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

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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.


Property

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 18 February 2017

Q&As: Which is better - a KiwiSaver share fund or KiwiSaver property fund?
- KiwiSaver investments don't change at 65, unless you're in a life stages option. What are they?
- No tax consequences of parents' gift to help pay off mortgage
- Bring UK shares over and pay down mortgage

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NZ Herald 11 February 2017

Q&As: The struggle of some beneficiaries
- If you don't like bank's interest payment policy, shop around
- Should couple put all their cash in house deposit, or invest in shares too?

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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 19 November 2016

Q&As: NZ tops the world - so it might be better to wait to buy a house
- KiwiSaver tax credit still $521
- Share fund not so great - especially if you check what it's measured against

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NZ Herald 5 November 2016

Q&As: In retirement planning, first work out how long you're likely to live
- Did angry reader actually read my last column?
- Another columnist and I battle it out over active v passive funds
- Sometimes leasehold property works out well
Money column for November 5 2016

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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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NZ Herald 15 October 2016

Q&As: Like it or not, retiree didn't directly contribute to NZ Super he now receives
- Buying leasehold property is for high risk takers only
- KiwiSaver first home withdrawal rules much less than grant rules
- Dividends beat bank interest, but riskier

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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 1 September 2016

How emotional thinking can get in the way of good investing

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NZ Herald 6 August 2016

Q&As: Should couple sell Auckland rental now or keep it until retirement?
- How to contribute something other than 3,4 or 8% to KiwiSaver
- What happens when a KiwiSaver turns 65
- 'Good news' letter a reminder to the young
- Auckland too pricey? Try Dunedin
- Update on KiwiSaver HomeStart grants

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NZ Herald 23 July 2016

Q&As: Should we bail out of bank accounts if house prices plunge 40 per cent?
- All bank accounts and term deposits affected if a bank fails
- Thanks but no thanks to a suggested video
- Share funds much safer than finance companies were
- 65-pluser should stick with KiwiSaver given employer's generosity

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NZ Herald 9 July 2016

Q&As: Property upgrading sometimes works well, but not always
- Was I paid for "advocating" a type of investment?
- Unknown unknowns can hurt investors
- Get on with property investing, regardless of the market

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RNZ Radio 7 July 2016

Timing the housing market, and KiwiSaver first home help

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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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NZ Herald 25 June 2016

Q&As: Don't count on house price rises - and it may be better to keep renting
- Couple need to make up their mind about buying vs renting
- KiwiSaver providers occasionally slip up on claiming tax credits

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NZ Herald 18 June 2016

Q&As: Ignore misleading KiwiSaver salesman, but maximize your tax credit
- Change to contributions holidays just a suggestion
- 1970s house much more modest than today's houses
- Well done! - but take case about judging others' spending

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NZ Herald 4 June 2016

Q&As: Is it really harder to buy a house now than in the 1980s?
- A money coach explains an addiction to spending ....
- ... And a reader describes how it affects her
- Does it work to have life insurance with 2 companies?

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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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NZ Herald 26 March 2016

Q&As: Reader suggests an economist could explain unfair tax on term deposits and property investment
- ... And the economist does so
- Shares work well for retiree
- 3 ways another retiree could cut expenses
- How to reduce the cost of a funeral
- Debt-dodging daughter should attend a course

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Radio NZ 18 February 2016

Listeners' questions on rental property and KiwiSaver

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NZ Herald 30 January 2016

Q&As: A different Auckland housing option: live on the water
- Reservations about young landlord's success
- 2 Q&As on whether Bonus Bonds are a good deal
- Worries about living in a leasehold property
- Have your say about advisers

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NZ Herald 28 November 2015

Q&As: Couple should get on with enjoying their wealth
- Report confirms reader's concerns about insurance sales
- Worry about house buying a sure sign of a bubble

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NZ Herald 31 October 2015

Q&As: 80-year-old is still spending up large
- What happens when bank KiwiSaver providers invest heavily in their own products?
- The complexities of buying an apartment
- Another KiwiSaver provider offers regular withdrawals in retirement
- Auckland housing market not a Ponzi scheme, but how about the Greater Fool theory?

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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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Radio NZ 15 October 2015

Mortgages

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NZ Herald 12 September 2015

Q&As: Risks of property investment - especially sections
- Owning modest home plus rental versus owning more expensive home
- Don't count on politicians' long-term promises
- Why the young of today might criticize NZ Super
- Another perspective on government rest home subsidy
- Coffins or shrouds?

