623.29 75%
BHP 748 $38.17 $28,551.16 75%
BSL 781 $11.55 $9,020.55 70%
CDF 6,943 $1.83 $12,705.69 70%
CHB 118 $51.08 $6,027.44 70%
DJS 2,000 $5.52 $11,040.00 70%
FGL 3,751 $6.31 $23,668.81 80%
LLC 481 $18.58 $8,936.98 75%
NAB 323 $40.08 $12,945.84 75%
QBE 983 $30.70 $30,178.10 75%
SGM 830 $28.57 $23,713.10 70%
SUN 963 $20.52 $19,760.76 75%
SYB 2,880 $4.12 $11,865.60 70%
TLS 5,000 $4.67 $23,350.00 80%
TLSCA 3,000 $3.19 $9,570.00 80%
VRL 1,500 $3.24 $4,860.00 60%
WDC 783 $19.69 $15,417.27 80%
WDCNB 68 $19.10 $1,298.80 80%

Comsec Account (loan balance $109,743.99, value $232,038.86)
stock qty price mkt value margin
AGK 240 $16.00 $3,840.00 70%
AAN 139 $15.20 $2,112.80 70%
APA 4,644 $4.28 $19,876.32 70%
ASX 200 $51.20 $10,240.00 70%
CBA 130 $55.95 $7,273.50 75%
CDF 43,997 $1.89 $83,154.33 70%
IPEO 59,000 $0.06 $3,540.00 0%
IPE 8,000 $1.06 $8,480.00 60%
IFL 1,300 $10.70 $13,910.00 60%
LDW 1,350 $8.30 $11,205.00 0%
NCM 300 $24.35 $7,305.00 60%
OST 2,000 $6.99 $13,980.00 70%
QBE 607 $30.73 $18,653.11 75%
RIO 60 $97.50 $5,850.00 75%
THG 4,000 $1.115 $4,460.00 50%
WBC 300 $26.40 $7,920.00 75%
WPL 220 $46.54 $10,238.80 75%

Copyright http://enoughwealth.com 2007

AU shares - portfolio update: 30 May 2007

May 30th, 2007 at 07:07 am

I had planned on selling off my portfolio of Australian stocks during the next financial year to reinvest the proceeds within our SMSF, but I've decided against this course of action as the realized capital gains would minimize the benefits of shifting the investment into the tax-sheltered SMSF. Instead I'll just salary sacrifice a large part of my salary into super each year (up to the A$50K deductible contributions limit). Since I'm not planning on selling off my portfolio in the next year I've decided to prepay 12 months interest on the bulk of my margin loan balances, so that I can take the usual tax deduction this financial year. For my Comsec loan I've sent in the paperwork to prepay $100K out of the $116,612.16 loan balance, at an interest rate of 8.75%. If I have any spare income during the year (eg. from takeovers) I'll pay off the remaining $16K of variable rate loan remaining. I'll also prepay $120K of the $150K loan balance on my Leveraged Equities margin loan before the 30th June.

For the next two years I'll be supplementing my salary income with the $34K I withdrew from my superannuation account. This will allow me to salary sacrifice at a high rate for those two years. After that time I'll look at slowly selling some of my Australian stock portfolio each year to allow me to continue salary sacrifice into our SMSF. If I get enough pay rise in the next couple of years to offset the amount I wish to salary sacrifice, I'll retain the existing stock portfolio holdings until I retire, at which time I'll have a very low assessable income (under the new Simpler Super rules pension income isn't taxed after you turn 60) and I could then sell off a portion of my holding each year without accruing much CGT liability. Until 75 I would still be able to contribute the proceeds into super while drawing a pension. After 75 I wouldn't be able to contribute into my own super, but I could start to contribute any excess funds into the super accounts of DS1 and DS2. Under current rules up to $150K a year of undeducted contributions could go into each of their accounts each year. As they will be in their 30s by that time I don't expect that they would be contributing that much into their super accounts yet.

All this planning assumes that the superannuation tax rules don't change much in the next 30 years - a most unrealistic assumption! This plan will obviously have to be updated as the rules and our financial situation changes over time.

Current holdings:
Leveraged Equities Account (loan balance $150,000.00, value $316,303.73)
stock qty price mkt value margin
AAN 295 $15.22 $4,489.90 70%
AEO 1,405 $2.04 $2,866.20 65%
AGK 510 $15.32 $7,813.20 70%
AMP 735 $10.01 $7,357.35 75%
ANN 480 $12.00 $5,760.00 70%
ANZ 1,107 $28.78 $31,859.46 75%
BHP 748 $31.06 $23,232.88 75%
BSL 781 $11.27 $8,801.87 70%
CDF 6,943 $2.02 $14,024.86 70%
CHB 118 $51.01 $6,019.18 65%
DJS 2,000 $5.13 $10,260.00 65%
FGL 3,751 $6.27 $23,518.77 75%
LLC 481 $19.82 $9,533.42 70%
NAB 316 $42.40 $13,398.40 75%
QAN 2,175 $5.06 $11,005.50 70%
QBE 983 $31.56 $31,023.48 75%
SGM 830 $27.08 $22,476.40 70%
SUN 963 $21.16 $20,377.08 75%
SYB 2,880 $4.37 $12,585.60 70%
TLS 5,000 $4.78 $23,900.00 80%
TLSCA 3,000 $3.31 $9,930.00 80%
VRL 1,500 $3.20 $4,800.00 60%
WDC 783 $20.77 $16,262.91 75%

