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Bloomsbury blog posts

Where we have a unique perspective on current issues, we have written our own blog post. These are often drawn from our own observations of market trends and the common questions – sometimes misapprehensions – we've heard from our clients.

We publish a quarterly newsletter that includes an overview of the markets and market movements, together with articles relating to investments and finances. These blog posts were first published in our newsletter.

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Share prices rising and falling

The man who helped us understand the pain of losing

Bloomsbury, 31/12/23

His name was Professor Daniel Kahneman, a Holocaust survivor and behavioural psychologist, who won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002. He found that people rely on shortcuts that often lead them to make wrongheaded decisions that go against their own best interests. Read more about the man who helped us understand the pain of losing

A stack of newspapers

2023: Another year that defied the experts

Bloomsbury, 31/12/23

Towards the end of the calendar year, there's a natural tendency in the financial media to look both back and forward - back on the events of the past 12 months and forward to what we imagine the coming year might hold. In this article we review what they predicted for 2023 - compared with what actually happened. Read more about 2023: another year that defied the experts

AI microchip on a circuit board

Lessons for investors in an AI future

Bloomsbury, 30/09/23

In the year to date, share market returns for companies with significant investments in AI have been stellar. In this article, we delve into historical share market reactions to transformative technologies, examine the current landscape with AI and reinforce the importance of disciplined investment principles. Read more about lessons for investors in an AI future

A mobile phone screen showing social media apps

Don't fall for the rise in disinformation and scams

Bloomsbury, 30/06/23

Globally, regulators are warning of an increase in financial disinformation and outright scams, fuelled by the growth of social media use, the failure of a traditional media gatekeepers, rising isolation during the pandemic and the human propensity to fall for get-rich-quick pitches. Read more about dealing with rising interest rates

Seesaw with mortgage rate on one side, and your home on the other

Dealing with rising interest rates

Bloomsbury, 31/03/23

Are your friends or family concerned about their mortgage as a result of the sudden rise in interest rates? Are you concerned that you might need to help someone financially when their interest rates reset? If you've had these thoughts you are not alone. The sudden movement of interest rates is having an impact on society. Read more about dealing with rising interest rates

Lionel Messi, football under his arm, facing the field in a floodlit stadium

Why is there no Lionel Messi of managed funds?

Bloomsbury, 31/12/22

In the world of managed funds, you might think the best approach would be to find a skilful manager, the 'Lionel Messi of managed funds!' Wouldn't that greatly improve your chances of investment glory? Sadly, such an approach is doomed to mediocrity or worse, failure. Read more about why there is no Lionel Messi of managed funds

Person reading news online via a laptop and mobile phone

Information hygiene

Bloomsbury, 30/09/22

The pandemic showed the power of a new virus to spread through the global population, threatening health and creating economic mayhem. Similarly, bad information can go viral, endangering your wealth. Billions of dollars are lost annually by people acting on unreliable information, often spread by bad actors through digital media channels. Read more about Information hygiene

Two wooden dice, one with percentages and the other with gain and losss on different faces

What happened to bonds?

Bloomsbury, 30/06/22

Despite poor recent bond returns, should you still own bonds in your portfolio? The answer in general is yes, although we always need to consider individual circumstances. It is worthwhile to provide some context and evidence for our position, especially considering recent returns. Read more about what happened to bonds

Coin being lifted into the air by a ballon marked with a dollar sign

Inflation is here, that's why you own shares

Bloomsbury, 31/03/22

Between the effects of Covid-19, logistical challenges, worldwide massive government stimulus and now the war in the Ukraine and related sanctions, we can easily see why prices are increasing. There is just too much money chasing goods that are becoming rarer and more difficult to acquire. Read more about the fact that inflation is here, that's why you own shares

Balloons with smiley faces

You can't put a number on happiness

Bloomsbury, 31/12/21

"What is your number?" That is the catch phrase of a popular advertisement that runs and re-runs amongst financial advising companies. The premise is a good one, namely that they are going to determine how much you need for retirement and then aim to help you hit that goal. Read more about how you can't put a number on happiness

Anchor on the beach

Anchors away: The influence of what you know on what you don't

Bloomsbury, 30/09/21

When we talk with clients, we try to work through all the anchors they have in their mind regarding recent market activity or prior investing experiences. If necessary, we help articulate the arguments and provide the evidence that leads to prudent choices. Read more about the influence of what you know on what you don't

Person trading shares using a laptop and mobile phone

Online trading? Check your overconfidence at the door

Bloomsbury, 30/06/21

A question we've been asked quite a few times within the last year goes something like this, "So my son is investing on Sharesies. What do you think of them...?" It's a great question and one we thought deserved an article of its own. Read more about online trading

Putting large coins into a tiny piggy bank

Housing affordability... where to from here?

