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.


Rental 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 20 May 2017

Q&As: Predicted house price fall no big deal for most
- Older KiwiSaver may be okay in growth fund
- "Ad for active investing" not so convincing
- Forex trader's record worrying

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NZ Herald 6 May 2017

Q&As: Index fund comparison inaccurate - and look how shares have grown!
- Broke couple could share their house ...
- ... or live on a boat
- Beneficiaries entitled too
- Paying for your rest home? Lucky you
- Services for Seniors booklet tells all

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NZ Herald 1 April 2017

Q&As: University probably the best route to a new start for woman
- Credit cards not linked to mortgages
- Clearing up info on Residential Care Subsidy and gifting
- Do small gifts count when apply for that subsidy?

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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 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 24 September 2016

Q&As: 2 Q&As on keeping savings in KiwiSaver or term deposits during retirement
- Small-town landlords face bigger rate bills
- Is a reader envious of last week's correspondent?
- Alternative payment helps some recipients of foreign state pensions

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NZ Herald 17 September 2016

Q&As: What to do with spare proceeds from Auckland house sale
- Worrying about mortgage break fee is tail wagging dog
- Getting the most out of KiwiSaver and a work super scheme
- NZ Super too generous for recent immigrants?

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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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NZ Herald 13 August 2016

Q&As: Couple should try share investing, despite the '87 crash
- Current interest rates not too bad, because inflation is so low
- Should family move once or twice?
- A reader's suggestions for last week's couple not all that helpful

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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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RNZ Radio 4 August 2016

Clever and not-so-clever moves with mortgages

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NZ Herald 16 April 2016

Q&As: Employees not limited to 3,4 or 8% KiwiSaver contributions
- Should young couple get into rental property?
- An investment option for Muslims
- 2 ways to get into share investing
- Many prices have fallen over the years

Money column for April 16 2016

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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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NZ Herald 20 February 2016

Q&As: Don't follow the crowd into property investment
- Apply for NZ Super early
- 2 readers object to last week's correspondent's attitude to mother of 10
- An honest assessment of life afloat
- One reader sees living on a boat as a retreat
- Another points out the fun side
- A landlord's kindness made all the difference

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Radio NZ 18 February 2016

Listeners' questions on rental property and KiwiSaver

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NZ Herald 13 February 2016

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

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NZ Herald 6 February 2016

Q&As: Forget Lotto and enter competitions
- Are Bonus Bonds a good substitute for health insurance?
- Shares not the answer for student's savings
- Reader dislikes my comments about young landlord
- Request for pros and cons of living on a boat

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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 12 December 2015

Q&As: Reader worries about borrowers on peer-to-peer lending site Harmoney
- Another possible meaning for "freehold"
- Should windfall go on buying a rental or mortgage repayment?
- Insurance advisers respond to critical report

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Radio NZ 29 October 2015

Investing in rental property - the pluses and minuses

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NZ Herald 24 October 2015

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

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NZ Herald 26 September 2015

Q&As: You can - and should - be in KiwiSaver as well as work super scheme
- Couple should get rid of rental property stress
- The big share gain that got away
- How to keep an inheritance out of relationship property

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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 15 August 2015

Q&As: 70-year-olds should skip buying unit and spend their savings
- How to set up a regular income from bank term deposits
- One reader applauds my being tough on those with big credit card debt ...
- ... While another is incensed by it

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NZ Herald 25 July 2015

Q&As: Couple's rental property plans riskier than they might think
- What happened at Milford, and how are KiwiSaver members placed?
- Bank adviser may regret lack of interest in man in his 90s
- Hard to be a young, independent adviser

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NZ Herald 27 June 2015

Q&As: Government seeks your views on financial advisers
- You want an Auckland house? Go ahead and buy one
- Similarly, buy the bach now
- Where to save extra, over and above KiwiSaver ...
- And watch out for fee differences

