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The following is a selection of articles mainly from January 2005 to the present. To explore this topic in more depth and access earlier columns, please use the search box.
NZ Herald 25 May 2013
Q&As: Easier to borrow to invest in property than share, but that's not always a plus
NZ Herald 18 May 2013
Q&As: When are capital gains taxed?
NZ Herald 11 May 2013
Q&As: Does rental property have tax advantages over shares?
NZ Herald 4 May 2013
Q&As: Which is riskier, moving to a posher suburb now or waiting?
NZ Herald 27 April 2013
Q&As: Steer clear of foreign exchange trading
NZ Herald 20 April 2013
Q&As: Two readers warn about trying to control children's inheritances
NZ Herald13 April 2013
Q&As: Are Mighty River Power shares a sure thing?
NZ Herald 6 April 2013
Q&As: You can be regarded as being in a de facto relationship even if you don't live together
NZ Herald 30 March 2013
Q&As: 2 readers tell of struggles for overseas students repaying student loans
NZ Herald 9 March 2013
Q&As: Your KiwiSaver account won't always grow, if you're not contributing
Syndicated column 2 March 2013 - KiwiSaver about to move into high gear
KiwiSaver - which has lurched around a few sharp bends in its short life - is about to shift up a gear. From April 1, the minimum employee and employer contributions will both rise from 2 to 3 per cent of pay.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 2 March 2013
Q&As: What happens if new employer doesn't take KiwiSaver contributions out of your pay
NZ Herald 23 February 2013
Q&As: Relationship property - when does the clock start ticking?
NZ Herald 2 February 2013
Q&As: Interest-only mortgages have major flaws
NZ Herald 26 January 2013
Q&As: Beneficiary can do well with KiwiSaver - with help from a Buddy
Syndicated column 26 January 2013 - Let's not make KiwiSaver compulsory
The words "compulsory" and "KiwiSaver" seem to be appearing more and more often in the same sentence. I don't like it - but I seem to be in the minority.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 15 December 2012
Q&As: The pluses outweigh the minuses when putting kids into KiwiSaver
NZ Herald 8 December 2012
Q&As: Child's KiwiSaver account highly unlikely to shrink to zero
NZ Herald 1 December 2012
Q&As: Reverse mortgages can work well, if you know what you're doing
NZ Herald 24 November 2012
Q&As: Lessons from a bad managed fund investment
Syndicated column 17 November 2012 - KiwiSaver thriving - especially among those in their twenties
KiwiSaver is thriving. Most people know by now that more than 2 million - over half the eligible people - are members. But a new report tells more. Far more people are now staying in the scheme after auto enrolment; many are switching from default schemes to something more suitable; and a full three quarters of New Zealanders in their early twenties are on board.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 17 November 2012
Q&As: Is KiwiSaver the best place to save for a child?
NZ Herald 10 November 2012
Q&As: Best websites for comparing banks
Syndicated column 3 November 2012 - KiwiSaver's flexibility is a plus - up to a point
KiwiSaver is many things - mostly good. But I hadn't thought of it as a type of insurance policy until recently, when I was talking to an authorized financial adviser in Christchurch.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 13 October 2012
Q&As: Make credit card repayment your top priority
NZ Herald 6 October 2012
Q&As: Is now a good time to buy a first home?
NZ Herald 29 September 2012
Q&As: A couple of concerns about buying shares in the company you work for
NZ Herald 15 September 2012
Q&As: The big question: does the doom merchant use banks?
NZ Herald 18 August 2012
Q&As: New research helps to answer whether couple in early 50s should worry about how much they are saving
NZ Herald 11 August 2012
Q&As: The kids are off, the house is mortgage-free, now what?
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.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 28 July 2012
This week and next week, this column will publish excerpts 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's excerpts include an overview and an example of one type of risky investor behaviour. Next week we will publish further examples.View - It's FREE!
Syndicated column 28 July 2012 - KiwiSaver graduates face some choices
It's decision time for the first KiwiSavers "graduates" - those over 65 who have been in the scheme for five years. But there's no rush.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 21 July 2012
Q&As: Repeated property do-ups unlikely to bring tax-free gains
NZ Herald 14 July 2012
Q&As: Use accessible KiwiSaver money to repay credit card debt, and probably mortgage too
NZ Herald 7 July 2012
Q&As: Tax rebates worth having - but are some charities greedy?
Syndicated column 30 June 2012 - Angry readers react
I don't think I've ever received as many letters about this column as I did after the last one about KiwiSaver. A man is cross with me, a woman is cross with the government, and others are confused, curious, or want to make a point.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 30 June 2012
Q&As: How to reduce the cost of medical insurance - and other insurance
NZ Herald 23 June 2012
Q&As: Taxes are everywhere. But let's not get carried away with the pessimism
NZ Herald 16 June 2012
Q&As: Why people shouldn't cheat in KiwiSaver
Syndicated column 16 June 2012 - Many KiwiSavers contribute too much or too little
Some people are putting too much into KiwiSaver- arguably anyway. Meanwhile, others contribute nothing or too little to get the most out of the scheme, and would be rewarded for taking steps to change that in the next two weeks.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 9 June 2012
Q&As: Having trouble with your tax return? Ask Inland Revenue
NZ Herald 2 June 2012
Q&As: Should charity begin at home?
