Don’t rest on your KiwiSaver laurels

Jul 28, 2022

Here’s a fun fact. A laurel is a particular evergreen tree with small yellow flowers and black berries.  Ancient Romans and Greeks would use its leaves to fashion crowns that were worn to represent victory.  Ave, Caesar.   So why are we talking about laurels? We’re just checking out your Kiwisaver contributions and, well, those laurels? …

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Doors reopening for first home buyers

Jul 5, 2022

The garden gates have been firmly padlocked, and with every passing year, another deadbolt may as well have been installed on the front door. For a long time, first-home buyers have been increasingly locked out of the housing market by price caps, high deposit requirements and rising purchase prices. But as of this month, some…

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Is high inflation deflating your retirement savings?

Jun 7, 2022

The world has sneezed – so have your retirement savings caught a cold? Well, if you’re pinning your hopes on term deposits to get you through, you can be sure that they’ve definitely got the sniffles. There are lots of interwoven factors – Covid; the war in Ukraine; the soaring price of commodities – and…

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A Healthy Head Start

May 11, 2022

The time to start training for the marathon is not when you’re standing on the start line.  The time to start saving for a house deposit is not when you’re at an auction for your dream home and the time to start thinking about health insurance is not when you’re staring down the barrel of…

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May 3, 2022

80% of women rate their financial wellbeing as moderate to very low, which is why we’re joining #ItStartsWithAction to encourage women to take a step toward improving their financial wellbeing. Two different research reports have revealed that women still have a much lower level of financial wellbeing compared to men. Both pieces of research, one from…

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Don’t compare apples to pears

Apr 13, 2022

People often start thinking about life and income insurance when they buy their first home. When you buy insurance from your bank’s metaphorical fruit bowl, it’s worth noting what’s in the bowl to begin with. When it comes to insurance that protects your mortgage, life, or health, banks tend to have a single product in each…

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Female Financial Advisers Bridging the Gender Gap

Mar 7, 2022

If these were the ratings for a local café or the latest blockbuster, they would definitely give you cause for concern.  An underwhelming “very low to moderate” is as good as it gets for a full 80% of Kiwi women who were surveyed about their current financial wellbeing.  This has prompted calls from the financial…

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In sickness and in health; for richer, for poorer

Feb 9, 2022

You might have a totally different attitude towards money than your partner does. After all, some of us are innate savers, and some are impulsive spenders.   Some people hate risk and will always opt for a sure thing with a lower yield, while others are more satisfied upping the stakes for bigger gains.  Some people…

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I’m investing – so where does my money go?

Nov 11, 2021

Go wide, and go long. It sounds like a sports play, but the analogy works nicely with investments too. Perhaps you’ve been given an unexpected inheritance, or maybe you’ve managed to carve out a spare $20 per week from your weekly budget.  You’ve decided that a sensible use of this extra cash is to invest…

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Don’t freak out if markets go down

Oct 16, 2021

If you’ve ever opened your investing app to a sea of red down arrows and felt a surge of panic, you’re not alone. Having an emotional reaction and a desire to do something – anything – to stop the fall is actually hard-wired into our brains as humans. It’s called loss aversion, and behavioural scientists…

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Do you have investor FOMO?

Oct 5, 2021

Our stints in lockdown have come with rather unexpected consequences.  We filled our homes with houseplants and revived the sourdough starters from the back of the fridge.  We also turned our focus to our finances, with an explosion of interest in online investment platforms amidst a vague fear that we would otherwise be missing out.…

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Whatever age, whatever stage, we’ll get you sorted

Aug 18, 2021

They’re a little bit like underwhelming superhero names. The Anxious Investor.  The Compulsive Spender. The Cash Splasher, and his trusty sidekick, The Money Ostrich. A quick google search will lead you down any number of rabbit holes to define your financial personality.   Clicking through an online quiz to pin down your money persona is…

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Repatriating Your Pension Fund

Jul 17, 2021

Oh, the things you gained when you worked abroad. A deeper and wider world view. A propensity to slow your words and lengthen your vowels, to be seamlessly understood.   The complete Cold Chisel back catalogue. There were also some things that you left behind.  Your umbrella, abandoned on the Tube, when you got distracted by…

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More than Mortgages with Stu Pope

