Shopping for ETFs – Sharesies vs Hatch

Sharesies and Hatch are New Zealand’s friendly faces of investing, and are both fantastic services that have brought ETF investing much closer to everyday Kiwis. ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) are incredibly popular options to have in your investment portfolio, giving investors instant diversification in a wide rage of companies, with low fees, and ease of buying and selling. As a quick overview:

  • Sharesies is a service that allows you to buy ETFs listed on the New Zealand market.
  • Hatch is a service that allows you to buy ETFs listed on the United States markets.

In this article, I want to uncover the pros and cons of creating an ETF portfolio with each service. Is it better to buy local ETFs with Sharesies or go shopping for overseas ETFs with Hatch?

Continue Reading…

Continue Reading →

Peer to Peer Lending review – Lending Crowd

Lending Crowd lives in the shadow of bigger, more well known Peer to Peer Lending platforms like Harmoney, but do they deserve more attention? Lending Crowd is a simple platform that promises to connect investors to a crowd of high-quality, creditworthy borrowers, without involvement of the big banks. With that comes the opportunity for investors to earn returns far higher than what the banks are offering with savings accounts and term deposits.

Based in Newmarket, Lending Crowd launched in late 2015, and is owned by finance company Finance Direct. I’ve been an investor on the platform since May 2017, and in this article I’ll be reviewing the Lending Crowd platform and its returns, risks, fees, and features. Is it better than investing in Harmoney?

Continue Reading…

Continue Reading →

Dealing with Dividends – 5 things to know about them

Dividends – everyone loves them, and they are a crucial aspect of investing as they are one of the two ways you can make money from shares (the other being capital gains). They give investors a regular return on their investment, and have recently become even more important as an alternative income source to declining term deposit returns.

However, dividends are often misunderstood and misused, particularly by beginner investors. In this article, I’ll be covering the specifics of dividends, such as when they’re paid, how much money you could make from them, and lastly, I’ll be looking at New Zealand’s biggest dividend trap, Sky TV.


Continue Reading…

Continue Reading →

What I’ve been investing in – August 2019

What I’ve been investing in is a monthly series covering what investments I’ve made during the month, and any investing related news that I’ve found interesting. In August 2019 New Zealand secured the Bledisloe Cup for the 17th year straight, massive protests continued in Hong Kong, and trade wars and OCR cuts have dominated the economic news. It has been a relatively quiet one for me in terms of my own investment portfolio, but I have a lot of news below that’s well worth reading about!

Continue Reading…

Continue Reading →

Term deposit rates suck! What you can do – with 5 term deposit tips

Late last year I opened a 9 month term deposit with an interest rate of 3.50%. Time has flown by, and now as that term deposit is approaching maturity, I’m facing the prospect of having to reinvest it at a drastically lower rate of around 2.80%. These low rates suck!

Interest rates are plummeting everywhere, and with them, the incomes of term deposit holders. Given New Zealanders collectively have $170 billion invested in term deposits, the effect of this will be widely felt. In this article, I’ll briefly look at why rates are falling, alternative investment options, as well as some tips for squeezing extra dollars out of term deposits.


Continue Reading…

Continue Reading →

Building an investment portfolio – Simplicity vs InvestNow

Building an investment portfolio is something many of us want to do to grow our wealth, and these days there are many options New Zealanders can use to do so. In this article I’m going to take a closer look at Simplicity and InvestNow – both very popular services we can use to invest, but are actually work quite differently. As a quick recap:

  • Simplicity – a Fund Manager. They manage the fund you invest in, taking your money and investing it into assets like shares and bonds.
  • InvestNow – a Fund Platform. A service that offers you a variety of different funds to invest in, like a “fund supermarket”.

Here I want to look at building an investment portfolio using both Simplicity and InvestNow, and in doing so, uncover the pros and cons of each service as well as their fees.

Continue Reading…

Continue Reading →

Simplicity vs JUNO vs BNZ – Battle of the low cost KiwiSaver funds

KiwiSaver has been around since 2007, but Simplicity shook things up in 2016, when they launched new KiwiSaver funds with dramatically lower fees than most other funds out there. They had good reason to shake things up, with the average Growth fund charging fees of around 1.4%, and over a lifetime of investing in KiwiSaver, these high fees can impact your retirement savings by hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Since 2016 we’ve had the launch of more low cost KiwiSaver providers – JUNO who launched in August 2018, and BNZ who revamped their KiwiSaver scheme to become a low fee one in May 2019. In this article I’ll be comparing the Simplicity, JUNO, and BNZ schemes. What are the pros and cons of each scheme? Are they really as cheap as they advertise, and if so, are they really worth it?

I will also compare against the Milford KiwiSaver scheme as a “benchmark” provider – Milford aren’t a low cost provider, but have been the top performing fund manager over the last 5 years. Do they offer anything that the low cost providers don’t?


Continue Reading…

Continue Reading →

Peer to Peer Lending review – Harmoney

Harmoney is New Zealand’s first and largest Peer to Peer (P2P) Lending platform launching back in September 2014. They’ve since facilitated the lending of over $1.2 billion across over 60,000 loans, significantly more than any other P2P Lending platform in NZ. Harmoney was my very first investment (outside of bank deposits), connecting me and over 8,000 other investors directly to people borrowing money, giving us the opportunity to earn “the lion’s share” of interest.

Following on from my article 5 things to know about investing in Peer to Peer Lending, I’ll be reviewing the Harmoney platform. What are their returns, risks, fees, and features like? Is it worth investing on this platform?

Continue Reading…

Continue Reading →

The best bank accounts and credit cards for managing your everyday finances

Being an investor isn’t just about signing up to InvestNow/Sharesies/etc. and picking the right fund to invest in. We investors need the support of good products and services to help manage our everyday finances. This could include:

  • Transaction accounts to receive money and make payments
  • Savings accounts to keep spare cash and emergency funds
  • Credit cards to pay for our expenses
  • Services to transfer money to/from overseas

In this article, I’ll share my thoughts on what the best bank accounts, credit cards, and services are for managing our everyday finances in New Zealand. As a bonus I’ll also share what I think is the best Children’s bank account in NZ, and the best Australian bank account.


Continue Reading…

Continue Reading →