News & Articles
Stay up to date with the latest news and happenings with the Lifetime blog. A library of thought-provoking articles to inform and enlighten on all things loans, insurance, investments and planning.
Unlocking Financial Harmony: Navigating the Symphony of Life with Mindfulness
In the hustle and bustle of daily life, the concept of mindfulness often finds its place in discussions about mental health and stress reduction. However, its impact on financial wellbeing is a hidden gem worth exploring.
A 2021 survey by the New Zealand Retirement Commission ranked New Zealand’s overall financial wellbeing as 61 out of 100. In this case, financial wellbeing is defined as “a combination of meeting commitments, being financially comfortable, and resilient for the future.” The area in which New Zealand scored the lowest was preparedness for retirement, with a 43 out of 100 which highlights that around one in three New Zealanders are concerned that they will not have adequate savings to last through their retirement.
Finding Your Financial Ikigai: The Japanese Art of a Balanced & Purposeful Life
In a world that often measures success in financial terms, the Japanese concept of Ikigai offers a refreshing perspective. Transcending the boundaries of culture and geography, this philosophy loosely translates as "a reason for being". Ikigai is a convergence of what you love, what you're good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for. It's an approach that represents a broader view of prosperity, encompassing joy, purpose, and contentment. As financial advisers, we find this particularly compelling. This article delves deeper into how Ikigai can not only enrich your life but also inform your financial decisions for a more fulfilling journey.
Market & Portfolio Update - October 2023
Global share markets declined 2.6% in local currency terms in October, as they were impacted by rising long-term bond yields. However, the NZ dollar also weakened by a similar amount, providing a significant offset for NZ-based investors.
Opportunity Following Election
As soon as we talk election or a new Government, I think of opportunity. The key thing is to wait until the new legislation is finalised. This won’t be for some months, but, we have a great opportunity to plan for the next few months and potentially make changes around the start of the new financial year.
Smart money moves: 6 Practical tips to help you become a money trailblazer
Whether you're saving for a PS5, a better car or a new phone, learning how to handle your money is nothing less than a superpower. Once you master it, the skill will serve you for a lifetime.
Embracing the Nomadic Lifestyle: A Journey into Culture, Work, and Adventure
In a world where the conventional 9-5 routine often feels suffocating, people are beginning to break free from the shackles of monotony to explore new cultures, broaden their horizons, and truly immerse themselves in life. Philip Tetley-Jones, a digital nomad and client of Lifetime, has paved a path less travelled and embraced a lifestyle that defies traditional work norms.
Market & Portfolio Update - September 2023
Global share markets gave back some of their gains in September, declining 3.7% in local currency terms, but they remain up 12.1% year-to-date.
What Is Interest Limitation?
When you invest in a new build or acquire another property that qualifies for specific exemptions, such as social housing developments, certain subdivision initiatives, or transforming a single house into two separate units, you unlock a significant financial advantage. This advantage lies in the ability to leverage a 100% interest deduction as part of your tax strategy. This deduction serves as a powerful tool for optimising your financial position by substantially reducing your taxable profits and consequently, your overall tax liability.
Feeling the Mortgage Pinch: How The Kiwi Dream Can Become A Nightmare
Kiwi’s love home ownership. But in recent years, the number of us owning a home is declining, the hurdles to jump over for a mortgage seem to be higher, and the cost-to-income ratio is painfully increasing.
And now to add to that storm, we have wallet-annihilating interest rates and eye-watering inflation - it’s turning more grim than a Wellington southerly. Together, the sinister duo of Interest and their nefarious henchman, Inflation, are squeezing the New Zealander's dream tighter than a pair of budgie smugglers two sizes too small.
Your Homeownership Adventure Begins Here
Becoming a homeowner is a significant milestone in many people's lives, often representing a dream realised after years of hard work and financial planning. However, the path to homeownership can seem daunting, especially for first-time buyers. To guide you along your homeownership journey, we will help to demystify some common misconceptions about the real estate market and building a deposit, explore the key factors banks consider when granting a mortgage, and provide valuable tips to keep at the front of your mind as you save.