Comsec Account (loan balance $116,612.16, value $229,848.59)
stock qty price mkt value margin
AGK 240 $15.32 $3,676.80 70%
AAN 139 $15.23 $2,116.97 70%
APA 4,644 $4.22 $19,597.68 70%
ASX 200 $48.39 $9,678.00 70%
CBA 130 $55.03 $7,153.90 75%
CDF 43,997 $2.02 $88,873.94 70%
IPEO 54,000 $0.019 $1,026.00 0%
IPE 8,000 $0.995 $7,960.00 60%
IFL 1,300 $10.25 $13,325.00 60%
LDW 1,350 $7.81 $10,543.50 0%
NCM 300 $21.68 $6,504.00 60%
OST 2,000 $6.52 $13,040.00 70%
QBE 607 $31.60 $19,181.20 75%
RIO 60 $94.55 $5,673.00 75%
THG 4,000 $1.02 $4,080.00 50%
WBC 300 $26.03 $7,809.00 75%
WPL 220 $43.68 $9,609.60 75%

Changes to portfolio since last update:

I sold my Qantas shares on the market for $5.39 on the last day before the takeover offer closed. I guessed correctly that the APA offer would fail to reach the required acceptances to proceed, and over the next few days the QAN share price dropped, as had been expected. However I had expected the price would drop to under $5.00. In fact the stock price has since increased after the Qantas management released an upbeat assessment of their prospects, and is now trading around $5.60. The proceeds of the sale reduced my loan balance below the $150K I had prepaid interest on for this financial year, so Leveraged Equities automatically moved the surplus amount into the linked Cash Management Account so I'm at least getting some interest on this bit of borrowed money.

My AMP holding increased by 15 shares due to a dividend reinvestment. I no longer enrol in DRP for new stocks I buy as there is little if any price discount and the hassles of keeping records for CGT calculation outweighs the benefits. I simply use dividends to help pay the interest on my margin loans.

My QBE holding increased by 17 shares due to a dividend reinvestment.

My SUN holding increased by 113 shares due to a Share Purchase Plan offer I took up.

My SYB holding increased by 32 shares due to a dividend reinvestment. This company is currently subject to a take over offer, which pushed the price up from $3.70 to $4.37. As the offer is a cash plus stock mix I may decide to sell my holding on the market rather than accept the offer.

Qantas in a Spin

May 7th, 2007 at 08:31 am

I'm still not sure if selling my Qantas shares last Friday for $5.39 was a great move, or a real dud. QAN has been in a trading halt all day today. The company which mounted the takeover (APA) has apparently not decided what they're going to do, or if their takeover bid really did fail to make the 50% control required for the bid to get a two week extension. Initially they announced on Friday night that they had failed to get 50% acceptances by the deadline. Then they convinced a US hedge fund to sell at least half their stake, pushing APA over the 50% mark, but after the deadline for acceptances had passed. Over the weekend the takeover review board didn't allow an exception to the deadline, so the bid appeared to have definitely failed. Then today there was talk that apparently the offer document included a clause stating that partial acceptances were not allowed, and would be deemed to be a full acceptance, so the takeover *might* have actually achieved the required 50% before the deadline - but no-one is sure, and applying this clause would probably end up in the courts.

Meanwhile, the Australian government has sent Qantas a "please explain" memo regarding a possible breach of the legislation that requires foreign ownership of Qantas to be less than 50%. Apparently with all the share trading in the past few days, much of it controlled by foreign hedge funds, this rule may have been broken. If so, Qantas has to go through all the transactions and reverse out enough done by foreign parties to get back to the 50% limit.

Hmmmm... no matter what does eventually happen to the takeover bid and the listed share price, I think I am better off having sold out after all.


Sold my Qantas shares prior to Offer Close

May 4th, 2007 at 02:53 am

The Qantas takeover offer by APA closed a little while ago (7pm AEST). The offer price was $5.45 cash per share, but I chose to sell my shares on market this morning for $5.39, even though this also meant having to pay $128.95 brokerage (1.1%). My reasoning is that there is a risk that the offer will lapse, as it requires 70% to succeed, and at least 50% by 7pm tonight in order to be able to extend the offer period a further 2 weeks. As of this morning APA reported having 35% of Qantas. They might make their target (they'll announce the final figure during this weekend), but, if they fail there's no guarantee that a higher offer would be forthcoming. If that happened the share price could easily drop back to under $4. As I was happy to take the offer price, I prefer a bird in the hand to a bird plus 12c that might get away...

Sell QAN QANTAS Airways 09/05/2007 2,175 $5.39 -$11,594.30