NZ Herald 26 May 2012
Q&As: Reader dislikes "user pays" attitude and has a message for last week's self-proclaimed bigot
NZ Herald 19 May 2012
Q&As: KiwiSaver first home help flexible - including the maximum income rules
Syndicated column 19 May 2012 - The older you are, the better the deal in KiwiSaver
Wake up and smell a more comfortable retirement, middle-agers! A survey released today shows that no-longer-youthful New Zealanders are less likely to be in KiwiSaver and more critical of the scheme. And yet arguably they get the best deal out of it.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 12 May 2012
Q&As: NZ gets good value from many NZ Super recipients
NZ Herald 5 May 2012
Q&As: Reader could do with a re-think
NZ Herald 21 April 2012
Q&As: One retired reader is fed up with a younger person's attitude to superannuitants ...
Syndicated column 21 April 2012 - Why a reader advises his son against KiwiSaver - and why I disagree
A reader's letter explaining why he's advising his 18-year-old son not to join KiwiSaver has not convinced me.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 14 April 2012
Q&As: Should reader buy a NZ house now - while still overseas - or later?
NZ Herald 7 April 2012
Q&As: Best ways to play the KiwiSaver game if you are an employee with a mortgage
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.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 31 March 2012
Q&A: Students get a good deal by world standards, and shouldn't dodge student loan repayments
NZ Herald 24 March 2012
Q&As: Is it better to go for the most expensive house you can, or the cheapest?
APN Newspapers March 2012: A big year for KiwiSaver
In the annals of KiwiSaver history, 2012 will be notable for two things. It will mark the start of a two-year shift away from government input and towards more employee and employer input, and it will be the first year in which members can withdraw their savings in retirement.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 3 March 2012
Q&As: How to plan retirement savings if you don't want to own a home
NZ Herald 25 February 2012
Q&As: Government action needed to help out retirees withdrawing their KiwiSaver money
Syndicated column 25 February 2012 - Should KiwiSavers with mortgages keep contributing?
This year's changes to KiwiSaver make it debatable whether members with mortgages should keep contributing to the scheme.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 18 February 2012
Q&As: How much financial support a reader gives their student son
NZ Herald 11 February 2012
Q&As: A disadvantage of revolving credit mortgages - it can be hard to keep track of your money
Syndicated column 11 February 2012 - A year of change for KiwiSavers - and would-be joiners
We're in for a mixed year with KiwiSaver. Contributions from the government and employers will decrease. Still, there's a good reason for employees who haven't yet joined the scheme to get in now. Meanwhile, some over-65s will become eligible - for the first time - to withdraw money in retirement.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 4 February 2012
Q&As: Most people still get their money doubled in KiwiSaver, or close to that ...
NZ Herald 28 January 2012
Q&As: Are employers allowed to take their employer contributions to KiwiSaver out of employees' pay?
NZ Herald 21 January 2012
Q&As: 2 Q&As suggest it's not always easy to go into the motel business, or other tourism or hospitality businesses
NZ Herald 10 December 2011
Q&As: Three readers offer advice to early 60s couple looking for jobs - go and look around the country; check out motels; try a B&B
NZ Herald 3 December 2011
Q&As: Is share buying just for the elite?
NZ Herald 19 November 2011
Q&As: The "who and how" of KiwiSaver withdrawals before retirement - including what happens if you go bankrupt
NZ Herald 12 November 2011
Q&As: Help needed for couple in early 60s who can't find jobs
NZ Herald 5 November 2011
Q&As: Teen busker should be filing a tax return
Syndicated column 5 November 2011 - Too many KiwiSaver non-contributors miss out on the good stuff
Not far from half of all members of KiwiSaver are not contributing regularly to the scheme - whether they be employees on a contributions holiday or non-employees who are simply not putting money in. What a pity.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 29 October 2011
Q&As: Parents hoping to deduct payments to baby for "working" for them are dreaming
NZ Herald 15 October 2011
Q&As: Is it wise not to save because if you do you'll lose some government subsidies - and to spend the money on cars instead?
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.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 1 October 2011
Q&As: Are corporate boxes at the rugby tax deductible, and is that fair?
Syndicated column 24 September 2011 - Harsh words worth listening to
I've been hesitant to write about a recent speech by Paul Mersi in which he told off New Zealanders for their attitudes to money.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 24 September 2011
Q&As: Two Q&As on our recent sawmilling picture - and how they got the huge log up there
NZ Herald 17 September 2011
Q&As: What a good ad about KiwiSaver growth should and shouldn't include
Syndicated column 10 September 2011 - Labour shows up National on retirement savings issue
Come on National, you can do better. In less than a year, the first New Zealanders will gain access to their KiwiSaver money to spend in retirement. They need help with how to handle that money.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 10 September 2011
Q&As: Older workers don't take jobs away from the young
NZ Herald 3 September 2011
Q&As: Are NZ banks really safe, given what happened in the Great Depression?
