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

Archives

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.


Shares and Share Funds

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

RNZ Radio 19 August 2017

Picking a KiwiSaver or other share fund? Ignore recent winners

View - It's FREE!

RNZ Radio 15 June 2017

Investment risks - Part 4: Ups and downs in investments, emotions and fees

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 13 May 2017

Q&As: Would-be foreign exchange trader should give it a miss
- Are credit cards sometimes tied to mortgages? Does it matter?
- Young son might learn more than one lesson
- Reader suggests ways to cut food bill

View - It's FREE!

RNZ Radio 11 May 2017

Investment risks - Part 2: too complicated, too much borrowing, not diversifying ...

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

RNZ Radio 27 April 2017

Investment risks - Part 1

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 25 March 2017

Q&As: A good reason to have a high credit card limit
- One reader fires his bank ...
- ... While another is fiercely loyal
- Why I prefer managed funds over shares for most
- Rules about income for recipients of rest home subsidy

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

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?

View - It's FREE!

RNZ Radio 2 February 2017

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

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 17 December 2016

Q&As: Many reasons why a winning active share fund won't stay on top
- Why do husband and wife's funds perform so differently?
- Offset mortgages more vulnerable than revolving credit loans
- No plans for 2 big banks to follow others with offset mortgages
- Do employers deserve praise for contributing to KiwiSaver?
- Update on proposal to raise NZ Super age

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 12 November 2016

Q&As: Risky to put all your money in a single share
- Reader recommends book and website about index funds
- NZ research on active v passive similar to elsewhere
- My maths is called into question
- A reader doesn't like debate in column...
- ... But another reader is happy
- KiwiSaver rules if you move overseas

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 29 October 2016

Q&As: Why I won't publish list of top-performing share funds
- What happens to KiwiSaver at 65 ...
- ... but what if you've been in the scheme less than 5 years?
- Bad news for travelling teacher about NZ Super eligibility

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

RNZ Radio 13 October 2016

Listeners' questions, comments and quibbles on the last discussion - on index funds and exchange traded funds

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 8 October 2016

Q&As: Perhaps we should celebrate a young man's spending splurge
- Don't get rid of student loan, pay down mortgage
- Dodgy share advice given to elderly couple
- Think of NZ Super as insurance
- Pension info there, but reader may have been distracted

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 1 October 2016

Q&As: Retiree still wants to have fun in the markets
- Whose tax rate should be used on a joint bank account?
- Daughter should bring back house money from the UK gradually
- Which banks now require notice for term deposit early withdrawals?
- Should families get money if a person dies before getting any NZ Super?

View - It's FREE!

RNZ Radio 29 September 2016

My favourite type of share investment - index funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs)

View - It's FREE!

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?

View - It's FREE!

RNZ Radio 15 September 2016

Why I'm sticking with shares for the long term - despite recent research

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 3 September 2016

Q&As: Should student earn interest while running up student loan?
- Freebies for shareholders left some the worse for wear
- Deduction of Canadian pension from NZ Super seems fair
- Another ethical KiwiSaver fund
- Show Me The Money Week about to start

View - It's FREE!

RNZ Radio 1 September 2016

How emotional thinking can get in the way of good investing

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 27 August 2016

Q&As: Who should add a windfall to KiwiSaver, and who shouldn't
- Reader gets fun out of direct share investment
- Was Rabobank included in recent stress tests?
- Is there any point in reader continuing pension contributions?
- Which KiwiSaver funds are 'ethical'

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 20 August 2016

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

View - It's FREE!

RNZ Radio 18 August 2016

Ethical KiwiSaver. Also my approach to investing in shares.

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 16 July 2016

Q&As: 'Laddering' term deposits has several advantages
- Riskier funds tend to do better, but fees hit reader's returns
- Get agent's advice on upgrading house before selling?
- Reader's first KiwiSaver tax credit a disappointment

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

RNZ Radio 9 June 2016

Listeners' questions on KiwiSaver performance and timing markets

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 28 May 2016

Q&As: 'Ripped off' reader should shop around rather than dropping life insurance
- How to judge a KiwiSaver fund
- Start small, and keep going
- Help for woman with $100,000 in credit card debt

View - It's FREE!

RNZ Radio 26 May 2016

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 21 May 2016

Q&As: Rates postponement a good option for couple
- Fraud investigator writes about scams ...
- ... And so does a victim
- Vanguard not the only US index fund option

View - It's FREE!

RNZ Radio 19 May 2016

KiwiSaver performance, and timing markets

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 14 May 2016

Q&As: Steer clear of Hong Kong share pitch
- Hedging applies to most KiwiSaver investors
- A way to hedge an index fund investment

View - It's FREE!

RNZ Radio 12 May 2016

More on spreading your money around

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 7 May 2016

Q&As: Thai retirement not so cheap
- Buffett not unbalanced
- 3 Q&As on investing in international index funds

View - It's FREE!