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NZ Herald 18 July 2015

Q&As: Financial advisers fail to give good advice on risk to woman in 20s
- If a bank fails, a percentage of all accounts would be frozen ...
- And only a small amount in transaction accounts would be exempt
- Reader is disappointed that I didn't discuss the tax on gains from property

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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 16 May 2015

Q&As: Could Auckland house price plunge cause a banking meltdown?
- Single mum can't get daughter into KiwiSaver because of missing father
- Employer shouldn't have signed up 15-year-old to KiwiSaver without parents' consent
- Living on just NZ Super is the high life for this reader

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NZ Herald 2 May 2015

Q&As: How to persuade 20-somethings to stick with KiwiSaver
- An offer too good to not miss
- Get legal advice when lending to adult children
- Can bankruptcy distribution be undone?
- Last week's picture was misleading

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NZ Herald 21 March 2015

Q&As: How to make KiwiSaver work well for children
- Watch the fees particularly if you have a high KiwiSaver balance
- Further help for last week's provincial couple?
- Worried about your kids' inheritance? Bring them up well!

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NZ Herald 14 March 2015

Q&As: Provincial town dwellers better to stick with their house, despite falling prices
- Reader challenges the Reserve Bank's confidence in the banking system
- No you can't withdraw KiwiSaver money on maternity leave, and you should have known that!
- How lending or giving to family could come back and bite you

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NZ Herald 28 February 2015

Q&As: Why are NZ banks following the lead of their Aussie parents?
- Should reader spread money over several banks, just in case?
- Two readers have no sympathy for younger daughter in recent Q&A, but ...
- Another reader's idea is more harmonious
- Auckland house prices too high? Try Taupo

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NZ Herald 31 January 2015

Q&As: Kicked out of KiwiSaver for joining when too old
- Is now the time to get out of Auckland property and into shares? Who knows?
- Aspiring home buyer's plan highly risky

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NZ Herald 22 November 2014

Q&As: The pros and cons of investing in several rental properties
- An employer can contribute any amount above 3% of pay into a KiwiSaver account
- Who owns the shares when you invest through a nominee, and does it matter?
- Was I wrong last week about tax deductibility in a family loan?

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NZ Herald 13 September 2014

Q&As: How would Labour's proposed variable KiwiSaver contributions rate work?
- Labour's capital gains tax and.... shares
- ... public submissions before the tax is enacted
- ... how inheritances would be treated
- ... family homes and baches in a trust
- ... using part of the home for business
- ... its effect on house prices
- ... its effect on rents

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NZ Herald 10 May 2014

Q&As: Ask your bank for a higher term deposit rate
- How reader got around Genesis Energy share scaling
- Genesis share profits likely to be taxed
- Donate tiny share parcels to charity
- 2 Q&As on advice for woman wondering whether to renovate or sell

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NZ Herald 3 May 2014

Q&As: Do the banks tend to raise term deposit rates as much as mortgage rates?
- Some worries about compulsory KiwiSaver
- Did 'Mum and Dad' investors get a raw deal on Genesis Energy shares?
- An alternative to painting the house - for last week's correspondent

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NZ Herald 26 April 2014

Q&As: Single mum can't decide whether to renovate or sell
- How come some seemed to get more Genesis Energy shares?
- No I won't give info on gold savings plan
- What might be behind gold plan?
- How many employers stop KiwiSaver contributions at 65?
- Is employer playing fair with KiwiSaver contributions?
- Complications for some self-employed in KiwiSaver

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NZ Herald 22 February 2014

Q&As: Should family keep renting, or buy a home?
- Why Inland Revenue takes so long to process KiwiSaver contributions
- Employee must join KiwiSaver via their employer, but that's not so bad
- Adult children can't opt out of KiwiSaver, even though their parents signed them up

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NZ Herald 15 February 2014

Q&As: KiwiSaver not quite so marvelous over several decades
- But it's still worth being in
- The "buy a home before travelling?" question varies with the circumstances

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NZ Herald 8 February 2014

Q&As: Should young man buy house before doing his OE?
- Better to stay in the housing market than have time out
- How KiwiSaver first home help works for beneficiaries and student allowance recipients
- 2 Q&As about tax obligations of last week's spec home investor