NZ Herald 27 August 2011
Q&As: Fears about the safety of banks unfounded
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.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 13 August 2011
Q&As: Should reader move to lower-risk KiwiSaver fund? Putting share plunge in perspective
NZ Herald 6 August 2011
Q&As: Am I flogging a dead horse over annuities?
NZ Herald 30 July 2011
Q&As: Two questions to ask before trading up to a more expensive house
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.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 23 July 2011
Q&As: Calling all KiwiSaver providers: Please let us know if you have plans to offer annuities or similar
NZ Herald 16 July 2011
Q&As: Retired couple with house in Christchurch's red zone have several options to weigh up
NZ Herald 9 July 2011
Q&As: Reader wants to pay financial adviser according to performance, but advisers not so keen
NZ Herald 2 July 2011
Q&As: How to find a good financial adviser
NZ Herald 25 June 2011
Q&As: Should KiwiSaver member move to a provider with better investment performance?
NZ Herald 18 June 2011
Q&As: Why chimpanzee can outdo professional stock pickers
NZ Herald 11 June 2011
Q&As: Should couple with iffy job prospects sell their shares to slash their mortgage?
Syndicated column 4 June 2011 - Winning the KiwiSaver game under the new rules
As the dust settles on the government's Budget announcements about KiwiSaver, how should the changes affect the way you play the KiwiSaver game?View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 4 June 2011
Q&As: Changes to KiwiSaver and NZ Super inevitable - and justified
NZ Herald 28 May 2011
Q&As: Reader knows more about chemistry than savings schemes
NZ Herald 21 May 2011
Q&As: Self-employed probably fare worst in KiwiSaver changes, but scheme still really hard to beat
NZ Herald 14 May 2011
Q&As: Foreclosed property seminar reminds me of investment warning lists
NZ Herald 16 April 2011
Q&As: You need to compare rental properties and share investments on the same basis
NZ Herald 9 April 2011
Q&As: Bad experience with fund shouldn't put you off KiwiSaver ...
NZ Herald 5 March 2011
Q&As: Should couple sell their house, and buy again later?
Syndicated column 26 February 2011 - More reasons to get young into savings accounts
An article I read recently made me more convinced that it's good to sign up children into savings accounts.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 19 February 2011
Q&As: Repaying debt should be Number One priority - with one important exception
Syndicated column 12 February 2011 - So much for the "can't afford to save" excuse
Practically all New Zealanders can save. If they want to. In the wake of the release of the Savings Working Group (SWG) report on February 1, various people have been saying that many New Zealanders just can't afford to save. I don't buy it - or should I say save it.View - It's FREE!
Syndicated column 18 December 2010 - A financial gift for both the giver and recipient
Christmas or not, here's a way you can give to someone else and also gain yourself. Sponsor an adult who is struggling financially to make the most of KiwiSaver.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 4 December 2010
Q&As: Bank's handling of a fee inquiry leads customer to switch banks
Syndicated column 20 November 2010 - How to get more out of KiwiSaver
About 40 per cent of people in KiwiSaver don't know what kind of fund - conservative, balanced or growth - their money is invested in. Many of those won't be in the best fund for them.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 6 November 2010
Q&As: How to weigh up contributing to KiwiSaver versus repaying your student loan, now that there's a repayment bonus
Syndicated column 6 November 2010 - Non-KiwiSavers' reasons don't stand up to scrutiny
Many New Zealanders who haven't joined KiwiSavers are missing out on their fair share of the government booty because they misunderstand how it all works. Meanwhile, others in the scheme are not getting as much as they could out of it.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 23 October 2010
Q&As: With extra to pay off a mortgage, should you add to principal repayments or shorten the term of the loan?
NZ Herald 9 October 2010
Q&As: Can a reader foresee gold and silver prices, and foreign exchange rates? Time will tell.
NZ Herald 2 October 2010
Q&As: KiwiSaver is not guaranteed by the government - but that doesn't mean you shouldn't join
Syndicated column 25 September 2010 - Are we bad savers, or was it a bad survey?
A recent report on New Zealanders' savings habits annoyed me - and not because it starts by saying that the Savings Working Group, of which I'm a member, "is likely to face a tough challenge". What got my goat was its misleading conclusion.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 25 September 2010
Q&As: Bank securities not quite what a reader was hoping for
NZ Herald 25 September 2010
Q&As: Bank securities not quite what a reader was hoping for
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
Syndicated column 11 September 2010 - Grab your big chance to painlessly boost your wealth
In the next few weeks, every New Zealand wage or salary earner will get a chance to considerably increase their wealth - painlessly.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 4 September 2010
Q&As: Looking after the pennies is more rewarding than we realised
NZ Herald 28 August 2010
Q&As: How can a woman persuade her partner to stop spending more than the couple earns?