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NZ Herald 18 April 2015

Q&As: How some can get round the single KiwiSaver provider rule
- Borrowing lots to buy rentals not the way out for reader's parents
- Should couple bring property money back from Australia or wait for a better exchange rate?
- Another provider offers unhedged KiwiSaver growth fund
- Lawyer not recommending against using a lawyer

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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 6 December 2014

Q&As: Term deposit interest not so bad for people in retirement
- How much in savings to get income equal to NZ Super?
- Reader challenges my comment about landlords' tax

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NZ Herald 29 November 2014

Q&As: Do landlords take advantage of others less fortunate?
- How KiwiSaver members are protected from losing their money
- Inland Revenue got it wrong last week about interest deductions on family loans
- Meaningful Christmas gifts

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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 17 May 2014

Q&As: Should landlord sell shares to reduce the mortgage on his rental?
- Is tenants' claim for borer treatment fair?
- Further thoughts for single mum wondering whether to renovate or sell
- What's a tiny shareholding, and why is it a problem?

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NZ Herald 12 April 2014

Q&As: The time it takes to get money out of fund is 'outrageous'
- Can NZ advisers and fund managers do better than the market as a whole?
- How and when to bring money back from Australia
- How a landlord can analyse whether a property is a good investment

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NZ Herald 5 April 2014

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

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NZ Herald 29 March 2014

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

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NZ Herald 22 March 2014

Q&As: 60 is not too old to get a mortgage and buy a first home
- Buying a home is not the only way to financial security
- Don't overlook tax if buying a rental with the aim of selling at a profit
- Want to free up money? Try moving to Tokoroa
- Just one bank and one finance company respond to term deposit challenge

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NZ Herald 15 March 2014

Q&As: Think before investing in a rental with a relative, especially in your 60s
- A challenge to the banks about term deposit comparisons
- Is share brokerage deductible? Be careful what you wish for!
- Couple do really well in KiwiSaver, although it's partly good luck
Money column for March 15 2014

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NZ Herald 30 November 2013

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

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NZ Herald 23 November 2013

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

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NZ Herald 16 November 2013

Q&As: New KiwiSaver comparison tool gets around problems with fees
- An acknowledgement, and a defence of my way of measuring share performance
- Sorry, but you can't deduct interest on your home mortgage


Money column for November 16 2013

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NZ Herald 28 September 2013

Q&As: A bit of risk is good, even if it means having to cut your losses on a rental property
- Sending money to Australia and back, in the hopes of gaining on foreign exchange, is likely to leave reader worse off
- New money laundering rules slow down international transfers of money
- Take note of different interest rates in different countries
- If capital gains are taxed under Labour, will we get a tax break on capital losses?
- What if somebody who adds to their mortgage ends up unable to pay a capital gains tax?

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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 27 July 2013

Q&As: Do older workers pinch jobs from young ones? And would new retirees spend up to avoid means testing?
- Might a government force annuities onto KiwiSaver members?
- How two landlords took a "nasty fall"
- Is sexism raging in KiwiSaver?

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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 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 22 June 2013

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

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NZ Herald 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 25 May 2013

Q&As: Easier to borrow to invest in property than shares, but that's not always a plus
- Tax on international shares is different, but not necessarily worse
- Anti-KiwiSaver reader gives me all the more reason to write about KiwiSaver

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NZ Herald 18 May 2013

Q&As: When are capital gains taxed?
- Should separated father's income count when applying for a student allowance?
- Too much in this column on KiwiSaver?
- The government's thinking on income in family trusts

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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 27 October 2012

Q&As: Fortnightly mortgage payments not all they're cracked up to be
- When the overnight money goes in and out of bank accounts
- How to organize retirement savings
- The downside of using rental property for retirement savings
- Last week's correspondent exaggerated his woes

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Syndicated column 6 October 2012 - Rental property beats shares - or does it?

