April 29, 2022

What will the world look like in 2050? How will it be different to today?Lately, I’ve been a little preoccupied with that question. The reason I’ve been thinking with this timeframe in mind is because, with any luck, it covers some of my most productive years – my 40s, 50s, and 60s.This ...

March 4, 2022

You can find useful insights anywhere. Whether they’re new insights, reinforcing insights you’ve already had, or rearticulating or recontextualising insights. Take, for instance, Tyler Cowen’s recent interview with Chuck Klosterman. At various points, Tyler explains to Chuck: “high-quality real estate and cheap hobbies… are the best hedges” “You are human ...

February 25, 2022

Consumer NZ is paving a road to hell with good intentions with the way it talks about personal insurance, and especially personal insurance advice. I’m a big fan of Consumer NZ. I pay for membership to access its research and to support its mission.I’ve benefited from Consumer’s guidance when purchasing big ...

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 11, 2022

Sometimes I chat with people who are thinking of cancelling, or substantially reducing, their personal insurances as a result of short-term cash flow pressures. Most of the time, when people are prompted to cancel or reduce their insurances, I try to get them to reconsider, or to s-l-o-w the decision ...

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 ...

August 6, 2021

The books above are fictional, in the sense that they don't exist. (The exception is Luck.) They represent collections of articles from this blog of the past couple of years, collated together by theme.Over the next few months I’m going to share some of these books with you. In doing ...

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 ...

July 2, 2021

Family trusts are less popular than they used to be. There are various reasons for this. Tax benefits are more limited than they once were. Nor are trusts especially helpful in improving your eligibility for Government benefits that are means-tested (eg Residential Care Subsidies). There have also been some overly ...

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 ...

April 30, 2021

Earlier this year, my wife and I had to make the difficult decision to put down one of our cats.His name was Ta’ke (Tucky). We loved him. He came into our life at a special time of our life. Ta’ke and his sister, Puku, were our “practice babies” before we ...

March 19, 2021

March 2020 was pretty scary. On March 11, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic. New Zealand’s 4-tiered Alert Level system was announced on 21 March. On 23 March we moved to Alert Level 3, and on 25 March we moved to Alert Level 4. We ...

February 12, 2021

I was interested in this article on Stuff.co.nz two days ago: “MPs from all sides turn on Treasury, Reserve Bank and Labour over failure to act on housing”. It reminded me of the maxim: “You may not be interested in politics, but politics is interested in you”. In the context ...