Kiwi Saver, Mary Holm financial writer and columnist

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  from Mary Holm, New Zealand's most widely read investment writer

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Read Mary's current Herald column on-line now, listen to recent radio broadcasts, or search the archives for previous subjects in her Herald and syndicated columns or broadcasts.


Financial advisers

The following is a selection of articles and radio broadcasts mainly from January 2005 to the present. To explore this topic in more depth and access earlier columns, please use the search box.

Articles

NZ Herald 10 June 2017

Q&As: Don't miss KiwiSaver tax credits - and why kids do miss out
- How to calculate tax credits for new KiwiSavers and those turning 18 or 65
- Savings goal from adviser looks too high
- Please email to say how well you're doing in KiwiSaver

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NZ Herald 4 March 2017

Q&As: Reader has same credit card trouble as last week's correspondent ...
- ... And last week's correspondent finds the remedy doesn't work
- Another reader has a suggestion on credit card limits
- And yet another one says 'Fire your bank'
- Thousands paying too much tax in KiwiSaver
- Know your rights when dealing with financial service providers

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RNZ Radio 2 March 2017

What savers and investors are entitled to

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NZ Herald 2 April 2016

Q&As: Live well on $15,000 a year in Thailand
- Reader questions last week's correspondent's dividend income ...
- ... While another reader explains it, and wonders about adviser role
- Better to read the column regularly than to chance upon it in some packaging!

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NZ Herald 30 January 2016

Q&As: A different Auckland housing option: live on the water
- Reservations about young landlord's success
- 2 Q&As on whether Bonus Bonds are a good deal
- Worries about living in a leasehold property
- Have your say about advisers

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NZ Herald 22 August 2015

Q&As: Banks give teenagers credit too easily
- Credit union offers lower-interest deal to credit card borrowers
- Retiree "invests in people"
- 55-year-old spending while she's able
- Financial adviser struggles with how others do it

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NZ Herald 8 August 2015

Q&As: Banks shouldn't favour new customers, but reader shouldn't have big credit card debt
- Gold doing OK in NZ dollars, but that's not the point
- Why advisers tend to favour low-risk investments and why they shouldn't
- Banks have a wide range of financial advisers

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NZ Herald 1 August 2015

Q&As: Gold bugs disappear now that their price has plunged
- 2 Q&As about older bank customers getting poor service
- How to judge your financial adviser
- 76-year-old doesn't have to reduce risk

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NZ Herald 25 July 2015

Q&As: Couple's rental property plans riskier than they might think
- What happened at Milford, and how are KiwiSaver members placed?
- Bank adviser may regret lack of interest in man in his 90s
- Hard to be a young, independent adviser

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NZ Herald 18 July 2015

Q&As: Financial advisers fail to give good advice on risk to woman in 20s
- If a bank fails, a percentage of all accounts would be frozen ...
- And only a small amount in transaction accounts would be exempt
- Reader is disappointed that I didn't discuss the tax on gains from property

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NZ Herald 11 July 2015

Q&As: Has reader discovered the secret to beating the share market?
- Could a bank failure lead to cuts in KiwiSaver funds?...
- ... And Bonus Bonds?
- A reader is happy with their adviser
- But another reader dumped the same adviser

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NZ Herald 27 June 2015

Q&As: Government seeks your views on financial advisers
- You want an Auckland house? Go ahead and buy one
- Similarly, buy the bach now
- Where to save extra, over and above KiwiSaver ...
- And watch out for fee differences

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NZ Herald 20 June 2015

Q&As: Are "women's gifting circles" legit?
- Is bank financial adviser giving "best" advice?
- KiwiSaver tax credits don't cross the Tasman
- Tips on getting more from a revolving credit mortgage

Money column for June 20 2015

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NZ Herald 7 February 2015

Q&As: Can 57-year-old separated woman on low income get a mortgage?
- Should move from term deposits to balanced fund be done all at once?
- Ditto for move to higher-risk KiwiSaver fund
- How to get independent advice - on paying down the mortgage

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NZ Herald 12 April 2014

Q&As: The time it takes to get money out of fund is 'outrageous'
- Can NZ advisers and fund managers do better than the market as a whole?
- How and when to bring money back from Australia
- How a landlord can analyse whether a property is a good investment

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NZ Herald 14 September 2013

Q&As: It's spending time for a man in KiwiSaver
- Sex worker wonders how to get an accountant
- How would capital gains tax allow for inflation?