RNZ Radio 5 May 2016

Two key points about investing

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 30 April 2016

Q&As: The richest ones don't look rich
- Why index share fund fees are higher in NZ
- Another way to invest in Smartshares
- Why NZ investors are hit particularly hard by inflation

View - It's FREE!

RNZ Radio 28 April 2016

Different types of investments

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 23 April 2016

Q&As: Smartshares are a good way to get into share investing ...
- ... And they beat mortgage repayment for one reader
- Who worries more, rich or poor retirees?
- Retirement Commissioner seeks your thoughts

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 9 April 2016

Q&As: New index will tell more about how 65-pluses spend
- Was I dismissive to a reader last week?
- Is diversification the main point in a high-yield share portfolio?
- Original high-yield correspondent explains his strategy
- Sharebroker info useful but don't get into frequent trading

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 2 April 2016

Q&As: Live well on $15,000 a year in Thailand
- Reader questions last week's correspondent's dividend income ...
- ... While another reader explains it, and wonders about adviser role
- Better to read the column regularly than to chance upon it in some packaging!

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 19 March 2016

Q&As: Alternative for daughter trying to escape bad debt - pay up
- Is emphasis on total shareholder return justified?
- Inflation calculator shows what prices have risen, and what haven't
- Is this reader ready to retire?
- Struggling retiree questions wealthier reader's concerns

Money column for March 19 2016

View - It's FREE!

Radio NZ 17 March 2016

Listeners' questions on investing in shares and your own home

View - It's FREE!

Radio NZ 10 March 2016

Should you try to pick shares?

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

Radio NZ 11 February 2016

Why it's not easy to get rich quick

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

Radio NZ 4 February 2016

Listeners' questions on setting financial priorities

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 21 November 2015

Q&As: Why it's better to sell a home before buying another one
- Reader alarmed by what I said about interest on bonds
- Do high dividends go with high risk?
- Another KiwiSaver provider offers regular withdrawals in retirement

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 14 November 2015

Q&As: Investing for dividend income okay for some, but has its risks
- Info outdated on ANZ's KiwiSaver cash fund holdings
- BNZ cash fund returns not so bad, but that's not the main point
- Reader challenges Kiwibank's KiwiSaver investing
- Interest paid on KiwiSaver money-in-waiting

View - It's FREE!

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?

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 19 September 2015

Q&As: Trying to time markets is a fool's game ...
- ... And picking a few shares to invest in isn't much better
- Where to buy shares, and a better suggestion for teen
- How come there are two monthly bills on one credit card bill?

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 11 July 2015

Q&As: Has reader discovered the secret to beating the share market?
- Could a bank failure lead to cuts in KiwiSaver funds?...
- ... And Bonus Bonds?
- A reader is happy with their adviser
- But another reader dumped the same adviser

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 4 July 2015

Q&As: Women's gifting circles look to be illegal, and ...
- ... they could lead to 'an abundance of hate'
- Shortish-term money shouldn't be in shares, despite adviser
- An advantage of regularly investing the same amount, whatever the market does
- One provider charges less for non-KiwiSaver funds

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 20 June 2015

Q&As: Are "women's gifting circles" legit?
- Is bank financial adviser giving "best" advice?
- KiwiSaver tax credits don't cross the Tasman
- Tips on getting more from a revolving credit mortgage

Money column for June 20 2015

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 13 June 2015

Q&As: Reader uneasy about crowdfunding company's marketing
- Plans to time the share market with KiwiSaver are worrying
- Are the politicians complaining?

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 7 March 2015

Q&As: Some ideas better than others for those worried about bank deposits
- Reader scares friends unnecessarily
- How to even out loans to siblings in a will
- "Only thing my girls are getting is an education"

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

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?

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 8 November 2014

Q&As: Early Brierley investment brings back memories of 1987
- Reader and I disagree on share market performance - and who reads this column!
- Family loan suggestion 1: put it in borrower's will
- Family loan suggestion 2: put it in lender's will
- Family loan suggestion 3: borrower should try elsewhere first
- Why KiwiSaver Fund Finder idea wouldn't work

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 1 November 2014

Q&As: Comparing KiwiSaver and similar non-KiwiSaver funds from the same provider
- A reader offers some tough rules for family gifts or loans to students
- Keep others in the know about family loans
- Misunderstandings about children and KiwiSaver

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 25 October 2014

Q&As: Some rules for lending to family members
- KiwiSaver provider not taking Warren Buffett's advice about share trading
- A reader wonders where her KiwiSaver contributions have gone

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 18 October 2014

Q&As: For the 17-year-old who has everything he wants: a course about shares
- A free budget tool for readers to try
- Woman on parental leave can still take part in KiwiSaver
- Fees on retirement scheme way too high

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 20 September 2014

Q&As: Gold fans no longer to be seen now price has plummeted
- Reader wishes she'd never heard of tax refund company
- Alternative to KiwiSaver for 67-year-old
- Is Buffett a better bet than an index fund?

