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

Liz koh

Investor Confidence Falling

Every year the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) surveys the public to measure their level of confidence in New Zealand’s financial markets. The role of the FMA is to promote fair, efficient and transparent financial markets and surveying the public is one of the ways in which they find out how well they doing in this regard. In the latest survey, around 66% of those surveyed said they were confident in New Zealand’s f...


Getting in Shape for a House Purchase

Being able to borrow enough money for a first home is the biggest financial hurdle for young couples. When lenders consider how much they can lend they consider two key aspects. The first is how much money the couple have as a deposit and the second is the amount of borrowing the couple can afford to repay out of their income. Any couple looking to buy a home needs to consider how to get in the best possible shape with reg...


Family Trust Changes

Following a lengthy and comprehensive review of the law relating to trusts undertaken by the Law Commission, and the introduction of the Trusts Bill to Parliament in 2017, we now have the Trusts Act 2019 which will come into force on 30 January, 2021. There are important changes for trusts, which should be noted by all trustees and beneficiaries of family trusts. There will now be five mandatory duties for trustees. The...


Knowing When to Let Go

The process of aging is no fun. It is, however, inevitable. As we age, brain processes slow down and it becomes difficult to deal with complex information and change. We all react to this process in different ways. Some people just go with the flow and deal with the effects of aging as they arise. Others dig their toes in, trying to fight off the inevitable. Yet another group plan for what lies ahead and restructure their ...


Money Differences in Couples

Everybody has their own unique relationship with money. Some people are good savers while others find it hard to stop spending. Some people are keen to take risks with their money in order to get a better return while others prefer to keep their money safe. Let’s be clear – there is no right or wrong when it comes to a person’s relationship with money. There are just differences. These differences stem from many fact...


Property Syndicates

Low interest rates and share market volatility are driving investors to consider alternative investments. In recent years we have seen the rapid rise of property syndicates. Such syndicates were very popular over twenty years ago and were offered by companies such as St Laurence and Waltus. At that time, they had a chequered reputation, with some syndicates performing well and some dismally. A property syndicate is crea...


The Low Interest Rate Trap

For investors who depend on interest rates for income or investment, the future looks bleak. Interest rates are at the lowest level we have seen for decades and are likely to stay low for some time. Prior to the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, many fixed interest investors chased after the double-digit returns offered by finance companies, only to discover that high returns reflect high risk. The huge losses following the...


KiwiSaver in Retirement

It is now possible for anyone over the age of 65 to join or re-join KiwiSaver. There are many retirees who cashed in their KiwiSaver funds without consideration of the options available to them, and there are some who just never got around to joining. For these people, there is now a reprieve. As of 1 July, being over 65 does not exclude anyone from joining KiwiSaver. More people are working past the age of 65. While it...


Investing with Smartshares

  For some time now investors have been able to buy Smartshares on the NZX. Smartshares are Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) that invest in a wide range of securities which track the performance of an index such as the NZX 10 Index. The advantage for smaller investors is being able to easily and cost effectively invest in a wide range of securities with as little as $500. More diversification means less risk and smooth...


The Rise of the Active-Passive Portfolio

  Over the last fifteen or so years, trillions of dollars have poured into investment funds which passively track indexes such as the S&P 500 or the NZX 50. An index fund matches the components of a particular index and its performance will therefore match the performance of the index. The main selling point for index funds is they offer investment diversification with low management fees. In comparison, active...


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