There wasn’t a lot to report from The Press or Sunday Star Times this week.

From the Saturday 10 June 2017 edition of The Press was 10 ways to stop money stress by Susan Edmunds. After referring to surveys showing that “at least a third of [Kiwis] think dealing with our finances is stressful and overwhelming”, and “a recent Harvard study [finding] money worries can reduce your IQ by up to 10 points”, Edmunds gives 10 fairly standard tips for cutting money angst. Prime among these are: tackling money troubles head on rather than burying your head in the sand; being open with your partner; and avoiding short-term, high-interest consumer debt. 

In the Sunday 11 June 2017 edition of the Sunday Star Times, Martin Hawes asks: “Bitcoin: Should it be your next investment?” by Martin Hawes. Hawes concludes that “I will buy some Bitcoin for some diversification and to learn more” but doesn’t provide any substantive information relating to Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrencies/distributed ledger technologies (DLTs).

Somehow Hawes thinks that buying Bitcoin will provide diversification, but this is like saying I’m going to buy Australian or US currency and do nothing with it, simply to provide currency diversification. Ordinarily, you would want to invest in something with that currency to generate an income.  

In saying this, I’m not trying to discredit Bitcoin/cryptocurrencies/DLTs – I think there’s something there, and they’re not going away. I don’t know if it will be Bitcoin or Ethereum or any other form that will become the dominant currency (if there will be a dominant one). Presumably, the one that ultimately becomes dominant will become more valuable over time. But ultimately, unless you know a lot about it, you’re speculating rather than investing. For what it’s worth, Tim Ferris recently had a more substantive podcast interview Nick Szabo regarding these technologies – it is worth checking out.

In the New Zealand Herald, Mary Holm has been reminding people over 18 who have not yet contributed $1,043 to Kiwisaver to consider doing so before the end of the month to maximise their member tax credit of $521 for the year. Holm has also had some interesting things to say about how much people need to save for retirement, stressing that for many people $1 million isn’t strictly necessary. 

Sonnie Bailey

Sonnie is an Authorised Financial Adviser (AFA) and former lawyer with experience in the financial services and trustee industries. Sonnie operates Fairhaven Wealth (www.fairhavenwealth.co.nz).