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 30 August 2014

Q&As: Lessons for investor after double whammy hits index fund
- Is now a good time to get into an index fund?
- Details of Labour's capital gains tax yet to come
- A tax idea that probably wouldn't work
- How did retired widow get such a big KiwiSaver balance?

View - It's FREE!

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?

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 25 January 2014

Q&As: Time for over-savers to spend on fun experiences - but still save some
- 65+ man's KiwiSaver plans overly optimistic
- All guardians must sign before children join KiwiSaver - which seems unfair
- How to judge a KiwiSaver fund's volatility using fund finder

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 17 August 2013

Q&As: Young couple bonds over share investing
- Possible issues with capital gains tax valuation date
- 2 Q&As on retired farmer's low investment return
- Should KiwiSaver tax credit go to working 16 and 17-year-olds?

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 15 June 2013

Q&As: Reader's message about international shares is good, but not his arguments
- How hedging international investments works
- How to be in KiwiSaver as well as another super scheme

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

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?

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald13 April 2013

Q&As: Are Mighty River Power shares a sure thing?
- Is it good to get the kids into Mighty River Power?
- What to do when a trustee brother gets all the power

View - It's FREE!

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!

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 29 September 2012

Q&As: A couple of concerns about buying shares in the company you work for
- Bank's mortgage changes don't look like profiteering
- New graduate shouldn't bypass KiwiSaver
- 3 Q&As about gloomy predictions and investing in gold

View - It's FREE!

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?

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 4 August 2012

This week we are publishing the second excerpt from a small book Mary Holm has written for the Reserve Bank called "Upside, downside: A guide to risk for savers and investors". It will be given away free to the public in September. This column will tell you how to get a copy then. Today we look at examples of risky investor behaviour. The normal Q&A column will resume next week.

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 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

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 23 June 2012

Q&As: Taxes are everywhere. But let's not get carried away with the pessimism
- On taxation and morality
- 2 Q&As about how to handle KiwiSaver accounts in retirement

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 18 February 2012

Q&As: How much financial support a reader gives their student son
- Two banks offer mortgages that get around problems with revolving credit loans
- An accountant's offer boosts reputation of the profession
- Two Q&As about means testing of NZ Super in some circumstances, and how KiwiSaver fits in
- Yes, there are plenty of companies that don't pay dividends

View - It's FREE!

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?

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 26 November 2011

Q&As: Are shares still the best long-term investment, despite recent results?
Investing in bank term deposits has its own risk - that of inflation eating into returns
Older job applicants might want to play down their age on their CV
Volunteering overseas an option for couple in their 60s who can't find jobs

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 20 August 2011

Q&As: NZ stock performance over last 10 years - after adjusting for tax, inflation and, perhaps, index changes
- Is the gold price bubbly?
- Confusion over NZ Super when one partner is under 65

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 25 June 2011

Q&As: Should KiwiSaver member move to a provider with better investment performance?
- Reader "gets it" on why KiwiSaver is so good
- Another reader is over-enthusiastic
- Is it wise to put more money into KiwiSaver?
- Index funds are well and good, but what if everyone invested in them?

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column 18 June 2011 - Students fail at stock picking, but learn the important lesson

The students in a university financial literacy course that I teach are lousy at picking stocks. But that doesn't matter. Hopefully in the course of the "Stock Picking Game" they learn plenty.

View - It's FREE!

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.

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 11 June 2011

Q&As: Should couple with iffy job prospects sell their shares to slash their mortgage?
- Young KiwiSaver with an eye on first home help should move to a lower-risk fund
- One KiwiSaver doesn't appreciate how good his deal is ....
- And another is sick of whingers over the scheme
- Did my comment about people's inability to pick investments cover advisers?

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 30 April 2011

Q&As: A reader's attempt to recover tax on finance company interest is a nice try, but ...
Wanting less and working less doesn't preclude tall poppies
Creative ideas on how to cut household expenses
Did I get the banking system wrong, or did a reader?
At least one bank - sort of - will lend to share investors

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

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?

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column 26 March 2011 - Why a dollar in the hand is worth more

The recent attempt by Bernard Whimp to buy shares in half a dozen companies cheaply - and the Securities Commission's response to it - is a good illustration of how a dollar now is worth more than a dollar later.

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column 12 March 2011 - When small is not beautiful

This goes against the grain, given that I think direct shareholders should own a wide range of shares. But there's such a thing as too small a shareholding.

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 26 February 2011

Q&As: Why 55-year-old Mum shouldn't give up on home ownership
- Important to save a little, even if you have a mortgage, to gain market knowledge over the years
- Banks "are just like car dealers"
- Will below-market share buyer lose it all in tax?

