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 ...

August 11, 2017

I haven’t written any “Weekend reading” articles recently. This hasn’t stopped me from collecting a pile of clippings and links. I’ll have missed many good articles, but some that are on my pile/list from recent weeks include: An interesting article by Rob Stock about how voluntary euthanasia law might impact ...

July 2, 2017

In the Saturday 1 July 2017 edition of The Press: Susan Edmunds discusses the financial ramifications of divorce, especially for people over 50. Takeaways include: Entering into a property relationship agreement (aka a pre-nup) before marrying can save tens of thousands of dollars. Divorce is one of the key reasons ...

June 18, 2017

In the Saturday 17 June 2017 edition of The Press: Liz Koh explains that “Excessive frugality can be as bad as over-spending “. Koh explains that “neither underspending nor overspending is necessarily wrong. They just have different consequences”. The consequences of overspending are pretty apparent, but Koh notes that “while ...

June 11, 2017

There wasn’t a lot to report from The Press or Sunday Star Times this week. From the Saturday 10 June 2017 edition of The Press was “10 ways to stop money stress“ by Susan Edmunds. After referring to surveys showing that “at least a third of [Kiwis] think dealing with our finances is ...

June 3, 2017

From the Saturday 3 June 2017 edition of The Press: “Foundations of resilience an issue of national importance” by Liz Koh. I found this article refreshing, in that it recognises that financial well-being is part of a much broader picture, both at the personal level and the national level. Koh ...

May 28, 2017

I’m not a big consumer of traditional forms of media (I talk about sourcing media here). But I enjoy reading the “Your money” section in the Saturday edition of The Press each week.  Last week there were a couple of articles with important messages: “Are you missing out on $1m?” ...

March 16, 2017

A buy-sell agreement can be thought of as a “business will”. It’s an agreement between the owners in a business about what will happen if one of them dies or if one is them is unable to work in the business.  Without a buy-sell agreement, difficult situations can become even ...

March 11, 2017

This is an edited extract from my new book, WEALTH: Simple Tips for Young Professionals. If you’re interested in receiving a copy, you can buy it from Lulu.com or contact me (Sonnie) directly. Young people at the start of their professional careers are in a very different situation to older people who ...

March 3, 2017

If this blog is your only source of information in relation to wealth and risk management, I’m honoured! But I hope that’s not the case. I encourage everybody to consult a number of sources when it comes to personal finance, or anything for that matter. Promiscuity isn’t always a bad ...

February 10, 2017

Two personal experiences in the past fortnight. These aren’t characteristic of insurance advisers but I need to get them off my chest: My wife and I were pitched with insurance recommendations that we didn’t ask for. I sat through the presentation for the sake of etiquette and out of curiosity. ...

August 1, 2016

I am both attracted and repelled by the “self improvement” genre. At its heart, I agree that we can get better at many things in life. These include soft skills like communicating with people, identifying and regulating our emotions, and becoming more productive in general.  We should improve at these ...

December 9, 2015

The Sunday Star Times recently published an article by Martin Hawes titled “The Trust Relationship“. In the article, Hawes talks about the important process of weighing the advantages of having a trust versus the disadvantages when deciding whether to establish a family trust or keep one going.  I agree strongly ...

September 15, 2015

I’ve discussed budgeting and its importance in the past. Budgeting is about setting priorities. Even Bill Gates needs to do it. It’s something we all should do – to ensure that our spending reflects our values and desires.  Although I support the concept of budgeting, I have a couple of perspectives that ...

July 19, 2015

I’ve been lured by the siren call of minimalism several times over the last few years. There is an attractiveness to the philosophy – that “less (stuff) is more” – that’s hard to deny. Recently I stumbled upon a fascinating article on The Art of Manliness blog, titled “The Problem with Minimalism”. It ...