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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Managed Funds

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 16 September 2017

Q&As: Should family rent out their home and rent elsewhere, or simply move?
- KiwiSaver contribution rates flexible
- Should KiwiSaver get favourable tax treatment? ...
- ... And could that lead to higher KiwiSaver fees?

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NZ Herald 9 September 2017

Q&As: Reader's letter leads to change in ANZ KiwiSaver statements
- 87-year-old's enlightened attitude to family finances decades ago
- Could Labour's capital gains tax apply to KiwiSaver?
- Couple nearing retirement should consider their investment risk

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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 11 May 2017

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

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NZ Herald 25 March 2017

Q&As: A good reason to have a high credit card limit
- One reader fires his bank ...
- ... While another is fiercely loyal
- Why I prefer managed funds over shares for most
- Rules about income for recipients of rest home subsidy

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NZ Herald 17 December 2016

Q&As: Many reasons why a winning active share fund won't stay on top
- Why do husband and wife's funds perform so differently?
- Offset mortgages more vulnerable than revolving credit loans
- No plans for 2 big banks to follow others with offset mortgages
- Do employers deserve praise for contributing to KiwiSaver?
- Update on proposal to raise NZ Super age

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NZ Herald 26 November 2016

Q&As: Better to put savings towards mortgage than emergency fund
- How to weigh up KiwiSaver versus other saving
- Reader not stuck with KiwiSaver provider, but costly to move
- Reactions vary on discussion about which indexes to use

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NZ Herald 12 November 2016

Q&As: Risky to put all your money in a single share
- Reader recommends book and website about index funds
- NZ research on active v passive similar to elsewhere
- My maths is called into question
- A reader doesn't like debate in column...
- ... But another reader is happy
- KiwiSaver rules if you move overseas

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NZ Herald 10 September 2016

Q&As: Ethical investing can be effective - even if it's not done perfectly
- KiwiSaver tax credit continues if you're overseas briefly
- Deduction of overseas pension from NZ Super the only fair way

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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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RNZ Radio 9 June 2016

Listeners' questions on KiwiSaver performance and timing markets

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NZ Herald 28 May 2016

Q&As: 'Ripped off' reader should shop around rather than dropping life insurance
- How to judge a KiwiSaver fund
- Start small, and keep going
- Help for woman with $100,000 in credit card debt

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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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NZ Herald 12 March 2016

Q&As: Judge interest rates against inflation
- Retired couple seek higher returns
- KiwiSaver provider drops fees on low balances
- Young home buyers weigh up fixed and floating mortgages

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NZ Herald 5 March 2016

Q&As: 5 steps to get a reader and daughter back on KiwiSaver ladder
- Could KiwiSaver fees reduce a low balance to zero?
- How to choose a non-KiwiSaver fund

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NZ Herald 13 February 2016

Q&As: Universality of NZ Super annoys working couple
- Reader challenges AMP KiwiSaver funds' performance
- Accountant objects to my comments about landlords
- Bad luck with competitions? Keep at it
- Pluses of onboard life include decluttering

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Radio NZ 4 February 2016

Listeners' questions on setting financial priorities

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NZ Herald 24 October 2015

Q&As: Is greed behind Auckland house price rises?
- Apartment or unit? Go with what you prefer
- Rental property not a good way to invest her inheritance
- Individual shares or a share fund?

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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 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 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 13 December 2014

Q&As: New Zealanders are 'all talk and no action' on ethical funds
- Don't try to time markets with your KiwiSaver account
- Why we need a capital gains tax
- Why rental property should be taxed like other businesses
- Landlords not necessarily admirable, but ...

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NZ Herald 8 November 2014

Q&As: Early Brierley investment brings back memories of 1987
- Reader and I disagree on share market performance - and who reads this column!
- Family loan suggestion 1: put it in borrower's will
- Family loan suggestion 2: put it in lender's will
- Family loan suggestion 3: borrower should try elsewhere first
- Why KiwiSaver Fund Finder idea wouldn't work

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NZ Herald 30 August 2014

Q&As: Lessons for investor after double whammy hits index fund
- Is now a good time to get into an index fund?
- Details of Labour's capital gains tax yet to come
- A tax idea that probably wouldn't work
- How did retired widow get such a big KiwiSaver balance?