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 19 February 2011

Q&As: Repaying debt should be Number One priority - with one important exception
- Money can't buy the most important things in retirement
- Last week's numbers on NZ Super were incomplete - sorry
- Let's demystify share trading, and share holding
- One more advantage of owning shares

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 5 February 2011

Q&As: Should we all panic over the Savings Working Group's dire forecasts?
- Do Bill English and Alan Bollard need to talk about how hard it is for New Zealanders to save?
- Why mailing nasties to companies that make low-priced share offers might not work

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 29 January 2011

Q&As: 2 Q&As on whether home ownership beats renting whilst saving the difference between the two option.
- 2 Q&As on last week's reader, who dramatically moved her term deposit business to another bank
- How to get your own back through the post - and how not to

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 22 January 2011

Q&As: Tax cutting scheme likely to bring much more wealth to the company than to a reader
- How recipients of below-market share offers can get their own back
- A reader shows her bank just what she thinks of it
- How is our gold price forecaster doing?
- Some help with finding a good financial adviser

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column 9 October 2010 - Prospering from booze, bets, bombs and butts

It won't be everyone's cup of tea - or perhaps I should say glass of scotch - but the performance of a US share fund called the Vice Fund suggests that investing in what other people shun can pay off.

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 18 September 2010

Q&As: The "I can't afford it" excuse for not joining KiwiSaver just went out the window - plus other points about kids and KiwiSaver
Are managed share funds a crock?
Here's hoping a recent correspondent is not a regular reader of this column!
A book, online tool and language trick for overspenders and their partners
You must be under 65 to join KiwiSaver, but can take part in the scheme after that age

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 11 September 2010

Q&As: In these changing times, should I still recommend share investment for those with ten years before spending the money?
Another personal finance computer program - and it's free
The advantages of using joint accounts, and of setting up enduring powers of attorney

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 28 August 2010

Q&As: How can a woman persuade her partner to stop spending more than the couple earns?
Retiree's share buying hobby turns ugly - but he hasn't given it a chance
Why splitting this column into KiwiSaver and non-KiwiSaver columns is not a good idea
It won't always be quite this good for KiwiSaver enthusiast

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 21 August 2010

Q&As: Reader who has previously owned a home but may still be able to receive KiwiSaver first home assistance
Couple in similar situation may also get the assistance, even if they have too much in savings
More options for investing in emerging markets
Last week's reader is making progress in getting KiwiSaver contributions that her employer didn't send to Inland Revenue

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 14 August 2010

Q&As: What happens when your employer doesn't forward your KiwiSaver deductions to Inland Revenue
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

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column 31 July 2010 - Ridiculous offers shouldn't be banned

Two recent press releases had a similar ring to them. Both warned about offers to buy investments at low prices. But there's a key difference between the two situations.

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 27 February 2010

Q&As: KiwiSaver trustee change raises questions about how much trustees protect members
Hazards of dealing with an overseas sharebroker
What's the difference between investing and gambling?

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 20 February 2010

Q&As: Paying off mortgage - and getting rid of badly undiversified portfolio - are two great ideas
KiwiSaver can work well for student
Laying out the details on KiwiSaver exit fees
Buying shares directly from overseas broker cheaper in short run, but may not be wise

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 13 February 2010

Q&As: Some active share funds will do better than passive index funds, but it's impossible to predict which ones
Don't go chasing high-performing KiwiSaver funds - here's how to choose your provider
Another index fund available in New Zealand
Fee-charging advisers don't gain from putting clients in higher risk investments than they should

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 30 January 2010

Q&As: Investing doesn't have to be a part-time job. There's still time for novel reading.
KiwiSaver calculation - far from being wrong - is correct to the cent.
How the lack of a tax credit for kids in KiwiSaver affects contributions to their accounts.
There's much more to financial advice than just investing.

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 28 November 2009

A way to make friends and relatives happy at Christmas
Changes to invitation to Capital Market Taskforce meeting
Q&As: Less insurance can save big money and work well - if you are healthy and careful
Gradually get rid of preference shares you don't want any more

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 17 October 2009

Q&As: Are preference shares a good investment, despite recent price falls?
Did reader get good advice from an ASB adviser?

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column 6 October 2009 - Good news goes unheralded

One of the findings in a recent survey caught my eye. Only 12 per cent of New Zealanders surveyed said the value of their financial investments had grown in the previous six months, with 42 per cent saying the value was unchanged and 46 per cent saying it had fallen. The vast majority got it wrong.

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 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

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 19 September 2009

Q&As: Even a reader's accountant seems confused about how gains on share sales are taxed. The law needs to be changed.
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?

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald 22 August 2009

Q&As: Wealth doesn't have to equal filth - New Zealanders' attitude to money may leave them more worried about financial issues
Take your pick between share fund managers who try to outperform the market and those who don't
Members of work super schemes can do well by also being in KiwiSaver

View - It's FREE!

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"

View - It's FREE!

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?

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column 30 June 2009 - How would you have done in financial knowledge survey?

It's question time. How would you have answered the following in a recent survey: "Which is generally considered to make you the most money over the next 15 to 20 years: a savings account, range of shares, range of fixed interest investments, or a cheque account?"