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NZ Herald 1 February 2014

Q&As: Still hope for first home buyer with 10% deposit
- Profits from spec home best put into offsetting mortgage on own home
- How KiwiSaver fund finder gets around shortcomings
- Ideas for inexpensive family travel

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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 9 November 2013

Q&As: Boss's share strategy might work - but it's risky
- Should everyone grow their own veggies?
- Bankrupt couple should use their networks
- When "attributable" is not attributable
- A useful tip about grammar
- Strong feelings on grammar
- This topic is now closed

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NZ Herald 12 October 2013

Q&As: A rule of thumb on which type of mortgage
- Don't take unnecessary gamble on house prices
- When is a capital gain really a gain?
- Some comfort for immigrant family on taxes
- KiwiSaver for a mum at home with children

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NZ Herald 7 September 2013

Q&As: Plans of 29-year-old daughter sound good so let her be
- Using KiwiSaver to repay student loans probably not a good idea
- Improvements wouldn't be subject to capital gains tax
- South African tax option not ruled out

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NZ Herald 31 August 2013

Q&As: When is the best time to buy a house? When you want to
- Labour's capital gains tax wouldn't apply to your home
- Hope for the future about share offer documents
- Money Week coming up

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NZ Herald 10 August 2013

Q&As: Retiree needs patience, but also needs to ask his adviser some hard questions
- How assets would be valued if capital gains tax is introduced
- Share investor's success not quite so impressive when you look at how the whole market has performed
- Raising NZ Super age would affect some more than others

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NZ Herald 3 August 2013

Q&As: Reader's shareholding success probably more luck than skill
- There'll always be renters, but that doesn't mean we have to love landlords
- Property investors with big debt take big risk - and why do they brag?
- Older workers do take jobs from the young to some extent
- KiwiSaver contributions not taken from redundancy pay
- On quitting KiwiSaver to start a business

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NZ Herald 20 July 2013

Q&As: How one couple might pay no tax, and how that might be changed
- A long-term perspective on shares and property
- How compulsory KiwiSaver might - and might not - work

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NZ Herald 13 July 2013

Q&As: Our population is getting older, but not as fast as a reader fears. How will it affect house prices?
- Means testing of NZ Super not given high priority in new report

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NZ Herald 6 July 2013

Q&As: Mother and son should probably go for the big trip
- Reader confused - although not unhappy - with student loan rebate
- Update on what's happened to gold and silver prices
- Type of mortgage would matter if bank defaults
- Property and shares more alike than reader thinks
- Diversification the best way
- 2 more KiwiSaver providers that tell members about tax credit

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NZ Herald 29 June 2013

Q&As: Will new OBR policy mean banks can take money out of our savings accounts?
- How risky are our banks?
- Why NZ doesn't insure bank deposits, and bank credit ratings
- KiwiSaver providers that alert members about tax credit top-ups
- Property prices can indeed plunge over mere hours - sometimes

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NZ Herald 8 June 2013

Q&As: One couple is happy with shares ....
- while another is happy with property
- P lab clean-up not a minor thing
- Why would anyone accept a low-ball offer?
- Seeing an adviser not always the answer
- In praise of KiwiSaver

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NZ Herald 1 June 2013

Q&As: A reader likes property because he has more control than over shares
- Another reader prefers property for 7 reasons
- How to calculate your return if your KiwiSaver - or other investment - has doubled
- Now's the time to add to KiwiSaver to maximize your tax credit

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NZ Herald 11 May 2013

Q&As: Does rental property have tax advantages over shares?
- What happens if somebody wrongfully gets KiwiSaver tax credits while living overseas
- Does it work to set up a family trust so your kids can get student allowances?

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NZ Herald 4 May 2013

Q&As: Which is riskier, moving to a posher suburb now or waiting?
- Retired man's preference for shares may be riskier than he realizes
- You can't cash in KiwiSaver to buy Mighty River Power shares

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NZ Herald 27 April 2013

Q&As: Steer clear of foreign exchange trading
- Pensioner should also steer clear of finance companies offering high interest
- How you can avoid partial assets sales shares in KiwiSaver
- Not saying "I told you so" about investing in gold
- Buying a home still a good idea for couple in late 40s

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NZ Herald 20 October 2012

Q&As: Reader's returns in the stratosphere
- Bach reading reveals very long-term data on gold prices
- To buy or not to buy when house prices look bubbly

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NZ Herald 6 October 2012

Q&As: Is now a good time to buy a first home?
KiwiSaver versus mortgage repayment trade-off for self-employed and non-employees
2 Q&As about changes to ANZ mortgage conditions

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NZ Herald 22 September 2012

Q&As: The hazards of comparing share and property investments
- 4 Q&As on whether we're headed for financial catastrophe
- Who can get the Carer's Benefit, and how much is it?

