Competition Time!

As a financial adviser I get questions all the time about inheritances, wills vs trusts etc, this book will give you a good grounding to see a lawyer or financial adviser and be able to ask the right questions.

So, if you would like to win the book below (posted only to New Zealand addresses), please write email with your address details  and the name of a town/city we have an office in and we will draw a winner on the 3rd of November.

By Catriona Maclennan

By Catriona Maclennan

This book is an excellent guide to all sorts of issues that affect your finances, and those of people around you.  If you are in the position of having your parents nearing retirement, in retirement or you are heading that way yourself I am sure that there is lots of information you can use.

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Money Week event for Auckland – Investment Risk

FMA talking investment risk for Money Week
Media release
MR No. 2014 – 028
8 September 2014

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) today announced its plans for this year’s Money Week from October 13-19 2014. The FMA will be hosting a panel discussion to promote greater understanding of investment risk.
The theme for this year’s Money Week is getting your money fighting fit and the FMA will be hosting a ‘Heavy Weight Debate’ at St Matthew’s Church, Auckland, Thursday 16 October 2014, 5:30 -7pm.

The panel discussion will ask whether New Zealanders are any good at understanding risk. The panel aims to help investors and consumers understand more about risk, a subject which many investors often find challenging. The event is free and open to the public.

The panel will feature Rob Everett, CEO FMA; renowned author and investor advocate Mary Holm; John Body, Managing Director ANZ Wealth, the nation’s largest KiwiSaver provider and Martin Hawes respected commentator and authorised financial adviser.

Chairing the panel is broadcaster Wallace Chapman from TV’s “Backbenches” programme and Radio New Zealand.
Understanding more about the risks as well as the benefits of investing is an important aspect of encouraging confident and informed investors. The Financial Markets Authority Act 2011 gives the FMA a mandate to provide public information and education on New Zealand’s capital markets.

Simone Robbers, FMA’s Head of Primary Markets and Investor Resources, said “New Zealanders seem to be more comfortable chatting about mortgage interest rates around the barbecue than discussing their investment risk profile or the type of KiwiSaver fund they are in. We want to help get people talking about their savings and investments in Money Week.”

Money Week is a major nationwide initiative from the Commission for Financial Literacy and Retirement Income. Now in its third year, the week of activities is focused on raising awareness about personal money matters and motivating New Zealanders to assess their financial situation.

“The FMA is really pleased to be contributing to Money Week and raising the profile of what’s available for investor resources. We want to help investors be able to make more informed decisions. Well-informed investors are likely to make more appropriate choices, and understanding your investment risk profile has a big impact on these decisions,” said Ms Robbers.

As well as hosting the debate, the FMA will be releasing research into Kiwis’ attitudes and understanding of investment risk at the start of Money Week.

To find out more and attend the event email – limited seats available, entry is free to the public.

Andrew Park
09 967 1215
021 220 6770

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Why I don’t play golf… Tanya

A long long time ago there lived a grandfather who was known nationally amongst golfing circles, had been on the NZ Golf Association board and had his name on numerous trophies in the Masterton golf clubhouse.

Then his son, alternating with his father, on the Masterton golf trophy exhibits, with also a history of being part of the board for golfing clubs in various locations, had a daughter.

I am she.

With all this golfing history it was hard to miss out on knowing how the game works, but here was the dilemma, join the masses or shrink from family duties to uphold the family tradition? There is more to this than meets the eye, the finance industry as a whole is known for having a love of golf, there used to be a time when you couldn’t network unless you played, not so much now but there is still an element of that around.

I shirked my family golfing duties most of my life, but now as a more mature adult, realising the industry she is in there is many golfing opportunities, should I start playing?

I live less than a kilometre from my local golf club, and finding people to play with wouldn’t be an issue, but what is the game really about? It is best played in summer, in the screaming hot sun over New Zealand (completly lacking in ozone protection), and I am a redhead!

If any of you out there think that there is more to the game than I am seeing, please let me know. If you think I should start playing, also let me know, you can give me my first lesson (childhood family lessons aside).

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Auckland and Tauranga top New York for unaffordable houses

We published this firstly in January 2011, what is the case now?  House prices in Auckland in particular are so much worse than 2011, how can this be good for our country as a whole?
Monday 24th January 2011 By Benn Bathgate

Housing in New Zealand is “severely unaffordable”, with property in Auckland and Tauranga less affordable than New York, according to new research.

The seventh annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey examined house prices relative to income across 325 cities and regions and found New Zealand home affordability ranks alongside Australia, Britain, the US, Canada and Ireland.

The survey ranks areas according to income-to-loan ratio, and while the ideal house price is around three times an annual salary in New Zealand it takes 5.3 times the average salary to pay for a house.

In Tauranga that figure rises to 6.5 times the average annual salary while in Auckland it takes 6.4 times.

Purchasing a property in New York takes 6.1 times the average annual salary.

The report cites higher land prices and regulation on the use of land for the rapid rise in property across unaffordable markets.

“The key reason for this land price escalation in Australia (as well as in New Zealand and the UK) is that the market’s ability to quickly provide low priced new housing supply is being hampered by restrictive land use regulations, many of which came into effect since the mid-1990s,” the report says.

“House prices have skyrocketed principally because of more restrictive land use regulations that have virtually prohibited new house construction on or beyond urban fringe. This is particularly evident where there are ‘urban containment’ measures, such as urban growth boundaries. Land differentials of ten or more times have been documented immediately across urban growth boundaries (such as in Portland and Auckland).”

Another factor exacerbating the situation is that despite house prices falling, job security and wage rises also lessened.