NZ Herald 21 August 2010
Q&As: Reader who has previously owned a home but may still be able to receive KiwiSaver first home assistance
Syndicated column 14 August 2010 - Turbulent times lead to confusing KiwiSaver returns
Confused KiwiSavers are asking some probing questions about the returns on their accounts, and I can't blame them.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 14 August 2010
Q&As: What happens when your employer doesn't forward your KiwiSaver deductions to Inland Revenue
NZ Herald 7 August 2010
Q&As: Does it make sense to try to pick where Baby Boomers will retire and buy property there?
NZ Herald 17 July 2010
Q&A: KiwiSaver works well for beneficiaries - and there may be a bonus for those who are unwell
NZ Herald 10 July 2010
Q&As: Other ways in which gold is risky
Syndicated column 3 July 2010 - Generous KiwiSaver first home help applies to many
The first of the KiwiSaver first home withdrawals and subsidies will be paid out shortly. But many people still don't realise just how good - and how widely available - the KiwiSaver first home help is. It is clearly the best place for any New Zealander to save for a first home.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 26 June 2010
Q&As: Reader's golden suggestion for investing proceeds of a house sale is worrying
Syndicated column 19 June 2010 - Too good to be true - but it IS true
It sounds like a too good to be true scheme that's bound to end in tears: "Earn 36 to 56 per cent a year on a low-risk investment!" But there is such an investment, and it's called KiwiSaver.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 19 June 2010
Q&As: Reader better off holding on to Auckland house while moving elsewhere to care for mother
NZ Herald 12 June 2010
Q&As: A way for couples on higher incomes to get KiwiSaver first home help
NZ Herald 5 June 2010
Q&As: 3 Q&As on the KiwiSaver help for first home buyers - why it's so good, but also why some people aren't eligible
NZ Herald 29 May 2010
Q&As: People in their early sixties are mad if they are not in KiwiSaver.
NZ Herald 15 May 2010
Q&As: Why house prices must - at some point - come down further
NZ Herald article May 2010: Reasons for not being in KiwiSaver rarely make senseView - It's FREE!
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.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 8 May 2010
Q&As: Two readers' bright ideas on how to negotiate with real estate agents
NZ Herald 1 May 2010
Q&As: Real estate agent objects to my suggesting people negotiate with agents
NZ Herald 24 April 2010
Q&As: Retiree stuck with a property investment that's gone wrong should sell her house and the rental
NZ Herald 17 April 2010
Q&As: KiwiSaver fees - and how an article may have misled people
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.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 27 March 2010
Q&As: Why do people pick on landlords?
NZ Herald 20 March 2010
Q&As: Why it wouldn't work to make tax changes for rental property apply only to people who buy property after a certain date
NZ Herald 13 March 2010
Q&As: Mum will probably never embrace KiwiSaver, but there's hope for her son
Syndicated column 13 March 2010 - KiwiSaver neither guaranteed nor ghastly
Recent news suggests New Zealanders are poles apart on KiwiSaver. Some think the scheme is safer than it is. Others are leaping to ridiculous conclusions about how unsafe it is.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 6 March 2010
Q&As: How will superannuitants fare under proposed tax changes?
NZ Herald 27 February 2010
Q&As: KiwiSaver trustee change raises questions about how much trustees protect members
NZ Herald 20 February 2010
Q&As: Paying off mortgage - and getting rid of badly undiversified portfolio - are two great ideas
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
NZ Herald 30 January 2010
Q&As: Investing doesn't have to be a part-time job. There's still time for novel reading.
NZ Herald 23 January 2010
Q&As: Should couple repay mortgage with redundancy money, or invest it in KiwiSaver or elsewhere?
Syndicated column 15 December 2009 - Do KiwiSaver - but not to the max
At a recent KiwiSaver seminar I was surprised to find that many employee members were still contributing 4 per cent of their pay, rather than the 2 per cent permissible since April 1 this year. And an AMP survey confirms that is not unusual. "Few have reduced their contribution, though indicating in February they intended to," says AMP.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 5 December 2009
Q&As: Adviser's advice is shocking - on three counts
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.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 14 November 2009
Q&As: Couple struggling with rental property should put it on the market
NZ Herald 7 November 2009
An invitation to attend a breakfast representing investors
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.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 31 October 2009
Q&As: Tax agent and Inland Revenue differ on treatment of investors selling rental properties
Syndicated column 17 October 2009 - Long tie-up in KiwiSaver no big deal
A Canterbury reader is concerned about whether to recommend KiwiSaver to his daughters. "For someone in their early twenties, the monies invested in KiwiSaver - even if a contribution holiday is taken - will be tied up for some 40 odd years," he writes.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 10 October 2009
Q&As: A reader challenges my advice last week about postponing a first home purchase for three years
NZ Herald 3 October 2009
Q&As: Couple wondering whether to buy a home now or in three years could gain thousands from joining KiwiSaver
NZ Herald 26 September 2009
Q&As: Is it better to sell a Mangere Bridge property or a Whangamata property?