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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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NZ Herald 21 July 2012

Q&As: Repeated property do-ups unlikely to bring tax-free gains
- Are shares really better in the long term than property or bank deposits?
- Reader is confused over KiwiSaver first home subsidy price limits
- Sleepless nights over a charity donation

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NZ Herald 12 May 2012

Q&As: NZ gets good value from many NZ Super recipients
- How parents might help their adult children with the two items that cost more now
- Last week's correspondent should leave the country, or change their thinking
- How to calculate KiwiSaver tax credit in your first year in the scheme
- Some KiwiSaver providers help members with tax credit
- A welfare payment by any other name ...

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NZ Herald 14 April 2012

Q&As: Should reader buy a NZ house now - while still overseas - or later?
- 3 readers' varying views on student loans
- 2 readers seem to be a bit muddled about the new KiwiSaver tax credit

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NZ Herald 24 March 2012

Q&As: Is it better to go for the most expensive house you can, or the cheapest?
- Adult son in sheltered workshop should keep up with KiwiSaver
- Slight risk of holding back on using student loan repayment bonus

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NZ Herald 10 March 2012

Q&As: A reader's 10 rules on property investment make good sense
- 3 Q&As on the fairness of wealthier people using student loans
- Was the word "renter" misused in last week's column?
- Research centre is looking into issues about overseas pensions and NZ Super

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Syndicated column 3 December 2011 - Columnist is wrong - mortgage repayment is well worth it

Contrarian investing - when you put your money into investments that most people are getting out of - sometimes works well. Such investments are usually cheap. But should we extend that to borrowing when most others are repaying debt?

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NZ Herald 29 October 2011

Q&As: Parents hoping to deduct payments to baby for "working" for them are dreaming
Tax dodgers and protesters aren't in the same camp
Couple in sixties should grab the chance to get their own home
Why returns are disappointing on KiwiSaver cash funds

Money column for October 29 2011

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NZ Herald 22 October 2011

Q&As: Putting your savings in the kids' names, to reduce taxes, is not a clever idea
Should Christchurch Red Zone dweller buy another home?
Getting by on stone soup
Comparing gold and silver investments with KiwiSaver

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NZ Herald 30 July 2011

Q&As: Two questions to ask before trading up to a more expensive house
- A pilot joins the call for annuities for retiring KiwiSavers
- Mercer explains its alternative to conventional annuities
- A KiwiSaver provider gives children a break on fees
- A reader is taken aback over a headline about steady incomes - and I'm taken aback that she cares!

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NZ Herald 23 July 2011

Q&As: Calling all KiwiSaver providers: Please let us know if you have plans to offer annuities or similar
- Other payout possibilities for retired KiwiSavers
- Couple who have returned to NZ but still own UK house should sell it, buy here and get on with enjoying life
- Dwindling children's KiwiSaver accounts possible but unlikely

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NZ Herald 16 July 2011

Q&As: Retired couple with house in Christchurch's red zone have several options to weigh up
- Three Q&As about KiwiSaver for children and grandchildren
- One adviser firm accepts pay-for-performance fees, at least to some extent

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NZ Herald 18 June 2011

Q&As: Why chimpanzee can outdo professional stock pickers
- Reader might be able to beat the market in property investment, but he has little chance in shares
- Which KiwiSaver providers offer index funds?
- Do KiwiSaver changes favour those on high incomes? It depends how you look at it.

