It is that time of year again…

Yes, it is tax time…  If you have had a change of tax rate or change in income this last year please let your adviser know NOW.

Tax rates are important especially for investments, when you have them with fund managers.  These tax rates are called your PIR – Prescribed Investor Rate.  If you have invested in or are considering investing in a certain type of portfolio investment entity (PIE) such as a KiwiSaver scheme, then you will need a prescribed investor rate (PIR) to give to the PIE along with your IRD number.

Here is the link to the IRD website to check that you have your PIR correct:

Work out your PIR on the IRD website

If you have given your adviser/fund manager your PIR and you now think it is changed you can check what to do from the link below.  If you are investing through a Trust you have options, you may choose a 28% or 0% tax rate, depending on your circumstances.  The information about all obligations is listed in the IRD website here:

PIR ObligationsFeijoa-with-leaves-00005378

If you have any questions about this please discuss it with your financial adviser or fund manager.

On a more enjoyable note, it is also feijoa time, apple and feijoa crumble, yum!

The kiwifruit need just a bit more colder weather and it will be time to pick them too.

Edinburgh Tattoo in Wellington

This amazing event was held in Wellington this weekend.  Over 1200 people entertained thousands over four nights.  I went on Friday night, not expecting much, as I had no idea what it was or why it was special. I was so proud to be a kiwi, the rendition of Pokarekare Ana was spectacular, and here is a link to video to prove it (although it was much more powerful to be there with the audience humming the tune).

Pokarekare Ana 2016 Edinburgh Military Tattoo Wellington

Well done New Zealand, if you are back again in 10 years I will be getting tickets and bringing the family.

I have added a couple of photos, neither of which explain the shear volume of people at the “cake tin” or the amount performing, but you get the idea.



NZ Fund Manager of the Year 2016 – Harbour

Well done and congratulations to Harbour Asset Management!Harbour Asset Management

New Zealand Fund Manager of the Year 2016 – Harbour Asset Management
Harbour is an outstanding steward of its investors’ capital and the well-deserved winner of Morningstar’s overall award for New Zealand funds management excellence. Originally established as a domestic equities house, the firm has expanded its offering, which now encompasses fixed interest and global capabilities, in
a sensible and well-structured manner. Performance across all asset classes was top-notch in 2015, with investors benefitting from shrewd security selection and well-judged portfolio positioning in difficult market conditions.

Fund Manager of the Year: Fixed Interest Category, New Zealand 2016 – Harbour Asset Management
Harbour’s Christian Hawkesby and Mark Brown have done an exceptional job at developing the firm’s fixed interest capability since joining forces in 2011. Their sound investment process, backed by detailed economic research and modelling, has resulted in a noteworthy track record to date. Investors looking to diversify their portfolio by including fixed interest exposure need look no further than Harbour.


Well Done ANZ Investments

ANZ Inv logo-header

ANZ Investments was last night named International Equities Manager of the year in the 2016 Morningstar Awards.

This is great recognition for their investment team, who were also finalists for Morningstar Fund Manager of the Year and Morningstar KiwiSaver Manager of the Year.

ANZ Investments is the largest fund management company in New Zealand with over $24 billion in Funds Under Management.

Beyond the annual awards, their investment funds are consistently receiving top ratings for investment performance in Morningstar’s quarterly reports.

*Morningstar award winners are selected based on sound methodologies that emphasise outperformance over one, three, and five-year periods.  The analyst-driven Fund Manager of the Year awards recognise managers who have not only achieved impressive returns, but also been strong stewards of investors’ money.


Well Done Mint Asset Management

Mint Wins Morningstar Fund Manager of the Year Award
for Domestic EquitiesMINT logo

Mint Asset Management has taken out the Fund Manager of the Year award for Domestic Equities at the 2016 Morningstar Fund Manager of the Year awards.

Rebecca Thomas, CEO of Mint Asset Management, said “There are nine years of collective toil behind this win. We are delighted with the award, which is a testament to the rigorous investment process and highly experienced team we have at Mint.”

Tim Murphy, Morningstar Australasia’s director of manager research, said: “The winners of the New Zealand Morningstar Awards have all shown themselves to be first-class stewards of investor capital. The quality of their people, process, parent, price and performance demonstrates their commitment to investors.”


Once upon a time in a land far away…

I often feel that the opening line to most financial commentators should read like the opening line to a fairy tale, or a nightmare.  They tell stories about a future that hasn’t happened and make up stories that sound like the markets (read share markets) are driven by computers and not humans.

For the person who is just trying to earn a living, save a bit for retirement and generally get along with others the whole idea that there is many options for their savings is usually overwhelming.  This is where we come in, as advisers we understand the majority of options and choose the right one for you.  It is not about product, it is about the best solution for you, which may be a product or a service, or nothing at all, you are sorted.

