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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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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