Bloomsbury, 31/03/21

Property has long been the preferred investment of many New Zealanders. Those of us fortunate enough to own our own homes take great pride in doing so. We understand property. We trust it. We also know that residential propery investment can often generate a very good return. Read more about housing affordability

Speedboat with ever-expanding wake

Triumph of the optimists

Bloomsbury, 31/12/20

In March 2020, who but the most rampant optimist would have dreamt, in the midst of the swiftest negative correction in sharemarket history, that most global sharemarkets would recover to deliver positive returns by year’s end? Yet this is precisely what happened. The optimists triumphed. Read more about the triumph of the optimists

Wellington waterfront at night

The markets are not the economy

Bloomsbury, 30/09/20

The world feels very different to what it was just months ago. And although we are very privileged in New Zealand to be sitting closer to the ‘normal’ end of the spectrum, almost everyone we know has had their lives influenced by the virus. So how can share prices be close to new highs when the news is so discouraging? Read more about how the markets are not the economy

Seeds from a dandelion clock blowing away in a gentle breeze

How to function well day by day

Bloomsbury, 31/03/20

During these stressful times as we face the threat of COVID-19 together, let's remember all the things we can do and experience, even in this situation, as many of them can be positive. Getting out for a walk, listening to music, reading, watching films, contacting friends, kindness and positive relationships with others. Read more about how to function well day by day

Catching a stream of water in your hands

Socially responsible investing is popular, but is it sustainable?

Bloomsbury, 31/12/19

There is a new movement known as Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) that takes a holistic investment approach, where environmental, social, corporate governance and ethical issues are considered alongside financial performance when making an investment. Read more about socially responsible investing

Young parents with small child on the beach at sunset

Why your kids ask for financial help in their thirties

Bloomsbury, 30/09/19

The 30s seem to be the decade of life when many major financial decisions are made. We've graduated from university, have a big mortgage, we get married, we have children, and we buy a car less than ten years old. It's the time of life when we could really use financial discipline and guidance. Read more about why your kids ask for financial help in their thirties

Couple enjoying a skiing holiday

Spend to maximise your happiness

Bloomsbury, 30/06/19

The old adage is true; you can't take money with you when you go. But the truth is you can't take your material possessions either. The answer might be to try to target your spending on ways to maximise your happiness, rather than on just accumulating more stuff. Read more about spending to maximise your happiness

Share prices and graphs displayed on an electronic board

Why we never sell during down markets

Bloomsbury, 31/03/19

When markets fall, it's very natural for any investor to get nervous. We thought we would remind you of the reasons why we will never suggest you sell your shares before or during down markets. Buying high and selling low just doesn't make sense. We avoid it at all costs. We can't really think of a worse reason to sell than the fact that the price went down. Can you? Read more about the importance of autonomy

Flax kete and jandals on the beach

The importance of autonomy

Bloomsbury, 31/12/18

Susan B Anthony, who led the fight for women's suffrage in the United States, once said, "Independence is happiness". The same is true today. The ability to choose without unnecessary constraint often leads to better and happier outcomes. Unfortunately, in the financial advisory industry, the ability to freely choose is often impeded. Read more about the importance of autonomy

Lighthouse against a starry sky

Share market forecasting about as useful as astrology

Bloomsbury, 30/09/18

Not long after Ronald Reagan's tenure as US president, chuckles were heard around the world when word got out that his wife Nancy sought an astrologer's guidance for all manner of things during his presidency, including matters of diplomacy, Cold War politics, and even the timing of the president's cancer surgery. Read more about share market forecasting being about as useful as astrology

Retired couple in an open-topped sports car, speeding along a country road

Longevity's impact on retirement planning

Bloomsbury, 30/06/18

Retirement isn't the milestone in life it once was. We expect that new careers, community involvement and impactful philanthropic work will increasingly be the things our clients are talking about in their 60s and 70s. Our purpose as an adviser is to help you use your wealth to enjoy these years to the fullest. Read more about longevity's impact on retirement planning

Writing a donation cheque

The smart way to be charitable

Bloomsbury, 31/03/18

We are proud to announce that we are now able to offer a donor advised fund to our clients, called The Gift Trust. If you're looking to donate in a structured way, there are definite advantages to using a donor advised fund. This includes the option to grow your dollars tax free in a portfolio, allowing you to ultimately give even more. Read more about the smart way to be charitable

Women enjoying a coffee in an outdoor cafe

The economic theory that helps explain our everyday thinking

Bloomsbury, 31/12/17

What is a coffee mug worth? Different people would assign a variety of values to a mug, and the value is associated with a price. Everything in this world has two prices - the price we'd be willing to pay for it and the price we'd be willing to sell it for. The sell price is generally about twice the buy price. Read more about the economic theory that helps explain our everyday thinking

Woman working with calculator, pen, laptop and spreadsheets

Why women make better investors

Bloomsbury, 30/09/17

Many people just assume that men are better investors than women. They would be wrong. Women not only save more than men (0.4% more per annum on average), but their investments also earn an average of 0.4% more per year. Extrapolated over a lifetime of saving and investing, the disparity at retirement age is anything but minor. Read more about why women make better investors

Mt Victoria cityscape on a stormy day

When the fear is just too much

Bloomsbury, 30/06/17

When the markets go from acting 'normal' to acting 'scary', we hate the idea of doing nothing with our portfolios. It feels like we're sitting in front of an oncoming train! We should be doing something; anything, really. But if we do act, it often has nothing to do with our plan and everything to do with stopping the pain. Read more about when the fear is just too much

