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Psychology of Money
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 24 November 2016
One person's take on the Fraud Film Festival:View - It's FREE!
RNZ Radio 1 September 2016
How emotional thinking can get in the way of good investingView - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 27 August 2016
Q&As: Who should add a windfall to KiwiSaver, and who shouldn't
NZ Herald 25 June 2016
Q&As: Don't count on house price rises - and it may be better to keep renting
RNZ Radio 23 June 2016
Spending too little, spending too muchView - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 30 April 2016
Q&As: The richest ones don't look rich
NZ Herald 19 March 2016
Q&As: Alternative for daughter trying to escape bad debt - pay up
Radio NZ 28 January 2016
Setting financial prioritiesView - It's FREE!
Radio NZ 10 December 2015
How overconfidence can make you poorer (and other psychological aspects of investing)View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 5 December 2015
Q&As: A few phone calls can slash hundreds from insurance bills
NZ Herald 24 October 2015
Q&As: Is greed behind Auckland house price rises?
NZ Herald 14 February 2015
Q&As: How to let both daughters in on the deal
NZ Herald 15 November 2014
Q&As: Are older people greedy? Is this question worth worrying about?
NZ Herald 8 November 2014
Q&As: Early Brierley investment brings back memories of 1987
NZ Herald 25 October 2014
Q&As: Some rules for lending to family members
NZ Herald 12 July 2014
Q&As: Could money in a bank-run KiwiSaver be transferred to pay debt owed to the bank?
NZ Herald 28 June 2014
Q&As: Car buying decisions not always rational
NZ Herald 25 January 2014
Q&As: Time for over-savers to spend on fun experiences - but still save some
NZ Herald 14 December 2013
Q&As: Wisdom for bankrupt couple from one who has been there
NZ Herald 7 December 2013
Q&As: The problem with do-it-yourself annuities
NZ Herald 21 September 2013
Q&As: Dripfeed money when moving it from country to country
NZ Herald 3 August 2013
Q&As: Reader's shareholding success probably more luck than skill
NZ Herald 16 March 2013
Q&As: Student loan question brings out the differences in a couple's attitudes to money
Syndicated column 16 February 2013 - Financial misbehaviour disappointing
Ironically, a survey on New Zealanders' financial behaviour was released just days before Christmas - a time of much financial misbehaviour, when everyone's saying, "I don't care what it costs, I've just got to buy something for Uncle Fred."View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 24 November 2012
Q&As: Lessons from a bad managed fund investment
NZ Herald 29 September 2012
Q&As: A couple of concerns about buying shares in the company you work for
NZ Herald 22 September 2012
Q&As: The hazards of comparing share and property investments
NZ Herald 25 August 2012
Q&As: 3 readers are upset about morality and student loan repayment strategies
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 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!
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 5 May 2012
Q&As: Reader could do with a re-think
Syndicated column 5 May 2012 - How the lolly choice has changed
The economists have given up on the idea, and it's time the rest of us did too. I'm talking about making financial decisions based only on the cold hard facts and numbers, and not taking into account emotional and psychological factors.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 17 March 2012
Q&As: No clear-cut answer on whether's it's better to slash debt or save for Christmas
Syndicated column 10 March 2012 - Men don't have a monopoly on financial ability
New Zealand women are less confident about their finances than men, a recent survey suggests. Should they be?View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 3 December 2011
Q&As: Is share buying just for the elite?
Syndicated column 22 October 2011 - Who needs money when you've got what New Zealand's got?
New Zealanders, it seems, are better off than people in any other OECD country when we look at non-financial measurements. The saying "money isn't everything" rings true in this country.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 12 February 2011
Q&As: Here's an incentive to save for retirement
Syndicated column 29 January 2011 - Turning interest into your friend
New Zealanders are, apparently, a fairly satisfied bunch - except when it comes to our financial situation. But maybe that's not such a bad thing.View - It's FREE!
Syndicated column 4 December 2010 - Do we really need more stuff than Americans?
Something to ponder as Christmas gift giving approaches: New Zealanders apparently think they need more stuff than the people we often regard as most materialistic - Americans. What's more, older and male New Zealanders seem to be more into "things" than young people and females.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 4 September 2010
Q&As: Looking after the pennies is more rewarding than we realised
NZ Herald 12 June 2010
Q&As: A way for couples on higher incomes to get KiwiSaver first home help
Syndicated column 22 May 2010 - Confession time about retirement plans and goals
I'm going to commit sacrilege here. But it's not as if I haven't thought long and hard about it. So okay, deep breath, here we go: Contrary to what many will tell you, it's quite possible to be financially together and not have a detailed written plan on how to fund your retirement - or even a retirement savings goal.View - It's FREE!