NZ Herald 12 September 2009
Q&As: One reader loathes KiwiSaver, while the next one loves it. But both don't fully understand it.
NZ Herald 5 September 2009
Q&As: Delaying joining KiwiSaver can mean you'll miss out on many thousands of dollars
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
NZ Herald 22 August 2009
Q&As: Wealth doesn't have to equal filth - New Zealanders' attitude to money may leave them more worried about financial issues
NZ Herald 1 August 2009
Q&As: Reader's sad story about racing tips company
NZ Herald 25 July 2009
Q&As: Steps a middle-income family can take towards buying their own home
NZ Herald 18 July 2009
Q&As: Several signs that company offering racing tips is not the path to riches
NZ Herald July 11 2009
Q&As: KiwiSaver still great for children, even though the fee subsidy is gone
NZ Herald July 4 2009
Q&As: Mother seeks advice on financial steps to take after husband is diagnosed with terminal illness
NZ Herald June 27 09
Q&As: Many reasons why repaying home mortgage is better than investing in a rental property
NZ Herald June 20 2009
Q&As: No use crying over split milk: Investor can still make use of 10-year rule
Syndicated column June 16 2009 - Time to top up KiwiSaver to make the most of the scheme
Mid-June is top up time for many people in KiwiSaver. If you don't take action in the next week or two, you could miss out on up to a thousand dollars or so from the government.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald June 13 2009
Q&As: Another - much happier - take on being a landlord, compared with last week
NZ Herald June 6 2009
Q&As: Are rental properties the low-risk way to invest?
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.View - It's FREE!
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
NZ Herald May 23 2009
Q&A: Don't let international survey put you off investing in managed funds
NZ Herald May 16 2009
Q&As: Reader has an offer for the young man in last week's column
NZ Herald May 9 2009
Q&As: Should fun be the deciding factor for 20-year-old's savings?
Syndicated column May 5 2009 - Non-KiwiSavers miss out because of misinformation
Sometimes it's not so much what you don't know but what you misunderstand that hurts you. That came through loud and clear in my recent reader survey about KiwiSaver.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald May 2 2009
Q&As: When investing in four funds is not necessarily better than investing in one
NZ Herald April 25 2009
Q&As: It's top-up time for many people in KiwiSaver
NZ Herald April 11 2009
Q&As: Tips on how to ease back into investing in share funds.
Syndicated column April 7 2009 - KiwiSaver change should please many + book giveaway
The most significant of the April 1 KiwiSaver changes is the lowering of the minimum employee contribution from 4 per cent of gross pay to 2 per cent.
NZ Herald April 4 2009
Q&As: First home buyers should be prepared to buy a "dump".
NZ Herald March 14 2009
Q&As: Changes to the KiwiSaver first home subsidy rules.
NZ Herald March 7 2009
Q&As: Don't try to time markets. Stick with your regular retirement savings, although you may want to modify where you save.
NZ Herald February 28 2009
Q&As: Couple approaching retirement should spend most of their savings on paying off their mortgage.
Syndicated column February 24 2008 - Good fairy turbocharges lower income people's savings
You're struggling on a low income, as a part-time or full-time worker. All this talk about saving is fine for those making plenty, but you feel you can't spare anything. Fair enough.
NZ Herald February 21 2009
Q&As: Terminally ill reader should get his money out of KiwiSaver and eat, drink and be merry.
NZ Herald February 14 2009
Q&As: The possible perils of parents lending a mortgage to adult children.
NZ Herald February 7 2009
Q&As: Some great ideas for reducing your mortgage.
NZ Herald January 31 2009
Q&As: Several options for 20-year-old who worries that the state of the world makes KiwiSaver iffy.
NZ Herald January 24 2009
Q&As: Advisor's mortgage offer looks too magical to be true
NZ Herald December 13 2008
Q&As: Government's KiwiSaver changes include a big improvement on their pre-election plans.
NZ Herald November 29 2008
Q&As: Repaying a mortgage - on a home or rental property - almost always better than saving with term deposits.
NZ Herald November 22 2008
Q&As: Does charity begin in the home country? Salvation Army programme looks good.
NZ Herald November 15 2008
Q&As: 2 Q&As on National's proposed changes to KiwiSaver
Syndicated column November 11 2008 - To hedge or not to hedge?
There are two key questions around investing overseas: Should you do it? And if you do, should you hedge your investment, so it's not affected by movements in the New Zealand dollar. The first answer is "Yes". The second is trickier.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald November 8 2008
Q&As: PIES have many more pros than cons, with tax breaks and, in some cases, a government guarantee
NZ Herald November 1 2008
Q&As: There's plenty of hope for worried KiwiSaver in 30s - on the home ownership front and elsewhere.
