Kiwi Saver, Mary Holm financial writer and columnist

  Independent and down to earth financial info you can trust
  from Mary Holm, New Zealand's most widely read investment writer

Archives

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.


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 23 September 2017

Q&As: Is this the time to get out of the share market?
- Reader questions last week's couple's financial management
- Another suggests they look at private schooling
- Yet another suggests selling their home and renting elsewhere
- Just one provider lets KiwiSavers invest directly in shares

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RNZ Radio 15 June 2017

Investment risks - Part 4: Ups and downs in investments, emotions and fees

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RNZ Radio 1 June 2017

Investment risks - Part 3: Looking over your shoulder or overseas, or overlooking inflation

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RNZ Radio 11 May 2017

Investment risks - Part 2: too complicated, too much borrowing, not diversifying ...

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RNZ Radio 30 March 2017

Gender and Investing

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NZ Herald 28 January 2017

Q&As: Who earns the interest while money moves from bank to bank over holidays?
- What is investment risk? And how to reduce it
- Use savings to pay down mortgage

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NZ Herald 24 December 2016

Q&As: When you can take diversification too far
- Where to invest in passive or index funds
- Book is older than I thought
- 2 letters from immigrants express their appreciation
- 15 years later, advice has proved helpful

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NZ Herald 22 October 2016

Q&As: Should we be getting out of property and shares?
- Leasehold property not always a bad idea, but ...
- KiwiSaver tax credit numbers not quite right

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RNZ Radio 1 September 2016

How emotional thinking can get in the way of good investing

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RNZ Radio 18 August 2016

Ethical KiwiSaver. Also my approach to investing in shares.

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NZ Herald 16 July 2016

Q&As: 'Laddering' term deposits has several advantages
- Riskier funds tend to do better, but fees hit reader's returns
- Get agent's advice on upgrading house before selling?
- Reader's first KiwiSaver tax credit a disappointment

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NZ Herald 2 July 2016

Q&As: A reader challenges my 2008 advice on term deposits
- Another wants to buy - not sell - UK shares right now
- Family should consider inner Auckland townhouse
- My motive is uncovered!
- Some lucky reading at McDonalds
- Corrections

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RNZ Radio 9 June 2016

Listeners' questions on KiwiSaver performance and timing markets

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RNZ Radio 26 May 2016

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RNZ Radio 19 May 2016

KiwiSaver performance, and timing markets

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RNZ Radio 12 May 2016

More on spreading your money around

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RNZ Radio 5 May 2016

Two key points about investing

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RNZ Radio 28 April 2016

Different types of investments

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Radio NZ 31 March 2016

The magic of regular saving - both in and out of KiwiSaver

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NZ Herald 27 February 2016

Q&As: Why daughter's KiwiSaver account didn't perform so well
- Getting the most out of KiwiSaver for children
- KiwiSaver tax credit in the year you turn 65
- Another great quote on investing
- Pros and cons of family life on a boat

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Radio NZ 11 February 2016

Why it's not easy to get rich quick

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Radio NZ 4 February 2016

Listeners' questions on setting financial priorities

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Radio NZ 28 January 2016

Setting financial priorities

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Radio NZ 10 December 2015

How overconfidence can make you poorer (and other psychological aspects of investing)

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NZ Herald 19 September 2015

Q&As: Trying to time markets is a fool's game ...
- ... And picking a few shares to invest in isn't much better
- Where to buy shares, and a better suggestion for teen
- How come there are two monthly bills on one credit card bill?

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NZ Herald 29 August 2015

Q&As: Retired couple paying for rest home now wish they had spent more earlier
- Are NZ Super recipients beneficiaries?
- Reader thinks it's bad to eat into capital in retirement
- How couple might set up a first home account

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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 4 July 2015

Q&As: Women's gifting circles look to be illegal, and ...
- ... they could lead to 'an abundance of hate'
- Shortish-term money shouldn't be in shares, despite adviser
- An advantage of regularly investing the same amount, whatever the market does
- One provider charges less for non-KiwiSaver funds

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NZ Herald 11 April 2015

Q&A: Should parity with Aussie dollar affect investing?
- How currency movements affect KiwiSaver funds, and what you can do about it
- A good way to lend to adult children?
- Better to pay down mortgage or invest elsewhere?
Money column for April 11 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 19 July 2014

Q&As: Tips from an expert on buying a car
- Splitting your KiwiSaver money between two of the provider's funds
- Might KiwiSavers see their NZ Super reduced?
- An idea on how to blend NZ Super and the German pension

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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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Syndicated column 6 October 2012 - Rental property beats shares - or does it?

At first it looked as if a recent article in the Reserve Bank Bulletin might help with the perennial question: Is it better to invest in property or shares? But no such luck!

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Syndicated column 8 September 2012 - Risk is not a dirty word

A man on the radio the other day was talking about risk, and how we've become so scared about our children's safety that we don't let them climb trees. The kids lose out. It's similar with investments. Many New Zealanders seem to be too scared of riskier investments, and they too lose from that fear.

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NZ Herald 4 August 2012

This week we are publishing the second excerpt from a small book Mary Holm has written for the Reserve Bank called "Upside, downside: A guide to risk for savers and investors". It will be given away free to the public in September. This column will tell you how to get a copy then. Today we look at examples of risky investor behaviour. The normal Q&A column will resume next week.

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Syndicated column 7 April 2012 - Slow and steady not always the way to win

Slow and steady isn't always best when it comes to regular investing. We'll look at making annual investments, to keep it simple. But the same principle applies to contributing to KiwiSaver or other investments in which you make more frequent deposits of the same amount.