Market & Portfolio Update - August 2023
Global share markets gave back some of their gains in August, declining 1.8% in local currency terms, but with the NZ dollar weakening against most major currencies, returns were positive for NZ-based investors.
Market & Portfolio Update - July 2023
Most global share markets were positive in July, spurred higher by the energy and financial sectors, which makes for a change from the first half of the year where technology companies drove markets.
Swiftflation 101: Taylor Swift's Eras Tour and its Economic Echoes
Recently, you may have heard the term “Swiftflation” thrown about in the news.
Swiftflation relates to the boost in the local economies left in the wake of Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour. Swift’s tour has seen unparalleled popularity and is predicted to become the highest-grossing concert tour of all time, and by a lot, with an expected $1-$1.4 billion in sales.
Your Money, Your Future: The Art of Saving & Investing
Your 20s are a crucial time for setting the stage for a financially secure future. While it may seem overwhelming to navigate the world of saving and investing, fear not! This article will guide you through the essentials.
A Case Study: Tax Arrears With IRD
Unfortunately, it happens sometimes. Your business goes through a rough patch and before you know it, the business is behind on PAYE, GST and/or Income Tax. IRD then aggressively add penalties and interest, and the debt soars.
One of our clients was recently in this position, and this is how we resolved it.
Market & Portfolio Update - June 2023
Global share markets had another strong month in June, rising 3.7% in New Zealand dollar terms. Investors were encouraged by a sharp drop in year-on-year inflation in the US of 4.0% - still above target but substantially lower than the 9.1% recorded in June 2022.
The Cost of Cash
The term “cash is king” is often used when times get tough and there is uncertainty in markets.
Cash provides investors with security and liquidity but often falls short when it comes to generating long-term wealth. While rates in New Zealand are good now with an Official Cash Rate of 5.5%, generally, cash returns historically fall behind fixed interest, property and share markets. But, investing solely or too heavily in cash likely misses opportunities elsewhere. Over short to medium-term periods, cash can from time to time outperform bonds, property and shares. Over longer periods, cash tends to be a drag on investment growth.
Building Successful Financial Habits: Mastering Money Basics for a Bright Future
At 5 pm every second Tuesday, the alarm in my mind never fails to go off to remind me that it is payday. I’m sure you’ll agree that there are few things better than the feeling of seeing fresh money enter your bank account (I will admit that going toe-to-toe with The Chaser in front of the family is a close second). When payday swings around, I often find that there are two mindsets people have...
Financial Mythbusting: Demystifying Common Financial Misconceptions
In the world of finance, pervasive myths and misconceptions often mislead individuals, impeding their financial decision-making and goals. It is essential to debunk these common financial myths and equip ourselves with accurate information. This article sets out on a myth-busting journey, uncovering the truth behind misconceptions in personal finance.
Market & Portfolio Update - May 2023
May saw global share markets deliver a flat return in local currency terms. Worries over the US debt ceiling made headlines; however, a deal between Republicans and Democrats was reached shortly after month-end, and the crisis was averted.
Facing a cash crunch? Let's go back to the drawing board...
In the face of rising interest rates and the increasing cost of everyday items at the supermarket, more and more households are finding it harder to get by.
Many New Zealanders are finding themselves back at square one, redesigning their personal budgets in hopes that they can free up some funds. While this task may appear daunting, it also provides an opportunity to weed out some unnecessary spending and shed a light on areas where improvements could be made.
Market & Portfolio Update - April 2023
Global share markets had another positive month in April, rising 1.6% in local currency terms, as investors were encouraged by the latest round of company financial results. Of the companies that have reported to date, the majority have exceeded earnings expectations, with particular strength seen in large tech names such as Alphabet and Meta.
New Interest Limitation Rules
Discussion Document - Interest limitation rules, published yesterday.
First remember this is only a discussion document and not final legislation. So the rules might change over the next few months.
What is the best property investment structure?