NZ Herald October 25 2008
Q&As: Does KiwiSaver allow for earlier withdrawal for someone with Down syndrome?
NZ Herald October 18 2008
Q&As: Everything you need to know about the government's new deposit guarantee scheme.
Syndicated column October 14 2008 - The facts on KiwiSaver plans - PLUS book giveaway winners
Forget the rhetoric; let's look at the facts. The National Party's plans for KiwiSaver would leave some better off, some worse off, some weighing up pros and cons - and more people in the scheme.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald October 11 2008
Q&As: How flexible are KiwiSaver providers about moving money between their funds?
NZ Herald October 4 2008
Q&As: A happy share investor, and how you might get out of shares if you need to in the current market.
Syndicated column September 30 2008: Tax cuts bring KiwiSaver into reach for many
The "I can't afford KiwiSaver" excuse is about to get weaker for many New Zealanders. Tax cuts come into effect from October 1, and many families will also benefit from changes to the Working for Families tax credit and income threshold. The extra money will cover at least half of many people's KiwiSaver contributions, sometimes more.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald September 27 2008
Q&As: Why KiwiSaver mortgage diversion is such a good idea.
NZ Herald September 20 2008
Q&As: Disgruntled KiwiSaver has actually done really well
Syndicated column September 16 2008: Retirement payments likely to make a comeback
Annuities - which are typically monthly payments to retired people, over and above NZ Super - may be on their way back onto the New Zealand scene.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald September 13 2008
Win a book
NZ Herald September 6 2008
Q&As: Family of five should go with several different KiwiSaver providers to compare them.
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?
NZ Herald August 23 2008
Q&As: 64-year-old can't believe how good KiwiSaver is for him
Syndicated column August 19 2008: KiwiSaver more flexible and generous than commonly thought
Two lesser known features of KiwiSaver make it more user friendly than many people realise. They could entice non-joiners into taking part in a scheme which - after all - they are helping to fund, as taxpayers.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald August 16 2008
Q&As: Advice on investment during retirement has worked for these readers
NZ Herald August 9 2008
Q&As: Reader wants a list showing how KiwiSaver funds have performed, but I won't oblige.
NZ Herald August 2 2008
Q&As: 3 Q&As on whether New Zealand should raise GST and reduce income tax - including how some farmers cheat on their taxes, and whether we want to encourage people to work longer hours.
NZ Herald July 26 2008
Q&As: Would it be better to raise GST and lower income tax?
NZ Herald july 19 2008
Q&As: Stop worrying about money, says former spendthrift, now in his seventies.
NZ Herald July 12 2008
Article and then two Q&As about the Government's proposed changes to prevent employers from paying less to KiwiSaver employees than to other employees.View - It's FREE!
Syndicated column July 8 2008: Older KiwiSavers get the best deal
Several readers aged 55 to 64 have asked what KiwiSaver holds for them. The answer is "heaps". The scheme is particularly attractive for this age group for two reasons:View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald July 5 2008
Q&As: Average Joe Bloggs, sick of the rich and poor ripping off the system, seeks tax breaks.
NZ Herald June 28 2008
Q&As: Why older people get a better deal from KiwiSaver, but younger people should nevertheless still join.
Syndicated column June 24 2008: Hope and help for first home buyers
Things are looking up for would-be first home buyers, left out in the cold in the recent house price boom. The numbers are finally getting better, and government assistance is increasing.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald June 21 2008
Q&As: 2 Q&As on whether homeowners should sell and be renters for a while, to cash in on falling house prices?
NZ Herald June 14 2008
Q&As: KiwiSaver naysayer is the one who is "light on fact".
Syndicated column June 7 2008: Take action now to get full KiwiSaver tax credit
June is the month of reckoning for KiwiSaver members who want to be sure they get as big a tax credit as possible from the government. But judging from reader emails and questions at seminars, there's a fair bit of confusion about it all.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald June 7 2008
Q&As: Many KiwiSavers double the money they put in the scheme, and some triple or even quadruple it.
NZ Herald May 31 2008
Q&As: 2 Q&As on how the self-employed can make the most of KiwiSaver.
NZ Herald May 17 2008
Q&As: 61-year-old struggling to pay off mortgage considers renting out her house and becoming a tenant elsewhere.
NZ Herald May 10 2008
Q&As: Grandma will help grandson more by opening her own KiwiSaver account and giving him the savings.
NZ Herald May 3 2008
Q&As: Measuring movements of the Kiwi dollar against the US dollar can be quite misleading.
Syndicated column April 29 2008: Ethical investing likely to catch on here
Ethical investing - which has been increasingly popular in other western countries - is likely to catch on in New Zealand now that KiwiSaver providers have to state in their investment documents whether they offer this option.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald April 26 2008
Q&As: KiwiSaver the last straw for employer of "whinging, incompetent" New Zealanders
NZ Herald April 12 2008
Q&As: Monkey story a great yarn, but it's not about the share market.