At first it looked as if a recent article in the Reserve Bank Bulletin might help with the perennial question: Is it better to invest in property or shares? But no such luck!

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Syndicated column 11 August 2012 - Tax deductions not all they're sometimes cracked up to be

A comment I overheard from a young man recently worried me. Talking about some kind of investment in race horses, and he said, "I put in $1000 a month. But I can deduct $800, so it's hardly costing me anything."

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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 2 June 2012

Q&As: Should charity begin at home?
- Advisers may not be the best source on comparing KiwiSaver providers - so how should you do it?
- Can a landlord get KiwiSaver first home help?....
.... And can a son who buys an expensive home with his Dad?
- An accountant questions Housing NZ policy

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NZ Herald 21 April 2012

Q&As: One retired reader is fed up with a younger person's attitude to superannuitants ...
- While another is amused, and thoughtful
- Effect of a mortgage rate rise on house prices being underplayed
- An overseas landlord must, by law, have an agent here
- Bank gives wrong info on deposits into KiwiSaver

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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 31 March 2012

Q&A: Students get a good deal by world standards, and shouldn't dodge student loan repayments
How come the bonds in a balanced KiwiSaver fund report losses?
Winning the tax game if you have a home and a rental property
Where to get free budget advice

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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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NZ Herald 3 December 2011

Q&As: Is share buying just for the elite?
KiwiSaver first home buyer strikes a hitch - but all is well
60-ish couple could get into rental property
Did our couple blow too much on holidays?

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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 12 March 2011

Q&As: A reader clearly doesn't like the idea of renting instead of home ownership.
- How risky are mortgages, and who owns a home with a mortgage - you or the bank?
- Share portfolio in some ways better than rental property in retirement

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

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

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NZ Herald 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 24 April 2010

Q&As: Retiree stuck with a property investment that's gone wrong should sell her house and the rental
71-year-old wants to be in KiwiSaver, while younger New Zealander stays out for the sake of the country
Fees are not the only consideration when choosing a KiwiSaver fund

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NZ Herald 17 April 2010

Q&As: KiwiSaver fees - and how an article may have misled people
The range of KiwiSaver fees
Is bank cheating a customer on tax withholding rates?
Depreciation usually clawed back when a landlord sells - or is it?
More comments from and about landlords

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NZ Herald 10 April 2010

Q&As: Accountant spills the beans on landlords' taxes
Reader may leave New Zealand because of rental property tax changes
Small businesses have a harder run than landlords
Last week's correspondent still angry
Two quick - and contradictory - letters

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NZ Herald 3 April 2010

Q&As: Some rays of hope for landlord who has lived through a nightmare of things going wrong
Three landlords are angry with me and/or the government for various reasons

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NZ Herald 27 March 2010

Q&As: Why do people pick on landlords?
What tax breaks do rental property owners get that others don't get?
Why some accountants' advice to repay mortgage before joining KiwiSaver is wrong.

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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
Landlord retaliation probably won't last long
Holding people accountable for giving bad KiwiSaver advice - and lining up a partner to also get the first home subsidy
How might people with private pensions be compensated for rise in GST?

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NZ Herald 6 March 2010

Q&As: How will superannuitants fare under proposed tax changes?
Should young couple invest their savings in a rental property while overseas?
Two Q&As about children and the KiwiSaver tax credit

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NZ Herald 6 February 2010

Q&As: It's not wise to let yourself be forced into being a landlord
Which New Zealand providers offer passive or index funds?
What are the minimum investments in passive funds?
Details on how the new resolution schemes for disputes with advisers will work

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NZ Herald 14 November 2009

Q&As: Couple struggling with rental property should put it on the market
Did the issuers of perpetual preference shares adequately warn investors that their value could fall considerably?
The choices for a KiwiSaver who moves overseas

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NZ Herald 31 October 2009

Q&As: Tax agent and Inland Revenue differ on treatment of investors selling rental properties
Two big issues lead to bad financial advice results
Is this column dominated by KiwiSaver?
Generally, don't put lump sums into KiwiSaver

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Syndicated column 19 September 2009 - More than one way to tax investment property

There's more than one way to skin a cat - or to change the tax system to discourage New Zealanders from investing in rental property.

