We all need to know financial control

Clearly anyone can quickly pick up cooking, laundry or start the hedge trimmer if needed, but finances can be daunting and difficult if there’s no familiarity there. A lack of financial knowledge can be paralysing if a person is suddenly confronted with financial demands.

And it's a cut, again!

New Zealand appears to be stuck in an economic malaise. Household debt has never been higher, wage growth tends to lag, and gross domestic product per capita (everyone’s share of the economic pie) annual growth has been shrinking. And this was with interest rates already at record lows. Solution? Cut interest rates further.

Don’t risk being under-insured

Owning something valuable, such as a house, car or boat, without insuring it means taking a huge financial risk. For that reason, around 95 per cent of New Zealanders have insurance to protect against loss due to disaster, accident or theft. However, when it comes to protecting themselves and their family’s future, the majority have little or no insurance cover.

Five Lessons from a Ponzi scheme victim

Ross Asset Management was the biggest Ponzi-scheme ever happened in NZ when it unfolded in 2012 – it is said investors had $450 million with Ross but only $10m was recovered.  In reality the figure invested was closer to $110m as most of the $450m were accumulated fictious returns. About 200 have signed up to the claim so far.

The Cricket World Cup, Outcome Bias and Outrageous Fortune

Given how unfathomable the game of cricket is for the uninitiated (and initiated) I am at pains to reference such a wonderfully convoluted activity; however, sometimes sport offers up such vivid examples of our behavioural biases in action that it proves irresistible subject matter.

Make sure you have a 'fire drill' for your investment plan

An adviser once said he did not so much have people with investment problems as he had investments with people problems. Your assumed rationality can vanish in a crisis. So why not build your human imperfections into your game plan?

The Siren's Songs

In Greek mythology Sirens were beautiful half-bird/half female creatures, but you couldn’t trust their appearance. They lured passing sailors with beautiful music and melody toward their island home. While not quite as dramatic, the world of investing has never been short of sirens and their songs. These mostly manifest, not in tune, but in story.

Where there's a Will, but no way

Is your will drawn up? Do you have a power of attorney? Aside from ensuring your investments are right for you, your financial adviser should have a healthy interest in ensuring a few other things in your life are addressed.

Better investment decision making

Making sensible investment decisions is difficult. We are subject to a range of behavioural biases. We have to cope with incessant noise around financial markets. We behave in ways that are inconsistent with our long-term investment objectives. So, what can we do about it?