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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Gearing - Borrowing to Invest

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.


RNZ Radio 8 March 2018

Has rental property had its run?

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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 2 February 2017

Is it wise to borrow to make a property or share investment?

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NZ Herald 20 August 2016

Q&As: Borrowing to invest in shares raises risk - and rewards
- Buying shares directly versus using a KiwiSaver fund
- Reader shouldn't worry that KiwiSaver first home withdrawal will stop

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RNZ Radio 21 April 2016

Good borrowing: How gearing boosts returns - and losses

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Radio NZ 11 February 2016

Why it's not easy to get rich quick

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Radio NZ 29 October 2015

Investing in rental property - the pluses and minuses

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NZ Herald 30 November 2013

Q&As: Should people be forced to put some of their KiwiSaver money into an annuity?
- Highly leveraged property investing is risky
- An investor in both puts some perspective on shares versus property
- Meaningful Christmas gifts

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NZ Herald 23 November 2013

Q&As: Gear both or neither when comparing shares and property
- Tip for bankrupt couple: low-paid retail work has its rewards
- New KiwiSaver tool helps you work out your risk level
- Retirement date not the key factor in choice of KiwiSaver fund

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NZ Herald 19 March 2011

Q&As: Should it take a bank three weeks to cut its mortgage rates?
- Just how great was one family's "Great Mistake of 2009"?
- Reader tells Mary off for forgetting about the expenses of selling a house
- How couple should invest as they approach retirement

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Syndicated column 17 July 2010 - Getting into gear not always wise

The four most hateful words are said to be, "I told you so." So I'll put this another way: One of my key messages in seminars, books and columns over the years - that borrowing to invest is more dangerous than many people realise - is easier to "sell" these days than a couple of years ago.

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NZ Herald September 6 2008

Q&As: Family of five should go with several different KiwiSaver providers to compare them.
Last week's look at the effects of gearing was deliberately simplified - and it probably didn't make too much difference.
Two poetic reactions to last week's poem.
Parliament move ends wait for woman not wanting to sign a work contract that treats KiwiSavers differently.

Money column for Sept 6 2008

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NZ Herald August 30 2008

Q&As: A poem from the past shows how our attitudes to debt have changed. Will they change back again?
Reader wonders how long she has to wait for the government to change the law about employer KiwiSaver contributions

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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 June 16 2007

Q&As: A big fan of property investing scares me with his lack of knowledge.
I'm accused of hypocrisy and bias.
In praise of boring old index funds and learning about them.
KiwiSaver: Will the kick-start be around for a while? What happens when an employee gets a lump sum? A clarification about access to the money in bankruptcy.

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NZ Herald March 31 2007

Q&As: Have you got what it takes to borrow to invest in a share fund?
How frequent traders in international shares will be taxed under the new rules.
How Inland Revenue might catch property traders.

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Syndicated column May 23 2006: Property backers underplay risk

Property backers seem to go in for hyperbole. Two examples from readers' letters:

* "Shares are not and have never been as lucrative as property.... We now know why the richest people in the world and in NZ are property investors."

* "The average person can quietly work themselves into a residential property portfolio worth several million dollars with a decade or two of judicious acquisitions. ...People putting a portion of their income aside to buy into share funds are left in the dust."

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Holm Truths autumn 06

Stuff and happiness: Buying things you don't really need

Also in this issue: From the Mailbox - Should a young man buy himself a house?

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Syndicated column January 17 2006: Readers rally to back houses

It always happens. Whenever I write about investing in houses and shares in the same column, people say I'm unfairly negative about houses.

In my final column last year, I wrote that the rise in house prices over the previous year was slower than the rise in: New Zealand shares, hedged overseas shares and unhedged overseas shares, all including dividends. That surprised me, and I thought it might surprise you.

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Holm Truths summer 05-06

Can you get rich quick?: Only by taking big risks

Also in this issue: From the Mailbox - Spending in retirement

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NZ Herald November 26 2005

Q&As: Woman in Australian shouldn't sell her house here.
Is the house price boom like the great tulip bulb bubble?
Couple disagree over rental property v shares.

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Syndicated column November 15 2005: Borrowing is not all bad - it depends why we borrow

Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard has been telling us off because we keep raising our mortgage debt. But, from the individual's point of view, how bad is that? It depends on why we borrow.

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NZ Herald November 12 2005

Q&As: The pros and cons of self employment and income splitting.
Comparing shares with property is tricky.
How movements in the dollar affect investment in international share funds.

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NZ Herald July 9 2005

Q&As: Is geared rental property right for everyone?
Perhaps the woman last week should wait befoe buying a house.

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Syndicated column April 19 2006: The inherent differences between property and share investments

There's a fundamental difference between investing in shares and property, a reader says in an email.

"With a stock there is always the risk of bankruptcy of the entity you invest in, and the investment you make becoming worthless," he writes.

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NZ Herald April 16 2005

Q&As: Woman can get her dream property - if she makes some sacrifices.
What does finance company gearing mean?
Who hears a will being read?

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Holm Truths autumn 05

Moving the goalposts: Working part-time in retirement makes a huge difference to how much you need to save

Also in this issue: From the Mailbox - Is home ownership so great?

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Syndicated column April 5 2005: Gearing can boost returns, but also risk

Gearing - which happens when you borrow to invest - comes at a price. And I'm not only talking about interest.

While gearing makes a good investment better, it also makes a bad investment worse. People who gear boost their risk.

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NZ Herald February 12 2005

Q&As: Should young person saving for a house buy now?
Where to invest while saving to buy a house.

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Holm Truths autumn 04

'His & Hers' investment styles - How gender affects the way we invest

Also in this issue: From the Mailbox - Borrowing to invest, eg in a rental property

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Holm Truths winter 02

Getting into gear: Borrowing to invest makes a good investment better and a bad investment worse

Also in this issue: Great Debate - Fixed v floating mortgages

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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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