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NZ Herald 21 May 2011

Q&As: Self-employed probably fare worst in KiwiSaver changes, but scheme still really hard to beat
- Likelihood of more government changes not a good reason to stay out of KiwiSaver
- Abolition of gift tax reduces paper work for family trusts, but doesn't eliminate it
- "Provincial perspective" on changes in house prices over the decades

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NZ Herald 14 May 2011

Q&As: Foreclosed property seminar reminds me of investment warning lists
- Government's proposed changes don't affect current KiwiSaver decisions
- Do banks lend more than their total deposits?
- Am I brainwashed, and perpetuating myths about family trusts?
- Fair enough that housing is not cheap here, says American who moved to NZ

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NZ Herald 7 May 2011

Q&As: A house looks ridiculously cheap in 1958, but let's put that into perspective
- Retiree hit by inflation acknowledges that it could have been worse
- Too hard to get by in New Zealand? Fix it or leave, but don't whinge
- A family wants out of its family trust, which is complex, expensive and not benefitting anyone

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NZ Herald 23 April 2011

Q&As: Why it takes both partners working to afford a house these days
- Buying a house with a co-owner might prove tricky
- Did I muddle pounds and dollars?
- Big lottery winner would have some negotiating power with a bank - but only so much
- Difficulties of borrowing to invest in shares
- Winners of seminar tickets

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NZ Herald 16 April 2011

Q&As: You need to compare rental properties and share investments on the same basis
- How does KiwiSaver work for kids, and will the parents "trap" them into something they won't want as adults?
- Should we look at house prices versus household income, rather than individual income, when looking at affordability over time?

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NZ Herald 5 March 2011

Q&As: Should couple sell their house, and buy again later?
- The high price of not organising your automatic payments well
- When you should and shouldn't repay your student loan quickly - and future prospects
- 2 Q&As on what happens to KiwiSavers when they retire

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NZ Herald 14 August 2010

Q&As: What happens when your employer doesn't forward your KiwiSaver deductions to Inland Revenue
Do I still recommend share investments after the Feltex case?
I shouldn't have said "nobody foresaw the downturn" in the last column
Queensland might be good to retire to, but is it a good place to invest?
A brickbat about BRIC funds

Money column for August 14 2010

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NZ Herald 7 August 2010

Q&As: Does it make sense to try to pick where Baby Boomers will retire and buy property there?
How KiwiSaver works if you move from employment to self-employment
Should couple use lump sum to repay a commercial mortgage or for other investment - and how KiwiSaver affects this?
Some alternatives for investing in emerging markets

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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 12 June 2010

Q&As: A way for couples on higher incomes to get KiwiSaver first home help
Man with terminal illness can probably withdraw all KiwiSaver money
KiwiSaver contributions holidays more flexible than reader realises
More thoughts on why house prices have outgrown rents
2 readers challenge the use of the term "Mum and Dad investors" - and we seek an alternative

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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
A possible explanation for house prices outgrowing incomes

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NZ Herald 29 May 2010

Q&As: People in their early sixties are mad if they are not in KiwiSaver.
One reader says it's too hard to buy a first home in Auckland, but two others have suggestions on how to do it
The cost of building hasn't risen since the 1970s, but shortage of land has pushed up prices, says a reader.
Follow-up on last week's comment about a job vacancy in Wanganui

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NZ Herald 22 May 2010

Q&As: Three Q&As on options for would-be first home buyers struggling to afford a home - go cheaper, and go further away. (Bonus: a job opening in Wanganui)
An angry reader misunderstands where I'm coming from
Two Q&As ponder how building costs and land development costs affect house prices
Further explanation about how PIRs work

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NZ Herald 15 May 2010

Q&As: Why house prices must - at some point - come down further
Newly retired person loses out, for a year, on PIE tax
How a rising NZ Super age might affect KiwiSaver
Temporary workers in KiwiSaver at a disadvantage

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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 24 October 2009

Q&As: Are house prices less likely to fall in posher suburbs?
Financial advisers paid by commissions can't do as well as someone who is independent
Two Q&As on why recently issued preference shares are not good investments

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NZ Herald 10 October 2009

Q&As: A reader challenges my advice last week about postponing a first home purchase for three years
How to get around the income cap on the KiwiSaver first home subsidy
How to get around the three-year requirement for KiwiSaver first home assistance
Another reader challenges me - on my advice on whether to sell a Mangere Bridge house or a Whangamata house
The merits of coin tossing
Maybe Lotto will make reader's decision easier

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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.