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NZ Herald July 11 2009

Q&As: KiwiSaver still great for children, even though the fee subsidy is gone
Now might be an okay time to get into a rental property - for family in the right circumstances
Should young retiree switch some savings into a share fund?
Two Q&As offer advice - on school fees and insurance - to woman with dying husband

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NZ Herald July 4 2009

Q&As: Mother seeks advice on financial steps to take after husband is diagnosed with terminal illness
Investor in KiwiSaver cash fund hasn't done as badly as he thinks
Happy landlord reaps rewards from treating tenants well
Advice from this column about loans within families has saved time for a reader time - and money for her parents

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NZ Herald June 27 09

Q&As: Many reasons why repaying home mortgage is better than investing in a rental property
Couple who haven't heard from their KiwiSaver providers need to take initiative
Accountant passes on his tricks about how to keep track of KiwiSaver contributions

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NZ Herald June 20 2009

Q&As: No use crying over split milk: Investor can still make use of 10-year rule
Not all landlords have a dream run with their tenants
How KiwiSaver returns are boosted
Do KiwiSaver contributions need inflation-proofing, and if so, how?

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NZ Herald June 13 2009

Q&As: Another - much happier - take on being a landlord, compared with last week
2 Q&As on how KiwiSaver works for a 64-year-old and a young man turning 18
KiwiSaver member who is trying to time markets should give up on attempting the impossible

Money column for June 13 2009

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NZ Herald June 6 2009

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

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Syndicated column 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 29 2008

Q&As: Repaying a mortgage - on a home or rental property - almost always better than saving with term deposits.
KiwiSaver works well for children.
3 Q&As on charitable Christmas giving.

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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 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?
Should 62-year-old buy a rental property or join KiwiSaver?

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NZ Herald June 14 2008

Q&As: KiwiSaver naysayer is the one who is "light on fact".
Self-employed KiwiSaver must contribute 4 per cent of pay when he takes a job - but he won't starve.
Inland Revenue "clarifies and expands" its position on mortgage interest deductions after a family home is rented out.

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NZ Herald May 31 2008

Q&As: 2 Q&As on how the self-employed can make the most of KiwiSaver.
More to come on tax deductibility of mortgage interest when you rent out your former home.

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NZ Herald May 24 2008

Q&As: Far from being "devalued", bank term deposits are a good deal these days.
Don't bail out of funds that include shares, despite forecasts of lower long-term returns.
No, last week's comment on the non-deductibility of mortgage interest wasn't wrong - 2 Q&As.
Another option for last week's correspondent is house-sitting.

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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.
Self-employed man wants to get back "over payment" into KiwiSaver

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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 March 22 2008

Q&As: A landlord can't understand why others dislike landlords.
4 Q&As on tax and rental properties, including comments on the role of politicians.

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NZ Herald March 15 2008

March 15 Q&As: Two readers sound off about ring fencing rental property tax losses, and a third puts it all in historical perspective.
Another reader worries about the difficulties of making tax payments online.

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NZ Herald March 8 2008

Q&As: A landlord's threats are perhaps a little hasty - but he has a point.
A KiwiSaver misunderstands the ups and downs of the market.
Are property shares a good option for young man saving to buy his first home?

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NZ Herald November 24 2007

Q&As: Eggs in baskets don't really apply to term deposits, but there's another way to diversify.
Taxing options if you take flatmates in to help you pay the mortgage.
2 Q&As on how to make the most of KiwiSaver if you are in and out of the work force.

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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.
Difficulties finding a KiwiSaver provider to accept tiny contributions from low-paid worker.
Saving kiwis.

