All articles

Below is a list of all articles published on the NZ Wealth & Risk blog over the past 5+ years. 

The paradox of advice

If you decide to engage a financial adviser, you might think that the decision would make you better

What price a dream

Consider this article a personal allegory. At a superficial level, it’s about my desire to own a Porsche

How I money

(Technically, this article should be titled “How WE money” because everything I do, I do it with my

How to be interesting

I’m not the most socially skilled person in the world. But I’m a LOT better than I used

Situational ethics

Ethics is interesting The topics of ethics and morality, in the abstract, elicit eye-rolls in many people. But

My manifesto

This article sets out some of my core beliefs when it comes to money and wealth, with links

Plan. But don’t over-plan.

“Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.” – Dwight D Eisenhower I believe that it’s important to plan.

How to predict the future

Trying to predict the future is hard. And in some ways, it’s impossible. But it’s a valuable exercise.

Question the question

​(On the surface this article is about “scoping” when it comes to professional services. But consider it also

Investing is personal

How would you invest if you were 60 and had an investment portfolio of $5 million? And let’s

My (in)efficient market hypothesis

One reason academically-inclined people give for investing in index-based funds is the “efficient-market hypothesis”. (Another is the empirical

Success is personal

“Success” for you is different to “success” for me. I’ve been reflecting on this lately in the context

Invest in friendship

“Every so often you meet someone from your tribe. And the trick is, when you do, to know

Buy experiences, not things??

“To be happy, buy experiences, not things.”  It’s a simple slogan. And it certainly seems compelling. I’ve seen

The gift of fear

(To a large extent, this blog is oriented towards money. But when I talk about “wealth” and “risk”

Kiwis should embrace supermodels

(When I talk about embracing “supermodels”, I’m actually talking about embracing “super models”. As in, all Kiwis should

On bank conduct and culture

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) published a long-awaited report on bank

The median is not the message

One of my best friends was recently diagnosed with lung cancer. Among other things (including reevaluating my own


Love people, not money

If money is your focus in life, I recommend reassessing your relationship with money. Money is important, but

Are we on the road to ruin?

This article was inspired James Rickards’ book The Road To Ruin, which has received a fair amount of attention

Kids and careers

One of the more powerful personal finance articles I’ve read was titled “You cannot afford to be a

Build wealth by being lazy!

  When it comes to money, it’s valuable to distinguish between making wealth and growing wealth. Making wealth

Home ownership

New subscribers to the NZ Wealth & Risk mailing list receive a Build Your Own Financial Plan series of


Risk management for ballers

An amazing story about George Clooney: Rande Gerber (one of Clooney’s good friends) recently told a story about

Money in the media

Some links to interesting articles in published media such as The Press, The Sunday Star Times, and The Herald from

Diversifying your happiness

Dan Buettner, in interview with James Hamblin for The Atlantic: [think] about happiness in the same way you

Beware of money vampires

Vampires don’t exist. At least, not in the Dracula or True Blood sense. Those types of vampires are fictional

Two cents on innovation

When many people think about innovation, the first thing to come to mind is the iPhone. Certainly, the

Career risk and how to manage it

  In my most recent article, Retirement planning and whole-of-life planning, I referred to various uncertainties relating to

Money in the media, July/August

I haven’t written any “Weekend reading” articles recently. This hasn’t stopped me from collecting a pile of clippings

Money and marriage

  (Note that this article isn’t limited to marriage. There are financial impacts of entering into civil unions,

Certainty and confidence

Human beings are attracted to certainty. We prefer a sure thing than a 99% likelihood. We respond to

How to be lucky

We can implement strategies and organise our life to maximise the probability and impact of good luck and

Safe as houses?

  I have many questions about investing in residential property. I have my own ideas about some of

If I had a $10 million windfall

I’ve been thinking about financial advisers with clients holding significant assets. Say, $8 to $10 million. Apart from

Are you OVER-insured?

Many people are under-insured. That’s a fact. We don’t like thinking about worst case scenarios. “Sort out insurance”

Adventures in the multiverse

The concept of the “multiverse” is a wicked idea. According to  Wikipedia: The multiverse (or meta-universe) is the

The value of independence

With my new business, Fairhaven Wealth, I make a point to emphasise my independence. There are a number

Cracking the buy-sell code

A buy-sell agreement can be thought of as a “business will”. It’s an agreement between the owners in

Planning for multiple futures

Apple recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of the announcement of the iPhone.  The iPhone, and smart phones as

Adventures in AdViceland

Two personal experiences in the past fortnight. These aren’t characteristic of insurance advisers but I need to get

Digital afterlives

As time goes on, more of our lives are being lived online. Most people have signed up to

Do you have VAPID goals?

I’ve spoken in the past about my skepticism of “SMART” goals. But there are worse models for formulating

Willpower and skillpower

I very much enjoyed Disease-Proof: The remarkable truth about what makes us well by Dr David L. Katz

Wealth and bandwidth

One of the reasons for building financial wealth is that it increases your mental and emotional bandwidth. By

To win, don’t lose

  I recently presented to a large number of financial advisers. I was speaking as a lawyer who

Trusts and alienation

There are many reasons for setting up a trust. Estate and succession planning is one. Privacy is another.

Feet, forks, and fingers

Although I tend to focus on wealth and financial outcomes on this blog, many of the biggest risks

A question of trust

The Sunday Star Times recently published an article by Martin Hawes titled “The Trust Relationship“. In the article,

“Very happy people”

An excerpt from a 2002 research report authored by Ed Diener and Martin Seligman – two of the fathers

Beliefs and Aliefs

Talk is cheap. It’s easy to say things about how the world works. Or about ourselves. Or about our relationship

The real wealth of nations

The World Bank published a report in 2006 entitled ‘Where is the Wealth of Nations?’. The findings of the

What are the odds?

Let’s face it: if you’re in your late twenties or in your thirties, the odds that you will


If you haven’t listened to a podcast before, I recommend giving it a go. Podcasting is becoming increasingly

Going to the source

For a number of years, my professional life has revolved around the Australian financial services laws. This body

“How to be polite”

Paul Ford has published a charming article titled “How to be polite” on Medium. I love the general

The importance of friendship

Maclean’s has published an interesting article by Brian Bethune in which he discusses two books, The Vanishing Neighbour by Marc Dunkelman,

A dollar saved…

is often better than a dollar earned. If your marginal tax rate is 32.5% of every dollar earned,

Retirement is…

often a euphemism for being displaced from the workforce. Are you doing anything to manage that risk?

To owe is not to own…

Some excerpts form the fascinating working paper “To owe is not to own: why Russians reject mortgages (and why

Does marketing promote materialism?

An excerpt from Geoffrey Miller’s Must Have : “at its heart consumerist capitalism is not ‘materialistic,’ but ‘semiotic.’ It

A matter of record

My favourite chapter of Michael Lewis’ book Moneyball is chapter 4, “Field of Ignorance”, where he talks about Bill James

Stumbling on Happiness

With Stumbling on Happiness, Daniel Gilbert has not written a prescription for how to be happy. Rather, this Harvard psychologist has