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!
NZ Herald 27 February 2010
Q&As: KiwiSaver trustee change raises questions about how much trustees protect members
Syndicated column 30 January 2010 - Oh no, oh no, it's off to work we go
Returning to work after a holiday is rarely easy. Back when I was employed - as opposed to self employed - I remember always feeling as if I were in the wrong job on my first few days back at work.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 5 December 2009
Q&As: Adviser's advice is shocking - on three counts
Syndicated column 1 December 2009 - Gifts that give on several levels
Perhaps the most important assignment in a university course I teach on financial literacy has little to do with finance. Worried that the course might send the message "the more money you have the better", I ask the students to think about how money and happiness are related.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 28 November 2009
A way to make friends and relatives happy at Christmas
NZ Herald 10 October 2009
Q&As: A reader challenges my advice last week about postponing a first home purchase for three years
Syndicated column 6 October 2009 - Good news goes unheralded
One of the findings in a recent survey caught my eye. Only 12 per cent of New Zealanders surveyed said the value of their financial investments had grown in the previous six months, with 42 per cent saying the value was unchanged and 46 per cent saying it had fallen. The vast majority got it wrong.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 19 September 2009
Q&As: Even a reader's accountant seems confused about how gains on share sales are taxed. The law needs to be changed.
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 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 15 August 2009
Q&As: Reader explains why he won't invest in shares
Syndicated column 14 July 2009 - Recession could be a blessing for most
The response to a question in a recent survey bothered me a little. Asked what they would do with a $10,000 cash windfall, 54.3 per cent of the respondents said they would pay off debt or save the money - down from 58.3 per cent three months earlier.
Syndicated column May 16 2009 - Ill wind not as bad as it seems
An email from a Christchurch reader has got me thinking. "In any game it is either a win, loss or a draw," he writes. "Right now there are plenty of losers, nationally and globally - individuals, institutions, banks, organizations, even one or two countries. So who are the winners?"View - It's FREE!
Syndicated column November 25 2008 - Christmas giving that makes you happier too
Struggling retailers aren't going to like this, but how about we make 2008 the year we stop spending ridiculous amounts on Christmas presents we don't need - and often don't even like?View - It's FREE!
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 September 2 2007: Is saving always good?
In some circles, saving has a bad name. People think it's about deprivation - "I either save or I spend, and spending is more fun."View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald October 20 2007
THE OTHER B WORD
NZ Herald September 29 2007
Over the next few weeks, this column will run highlights from Mary Holm's quarterly newsletter Holm Truths. Mary's regular Q&A column will resume on October 27.
NZ Herald May 12 2007
Q&As: Three readers defend baby boomers and suggest how today's young could afford to buy homes.
Holm Truths summer 06-07
The other B word: While some people find it easy to follow a budget, others struggle. Here are some tips for the latter group.
Syndicated column December 2 2006: The investment games people play
Let's say you're playing a game in which everyone has been given $20. In each round, you choose whether or not to put in $1, and a coin is then tossed. If it's heads, you get back $2.50. If it's tails, you lose your $1.
NZ Herald September 9 2006
This week, and through September, we are running excerpts from Mary Holm's bestselling book, "Get Rich Slow: How to grow your wealth the safe and savvy way." Mary's regular Q&A column will resume in October.
NZ Herald August 12 2006
Q&As: A few fewer luxuries and many New Zealanders could afford to buy homes.
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!
NZ Herald July 15 2006
Q&As: Lessons from the Bible: Is borrowing bad?
NZ Herald February 11 2006
Q&As: Couple should spend less?
NZ Herald November 26 2005
Q&As: Woman in Australian shouldn't sell her house here.
Syndicated column November 1 2005: Borrowing tricky between family or friends
A quote recently caught my eye. "The easiest way to teach children the value of money is to borrow some from them," it said.
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.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald June 4 2005
Q&As: 2 on renting v home ownership - including the psychology of the choice.
NZ Herald May 7 2005
Q&As: A letter to give a spouse who is mean with money.
NZ Herald March 26 2005
Q&As: Man in mid 50s can afford to drop out - but what about emotionally?