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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 5 April 2014

Q&As: How to tell if an investment - beyond low-risk KiwiSaver funds - is fairly safe
- Should woman sell rental and enjoy the proceeds?
- Can reader use Dad's KiwiSaver for own benefit?
- Lenders may help with first home deposit timing problem

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NZ Herald 29 March 2014

Q&As: How about just paying tax, instead of moving house to avoid paying it?
- Beneficiaries can join KiwiSaver, and shouldn't feel they're not entitled
- Last week's lead Q&A overlooked costs of home ownership...
- ... and the limits to how KiwiSaver first home money can be spent

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NZ Herald 22 June 2013

Q&As: What a reader should do with her money now that she's paid off her student loan
- Does your KiwiSaver provider offer this service?
- Share prices move faster than property prices, but does it matter?
- Some property investors overlook cash inputs

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NZ Herald 24 November 2012

Q&As: Lessons from a bad managed fund investment
- An older reader's tips on money and life
- Do parents commit their children to KiwiSaver if they sign them up?
- Meaningful Christmas giving

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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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Syndicated column 8 October 2011 - Fees matter, especially for younger KiwiSavers

Too many KiwiSavers - particularly younger ones - are sitting in funds that are likely to grow less than other similar funds.

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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 9 April 2011

Q&As: Bad experience with fund shouldn't put you off KiwiSaver ...
- ... Nor should low income
- Way of getting around high-interest fixed mortgage not without risk

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NZ Herald 2 April 2011

Q&As: Executives of failed finance companies can't get away with wearing the dunce's hat
- Beware "investment houses" offering 20-per-cent-plus returns
- Why did long-term investment go backwards?

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NZ Herald 4 December 2010

Q&As: Bank's handling of a fee inquiry leads customer to switch banks
- One good proverb deserves another
- Should Gareth Morgan Investments be under more scrutiny?
- PLUS Meaningful Christmas gifts

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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 10 July 2010

Q&As: Other ways in which gold is risky
The difference between term deposits and bonds
Why is ING's default KiwiSaver scheme cheaper than the very similar ANZ and National Bank schemes?
Readers offer some udder ideas on what to call Mum and Dad investors

Money column for 10 July 2010

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NZ Herald 8 May 2010

Q&As: Two readers' bright ideas on how to negotiate with real estate agents
Everything you need to know about tax on PIEs, which include almost all KiwiSaver funds

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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 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 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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Syndicated column 3 November 2009 - Fund performance tables can do more harm than good

Some figures I saw recently strengthened my resolve to steer people away from KiwiSaver performance comparisons.

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NZ Herald 1 August 2009

Q&As: Reader's sad story about racing tips company
Horse breeder and racer gives his perspective on tips companies
When is a KiwiSaver cash fund not a cash fund?

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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 6 2009

Q&As: Are rental properties the low-risk way to invest?
How to find out which financial institutions are covered by the government's deposit guarantee scheme
Getting rid of KiwiSaver mortgage diversion was a mercy killing

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Syndicated column June 2 2009 - Nyah nyah to Morningstar

One aspect of the recent Morningstar report on investors' experience of managed funds - in which New Zealand came bottom out of 16 countries - got little coverage in the news media. Ironically, it's about media coverage.

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NZ Herald May 30 2009

Q&As: "Gambler" with foreign currency movements had better get out of the casino before he loses more than his shirt
2 readers object to what I said last week about managed funds - but are their comments fair?
The fun continues over classic cars and whether they make good investments

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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 May 2 2009

Q&As: When investing in four funds is not necessarily better than investing in one
How employees can go about topping up their KiwiSaver contributions
Plus: "Too many providers" and other gripes of non-KiwiSavers who took part in a survey

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NZ Herald August 16 2008

Q&As: Advice on investment during retirement has worked for these readers
KiwiSaver contributions holidays will be easy to take
Reader dislikes last week's answer on KiwiSaver fund performance

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NZ Herald August 9 2008

Q&As: Reader wants a list showing how KiwiSaver funds have performed, but I won't oblige.
Why farmers mingle their work and personal expenses.
More reasons why taxing families as one unit might harm more than it helps.

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NZ Herald December 8 2007

Q&As: Why 20 shares are much better than two.
Reader claims diversification is not a great idea. I disagree.
Is land a lower risk investment than a share fund?