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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
You can't get in early on the KiwiSaver first home withdrawal and subsidy

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NZ Herald 26 September 2009

Q&As: Is it better to sell a Mangere Bridge property or a Whangamata property?
Reader who switched to riskier fund, and saw immediate loss, wonders if she should switch back
Share markets have performed really well lately
Two letters about KiwiSaver and "total remuneration", in which employees more or less pay their own employer contributions

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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.
Property fan who did badly in the share market broke one of the basic rules of share investing
Did I mislead readers about the advantages of dollar cost averaging?

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Syndicated column 25 August 2009 - Secrets of real estate agents

Sorry - this is my third column in a row about real estate commissions. It's just that readers keep responding. Lately it's been agents or former agents, letting us in on their secrets.

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NZ Herald 15 August 2009

Q&As: Reader explains why he won't invest in shares
Data suggest New Zealand doesn't actually over-invest in property
New Zealanders' lack of interest in shares hurts more than just individuals
Help is available for horseracing "addict"

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NZ Herald 8 August 2009

Q&As: 2 Q&As on whether New Zealanders over-invest in property
Is 50 too old to take out a mortgage?

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Syndicated column 28 July - A fairer deal for all on real estate agent commissions

Now - with real estate agents hungry for listings - might be a good time for home sellers to negotiate a new way of paying agents.

This is not about kicking a man when he's down. What I'm proposing shouldn't leave an honest agent worse off. In fact, if she or he is good at their job, it will leave them much better off.

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NZ Herald April 18 2009

Q&As: The pluses and minuses of the government's new student loan repayment bonus.
2 Q&As on the woes - and possibilities - for first home buyers.

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Syndicated column March 24 2009 - You can indeed go wrong with bricks and mortar

I first heard people saying, "You can't go wrong with bricks and mortar" years ago, when I lived in the US. I bet the saying isn't quite as common there these days, now that millions of people have, indeed, lost huge amounts because of property.

Yet we still hear that untrue "truism" in New Zealand. And in the last few weeks, as some people are trying to convince us that the house price slump is over, it keeps popping up.

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NZ Herald November 8 2008

Q&As: PIES have many more pros than cons, with tax breaks and, in some cases, a government guarantee
Single parent with three rentals might want to sell one - but not for the reason she suggests
Plus: readers' views on KiwiSaver

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NZ Herald October 25 2008

Q&As: Does KiwiSaver allow for earlier withdrawal for someone with Down syndrome?
Would having savings in KiwiSaver affect entitlement to benefits?
Does it make sense to look at productive and non-productive KiwiSavers?
Some property investors stand to gain from the current climate.
Plus: Readers' comments on KiwiSaver

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NZ Herald September 27 2008

Q&As: Why KiwiSaver mortgage diversion is such a good idea.
Should the government intervene to stop house prices from falling?

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NZ Herald April 5 2008

Q&As: The best KiwiSaver fund for a 23-year-old depends on her house-buying plans.
Angry Blue Chip investor muddles my opinion with a reader's opinion.
A reader suggests why online tax payments sometimes go wrong.

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NZ Herald March 29 2008

Q&As: Do Blue Chip, finance company and other investment victims deserve what's happened?
2 Q&As on "nicer" ways to invest than rental property.
Electronic tax payment problems not common.

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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.
Have delays in processing KiwiSaver contributions hurt savers in the recent tumultuous markets?
How to top up your KiwiSaver contributions so you get the full tax credit.

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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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Syndicated column November 13 2007: Preparing for a possible property price plunge

The volume of house sales is slowing. Houses are taking longer to sell. And some apartment prices are falling. What if house prices are next to fall?

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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?
Four Q&As on how KiwiSaver works - or doesn't work - for those living overseas or planning to live overseas.

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NZ Herald May 26 2007

Q&As: The inter-generation battle rages on in six Q&As, and we also get several readers' ideas on how Gen Xers can cope with high house prices.
Succinct advice from a reader's Dad who suffered in the Depression.

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NZ Herald May 12 2007

Q&As: Three readers defend baby boomers and suggest how today's young could afford to buy homes.
A Generation Xer speaks up for her generation.
A reader worries that apartments may lose value.

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NZ Herald May 5 2007

Q&As: Auckland houses may be unaffordable, but apartments aren't.
One man is happy with is inexpensive home.
Homeowner feels anything but smug about being in the housing market.
War is declared between the baby boomers and the younger generation.
Last time New Zealand tried to control rents, it was disastrous.

