My name is Sonnie. Welcome to my blog. I've been publishing regularly on this blog for many years.
The topics of this blog often revolve around money, managing risk, decision-making, and living a life that's in line with your values and priorities.
This blog is different to lots of other personal finance blogs:
- For one thing, I treat it as a personal blog, which means I touch on lots of things that aren't directly related to finance. (Think of it like a mullet. Business up front, party down back.)
- I don't write for everyone. This is not the biggest personal finance blog in New Zealand, and it never will be. I'd rather write poignantly for 10 people than pointlessly for 10,000. I'm writing for a narrow type of audience that is similar to me, and I am 100% aware that I think differently to lots of folks. For better or worse, I also tend to write for people who already have some runs on the board in their professional and/or financial lives.
- I vary rarely write about specific financial products. If you want a comprehensive comparison of one managed fund over another, then there are other blogs out there.
- Independence is one of my key values. I don't advertise third party services or products and don't have any affiliate relationships. I don't want to have any commercial incentive for staying on-side with anyone or anything.
The only financial benefit I get out of this blog is that a (very) small portion of readers become clients of my financial planning business, Fairhaven Wealth. Having said this, for the last few years I've had more work than I've needed, and this has become less of an incentive. In fact, as I write this, I am not taking on any new clients and probably won't be for the foreseeable future.
The main personal benefits I get are that it provides me an avenue for my over-active mind, and it has helped me get to know some terrific people.
I'd like to think I'm a thoughtful, idiosyncratic guy who does his best to write interesting and useful stuff for other thoughtful Kiwis. But really, that assessment's not for me to make. Read this blog and decide for yourself whether you think I'm thoughtful, have values that align with your own, and get a sense of whether we share similar presuppositions about the world.
As far as credentials go, I've got lots of letters after my name (LLB BCom MEntr DipFincPlan). I started working in the financial services industry roughly two decades ago. I currently run my own financial planning business, Fairhaven Wealth, and have worked with lots of clients who've been very happy with the advice I've provided and how I provided it.
I used to be a lawyer, specialising in financial services law, trusts, and estate planning. I've been involved in in professional trustee roles and directorships. I've reviewed thousands of financial advice files prepared by hundreds of financial advisers and spoken with dozens of financial advisers in depth about their business and advice processes, and have developed some strong opinions based on these experiences. I'm actively involved in the financial advice industry, and my hope is that I leave the industry better than when I entered it.
More importantly, I'm a husband, dad, son, brother, uncle, and friend. I want to leave the world better than I found it.
Take everything with a grain of salt – this blog is no exception
Everything I write is informed by many years of professional experience (and my own personal biases. We all have 'em).
Having said this, I don't know you, and nothing on this blog is personalised to you. In fact, one of the big themes of this blog is: you do you.
Any decision you make should be based on your own unique, idiosyncratic circumstances, needs, objectives, concerns, values, and priorities.)
I encourage you to take everything you read with a grain of salt, and this blog is no exception.
Sign up to my newsletter
Signing up to the NZ Wealth & Risk newsletter is the best way of staying up to date with what is happening on this blog and my other projects.
Historically, new subscribers to the newsletter received a PDF copy of my short book WEALTH: Simple Tips for Savvy Kiwis, and an automated series of emails revolving around the theme of "building your own financial plan". For the time being, I've put those on hold until I get a chance to review them properly.
At this stage, subscribers receive a newsletter every month. This consists of links to new articles I've published, some candid thoughts I've decided not to share on the public blog, and links to various other articles and resources I find useful and/or interesting.
Sign up to the newsletter via the form below.