Survey co-author Hugh Pavletich, from Christchurch, said more land needs to be made available to make housing more affordable and help keep young New Zealanders in the country.

“There is much work to do so that New Zealanders do not have to pay any more than three times their annual household income to house themselves,” he said.

“New Zealanders are paying twice what they should be for housing and construction costs are currently twice per square metre what they should be. Due to urban planning degrading the performance of the residential construction sector over the recent decades.”
Click Here to read more…

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Talk like Ted…and sell like Wendy


Seen the first couple and they were great videos

Originally posted on Tauranga City Libraries Business Blog:

Talk like TED…
Annoyed that you missed the recent TEDx Tauranga event? Never fear…clips of each speaker are being progressively uploaded to the website and are available for viewing.

It sounds like it was a great event so if you’re keen to attend next year, pencil Saturday the 25th July 2015 into your diary now. They’re also looking for speakers for the 2015 event volunteers to help run it so if you’d like to contribute get in touch with them here.

Naturally I can’t let this opportunity go by without pointing out the various books on how to give a great presentation that we have here in the library. Two that spring to mind are Talk Like TED and The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs but there are plenty of others. Come and check them out!

…and sell like Wendy
It was great to attend the August Chamber of Commerce

View original 367 more words

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‘W’ is for Welfare – NZ Initiative

ABC_s_of_economic_literacy_2_2_.1The ABC of economic literacy |

The biographies of top economists commonly indicate that they were motivated to study economics in order to be better able to contribute to the common good.

But what is meant by the common good and what policies contribute to it? After all, in general elections, voters are commonly confronted with at least one party advocating higher taxes in order to make New Zealand a better place for New Zealanders – and at least one other party advocating lower taxes in the same cause.

Welfare economics is a branch of economics that explores what might be meant by the common good and seeks to evaluate economic policies in terms of their effects on the well-being of members of a community.

As explained previously in the economic ABCs, an insight that has endured since Adam Smith (1776) is that competition, in conjunction with security in person and property, induces even solely self-interested butchers, bakers and the candlestick makers to serve their customers’ interests.  Otherwise we freely take our business elsewhere.

During the 20th century, welfare economics formalised this insight into the proposition that stylised competitive processes will produce a zero waste welfare outcome. It is optimal in the sense that no one person’s (self-perceived) welfare can be increased with reducing that of at least one other person (whether such a change is worth doing regardless remains a moot point).

This formalisation has clarified the many situations in which the same competitive processes will potentially fail to maximise welfare in this sense. These include problems of monopoly, public goods (such as national security and communicable diseases), environmental pollution, income distribution, poverty and malleable preferences.  Economists have formally shown in many of these cases how a well-motivated government might ideally use taxes or regulations to improve general well-being.

Nevertheless, related branches of economics have also demonstrated the many difficulties that confront government action, including problems of voting behaviour, inadequate information and political and bureaucratic incentives. The UK TV series, Yes, Minister, brilliantly depicted the difficulties. “Doing good” in government is subject to the Law of Unintended Consequences.

What about the welfare state? One of the earliest uses of this term was in the Beveridge Report (1942) that ideologically proposed that the state was responsible for individual welfare “from the cradle to the grave”.  A dramatic increase in taxes and social service spending in member countries of the OECD followed, albeit with significant national variations. Is effects on well-being will long be debated.

Loosely coinciding with this year’s election campaign, Insights is campaigning for economic literacy from A to Z. Coming up next week: ‘X’ for X-efficiency.

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‘V’ is for Volatility – NZ Initiative

ABC_s_of_economic_literacy_2_2_.1The ABC of economic literacy |

 Economics would be a pale imitation of itself without volatility, or at the very least about as stimulating as watching paint dry. Luckily the world is a complicated place, where prices fluctuate for various reasons, and this, for the most part, is a good thing.

On a microeconomic level, producers wouldn’t be able to discover demand if there was no volatility. Volatility is indeed an essential ingredient for commerce to exist, with entrepreneurs engaging in a process of arbitrage between the price at which they buy inputs and the price at which they sell output. Furthermore, there would be no way of allocating scare resources to their most efficient use if we didn’t have price movements to guide the market.

Price changes are also needed to encourage investment in a particular sector. Long-term trends in commodity prices, such as Asia’s growing demand for protein, tell farmers that the investment needed to convert their land to dairy pasture is likely to payoff in the end (though not guaranteed).

Although price fluctuations usefully steer production and investment, this doesn’t mean all types of volatility (or lack thereof) are equally desirable. The effect of politics on markets can stifle or increase volatility completely separate from fundamental price drivers.

International debt markets are a good example. The yield on 5-year Greek government bonds has been trading at a fairly consistent level of just over 4 percent for some time. Meanwhile Argentinian 4-year bonds (the closest comparable security) are trading at 7.6 percent. The difference has almost nothing to do with economic fundamentals, since both countries are in major financial strife.

An investor, who knew nothing about the political support being lent by the European Union, might conclude from the yields that Greece is responsible with its public finances compared to Argentina. In actual fact Greece’s public debt to GDP stands at 161 percent, whereas Argentina’s public debt is equivalent to 42 percent of GDP.

The opposite can also be true. Investors in New Zealand’s listed electricity sector know only too well how volatile share prices have been due to the Labour and Green’s proposal to restructure the market, when in actual fact the fundamentals of the industry haven’t really changed.

To conclude, change, or volatility is a good thing in economics, provided it is based on market fundamentals and not political hot air.

Loosely coinciding with this year’s election campaign, Insights is campaigning for economic literacy from A to Z. Coming up next week: ‘W’ for welfare.

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