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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?
Rental property running costs mount up over the years.

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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.
Why dividends should be included when we look at the performance of the NZ share market.

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NZ Herald June 16 2007

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

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NZ Herald June 9 2007

Q&As: Super saver, 19, might be best to stay out of the rental market unless his parents have deep pockets.
Former landlord tells his nightmare story.
Is it good for New Zealand when our young take off on their OE?

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NZ Herald June 2 2007

Q&As: Student allowance rip-off is not OK.
Advice for house-less Gen Xers: Buy a rental property in the provinces.
Rental property buyers feel like the scourge of society.
The cliché king has his say.
Cardboard boxes and contentment.

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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 7 2007

Q&As: A year-old letter shows the danger in trying to predict what the Kiwi dollar will do
"Plodders" wonder how to match the investments of their landlord friends
Traders in shares beyond Australasia no longer pay the old tax on capital gains
How about taxing rental property the same way as international shares?

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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 November 25 2006

Q&As: Is it a good idea to go back to 100 per cent mortgage on rental and invest the money in a term deposit?
A reader supports gradually building up a share portfolio.
Another charity offers Christmas gifts for the needy on behalf of your friends and relatives.
Reader wants more info on charities before making gifts.
A Sydney minister's quick-witted response.
Prices then and now - and how houses fit into the picture.
Cathedral carvings show inflation is nothing new.
A reader's pie and doughnut confession.

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NZ Herald November 11 2006

Q&As: What's happened to the price of pies over the years?
Would it be good for NZ if Inland Revenue was tougher on rental property capital gains?
When is "income" really "profit"?
Reluctant shareholders worry about their lack of power - How best to hold shares.

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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 May 23 2006: Property backers underplay risk

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

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

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

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Syndicated column May 9 2006: Index distortion not what it seems

A reader's point about the ongoing shares v houses debate sounds fair enough.

"Your comparisons do not compare like with like," he writes, "because you are using an index for shares, which only covers some companies, whereas for housing, you are using the average over all houses."

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Syndicated column April 25 2006: Shares easier than reader thinks

It's like a red rag to a bull. A paragraph in a reader's email started, "Without getting into the share v property argument..." But why not get into it? After all, it's at the very heart of most New Zealanders' thinking about long-term investment.

The reader, a mortgage broker, goes on to say, "I believe it is good for people to have a dabble in shares with spare cash but use property as their main retirement plan, even if they go hard out paying off just one rental property.

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Syndicated column March 28 2006: What we don't know CAN hurt us

One of the first things journalists are taught is to make the first sentence of an article a "grabber", something that will perhaps surprise readers and make them read on.

So this column is officially starting now: Every New Zealander over 65 gets NZ Super, no matter how rich they are.

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NZ Herald March 25 2006

Q&As: Stick with share fund investments.
Is it wise to depreciate if you're selling your rental quite soon?
Tax treatment of the expenses of rebuilding leaky rental property.

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Syndicated column March 14 2006: The last word (hopefully) on taxation of rentals

Reader feedback keeps coming about the taxation of rental properties. So I've decided to go to the horse's mouth, Inland Revenue. But first, a typical email on the subject:

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NZ Herald March 11 2006

Q&As: A landlord's nightmare.
Credit cards v eftpos.
Optimism, pessismism and oil prices.

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NZ Herald March 4 2006

Q&As: Eftpos v credit cards. And bank fees.
The investment outlook is gloomy, so save!
Wealth doesn't make you happy.

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NZ Herald February 18 2006

Q&As: Couple reluctant to sell their shares in a takeover.
Owning 19 shares is good, but it's too soon to judge performance.

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Syndicated column February 14 2006: Views on negative gearing are poles apart

Negative gearing is like the death penalty. People feel strongly both ways about it, judging by reactions to my last column.

In that column, I wrote that negative gearing - which occurs when a landlord makes year-by-year cash losses on a mortgaged property - is becoming more common. This is mainly because rents haven't risen nearly as fast as house prices.