Syndicated column April 15 2008: 3 ways that KiwiSaver just got even better
This month is a big one for KiwiSaver, with several changes taking effect that make the scheme more attractive - including a little publicised tax break.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald April 12 2008
Q&A: 3 Q&As on whether New Zealand banks are safe, whether it's best to spread your money around several banks, and bank credit ratings.
NZ Herald April 5 2008
Q&As: The best KiwiSaver fund for a 23-year-old depends on her house-buying plans.
Syndicated column April 1 2008: In defence of writing lots about KiwiSaver
No journalist likes to be accused of doing PR for the government. So when the editor of one of the newspapers that runs this column recently suggested I was "championing" KiwiSaver, it got me thinking.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald March 8 2008
Q&As: A landlord's threats are perhaps a little hasty - but he has a point.
Syndicated column March 4 2008: What a difference a year or two makes
Most people have lists - either written or in their heads - of things to do, and certain items never seem to make it to the top. If one of those is to join KiwiSaver, push it to Number One promptly. Delay is probably costing you much more than you realise - unless you are 60 to 64.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald March 1 2008
Q&As: Five Q&As about employers contributing extra to KiwiSaver, at no cost to them:
NZ Herald February 23 2008
Q&As: A middle-of-nowhere section might not be the best choice for a 25-year-old's savings while he studies.
Syndicated column February 19 2008 - Mortgage diversion well worth it for many
The term "mortgage diversion" will be on more and more lips as KiwiSaver approaches its first anniversary in July.
NZ Herald February 16 2008
Q&As: Bonus money in KiwiSaver for most employees - if they can get their bosses to play along.
NZ Herald February 9 2008
Q&As: Calculator tells reader to stop saving and live it up a bit.
Syndicated column February 5 2008: Share plunge arguably good for KiwiSaver
Despite some irresponsible reporting, the low returns on many KiwiSaver funds in their first few months are no reason not to join up. I'd even say the rough start was good in some ways.
NZ Herald February 2 2008
Q&As: Does the share price slump disprove standard investment advice? And should advisers make economic forecasts?
NZ Herald January 26 2008
Q&As: 3 Q&As about recent negative Herald articles about KiwiSaver returns in the early months - and why they are misleading. We also discuss how KiwiSaver membership forecasts are made - with an apology to Michael Cullen and Peter Dunne - and how repaying a mortgage fast is a type of saving.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald article January 17 2008: Perspectives article on poor KiwiSaver performance
Earlier Herald article criticising KiwiSaver is misleading for two reasons.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald article December 19 2007: Concern over remarks on old-age support largely unwarranted
People should not be put off joining KiwiSaver because entitlement may eventually occur laterView - It's FREE!
NZ Herald December 15 2007
Q&As: Courses and grants help beneficiaries set up their own businesses.
Syndicated column December 11 2007: Can't afford KiwiSaver? That's unlikely
A reader protests that, despite my suggestion that everyone under 65 should sign up to KiwiSaver, "reality has it that not many of us can afford it!"View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald December 1 2007
Q&As: In defence of so many questions about KiwiSaver - and a challenge to readers.
NZ Herald November 24 2007
Q&As: Eggs in baskets don't really apply to term deposits, but there's another way to diversify.
NZ Herald November 17 2007
Q&As: Why don't banks lend money for share investment?
NZ Herald November 10 2007
Q&As: Is now a good time for a 36-year-old to buy a house? And if so, should it be a bigger house, so she can take in tenants?
NZ Herald November 3 2007
Q&As: Why does the price of our milk rise when overseas demand goes up?
Syndicated column October 30 2007: Can't afford KiwiSaver or saving elsewhere? You should still join
Close to half of New Zealanders 18 and over who haven't yet retired say they are unlikely or very unlikely to join KiwiSaver, a recent AMP survey shows. But a glance at their reasons for not joining suggests they don't yet understand the scheme's flexibility. They are missing out needlessly.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald October 27 2007
Q&As: Twenty-eight-year-old with two rental houses wonders if this is a good time to buy a rental apartment.
Syndicated column October 16 2007: KiwiSaver survives readers' challenges
It must be the noisier people who criticize KiwiSaver on the grounds that they don't trust the government.
Syndicated column October 2 2007: Big bad government unlikely to spoil KiwiSaver
Every now and then, someone says to me, "The government must be paying you for all that favourable publicity about KiwiSaver". It's not, of course. And in any case, my coverage has been far from totally positive.
NZ Herald September 22 2007
Q&As: KiwiSaver totals over the years should be adjusted for inflation - but let's not get carried away.
Syndicated column September 18 2007: Combining kids and KiwiSaver
Every New Zealander under 65 will benefit from joining KiwiSaver, including newborns. But the rules - and how to make the most of them - are different for children, and many readers have questions about that. Here are a couple:View - It's FREE!