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NZ Herald 17 August 2013

Q&As: Young couple bonds over share investing
- Possible issues with capital gains tax valuation date
- 2 Q&As on retired farmer's low investment return
- Should KiwiSaver tax credit go to working 16 and 17-year-olds?

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NZ Herald 10 August 2013

Q&As: Retiree needs patience, but also needs to ask his adviser some hard questions
- How assets would be valued if capital gains tax is introduced
- Share investor's success not quite so impressive when you look at how the whole market has performed
- Raising NZ Super age would affect some more than others

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NZ Herald 8 June 2013

Q&As: One couple is happy with shares ....
- while another is happy with property
- P lab clean-up not a minor thing
- Why would anyone accept a low-ball offer?
- Seeing an adviser not always the answer
- In praise of KiwiSaver

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NZ Herald 11 August 2012

Q&As: The kids are off, the house is mortgage-free, now what?
- Couple are disillusioned by pathetic returns on managed funds
- What to do with a small KiwiSaver nestegg when it's your only savings
- Clarifying the rules about KiwiSaver withdrawal if you've moved overseas permanently

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NZ Herald 2 June 2012

Q&As: Should charity begin at home?
- Advisers may not be the best source on comparing KiwiSaver providers - so how should you do it?
- Can a landlord get KiwiSaver first home help?....
.... And can a son who buys an expensive home with his Dad?
- An accountant questions Housing NZ policy

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Syndicated column 17 December 2011 - Don't wait for change on how advisers are paid

It's one of those situations in which, 20 or 30 years from now, I reckon people will say, "I can't believe they used to do it that way."

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Syndicated column 30 July 2011 - Adviser's enthusiasm for KiwiSaver is way over the top

KiwiSaver is a good deal. But I was astonished by the claims made for the scheme by an experienced financial adviser in a recent industry magazine - and by his lack of clear thinking.

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NZ Herald 16 July 2011

Q&As: Retired couple with house in Christchurch's red zone have several options to weigh up
- Three Q&As about KiwiSaver for children and grandchildren
- One adviser firm accepts pay-for-performance fees, at least to some extent

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NZ Herald 9 July 2011

Q&As: Reader wants to pay financial adviser according to performance, but advisers not so keen
- Adviser's reason for putting clients into finance companies is not good enough
- RFAs - registered financial advisers - must also operate under stricter rules
- Grandma might want to put conditions on financial help for student grandchildren

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NZ Herald 2 July 2011

Q&As: How to find a good financial adviser
- Difference between an adviser and a fund manager, and how they charge
- Adviser should always make high-interest debt the top priority
- 70-year-old KiwiSaver's plan for her grandchildren

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NZ Herald 11 June 2011

Q&As: Should couple with iffy job prospects sell their shares to slash their mortgage?
- Young KiwiSaver with an eye on first home help should move to a lower-risk fund
- One KiwiSaver doesn't appreciate how good his deal is ....
- And another is sick of whingers over the scheme
- Did my comment about people's inability to pick investments cover advisers?

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NZ Herald 22 January 2011

Q&As: Tax cutting scheme likely to bring much more wealth to the company than to a reader
- How recipients of below-market share offers can get their own back
- A reader shows her bank just what she thinks of it
- How is our gold price forecaster doing?
- Some help with finding a good financial adviser

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Syndicated column 23 October 2010 - Where did the finance company money go?

A reader is trying to get his head around his finance company loss. "I'm wondering if you would please consider writing an article on how investment companies lose their money - actually our money - and what happens to the money," he writes.

