Hi! My name is Sonnie. Welcome to my blog. 

This blog is about money, managing risk, and living a life that is in line with your values and priorities.

My background

My full name is Sonnie Bailey LLB BCom MEntr DipFincPlan. I'm a financial planner. I'm a former lawyer. I've specialised in financial services law and in trust and private client work. I've worked in professional trustee roles.

I've worked with lots of people who have been very happy with the advice I provide, and how I provide it.

As a financial services lawyer/compliance professional I reviewed thousands of financial advice files prepared by hundreds of financial advisers, and spoke with dozens of financial advisers in depth about their business and advice processes.

I'm also actively involved in the financial advice industry, and my hope is that I leave the industry better than when I entered it. I'm involved with the largest industry association in NZ, Financial Advice NZ. I also make submissions in relation to regulatory proposals in my own name, with an eye to ensuring Kiwis (and not just financial service and product advisers) have a clear voice in these otherwise-esoteric (but highly impactful) areas.

Having said all of these things, I'm not a big fan of credentialism. I also bring a lot of perspectives from my personal experiences, conversations I've had, books I've read, podcasts I've listened to, movies I've watched, which I use to provide a different angle every now and then.

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. Also, whether you enjoy my writing and it resonates with you. 

I write without fear or favour.

I operate my own business and serve no masters. I don't advertise third party services or products or have any commercial incentive for staying on-side with anyone or anything. This blog is independent. Everything I write on this blog is without fear or favour.

The only financial benefit I get out of this blog is that a (very) small portion of readers become clients of my business, Fairhaven Wealth. The main personal benefit I get is that it provides me an avenue for my over-active mind. The fact I can help out a few savvy Kiwis and make some friends is an added bonus. 

I also subscribe to the idea of "strong opinions, weakly held", and reserve the right to change my mind or better articulate my ideas over time, in light of new evidence and different perspectives. 

Take EVERYTHING with a grain of salt

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 also encourage you to take everything you read with a grain of salt, and this blog is no exception. 

Start here

This blog consists of hundreds of articles, published over many years. A good starting point to this blog is my article, The NZ Wealth & Risk Manifesto.

Signing up to the NZ Wealth & Risk mailing list will also mean you receive a series of "Build your own financial plan" emails which are a good introduction to how to look at your financial affairs. This series of emails is a good scaffolding, or lens, for reading everything else on this blog.


Most of all, enjoy! I hope you find the resources on this site useful and interesting 🙂