Jun 23, 2021

By day Stu is one of our Mortgage brokers, with over two decades of experience helping buyers and investors secure their properties.  By night he is a tutor for NZQA Certificate in Money Management at Te Wananga o Aoteraroa at NMIT. Stu said: “Are you intimidated by banks and financial organisations because you don’t know…

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Insurance – helping you across life’s tightrope

May 20, 2021

Insurance. It’s the lottery ticket that you buy, hoping your numbers never come up. An “imagine if!” scenario, discussed in a very different tone to the one you use when you’re fantasising about winning Powerball. No matter which scenario, if the numbers align and you’ve got your ticket, you are afforded choices. Life traverses a…

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Time for your financial health check

May 20, 2021

With work and family commitments days are busy and life has a habit of moving on quickly but the problem with forgetting about one’s insurances and investments is that you are leaving your financial freedom and financial security to chance. Believe us when we tell you it is really important to have your regular review,…

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What is the Govt contribution?

May 20, 2021

The KiwiSaver Government contribution is designed to help you save for your retirement. Here’s how it works: If you’re eligible, the Government will contribute 50 cents for every dollar you contribute to your KiwiSaver account, up to a maximum of $521.43 each year. That’s extra money to add to your KiwiSaver savings – and it…

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Are you a financial grown-up?

Apr 14, 2021

Of all the recurring “grass is greener” arguments, the childhood vs adulthood one is surely the most misleading. Through a kid’s eyes, adulthood is just one long series of late bedtimes, unrestricted screen time and mastery over the potato chip rations.  Adults can have playdates with their friends without negotiating with a third party. They…

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Brightline tax

What is the bright-line property test?

Apr 7, 2021

This is a really hot topic on the news at the moment – do you know what it is all about?  In essence the bright-line property rule means that people who sell a residential property might need to pay income tax on any profit. Whether it applies to your property and what bright-line period applies…

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Term Deposits – Should You Even Bother?

Mar 15, 2021

If you squint a little, the five-year graph slants down like the eyebrow of a scowling cartoon character. If you’ve recently put money into a term deposit, you can probably relate to that hypothetical cartoon character.  Interest rates are currently sitting at around one lowly percent, so close to zilch that they might as well…

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Do your kids have good financial habits?

Feb 17, 2021

It harks back to Stanford’s classic marshmallow test. You know the one. A child is left alone with a sugary treat, having been told that they are welcome to eat it at their leisure. But there’s a catch. If they can restrain themselves for a few minutes until the adult returns, they can have not…

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New Year, New You

Jan 16, 2021

Sometimes you just have to be brutally honest about the limitations of your own willpower to organise finances. 2021 has arrived hat-in-hand, bringing with it the conciliatory offer of a fresh start. A new year presents the perfect time to reset old habits and take some positive steps forward. When it comes to global new…

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It depends on your point of view. Tax or Mortgage?

Oct 16, 2020

Does anyone remember the scene in Dead Poet’s Society when Robin Williams asked one his pupils to describe what was on the desk at the front of the class? And then told the boy to stand on his own desk and asked him exactly the same question again? The boy argued back and said that…

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Ford F150

Are 4wd’s responsible for the Kiwisaver crisis?

Oct 16, 2020

The USA Retirement Savings Crisis Recently, I came across a financial blog about the effect of the Ford  F-150 4wd truck on the retirement savings in the USA. The title of blog was ‘Pick-up trucks are a budget buster’. The writer pointed out that this truck had been the best selling vehicle in the USA…

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negative interest rate chart

How do negative interest rates affect me?

Sep 11, 2020

In recent times you may have heard commentators discussing the possibility of negative interest rates. On the surface that seems simple but what does that actually mean and how does it affect the average person. It’s important to note, at this point that the conversation in New Zealand has largely been about a negative official…

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New survey finds Kiwis are not planning for retirement

Aug 25, 2020

In 2018-19, the Commission for Financial Capability (a govt agency) undertook a survey of 15,519 adult New Zealanders on their financial behaviours, attitudes and experiences. In August 2020 they published a report of their findings. It made poor reading with: 65% of respondents stating that they did not think much or at all about how…

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Insurance when it counts

Aug 8, 2020

Insurance is one of the few things in life that you hope you will never really have to use. We pay premiums year after year for the peace of mind of knowing that we’ll be covered should the worst happen – but also crossing our fingers that we never really have to find out what…

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The Juggling Act: Buying and Selling Property

Aug 5, 2020

Is it time for the next move? More space for the kids, relocating to another part of NZ, or perhaps you’ve built up equity and that upgrade you’ve dreamed of is now in sight? Buying a new home is an exciting time, but managing your mortgage needs from one property to another can be a…

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Imagine… Life Without a Mortgage

Jul 27, 2020

Is 2020 the year that you get a plan in place to be mortgage-free faster? Then this read is for you. First of all, keep this in mind: even small amounts over time can result in significant wins. That is, you don’t have to be in a position to double your repayments or contribute big…

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Getting Ready to Renovate?