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald May 9 2009

Q&As: Should fun be the deciding factor for 20-year-old's savings?
2 Q&As about topping up KiwiSaver accounts to get the maximum tax credit
Plus: Survey finds top KiwiSaver gripe is lack of information

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald April 11 2009

Q&As: Tips on how to ease back into investing in share funds.
Have I been too upbeat about the outlook for shares?
If the Dow Jones index is so bad, how come so many in the news media highlight it?
Auckland couple on $60,000 could buy a home if they really want to.

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald March 28 2009

Q&As: History tells us to hang in there with shares.
NZ Super rise on its way.

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald March 21 2009

Q&As: Tips for retired couple whose interest income has halved.
Savings accounts may pay more interest than term deposits - but take care.
Tax on foreign shares seems tough in current environment

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald March 7 2009

Q&As: Don't try to time markets. Stick with your regular retirement savings, although you may want to modify where you save.
Teen's worries are unfounded about how Dad's income would affect KiwiSaver first home subsidy - but other subsidy issues still undecided.
Tax-wise, it's better to borrow for taxable activities than to buy a family home.
Plus: Clarification on the taxation of interest on loans between family members.

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column February 10 2008 - Young man's caution could be costly

A quote in a newspaper article recently caught my eye. "I guess in the next year or so it will be good to invest in equities (shares), but probably not yet," said a young man. My response to him: "Don't wait on the sidelines for the bottom of the market."

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column January 27 2009 - Getting in and out of share market a losing strategy

Many people with share investments - including KiwiSaver and other funds that hold shares along with other assets - are probably eying the 37 to 39 per cent drops in the New Zealand, US and Australian share markets last year and considering taking flight to lower-risk investments. Don't.

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald December 6 2008

Q&As: Couple can afford to retire youngish, especially if they are willing to eat into their savings.
Cash PIE not always a good substitute for a term deposit - but there's another way to achieve reader's goal using PIE tax advantages.

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column November 11 2008 - To hedge or not to hedge?

There are two key questions around investing overseas: Should you do it? And if you do, should you hedge your investment, so it's not affected by movements in the New Zealand dollar. The first answer is "Yes". The second is trickier.

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column October 25 2008 - Same rules for big and little savers

There's plenty for Joe and Joanne Saver to learn from two recent news items about the NZ Superannuation Fund, sometimes called the Cullen Fund. In short:

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald October 4 2008

Q&As: A happy share investor, and how you might get out of shares if you need to in the current market.
How does KiwiSaver mortgage diversion work for someone with a "2 + 2" contribution arrangement?
Plus: Winners of the Herald book giveaway

View - It's FREE!

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.

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald April 12 2008

Q&As: Monkey story a great yarn, but it's not about the share market.
Reader's concerns about banks' exposure to foreign exchange risk are unfounded.
61-year-old should think hard before selling her house and enjoying some of the proceeds.
Man about to retire can still get plenty from KiwiSaver.

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald March 8 2008

Q&As: A landlord's threats are perhaps a little hasty - but he has a point.
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?

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column February 5 2008: Share plunge arguably good for KiwiSaver

Despite some irresponsible reporting, the low returns on many KiwiSaver funds in their first few months are no reason not to join up. I'd even say the rough start was good in some ways.

The one big worry is that people have read a few headlines and decided to stay away from KiwiSaver without understanding what's really happening.

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald February 2 2008

Q&As: Does the share price slump disprove standard investment advice? And should advisers make economic forecasts?
KiwiSaver member is doing superbly despite the slump - as are all other members.
A reader objects to the idea that KiwiSaver is a gift from the government.

View - It's FREE!

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?

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald November 17 2007

Q&As: Why don't banks lend money for share investment?
2 Q&As on how you can best help your grandchildren (or children) into KiwiSaver
Christmas gifts for those who really need them

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald July 28 2007

Q&As: KiwiSaver providers that are offering ethical investment funds.
More on ethical KiwiSaver funds.
Will the KiwiSaver kick-start be around for a while?
Could the government take KiwiSaver money to repay student loans?
Oops! Too much haste.
Sack adviser who recently recommended Bridgecorp.

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column July 7 2007: No tricks behind KiwiSaver doubling of money

A reader has "one or two problems" with my last column, in which I said people are silly not to sign up to KiwiSaver.

"Your comments that 'twice as much comes out at retirement' and 'triple the money in, triple the money out'... make one huge assumption - that the provider the investor chooses over time does not lose any money - a highly unlikely scenario surely!", says the reader.

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald July 7 2007

Q&As: What happens to KiwiSaver accounts in a divorce?
How KiwiSaver might affect NZ Super, and what you should do about it.
A source of basic KiwiSaver information
The NZ share market index that includes dividends has been misleading in the past. How much does it matter?

View - It's FREE!

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.

View - It's FREE!

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.

