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

Liz koh

Help for Kids to Buy a House

It’s a natural instinct for parents to want to help their kids get a head start in life. A common goal for young parents is to save money to pay for kids’ tertiary education costs. However, that’s not necessarily the best way to help. For as long as student loans are interest free, it makes better sense for kids to borrow money to pay for study and to take as long as they are given to repay the debt. The biggest hu...


Keep Calm and Carry On Investing

More uncertainty in investment markets means more volatility and a need to review your investment strategy. It’s easy to invest when markets are rising, but when they fall your tolerance for risk can be pushed to the limit. Start with the basics. Focus on your goals and objectives. If you have long term investment goals, remind yourself not to get too distracted with short term changes in the market. Reversing your st...


Financial Independence For Women

There is an increasing trend for young couples to manage their money separately, unlike previous generations who pooled their financial resources. Women are becoming more financially independent, which is great, however there are a number of factors which mean that women lag behind men in the wealth creation stakes. Despite the push for greater pay equity, women still earn on average around 9% less then men. Female-domin...


Good Investment Advice

One of the barriers to people working with a financial adviser is knowing who to talk to. The relationship between an adviser and a client is founded on trust and it takes time to develop. There is an element of risk in putting your trust in someone when you don’t them that well, but there are some signals that can indicate whether you are talking to the right person. To begin with, it is really important that you like...


Spending the Kids’ Inheritance

Successive generations always seem to be better off than the last. Our parents had a better standard of living than their parents and our children seem set to have a much more than we ever had. For that reason, most retirees don’t seem very concerned at all about leaving an inheritance. However, despite having a desire to spend their own money, many retirees struggle with the idea of seeing their hard-earned wealth disa...


Starting Out as a Share Investor

Investing in shares is becoming a popular option with young people keen to get ahead. It’s much easier than investing in property. The entry cost is much lower (you can literally start with just a few dollars), you don’t have to borrow money to invest, there are no rules and regulations to restrict you, and you don’t have all the hassles of maintenance and dealing with tenants. There are several different paths you...


How to Be a Billionaire

They say the best way to become a billionaire is to act like one. You can find the secrets of billionaires in their values, beliefs and strategies which, if you study them, can guide you to great wealth. Strange as it may seem, extremely wealthy people are driven not by the pursuit of wealth but by a higher purpose. Take Warren Buffett who has become one of the wealthiest people in the world by investing in shares through...


Planning for a Market Crash

For a while now, there has been talk of a possible share market crash. Since the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, share markets have shown a strong upward trend, and we have forgotten what it’s like when returns are negative.  In the long term, share prices are driven by fundamental, objective measures such as company profitability and economic growth. In the short term, prices are driven by fear and greed. When fear sets...


Understand Your KiwiSaver

A recent survey done by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) for Money Week shows that we still have a lot to learn about KiwiSaver. Around 17% of people who took the survey didn’t appear to understand that funds with a higher exposure to property and shares have more ups and downs that cash and bond funds and around 25% of people seemed to be unaware of the risk of cash and bond funds dropping in value. KiwiSaver was ...


Focus on Spending, not Saving

There is no question that it is hard to save – and harder for some people than for others. While it might be prudent to save 10% of your income towards your retirement, not everyone has an income high enough to do this. A focus on saving often results in feelings of guilt, failure and inadequacy which lead to a vicious circle of saving even less, and feeling even worse. With a fixed income, it is the level of spending t...


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