July 15, 2022

In early November 2021, Tesla hit a market capitalisation of $1.23 trillion (USD). As I type this, its market cap is just under $700 billion. In early November 2021, Bitcoin hit a market cap of $1.263 trillion. As I write, its market cap is just under $370 billion (USD). From ...

July 8, 2022

In 1969, the United States experienced one of its most intense hurricanes in history. It was called Hurricane Camille. It reached wind speeds of 280km per hour. It killed more than 250 people, and caused over $2 billion dollars in damage (in today’s dollars, NZD). Hurricane Camille narrowly missed the ...

June 25, 2022

We may be in recession territory. Stats NZ recently stated that growth in GPD for the March 2022 quarter was negative, and “recession” is commonly defined as two consecutive quarters of falling GDP. When I look at Google Trends, it tells me that more Kiwis are searching for the term ...

June 3, 2022

I initially wrote this article exclusively for subscribers to the NZ Wealth & Risk newsletter. However, after reading a recent article – "KiwiSaver conservative fund losses shock investors" – I thought I'd share this as a normal blog article. Bonds have been performing TERRIBLY lately. As I type this [in ...

April 8, 2022

I LOVE rules of thumb. In the right place at the right time, they’re invaluable. There are, however, times and places where rules of thumb aren’t appropriate. Working out how much you need in order to retire or feel comfortable or feel “financially independent” is NOT the time or place ...

March 18, 2022

🤍🤍🤍 Before we were able to store food properly, the best place to store extra food was in the stomachs of our friends, family members, and neighbours. When they had surplus food, they’d reciprocate. Through most of our evolution, before the agricultural revolution, refrigeration, and the ability to store, refrigerate, ...

February 18, 2022

Lots of people reassess their insurance arrangements after repaying their mortgage. That’s fair enough. It’s a significant financial milestone. A lot of people also associate insurance with debt — it’s common for people to arrange insurance around the same time they take out mortgages (and it’s often the same people ...

February 4, 2022

I’m ambivalent about Peter Thiel. He’s a thoughtful and articulate guy. I like many aspects of his book Zero to One. I think we have a very different idea, however, of what a good society looks like, and what it would take to get us there. In other words, I ...

December 17, 2021

Being a parent is a huge responsibility.We want the best for our children. When they leave the nest, most of us want to have some comfort knowing that they’re well-equipped to be happy, independent, productive people.Part of this picture is being able to make sound financial decisions.As a result there ...

November 26, 2021

Sometimes, for some people, the smart thing isn’t to maximise the probability of success.Sometimes, it pays to do things that are more likely to fail – where you’ll probably lose money or get nothing for you time. If there is the possibility of a big payout. And you’re in a ...

October 29, 2021

TLDR: High-level thoughts. Less relevant to any specific decision, but more about the lenses through which we see the world, which can in turn inform our decisions.In the last year or so, something weird has happened. I’ve become an optimistic person.This is weird for many reasons, including:The fact I’ve spent most ...

September 17, 2021

An investing rule of thumbWhen it comes to investing, I have a personal rule of thumb:If someone offers a high guaranteed return on an investment, I walk in the other direction. Bonds issued by Governments or reputable institutions are okay.But high returns, nearing 10% or more? I start to run. ...

July 30, 2021

Returns on savings accounts and term deposits are dismal at the moment. As I write this, interest.co.nz lists returns on 12-month term deposit rates from 0.5% to 1.35% (mean of 1.13%). For 5-year rates, returns vary from 0.5% to 2.05% (mean of 1.65%). The rate of inflation (measured via the ...

June 18, 2021

It’s easy to think that you’re either spending money, or you’re saving it. You draw up a budget. You work out what you spend, and you save the rest. (Alternatively: you pay yourself first, and then spend the remainder.) In reality, however, financial decisions often don’t fall neatly into one ...

June 4, 2021

Every time I work with a client, I make a bald statement of fact: If you invest in growth-oriented investments, there WILL be times when the value of those investments will drop. Sometimes these drops will be significant. If you can’t accept this, then you shouldn’t invest in growth-oriented investments ...