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column June 12, 2007: Riding to the rescue of diversification

Diversification - a key element to successful investing for most people - has taken a bashing in the press lately. Even David McEwen, who writes this column alternately with me, quoted criticism of diversification on this page a few weeks ago. I feel bound to leap in and defend it.

View - It's FREE!

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".

View - It's FREE!

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!

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald April 14 2007

Q&As: A tax on house sales, to subsidise first home owners, is a lovely idea that wouldn't work.
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.

View - It's FREE!

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?

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column April 3 2007: New tax rules not so bad

As the new tax regime on shares in countries beyond Australasia takes effect, many taxpayers seem to think it's tougher than it really is.

View - It's FREE!

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.

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column February 20 2007: Direct share holding often not the best way

A sentence in a recent speech by Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard caught my eye. "New Zealanders invest about twice as much in equities (shares) directly compared with managed funds," he said.

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald February 17 2007

Q&As: Is the Kiwi dollar to blame for poor overseas investment performance?
How foreign dividends will be dealt with under the new tax rules.
Where to go for historical foreign exchange data - for tax purposes.
A lionish company bites back.

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald February 3 2007

Q&As: Unlucky reader challenges the value of index funds.
Questions galore on the $50,000 threshold in the new international share tax regime.
How to get historical foreign exchange data for calculating that threshold.

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald January 27 2007

Q&As: Unclaimed money may be yours!
Options for couple retiring with $200,000 and no house.
More on the index/active share fund debate - the theory and how it works in NZ

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column January 20 2007: It's the same old song

New data confirm the same old messages about share investing: hang in there, and diversify.

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald January 20 2007

Q&As: Are index funds, which I recommend, inferior share fund investments, as Herald columnist Brian Gaynor claims?
A small New Zealand town has it all, a resident claims!

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald December 16 2006

Q&As: Should man, 64, get student loan for the income, given that he probably won't ever repay it?
Passing shares down the generations has good and bad points.
Why did GPG get an exemption from the new international share tax rules?
Woman makes great progress in one short year.
New charity aims to help children help themselves.

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column December 2 2006: The investment games people play

Let's say you're playing a game in which everyone has been given $20. In each round, you choose whether or not to put in $1, and a coin is then tossed. If it's heads, you get back $2.50. If it's tails, you lose your $1.

How often would you put in a dollar?

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald December 2 2006

Q&As: A handy rule for quick money calculations
When an ice cream at the movies was a luxury
Insights into the life of a share investor hobbyist
It's hard to know what goes on behind charity closed doors

View - It's FREE!

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.

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column November 21 2006: Look beyond the dividends

In share fund investing, keep your eye on the prize - the over-all return, not just the fees and dividends.

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald November 18 2006

Q&As: Should we get bigger tax deductions for donations to charity? Also - give Christmas gifts to those who really need them.
Readers disagree over the price of a 1950s pie.
Buying shares company by company, over the years, not the best strategy.
Is the new proposed tax on international shares fair?

View - It's FREE!

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.

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column November 7 2006: An exceptionally unlucky reader

International index funds, a favourite long-term investment of mine, don't look good to one reader.

"I bought about $2000 worth of WiNZ in 2000," he writes. "They are now 27 per cent lower (have been for quite a while). Fortunately for me it was not a huge amount.

"Twenty years is a long time to wait for the fund to claw its way back up. Hopefully all the investors in index funds can wait that long!"

View - It's FREE!

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.

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column October 24 2006: Why some advisers don't recommend index funds

A while back I wrote that I still think index funds are the best way for most people to invest in shares, even though they are scheduled to lose their tax advantage next year. That has prompted an intriguing question from a reader:

"If index funds outperform all other forms of sharemarket investing over a long period of time (10 years?), then why do advisers recommend other forms? Is it simply due to their commission?"

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald October 21 2006

Q&As: Is there an 18-year cycle for industrial and resource shares?
Why index fund of Aussie shares has done much worse than its index.
Limited submissions on tax changes not good enough.
NZ shares, already favoured, shouldn't get still more favourable tax treatment.

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald October 14 2006

Q&As: Why I won't do research on an Aussie resource index fund.
Too little time to study the new tax plans for international share investments.

View - It's FREE!

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.

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald October 7 2006

Q&As: Should you portfolio be regularly serviced? And how do you calculate the return on it?
How to work out which term deposit is better.
What's in a finance company name?

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column September 23 2006: Australia is not good enough to get the spread

It's a basic principle of wise investing: Spread your share investments around the world, to spread your risk.

But proposed tax changes will increase taxes on overseas share investments beyond Australia. So should we stick with Australasia?

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald September 16 2006

This week, and through September, we are running excerpts from Mary Holm's bestselling book, "Get Rich Slow: How to grow your wealth the safe and savvy way." Mary's regular Q&A column will resume in October.

DON'T CHASE LAST YEAR'S WINNERS

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column September 12 2006: When you want to stay but the company goes

The best laid plans of investors often go awry (to paraphrase and Anglicise Robert Burns).