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NZ Herald September 22 2007

Q&As: KiwiSaver totals over the years should be adjusted for inflation - but let's not get carried away.
People receiving ACC payments or Paid Parental Leave have a choice in KiwiSaver.
Early retirement plans won't be harmed by membership in KiwiSaver.

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NZ Herald September 2007

Q&As: Should a couple with 3 children move to a bigger house in town or take a bet on a coastal property?
Are KiwiSaver bond funds as conservative as they seem?

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NZ Herald July 28 2007

Q&As: KiwiSaver providers that are offering ethical investment funds.
More on ethical KiwiSaver funds.
Will the KiwiSaver kick-start be around for a while?
Could the government take KiwiSaver money to repay student loans?
Oops! Too much haste.
Sack adviser who recently recommended Bridgecorp.

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NZ Herald January 27 2007

Q&As: Unclaimed money may be yours!
Options for couple retiring with $200,000 and no house.
More on the index/active share fund debate - the theory and how it works in NZ

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NZ Herald January 20 2007

Q&As: Are index funds, which I recommend, inferior share fund investments, as Herald columnist Brian Gaynor claims?
A small New Zealand town has it all, a resident claims!

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NZ Herald January 13 2007

Q&As: Options for a newly retired couple with $200,000 and no home include part-time work, buying a home with a flat attached, an interest-only mortgage and equity release.
Two Q&As on which investments are affected by the new tax law on international shares, and how it will work for investors.

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Syndicated column November 21 2006: Look beyond the dividends

In share fund investing, keep your eye on the prize - the over-all return, not just the fees and dividends.

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Syndicated column November 7 2006: An exceptionally unlucky reader

International index funds, a favourite long-term investment of mine, don't look good to one reader.

"I bought about $2000 worth of WiNZ in 2000," he writes. "They are now 27 per cent lower (have been for quite a while). Fortunately for me it was not a huge amount.

"Twenty years is a long time to wait for the fund to claw its way back up. Hopefully all the investors in index funds can wait that long!"

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NZ Herald October 28 2006

Q&As: A reader finds a flaw in my "avoid the rear-view mirror" argument. Or does he?

Would NZ's tax revenue actually increase if we all invested offshore?
Inland Revenue says it can't fix everything at once.

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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 21 2006

Q&As: Is there an 18-year cycle for industrial and resource shares?
Why index fund of Aussie shares has done much worse than its index.
Limited submissions on tax changes not good enough.
NZ shares, already favoured, shouldn't get still more favourable tax treatment.

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NZ Herald October 14 2006

Q&As: Why I won't do research on an Aussie resource index fund.
Too little time to study the new tax plans for international share investments.

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NZ Herald July 22 2006

Q&As: 2 on whether preparation and research plays a part in "luck".
Winning entries in competition to win a copy of "Get Rich Slow".

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NZ Herald February 25 2006

Q&As: Is compounding interest over-rated?
Credit cards v eftpos.
How long is long-term? Returns on different assets.

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NZ Herald January 21 2006

Q&As: Shares v term deposits - it depends how much time you have.
Short-of-cash millionaires should try to renegotiate their mortgage.
When is a 2% penalty not 2%?

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NZ Herald November 19 2005

Q&As: How well do share funds perform?
Comparison of investment performances.

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Syndicated column September 6 2005: Share pickers respond to my doubts

Even as I typed it, I thought a certain sentence in my last column was bound to cause trouble.

"Lots of research," I wrote, "shows that an individual investor who researches companies doesn't tend to do any better than someone who chooses shares at random."

Sure enough, a man who describes himself as "a paid-up member of the share pickers guild" emailed me.

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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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Syndicated column May 3 2005: Index funds still the best, despite tax changes

An ice cream is still delicious without the chocolate dip. The same goes for index share funds.

Since they made an appearance in New Zealand in the late 1990s, these funds have had a tax advantage over the other type of share funds, called active funds.

It seems likely that the tax advantage will be removed soon. But even if it goes, I still think index funds are best.

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Holm Truths summer 02-03

Lessons from past mislead: Investing in what did well last year, or selling what did badly, usually does more harm than good

Also in this issue: Great Debate - Low v high insurance excesses

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Holm Truths winter 01

Free lunch a rewarding spread: It's wise to spread your investment money around

Also in this issue: Great Debate - Shares v share funds

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Holm Truths autumn 01

Terms of enrichment: How long you want to tie up your money affects what you invest in.

Also in this issue: Great Debate - Shares v rental property

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