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NZ Herald 26 November 2011

Q&As: Are shares still the best long-term investment, despite recent results?
Investing in bank term deposits has its own risk - that of inflation eating into returns
Older job applicants might want to play down their age on their CV
Volunteering overseas an option for couple in their 60s who can't find jobs

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NZ Herald 3 September 2011

Q&As: Are NZ banks really safe, given what happened in the Great Depression?
- Is it worth spreading your risk by using several banks?
- Credit ratings still worth bothering with, and some thoughts on why readers get angry about gold
- 32-year-old new KiwiSaver should get straight into growth fund

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NZ Herald 27 August 2011

Q&As: Fears about the safety of banks unfounded
- A good idea to spread the family around several KiwiSaver providers
- KiwiSaver member misunderstands why her provider moved her money
- Reader urges me to hold my ground on gold, and to encourage investment in small high-tech companies

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Syndicated column 13 August 2011 - Watched KiwiSaver funds boils too much

The internet can be a curse when it comes to long-term investments such as KiwiSaver. With many providers, you can log in and check your account balance daily. But while a watched pot might never boil, a watched KiwiSaver account can boil too much - especially at times like these.

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NZ Herald 13 August 2011

Q&As: Should reader move to lower-risk KiwiSaver fund? Putting share plunge in perspective
- Don't try to time markets
- Gold fan checks in after gold price soars, but what of his other predictions?
- The one situation in which NZ Super is affected by KiwiSaver savings

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NZ Herald 25 June 2011

Q&As: Should KiwiSaver member move to a provider with better investment performance?
- Reader "gets it" on why KiwiSaver is so good
- Another reader is over-enthusiastic
- Is it wise to put more money into KiwiSaver?
- Index funds are well and good, but what if everyone invested in them?

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Syndicated column 21 May 2011 - Getting back in balance

Investment markets have been particularly turbulent in recent years. Chances are, therefore, that your spread of investments - over property, shares, bonds, term deposits and so on - has changed without your intending that to happen.

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NZ Herald 9 October 2010

Q&As: Can a reader foresee gold and silver prices, and foreign exchange rates? Time will tell.
- Eggs in baskets matter as much now as ever - plus the difference between active and passive fund management
- Can you invest with more than one KiwiSaver provider?
- KiwiSaver for New Zealand resident with overseas employer - plus how to choose a provider

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NZ Herald 18 September 2010

Q&As: The "I can't afford it" excuse for not joining KiwiSaver just went out the window - plus other points about kids and KiwiSaver
Are managed share funds a crock?
Here's hoping a recent correspondent is not a regular reader of this column!
A book, online tool and language trick for overspenders and their partners
You must be under 65 to join KiwiSaver, but can take part in the scheme after that age

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Syndicated column 8 May 2010 - Set and forget KiwiSaver funds a great choice for many

I'm not really interested in what happens under the bonnet of my car, as long as it goes. In much the same way many people are not interested in what happens to their KiwiSaver accounts, as long as they grow.

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NZ Herald 1 May 2010

Q&As: Real estate agent objects to my suggesting people negotiate with agents
Brian Gaynor's and my differing views on the best way to invest
Buy a KiwiSaver book for less than half price

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NZ Herald 24 April 2010

Q&As: Retiree stuck with a property investment that's gone wrong should sell her house and the rental
71-year-old wants to be in KiwiSaver, while younger New Zealander stays out for the sake of the country
Fees are not the only consideration when choosing a KiwiSaver fund

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Syndicated column 10 April 2010 - Change KiwiSaver default funds - but educate too

All the wrong people are ending up in KiwiSaver default funds - or are they? That depends on their financial knowledge, temperament and home ownership plans.

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Syndicated column 27 March 2010 - Wanted: better insurance against outliving our savings

Imagine you're heading into retirement. You'll get NZ Super, but you also have savings in KiwiSaver or elsewhere. You would like to spend that money over the rest of your life and leave the house to the kids. But - not knowing how long you will live - how can you decide how much to spend each year?

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NZ Herald 20 February 2010

Q&As: Paying off mortgage - and getting rid of badly undiversified portfolio - are two great ideas
KiwiSaver can work well for student
Laying out the details on KiwiSaver exit fees
Buying shares directly from overseas broker cheaper in short run, but may not be wise

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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 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 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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WHICH ASSETS ARE FOR YOU?

This week, Mary Holm's Q&A column is replaced by an excerpt from her latest book, "The Complete KiwiSaver". The principles she discusses here apply not just to KiwiSaver but to investing in general. Her Q&A column will resume next week.

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NZ Herald June 27 09

Q&As: Many reasons why repaying home mortgage is better than investing in a rental property
Couple who haven't heard from their KiwiSaver providers need to take initiative
Accountant passes on his tricks about how to keep track of KiwiSaver contributions

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NZ Herald June 20 2009

Q&As: No use crying over split milk: Investor can still make use of 10-year rule
Not all landlords have a dream run with their tenants
How KiwiSaver returns are boosted
Do KiwiSaver contributions need inflation-proofing, and if so, how?

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NZ Herald June 13 2009

Q&As: Another - much happier - take on being a landlord, compared with last week
2 Q&As on how KiwiSaver works for a 64-year-old and a young man turning 18
KiwiSaver member who is trying to time markets should give up on attempting the impossible

Money column for June 13 2009

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NZ Herald April 11 2009

Q&As: Tips on how to ease back into investing in share funds.
Have I been too upbeat about the outlook for shares?
If the Dow Jones index is so bad, how come so many in the news media highlight it?
Auckland couple on $60,000 could buy a home if they really want to.

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Syndicated column March 7 2009 - When is 'a bird in the hand' better?

They are two perplexing questions that arise every now and then. One might apply when you are offered money or are selling something. Should you accept a certain amount now or more later? The other might apply when you are buying something. Should you pay a certain amount now or more later?

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