A reader has made "an amused comment" about my recent statement that we should always buy shares with the intention of holding them for at least 10 years.

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column August 29 2006: Readers defend stop loss orders

My arguments in my last column - that stop loss orders are a bad idea - failed to convince two readers. What about Feltex, GDC Communications, RMG, National Mail and other shares that have dropped a long way?, they asked.

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column August 15 2006: Stop loss orders a dead loss

A reader writes that he is concerned about my advice in my last column.

"Your two rules of share investing are to a) diversify (i.e. neutralize returns), and b) not sell when the market bombs," he writes. "One would have hoped you would have added a third - enter a stop loss to avoid catastrophic loss if/when the market does bomb."

Not in my rulebook.

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald August 5 2006

Q&As: Typical but rich women ask how to find an adviser.
Does local government keep house prices up? And will they ever fall?
Let's not have the government meddling in the housing market.
Doing your homework doesn't necessarily help share investment.

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column August 1 2006: Readers' questions on renting v home ownership

My last column - which said that you may do just as well renting as owning your home, provided you are disciplined about saving elsewhere - brought interesting questions from two readers.

The first one is 40 and planning to return to New Zealand with his family. "I would be happy renting until I retire whilst growing our capital in areas other than property," he writes. "At some time later I might buy a small place to live in. However, do you think in 25 years that ownership of property might be out of reach?"

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald July 22 2006

Q&As: 2 on whether preparation and research plays a part in "luck".
Winning entries in competition to win a copy of "Get Rich Slow".

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column July 18 2006: Owning your home not always the best option

Most New Zealanders grow up expecting to own their own home, but soaring house prices have made it harder for people to get into the market. Does that matter? Is home ownership all it's cracked up to be?

View - It's FREE!

Holm Truths winter 06

Stay Away: Don't rush to bring your shares back from overseas.
Also in this issue: From the Mailbox - Giving the kids a great start with regular investing

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column July 4 2006: A worrying prediction about the way share funds are run

A section in a submission to the government from Shareholders Association chairman Bruce Sheppard caught my eye.

Referring to proposed changes in the way share funds are taxed, he wrote: "The ability of NZ and Australian funds to trade without having to pay tax may well result in higher trading by institutions, as the active funds strive to differentiate their performance from the index by generating trading gains.

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald July 1 2006

Q&As: Comparing NZ and other countries' taxes and lifestyles.
Several Q&As on government's tax proposals, including submissions info, Bruce Sheppard quotes and size of Grey List share markets.
A promise for a tax-change-free column next week!

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald June 24 2006

Q&As: All on government tax proposals

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column June 20 2006: Which index fund -- if any?

A reader asks which index fund to invest in. These days, though, we need to ask first whether any index fund is still a good idea.

Index funds invest in all the shares in a sharemarket index. For example, the TENZ fund invests in the ten biggest companies that make up the NZX 10 index.

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald June 17 2006

Q&As: All on government's tax proposals

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald June 10 2006

Q&As: All on government's tax proposals.

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column June 6 2006: Bigger and better houses distort numbers

Readers keep sending in thought-provoking letters about the shares v rental property debate. It's central to the question of how to invest long-term savings, so it's worth continuing to explore the issues.

Today, excerpts from two letters:

"Your reader who commented on comparisons between housing price indexes and share market indexes has overlooked many points. Sometimes very large amounts are spent on home improvements without being considered when calculating house price increases.

"With new houses, a trend for larger houses...

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald June 3 2006

Q&As: All on government's tax proposals.

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald May 27 2006

Q&As: All on government's tax proposals.

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald May 20 2006

Q&As: All on government's tax proposals.

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald May 13 2006

Q&As: All on government tax proposals

View - It's FREE!

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."

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald May 6 2006

Q&As: All on government's tax proposals

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald April 29 2006

Q&As: All on government tax proposals

View - It's FREE!

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.

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald April 22 2006

Q&As: All on government's tax proposals

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald April 15 2006

Q&As: Attitudes to student loans.
Interest on student loans.
Fear and share investment.
Spending in retirement.

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column April 11 2006: Another reason to spread your investments

I can think of three good reasons to hold lots of different shares, as opposed to one or just a few. Two reasons are obvious, but one is less so, even though it may be just as important.

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald April 8 2006

Q&As: Buying a share on a rumour.
Retiring at 40 (2 Q&As).
Investing student loan money.

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald April 1 2006

Q&As: Can he retire?, 40-year-old asks.
Couple about to retire wonder if their expenses will drop as they get older.
Student loan interest ends. What happens if you go overseas?

View - It's FREE!

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.

View - It's FREE!

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.

View - It's FREE!

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.

View - It's FREE!

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.

View - It's FREE!

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.

View - It's FREE!

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?

View - It's FREE!

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.