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NZ Herald 31 July 2010

Q&As: Two readers are unhappy with ASB's closing of some of its investment funds - with some justification, but only "some".
Another reader gives up on reading this column, claiming I am "inside the tent" with the financial industry

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NZ Herald 24 July 2010

Q&As: One reader is angry that ASB is closing the trusts he's invested in, while ...
Another reader sees it as a great opportunity to try a new investment strategy with term deposits
I might be a duck or a weasel, but I'm not a financial adviser

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NZ Herald 26 June 2010

Q&As: Reader's golden suggestion for investing proceeds of a house sale is worrying
3 Q&As about KiwiSaver details - for people in other super schemes, children, and newly signed up KiwiSavers
More ideas on alternatives to "Mum and Dad" investors, including from a top government official

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NZ Herald 13 February 2010

Q&As: Some active share funds will do better than passive index funds, but it's impossible to predict which ones
Don't go chasing high-performing KiwiSaver funds - here's how to choose your provider
Another index fund available in New Zealand
Fee-charging advisers don't gain from putting clients in higher risk investments than they should

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NZ Herald 6 February 2010

Q&As: It's not wise to let yourself be forced into being a landlord
Which New Zealand providers offer passive or index funds?
What are the minimum investments in passive funds?
Details on how the new resolution schemes for disputes with advisers will work

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NZ Herald 30 January 2010

Q&As: Investing doesn't have to be a part-time job. There's still time for novel reading.
KiwiSaver calculation - far from being wrong - is correct to the cent.
How the lack of a tax credit for kids in KiwiSaver affects contributions to their accounts.
There's much more to financial advice than just investing.

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NZ Herald 23 January 2010

Q&As: Should couple repay mortgage with redundancy money, or invest it in KiwiSaver or elsewhere?
Big KiwiSaver provider should know better about first-year tax credits
More information available about investment advisers - and are hourly or percentage fees better?
Less room for trouble if people make their own investments after seeking adviser's recommendations

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NZ Herald 12 December 2009

Q&As: Which investment advisers charge fees - and why that is a good start
Winners of draw to go to Taskforce breakfast and lunch

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NZ Herald 5 December 2009

Q&As: Adviser's advice is shocking - on three counts
Does it make sense to want your charity dollars to all go to the frontline?
When should you reduce your KiwiSaver contributions?

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NZ Herald 7 November 2009

An invitation to attend a breakfast representing investors
Q&As: Independent fee-charging advisers - the ones readers should be able to count on - to be listed in this column
Are accountants obliged to minimise tax, and to not dob in their clients to Inland Revenue?
Contributing to adult children's KiwiSaver accounts a good idea, even if they end up losing some of it in a marriage break-up

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NZ Herald 31 October 2009

Q&As: Tax agent and Inland Revenue differ on treatment of investors selling rental properties
Two big issues lead to bad financial advice results
Is this column dominated by KiwiSaver?
Generally, don't put lump sums into KiwiSaver

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NZ Herald 24 October 2009

Q&As: Are house prices less likely to fall in posher suburbs?
Financial advisers paid by commissions can't do as well as someone who is independent
Two Q&As on why recently issued preference shares are not good investments

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NZ Herald 17 October 2009

Q&As: Are preference shares a good investment, despite recent price falls?
Did reader get good advice from an ASB adviser?

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Syndicated column 5 September 2009 - Performance pay not as good as it sounds

Here's a radical idea: pay financial advisers according to the performance of the investments they put you in. Sounds appealing, but would it work?

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NZ Herald 29 August 2009

Q&As: Just because a so-called financial expert is confident, that doesn't mean he or she is right
If you haven't worked for a while any time in the last five years, you may well be in for a tax refund
Don't delay joining KiwiSaver, even if you're worried that you could be made redundant
KiwiSaver tax credit lark for the newly retired is too good to be true

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NZ Herald May 23 2009

Q&A: Don't let international survey put you off investing in managed funds
Reader challenges comments about classic cars

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NZ Herald January 31 2009

Q&As: Several options for 20-year-old who worries that the state of the world makes KiwiSaver iffy.
5 Q&As about reader who was offered a mortgage deal that was too good to be true.