Jul 21, 2020

Some extra space, a long-awaited interior update, indoor-outdoor flow, a pre-sale spruce-up – whatever your renovation plans, we wish you an on-time and on-budget project and a great result. Without detracting from the benefits of renovating your home or property, you’ll no doubt be aware of the potential pitfalls – budget blowouts, missed deadlines and…

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Getting ‘First Home Loan’ Ready

Jul 8, 2020

If you’re tired of home ownership sitting in the too-hard basket and want 2020 to be the year that you get your plans underway, this read is for you. Read on for five key components to getting home loan ready. Understanding your home loan affordability One of the first things to understand is what you…

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COVID-19 and mortgages

Apr 14, 2020

Mortgage Holidays There is a six-month mortgage holiday scheme offered for people who have had their income affected as a result of COVID-19. This is for residential mortgages. Mortgage repayment deferrals mean you will not make principal and interest payments on your loan for up to 6 months. Interest is still charged and added to…

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COVID-19 and investments

Mar 24, 2020

Covid-19 is obviously a health issue but it has economic and investment consequences too. The disruption caused to the global economic system in an attempt to fight the spread of the pandemic has affected financial markets. It’s natural to be concerned if you see that the balance on your investment statement shows a fall. The…

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COVID-19 and personal insurance

Mar 24, 2020

At the time of writing, there are no blanket exclusions for COVID-19 or any other pandemic in life, trauma or income protection policies in the insurance companies we use. Any claim arising from COVID-19 would be assessed the same as any other illness according to the terms of the policy. The common misconception is whether…

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What are the BIG insurance mistakes?

Mar 17, 2020

When you take out a life, health or income insurance policy, you’re counting on it being there for you when you need it. But mistakes can mean you don’t have the cover you expect. Here are three of them. Failure to disclose information When you’re applying for a new insurance policy, the more information you…

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How about this for a high risk investment?

Mar 10, 2020

Put yourself in my shoes. I’m a financial adviser and I have a client who comes to me and says that they want to put all their life, money and time into developing an investment which they’re sure will grow over the long term and will give them more than enough money to retire on.…

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Claiming on your insurance

Feb 24, 2020

Insurance is one of the few things in life that you hope you will never really have to use. But every year, thousands of New Zealanders do call on insurers when they hit a crisis, and it’s then that the power of insurance is obvious. It makes the difference between having to sell the house…

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Like a big fat trout

Dec 17, 2019

With interest rates stuck at record low levels it’s not difficult to be sucked into investments offering higher rates. “You rose like a big fat trout”. That’s what Glyn’s father used to say when he teased me into reacting to one of his practical jokes. And it’s like that if you’re trying to get money…

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Insurance through life

Dec 13, 2019

In NZ, insurance has a role to play in most stages of our lives. What we need when we’re young can be quite different to what’s required as we get older. Here’s a rough guide of what to think about, and when. Childhood and teenage years Most young people have relatively little insurance, primarily because…

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Safe as money in the bank?

Dec 10, 2019

Is money in the bank actually that safe? Did you know that banks play musical chairs with 1 chair and 12 players? They lend out approximately 12 times the amount of money that they have in shareholder investments. Banks play a vital part in our economy but it requires trust from all of us that…

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Getting paid for cancer

Nov 28, 2019

Everyone knows how life insurance works but do you know how trauma insurance works? Life insurance pays out if you die. But what happens if you get cancer and you don’t die? Lots of cancers can either be beaten or held at bay for many years but that’s probably because you have some months of…

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Rich Widows

Nov 28, 2019

It’s sad giving advice to rich widows. Year after year it goes on. Different client. Same story. They’ve retired, downsized, cashed up and have been sent to us for advice on how to invest and manage their capital. We work out how much of their capital is needed to cover their normal living costs and…

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