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?
NZ Herald September 8 2007
Q&As: Join KiwiSaver even if you are already in another super scheme - but no double dipping!
Syndicated column September 4 2007: Ins and Outs of KiwiSaver tax credit
Judging by readers' questions, confusion reigns about the government's KiwiSaver tax credits, which match members' contributions up to $20 a week or $1042.86 a year.
NZ Herald September 1 2007
Q&As: How the typical KiwiSaver investment fund differs from a finance company
NZ Herald August 25 2007
Q&As: Following last week's first Q&A, a reader suggests another way to bring overseas money to New Zealand.
Syndicated column August 21 2007: KiwiSaver bringing out the best in many
One aspect of KiwiSaver that I'm enjoying is the way people are helping one another understand it. This came through in several entries to our giveaway of my book "KiwiSaver: How to make it work for you."
NZ Herald August 18 2007
Q&As: Man lives in NZ but his savings are in the US. When should he bring the money here, in light of the dollar's fluctuations?
NZ Herald August 11 2007
Q&As: KiwiSaver is just right for 30-year-old son having difficulty saving for his first home.
Syndicated column August 7 2007: Misunderstandings about KiwiSaver abound
Predictably, given that KiwiSaver is new, complex and not yet fully formed, there are many misunderstandings about it.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald August 4 2007
Q&As: How can employees get around the KiwiSaver restrictions on them, and how much should you contribute for your children?
NZ Herald July 28 2007
Q&As: KiwiSaver providers that are offering ethical investment funds.
Syndicated column July 24 2007: Sack the inaccurate journalists
A reader reports that she and her family "were quite astounded to find you recommend (KiwiSaver) so unreservedly."
NZ Herald July 21 2007
Q&As: Are the 65-pluses getting a raw deal?
NZ Herald July 14 2007
30 talented readers will win copies of KiwiSaver book
Syndicated column July 7 2007: No tricks behind KiwiSaver doubling of money
A reader has "one or two problems" with my last column, in which I said people are silly not to sign up to KiwiSaver.
NZ Herald July 7 2007
Q&As: What happens to KiwiSaver accounts in a divorce?
NZ Herald June 30 2007
Q&As: Three Q&As about KiwiSaver - reimbursement of employer contributions; is daughter overseas eligible?; when is mortgage diversion helpful?; where can you get the information that was in the three Herald supplements about KiwiSaver?
Syndicated column June 26 2007: KiwiSaver - be in to win
Ever since the government announced its added incentives to KiwiSaver last month, everyone is talking about the retirement savings scheme. And well they might.
NZ Herald June 23 2007
Q&As: Nearly 65-year-old should grab chance to join KiwiSaver. People over 60 do particularly well out of it.
NZ Herald June 16 2007
Q&As: A big fan of property investing scares me with his lack of knowledge.
Syndicated column May 29 2007: Back to the creepy stuff
Well, he did it. Despite my impassioned plea in this column in February last year, Finance Minister Michael Cullen took away our chewing gum tax cut in the recent Budget. And we're much bigger losers than most people realise.View - It's FREE!
Syndicated column May 15 2007: Readers respond on KiwiSaver tax breaks
Three readers were unhappy with my last column, in which I said the KiwiSaver tax breaks expected in the upcoming Budget will benefit only some people, at the expense of New Zealand as a whole.View - It's FREE!
Syndicated column April 28 2007: Think again about those KiwiSaver tax breaks
Many readers were no doubt pleased to hear of Winston Peters' recent hints that the May 17 Budget will include tax breaks in the KiwiSaver retirement savings scheme. But only some will benefit - and it will be at the expense of others, and the country as a whole.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald April 14 2007
Q&As: A tax on house sales, to subsidise first home owners, is a lovely idea that wouldn't work.
Syndicated column March 20 2007: KiwiSaver enticing enough already
KiwiSaver, the new retirement savings scheme starting July 1, is coming in for criticism that is doesn't include more tax incentives. But I'm glad of that.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald March 3 2007
Seeking your questions about KiwiSaver
NZ Herald February 24 2007
Seeking your questions about KiwiSaver
NZ Herald October 14 2006
Q&As: Why I won't do research on an Aussie resource index fund.
Syndicated column July 18 2006: Owning your home not always the best option
Most New Zealanders grow up expecting to own their own home, but soaring house prices have made it harder for people to get into the market. Does that matter? Is home ownership all it's cracked up to be?View - It's FREE!
Holm Truths autumn 06
Stuff and happiness: Buying things you don't really need
NZ Herald August 6 2005
Q&As: 18-year-old should wait a bit before buying a house.
NZ Herald June 11 2005
Q&AS: Paying extra for using a credit card.
Syndicated column May 31 2005: How KiwiSaver will work for you
How you might react to the KiwiSaver programme in the recent budget depends on your circumstances.