Food and wine in a sunny vineyard

Vision blurred by hindsight bias

Bloomsbury, 31/03/17

Hindsight bias (also known as the 'I knew it all along phenomenon') is the irresistible tendency to believe - after an experiment, sports event, election or investment, for example - that the outcome was foreseeable. After the share market drops or an election is lost the outcome seems obvious, and thus, blameworthy. Read more about focus on vision blurred by hindsight bias

Abel Tasman beach

True prosperity

Bloomsbury, 31/12/16

The Legatum Institute ranks 149 nations on their prosperity, and it rates New Zealand as the most prosperous nation in the world. You may be thinking that, in terms of GDP per capita for westernised nations, New Zealand isn't an unusually wealthy country. However, this report reminds us that prosperity and monetary wealth are different things. Read more about true prosperity

Woman standing on top of a mountain watching the sunrise

Putting a price on happiness

Bloomsbury, 30/09/16

An assumption that most people make when allocating their money is that because a physical object lasts longer, it will make us happier for longer than a one-off experience such as a concert or a holiday. It turns out that assumption is not necessarily correct. Read more about putting a price on happiness

Woman volunteering in a soup kitchen

Focus on charitable giving

Bloomsbury, 30/06/16

A 2010 study called Do Good. Live Well. canvassed over 4,500 people and found that, of those who volunteered their time: 68% felt physically healthier, 73% reported that it reduced their stress levels, 89% found it improved their sense of wellbeing. Read more about focus on charitable giving

Watching piles of money grow

Getting strategic

Bloomsbury, 31/03/16

One of the key elements of the strategic review is to test our old ideas with new data. We consistently collect new and better data about the returns of different funds and markets, and this helps us to formulate rational, evidence based expectations for their potential long term returns. Read more about getting strategic

Man in a suit cradling a piggy bank in his hands

It's okay to look away

Bloomsbury, 31/12/15

The field of behavioural finance sets out to explain how people make (often irrational) decisions about money. There are a number of behavioural biases that seem to affect how we make decisions around money and investing, and these all converge on loss aversion. We feel the pain of losses about twice as much as we feel the joy of gains. Read more about it's okay to look away

Hands nurturing a small green shoot growing out of a mound of earth and coins

A responsible approach to Socially Responsible Investing (SRI)

Bloomsbury, 30/09/15

SRI combines investors' financial objectives with their concerns about environmental and social issues. For example, an investor may not want to own shares in businesses that produce tobacco, make firearms or produce fossil fuels. Read more about a responsible approach to Socially Responsible Investing

Two people holding hands

Trusts in the spotlight

Bloomsbury, 30/06/15

Trusts have many uses, including creditor protection, protection against relationship property claims under the Property (Relationships) Act 1976, estate planning and even tax minimisation. Recent court judgments have set new precedents that suggest trusts may be becoming less effective against these types of claims. Read more about Trusts in the ppotlight

Driving towards a stormy sunset

How to prepare for a Bear Market

Bloomsbury, 31/03/15

Warren Buffett said "I have never met a man who could forecast the market." However, what we do know for certain is that negative markets will return eventually, and the best thing we can do is to prepare ourselves emotionally now to behave appropriately when negative markets do arrive. Read more about how to prepare for a Bear Market

Man standing at the crossroads of two walking tracks, deciding which way to go

Deciding which lever to pull

Bloomsbury, 31/12/14

What would you be prepared to do to increase the probability of achieving your financial goals? What investors often don't understand is that they have the ability to make decisions that can positively impact the probability their financial goals will be achieved. Read more about deciding which lever to pull

Closely examining a report using a magnifying glass

The value of fiduciary excellence

Bloomsbury, 30/09/14

If you ask any of New Zealand's top businesses, "What's the value of good governance?" the answer is likely to be, "It's absolutely critical." But what does good governance mean in relation to investments? We take a look at why investment governance and due diligence is important. Read more about the value of fiduciary excellence

A nest of bird's eggs

Smart KiwiSaver decisions

Bloomsbury, 30/06/14

Imagine that there is a cash machine in your kitchen. The machine works this way - if you put a dollar in it, it will give your dollar back, plus 50 cents extra. In fact, the machine will do this for the first $1,043 you put into it every year, clicking over at the end of June. How often would you put a dollar into that machine? Read more about smart KiwiSaver decisions

Young couple in front of a large picture window, looking out onto snow-covered mountains

Cutting the financial ties

Bloomsbury, 31/03/14

Many parents don't hesitate when it comes to helping out their children with money. Grandparents are often just as generous. However, once children become adults, is it right to keep supporting them financially? It can be hard to say no, but there are some good reasons for doing just that. Read more about cutting the financial ties

Two farmers looking out across the parched High Country

How hot were those hot stocks?

Bloomsbury, 31/12/13

At the beginning of each year, investment brokers from the major firms provide their picks for the year. We thought it would be interesting to look at the picks compiled by stuff.co.nz and National Business Review to see how they turned out. Hint: not as well as you might think. Read more about how hot were those hot stocks

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