Right now there is a new product on the market, called Lifetime Retirement Income.  You may remember annuities, they pay an income to you after you had saved for years to gain a lump sum for them to take the income from.  I have seen the conditions of some of these policies, and they are scary.  This is different.

Check out their website and see if this type of solution is right for you, then come and talk to us about it, as always there are risks, conditions and terms that must be understood. Come and see us and we will answer any more questions you have, explain the process and be able to guide you through.

This may not be the right solution for you, so come and see us to discuss your options.

DecisionMakers – and while you are there take the FREE risk tolerance test, find out what type of investor you are, or will be.

DM homepage with free assessment


Life insurance – boring!

Life insurance.

Two words that are guaranteed to put you to sleep. It is a product that no-one wants, but most people need. I have a different view. If you are educated about what you are paying for and given clear, professional, unbiased advice, then surely life insurance just becomes another part of your financial plan, albeit one that you never want to use. We insure our houses, but I guarantee you that no-one wants their house to burn down.Read More

Local govt, love it or hate it?

Is local government all about taxes, or is there something more?

When I think of local government I always think taxes and resource consent.  But, if this all it is, why aren’t these functions managed our nation’s capital?

These questions and more are answered in the latest offering from the NZ Initiative,
“The Local Formula Myths, Facts & Legends”

Here is a short excerpt from the Foreward of the report  by the head of the NZ Initiative, Dr Eric Crampton.

Krupp and Wilkinson began this work this year so we could start better to understand why local government pursues policies that, to an outside observer, seem utterly daft. Why set zoning rules that ruin housing affordability? Why run consenting processes that seem designed to give every objector the power to veto while putting little or no weight on the voices of those who could have lived in the new apartments or subdivisions? Even simple things, like consenting for a gravel pit, becomes tied down in difficult processes, as Krupp’s report last year on New Zealand’s mineral estate demonstrated.
In short, why does local government sometimes behave as though growth is something to be prevented or contained rather than something to be welcomed?

The Initiative’s new report canvasses some potential explanations but the fundamental problem seems to be political economy. When local government is potentially financially liable for any flaws in buildings that they consent, but sees little upside from faster consenting processes, we should not be surprised that things move slowly. Local political pressures mean councillors supporting new development risk being voted out of office before new residents can move in. Consenting processes empowering Not In My Back Yard objections entrench the status quo and prevent growth. As a bottom line, when local councils bear most of the costs of new development, but the benefits largely flow through to central government, we might reverse the usual conclusions about local government. If anything, it is perhaps surprising that local councils function as well as they do, given their constraints.
This report does not develop policy conclusions…  But a report developed in parallel with this one pointed to a process for unblocking regional growth. As Krupp and Wilkinson became increasingly convinced that political economy rather than current financial constraints were the fundamental drivers of some councils’ reluctance to embrace growth, Khyaati Acharya and I proposed regionally based policy reform as potential solution.

Abstracting from the political constraint, restoring housing affordability is a solved problem: allow greater density within our cities’ centres; abolish rules like minimum apartment sizes and minimum parking requirements that push up housing costs;
and end the rules that stop cities from expanding at the fringes.

But abstracting from the political constraint is too much like the proverbial economist’s assuming the existence of the necessary can-opener. The more interesting remaining problem is how to change the underlying political economy so that both local and central government can embrace
growth and change.

Italics mine…

This is a great conversation starter.

If you would like to download the full report head over to the NZ Initiative website.

This may not surprise you…

BUT, some issues we are currently facing (such as oil price drops and stock market drops) are not a surprise.

The oil price drop is no surprise to most analysts, or it’s impact on the global economy.  The big picture is that it could be good for the masses.  Reducing living costs, encouraging spending in other areas, boosting other parts of the economy.

When these times of uncertainty come (and there have been enough of them since 2008). What do you do?  Who do you listen to?

That is where a good investment adviser comes in.  We help you through the questions and media headlines to the heart of what is going on and what you can do about it.

There will always be uncertainty, that much is certain.

If you are having trouble sleeping due to fretting about your investments, you have a few choices:

  • Do nothing
  • Find a financial adviser you trust to talk it over with
  • Talk to your friends who read the same news you do
  • Talk to someone who looks at the big picture and has your best interests first and foremost in their mind. This should be the financial adviser you trust)

None of us can change the past, but we can change the present to have a positive impact on our future.

Don’t trust everything you read or hear in the media. Try to understand the angle and motivation of the person who wrote the article instead. As the saying goes, it’s not news unless it is bad news.