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald January 21 2006

Q&As: Shares v term deposits - it depends how much time you have.
Short-of-cash millionaires should try to renegotiate their mortgage.
When is a 2% penalty not 2%?

View - It's FREE!

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.

View - It's FREE!

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?

View - It's FREE!

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.

View - It's FREE!

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.

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald November 19 2005

Q&As: How well do share funds perform?
Comparison of investment performances.

View - It's FREE!

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.

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald November 5 2005

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

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald October 29 2005

Q&As: Should immigrant solo mother get into the housing market now?
What is an index fund?
How exchange traded funds work.

View - It's FREE!

Holm Truths spring 05

Kids, cash and cards: Help your children learn about money

Also in this issue: From the Mailbox - Saving for the children's future

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column October 4 2005: A message that goes too far - Shares beat mixtures over long term

I take exception to a recent New York Times article entitled, "The long-term lesson: It pays to diversify". If you look hard at the numbers quoted by the writer, they show just the opposite.

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column September 6 2005: Share pickers respond to my doubts

Even as I typed it, I thought a certain sentence in my last column was bound to cause trouble.

"Lots of research," I wrote, "shows that an individual investor who researches companies doesn't tend to do any better than someone who chooses shares at random."

Sure enough, a man who describes himself as "a paid-up member of the share pickers guild" emailed me.

View - It's FREE!

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.

View - It's FREE!

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.

View - It's FREE!

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:

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald July 30 2005

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

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald July 23 2005

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

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald July 16 2005

Q&As: When to declare share trading profits.
What to do if travel agent charges more for using a credit card.
Different Visa rules in Australia, and how Visa operates.

View - It's FREE!

Holm Truths winter 05

Seize the chance: A great way to boost your savings

Also in this issue: From the Mailbox - Investment as retirement approaches

View - It's FREE!

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."

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald June 25 2005

Q&As: Should you sell your house and buy again after prices fall?
The best way to rebalance your investments after the markets put them out of balance.
How to measure inflation.

View - It's FREE!

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.

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column May 17 2005: The message in the foot and mouth threat

The "Invest offshore" message was loud and clear the other day, after the news broke that somebody may have released foot and mouth disease on Waiheke Island.

By the time you read this, the claim may have been proven a hoax. Here's hoping so. If that's the case, take warning from it.

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald May 7 2005

Q&As: A letter to give a spouse who is mean with money.
Where to get info on interest rates.
Returns on share funds, and debt repayment.

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column May 3 2005: Index funds still the best, despite tax changes

An ice cream is still delicious without the chocolate dip. The same goes for index share funds.

Since they made an appearance in New Zealand in the late 1990s, these funds have had a tax advantage over the other type of share funds, called active funds.

It seems likely that the tax advantage will be removed soon. But even if it goes, I still think index funds are best.

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald April 23 2005

Q&As: Is it better to repay your mortgage or invest in a work super scheme?
Website with interest rate info.

View - It's FREE!

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.

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald April 9 2005

Q&As: Where should a 13-year-old put his regular savings?
Extra repayments on a fixed mortgage.

View - It's FREE!

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.

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald February 26 2005

Q&As: Should single Mum renovate, rent our her house and move elsewhere, or move to a cheaper house?
Share trader's early success won't last.

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column February 22 2005: Research shows how to invest in shares

Pictures may speak louder than words, but numbers speak loudly too at times. Some recent research shows, numerically, why it makes sense to:

* Stick with share investments when they lose value.

* Invest in both New Zealand and international shares.

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column February 8 2005: Higher returns don't matter for the short term - they need time to work their magic.

There's more than one reason behind the old investment message that goes like this: If you need your money in just a few years invest your savings conservatively, but if you have a longer horizon take more risk.

View - It's FREE!

NZ Herald January 22 2005

Q&As: Couple "retiring" in their 30s wonder how to invest their savings.
94-year-old share trader doing just fine.
How to run a caravan rental business.

View - It's FREE!

Syndicated column January 25 2005: How to cope with the topsy turvy share market

The value of worldwide shares in a certain industry grew more than 52 per cent in the year ending last October. Why didn't we hear more about it?

A clue might lie in the fact that the industry was information technology - infamous for its volatility.

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

Holm Truths winter 04

3rd big question: When? - How should you time your investing?

Also in this issue: From the Mailbox - Where to invest while saving for a car

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

Holm Truths spring 03

Life, limbs and livelihood - How much life, disability and income protection insurance do you need?

Also in this issue: Great Debate - Australian v international shares

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

Holm Truths spring 02

Don't bail out: Even when the market falls, stick with your long-term investments

Also in this issue: Great Debate - Trading v buy and hold

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

Holm Truths summer 01-02

Pay yourself first: A way to make it easier to save

Also in this issue: Great Debate - Renting v home ownership

View - It's FREE!

Holm Truths spring 01

Taking on the world: Spread your share investment money across the world

Also in this issue: Great Debate - Investing v repaying your mortgage

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!

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

View - It's FREE!