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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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Syndicated column January 31 2006: Negative gearing may come back to haunt you

Many landlords say they don't mind or even like to be negatively geared - making year-by-year cash losses on a mortgaged investment. But it never looked all that appealing to me. And recently I heard a rather compelling argument against it.

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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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Syndicated column December 13 2005: Can't see the forest for the houses? Also: Christmas shopping.

Quick question: Which of the following grew fastest in the last year: New Zealand house prices, New Zealand shares, hedged overseas shares (hedging removes the effects of foreign exchange movements), or unhedged overseas shares?

Surprise, surprise, it wasn't house prices. Bigger surprise still: house prices came last.

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NZ Herald December 10 2005

Q&As: $29,000 rental in Gore not the thing for a risk-averse man.
More on tax on a second job.

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NZ Herald November 26 2005

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

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

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

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NZ Herald November 12 2005

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

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NZ Herald November 5 2005

Q&As: Share funds v rental property.
Income splitting by the self-employed - is it OK?

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NZ Herald September 17 2005

Q&As: Don't be rushed into buying an apartment.
2 Q&As on how student loans can be invested.
A finance company has its say.

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NZ Herald August 27 2005

Q&As: Grandparents don't need a trust to save for their grandchildren.
New Zealand's tax on capital gains is confusing.
Depreciation on rental property.

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NZ Herald August 20 2005

Q&As: Should a youg woman put her savings into her rental mortgage or diversify?
How to get through to Inland Revenue.
Take care when depreciating rental property.

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NZ Herald August 13 2005

Q&As: Risky to buy shares while waiting to buy a house.
Is the gain on excess shares in an IPO taxable?
Rental property depepreciation and Inland Revenue.

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NZ Herald July 30 2005

Q&As: What chattels can be depreciated separately in a rental property?
Share trading and tax on capital gains.

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NZ Herald July 23 2005

Q&As: Pay off rental property mortgage as you approach retirement.
When is a capital gain taxable?

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NZ Herald July 9 2005

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

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NZ Herald July 2 2005

Q&As: Should woman buy a home now, despite Economist warnings?
A couple explores housing options.
House prices falling in Australia.

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Syndicated column June 28 2005: Economist article about house prices should worry reader

I've just re-read an email from a reader, and it concerns me - especially in light of a recent Economist cover story.

The reader put $80,000 into two rental properties six years ago, and it has turned into $255,000, "with very little effort on our part."

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NZ Herald June 11 2005

Q&AS: Paying extra for using a credit card.
Distortions when considering how good an investment your home is.
First home buyers should probably wait.

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

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

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

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Syndicated column March 22 2005: Rentals not necessarily as good as they seem

Rental property is sometimes an excellent investment. There, I've said it, for all those who reckon I'm anti-rentals!

Often, though, rentals are not quite as good as people think - and not just because the tax breaks are over-rated, as I said in my last column.

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Syndicated column March 8 2005: Rental property tax breaks don't amount to much

I don't get it.

Politicians and economists have been complaining lately that rental property has tax advantages over shares. It's hardly a new claim. But what are these advantages - beyond depreciation, which is vastly overrated?

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NZ Herald February 19 2005

Q&As: Young couple take a break from work.
Some other options for the couple in the column two weeks ago.

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NZ Herald February 5 2005

Q&As: Where to from here for 56-year-old rental property owner?
Should rich people be writing this column?

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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 summer 04-05

Scattering the seeds: By diversifying, you reduce risk but not returns

Also in this issue: From the Mailbox - Some people over-save for retirement

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Holm Truths autumn 04

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

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

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Holm Truths winter 03

First things first: How much should you invest in bonds, shares, property and so on?

Also in this issue: Great Debate: NZ v international shares

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Holm Truths winter 02

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

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

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Holm Truths autumn 01

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

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

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