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The latest personal finance and investment news and views from Liz Koh

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Getting Your Tax Refund Just Got Easier

Every year, many people miss out on getting a tax refund simply because they hate filling out forms and dealing with Inland Revenue. Over recent years, several companies have sprung up to offer a service to such people so they can get a refund without having to do the work themselves. Often, the fees charged for what is a relatively simple process, have been a large proportion of the refund received. However, Inland Reven...


Plan to Divest Your Wealth

The interesting thing about people who accumulate significant wealth is that they are often not very good at spending it. Either that, or they have so much wealth they are unable to spend it all in their remaining life, despite their best efforts. Wealth accumulators have a different relationship with money than those who are better at spending. They value and respect money, they are not afraid of it, and their pleasure a...


Tips for a Fresh Start for the New Year

New Year’s resolutions are pretty universal for people in the developed world. Losing weight, and getting in good shape physically and financially are top of the list of goals. But as most of us know, setting goals and achieving them are two different things. The key to making things happen is to focus on your behaviours. Let’s face it, no-one ever lost weight by not changing their eating habits or their exercise regi...


Are your Kids Waiting for you to Die?

Guest post by Karen Piercy Mum visits New Zealand from the UK every year and usually pays for something large in our household before she leaves. The first year was a woodburner because the chimney sweep refused to certify the existing one in our old villa. Another year, a new washing machine, a front loader, much gentler on clothes than the old top loader used for my husband’s work shirts through to our farm gear. M...


Turn Volatility into Opportunity

KiwiSavers and investors are bemoaning the fall in value of their investments. Over the last few months, investment returns for balanced and growth portfolios have been negative, causing many to rethink their feelings about risk and return. It’s all very well to be an aggressive, risk-taking investor when share markets are rising, but the true test of your risk aversion comes when the market takes a tumble. After such a...


The Importance of Resilience

As we come to the close of another year, there are no doubt many people who are feeling glad the year is over. For some people, it would well have been the worst year of their lives, with everything imaginable having gone wrong. Death of loved ones, loss of a job, poor health, business failure, the end of a relationship – all manner of traumatic events are possibilities in any year and some people cop more than their fa...


Investment Strategy for KiwiSavers

Volatility is a new experience for KiwiSaver investors who have known nothing but stable markets in recent years. There will be plenty of opportunity over the next two or three years for nervous investors to make bad choices about how their funds are invested. There are two key principles for managing volatility. The first principle is, your investment in shares must be diversified to reduce risk. The second principle is...


Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE)

It seems millennials don’t wish to get sucked into the rat race the way their parents did. The FIRE movement (Financial Independence, Retire Early) is literally setting the world alight. FIRE is allowing people to retire as early as their mid-thirties. So how does it work? Early retirement is achieved by living life frugally, permanently. This does two things. Firstly, it enables you to pay off debt quicker and save mor...


Borrowing to Invest

There’s never been a cheaper time to borrow money, with some banks having dropped their mortgage interest rates below 4%. Rates this low make it very tempting to borrow more to buy a bigger house, add an extension, take an overseas trip, or trade in the car for a newer model. While borrowing to spend has a detrimental effect on your financial future, borrowing to invest can be a good thing. If you can borrow money at 4...


Give Happiness, Not Stuff

The countdown to the holiday season is on and we are heading into a time when people who love shopping can lose control of their finances. Overspending on gifts for others and on ‘stuff’ for the house has its roots in psychology. It is often a reflection of a need to be wanted and loved, to belong, to compensate for low self-esteem or to be admired by others. While lavish spending can provide a solution for these desi...


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