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NZ Herald April 28 2007

Q&As: Would-be homeowners may need to lower their standards a bit - with some help from Monty Python.
Inflation hits property at least as much as share funds.
Californian astounded by our "real estate mania".

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NZ Herald April 7 2007

Q&As: Rent control would do more harm than good.
The cost of staying out of the housing market.
Reader insists it's worthwhile to try to time foreign exchange movements. It's all his!

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Syndicated column April 17 2007: Obsessed with property? Not us

New Zealanders are not as property mad - or as mortgage mad - as we've been led to believe, recent research shows.

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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.
Renting and saving elsewhere can leave you better off than home ownership.
Semi-retired couple who sold their home and rent are probably doing fine.

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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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NZ Herald March 17 2007

Q&As: Landlords, beware! Changes being considered in rental property taxation.
Reader feels unfairly punished by Reserve Bank's interest rate hike.
The word "secured" in a debenture ad is hardly a warning sign. The company is just following the law.

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NZ Herald February 10 2007

Q&As: The warning signs in investment ads
Should we adjust investment returns to allow for inflation?
How best to assess long-term returns on shares and property
How to tell if an Australian company qualifies for the tax exemption

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NZ Herald December 9 2006

Money column for December 9, 2006

Win a ticket to a seminar
Q&As: Should retired couple invest in a commercial property? Why take on that risk?
Can we predict NZ dollar movements?
When is it best to change money from US to NZ currency.
A US website that evaluates international charities.
Yet another charity offers a Christmas gift programme.

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NZ Herald November 4 2006

Q&As: Two on why many rental property investors should pay tax on their gains when they sell. It's the law!
How to teach teens about budgeting.
Allowing for tax when calculating returns on term deposits.

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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 10 2006: Moving money across the globe is a risky tactic

The situation of a reader may not seem relevant to many others. But there are lessons here for practically everyone.

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NZ Herald March 18 2006

Q&As: Man panicked and bailed out of share fund. No!
Real Estate Institute denies that it's hard to buy a house in NZ.

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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 February 4 2006

Q&As: Man who has made $3 million from shares.
How much risk for a 53-year-old?
How good is advice from banks?

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NZ Herald January 28 2006

Q&As: 27-year-old overseas doesn't need more than 4 rentals in NZ.
Should more conservative 26-year-old get revolving credit mortgage?

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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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NZ Herald January 14 2006

Q&As: Should man, 53, go with bank and seminar rental recommendation?
Young couple ponder buying share of family farm.
should Mary answer all readers' letters?

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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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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 September 10 2005

Q&As: How to go about investing your student loan.
How to find rating information on finance companies.

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Syndicated column August 23 2005: Is it dumb to diversify shares or property?

Diversification is not all it's cracked up to be, according to a man who read my last column, which praised the spreading-your-risk idea.

"Bill Gates didn't diverse much, and it didn't do him much harm," he writes. "The fact remains that the richest people on the planet have become that way because they haven't diversified.

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Syndicated column August 9 2005: One bad apple - New Zealanders are bad at diversifying

Most New Zealand shareholders are frighteningly undiversified. About 24 per cent of share investors own shares in just one company, and another 36 per cent hold shares in two to five companies, according to recent research by the stock exchange, NZX, and sharebrokers ABN AMRO Craigs.

Why does it matter? Two reasons:

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NZ Herald June 18 2005

Q&As: When does tax on capital gains apply to share investors?
When can share investors deduct newspapers and investment reports?
Are shops allowed to charge more if you use a Visa card?
The role of luck in house price rises.

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NZ Herald June 4 2005

Q&As: 2 on renting v home ownership - including the psychology of the choice.
The professor who set last week's question gives me a grade, and notes that house prices have fallen lots elsewhere.

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NZ Herald May 28 2005

Q&A: Is home ownership always good?

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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 2 2005

Q&As: Different banks' policies on early repayment of fixed mortgages.
The man in last week's Q&A could stick with properties.

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NZ Herald March 26 2005

Q&As: Man in mid 50s can afford to drop out - but what about emotionally?
Is reader silly to stick with renting?

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NZ Herald January 22 2005

Q&As: Man with many rental properties does it the right way.
Why do economists bother to make foreign exchange forecasts that are often wrong?

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Holm Truths autumn 03

Emotions and investing: The way we feel affects our investing in ways we are not aware of

Also in this issue: Great Debate - Term deposits v corporate bonds

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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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