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NZ Herald January 24 2009

Q&As: Advisor's mortgage offer looks too magical to be true
Children more likely to be angry because their parents didn't sign them up to KiwiSaver than because they did
Too much on KiwiSaver in this column?

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NZ Herald February 2 2008

Q&As: Does the share price slump disprove standard investment advice? And should advisers make economic forecasts?
KiwiSaver member is doing superbly despite the slump - as are all other members.
A reader objects to the idea that KiwiSaver is a gift from the government.

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NZ Herald December 9 2006

Money column for December 9, 2006

Win a ticket to a seminar
Q&As: Should retired couple invest in a commercial property? Why take on that risk?
Can we predict NZ dollar movements?
When is it best to change money from US to NZ currency.
A US website that evaluates international charities.
Yet another charity offers a Christmas gift programme.

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Syndicated column October 24 2006: Why some advisers don't recommend index funds

A while back I wrote that I still think index funds are the best way for most people to invest in shares, even though they are scheduled to lose their tax advantage next year. That has prompted an intriguing question from a reader:

"If index funds outperform all other forms of sharemarket investing over a long period of time (10 years?), then why do advisers recommend other forms? Is it simply due to their commission?"

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NZ Herald October 7 2006

Q&As: Should you portfolio be regularly serviced? And how do you calculate the return on it?
How to work out which term deposit is better.
What's in a finance company name?

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NZ Herald September 2 2006

Q&As: Some options for a whinging woman who can't afford a home.
Is wealthy couple wise to do it themselves when it comes to their investments?
Reader who dislikes "that word" boycotts Toyota.
Getting mean over medians and averages.

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NZ Herald August 26 2006

Q&As: What you should check out before you buy a house. And who should do the inspection.
Some possible progress on the proposed changes to international investments tax.
Who's right and wrong in the maths on the new coins.
Financial adviser explains how "Jane", with her $1 million in term deposits, could save on fees.

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NZ Herald August 19 2006

Q&As: The average New Zealander can't afford to buy a house, or can they? The poor don't stay poor.
How one man keeps his costs down.
Flaws with a tax parable? And a man living on $1,000 a year?
An investment adviser gives us inside info on commissions.

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NZ Herald August 12 2006

Q&As: A few fewer luxuries and many New Zealanders could afford to buy homes.
2 Q&As on whether the Reserve Bank got it right with the new coins.
A financial planner objects to what I said last week about how to choose an adviser.

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NZ Herald August 5 2006

Q&As: Typical but rich women ask how to find an adviser.
Does local government keep house prices up? And will they ever fall?
Let's not have the government meddling in the housing market.
Doing your homework doesn't necessarily help share investment.

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NZ Herald July 15 2006

Q&As: Lessons from the Bible: Is borrowing bad?
Is luck or attitude the secret to wealth?
Sharebrokers shouldn't always be expected to give ongoing advice.

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NZ Herald July 8 2006

Q&As: What to do about negligent adviser who recommended bad finance company investment.
Do high earners pay too much of the tax burden?
Parable about why the highest taxed get the biggest tax breaks.

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Syndicated column July 26 2005: Keeping financial advisers on their toes - good for the rest of us

A warning to financial advisers: You'd better give good, unbiased advice to your next new client. And the one after that. And the one after that. You never know which one might be a "mystery shopper" working undercover.

If you do serve a mystery shopper, they will report on a website whether the advice you gave "is truly in the best interests of the individual client" - something that Joe and Joanne Blow often find hard to judge.

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NZ Herald July 16 2005

Q&As: When to declare share trading profits.
What to do if travel agent charges more for using a credit card.
Different Visa rules in Australia, and how Visa operates.

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Syndicated column July 12 2005: Complexity of financial products no accident

Confirmation, at last, of what we've suspected all along: Providers of financial products may deliberately make them sound complicated.

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