Should your rentals be in a company, Trust, LTC, Partnership, Sole Trader, or something else?
This is a really common question, and there is no best structure for everyone. Everyone has a different situation, and a variety of structures can work best.
Business Must Do’s Before the End of the Financial Year
As the end of the financial year approaches on 31 March 2023, there are a few things to take a look at to ensure you are prepared. We’ve built a checklist of reminders to make sure that you don’t miss a step.
Market & Portfolio Update - February 2023
After a strong rally to start the year, global share markets gave back some of their gains in February. Surprisingly strong economic data led investors to expect higher interest rates which weighed on equity valuations. The strength of the US labour market was particularly surprising, as the unemployment rate fell to a 53-year low of 3.4%.
US Bank Failures
If you haven’t seen this in the news yet, there has been the failure of two banks in the US in the past week.
Whilst this is not positive news for the global economy, the words ‘bank’ and ‘failure’ can incite a level of fear in people that is often disproportionate to the actual failure itself.
Market & Portfolio Update - January 2023
Global share markets got off to a strong start to the year, rising 6.5% in local currency terms. Investors were encouraged by a sixth consecutive monthly fall in US year-on-year inflation in December. At 6.5%, US inflation is still above target but is down meaningfully from its peak of 9.1% in June.
Managing Your Mortgage: Getting ahead in a time of rising interest rates and high inflation
Following the recent announcement that the Official Cash Rate has increased from 4.25% to 4.75%, banks are expected to adjust their rates accordingly. New Zealanders are starting to feel the pinch of inflation as their mortgage repayments increase as a result.
Ten Predictions to Count On
New Year is a customary time to speculate. In a digital age, when past forecasts are available online, market and media professionals find it harder to hide their blushes when their financial predictions go awry. But there are ways around that.
The ignominy that goes with making bold forecasts is seen year after year when newspapers publish polls of economists about their expectations for the economy, interest rates, currencies, commodities and shares in the coming 12 months.
Some get it a bit right. Most get it a lot wrong. And that's not really surprising because there are just so many variables involved in forecasting financial markets.
Three KiwiSaver Decisions For Greater Financial Certainty
Out of the many questions I answer for my clients about their KiwiSaver, three key questions often seem to do the rounds. Though these three questions seem very simple, the answer one gives can make a lot of difference to their financial wellbeing. This is because these questions shape three crucial decisions Kiwis make about their KiwiSaver savings. Regrettably, the reality is, Kiwis often fail to get them right.
Looking for a way to spend your Christmas break?
Those six days between Christmas and New Years can feel like you’re in a state of limbo. The days feel as though they all flow into one and before you know it, 2023 has arrived. If you’re looking for some fun things to get up to – or some creative ways to spice up your summer break – fear not! We have some wonderful ideas for you.
I'm Worried About the Property Boom
Everything in the media is about property crash or recession. And obviously the short term period is going to be hard for property investors.
But is a boom brewing in the background?
Market & Portfolio Update - November 2022
Global share markets had another strong month in November, rising 5.6% in local currency terms. Investors were encouraged by lower than expected year-on-year inflation in the US of 7.7%, down from 8.2% in the prior month.
Rising interest rates and falling house prices: Navigating the current home loan market from first home buyers to seasoned investors.
It seems that everywhere you look at the moment, there’s even more news about the current state of the New Zealand housing market. Whether it be interest rates rising through the roof, falling house prices throughout the country, or a downturn in buyer activity, the looming threat of inflation makes it feel as though no one is safe.
Market & Portfolio Update - October 2022
October provided a much needed reprieve for global share markets, rising 7.2% (in local currency terms). The month saw a number of companies report their latest earnings numbers, which at a broad level, were better than expected.
What should I do with my KiwiSaver investment when the market "wobbles"?
It’s been impossible to avoid the daily headlines in the media recently about the impact that the global pandemic, the war in Ukraine and raising inflation is all having on market stability and KiwiSaver investments.
These are certainly bumpy times, and as a result, the market “wobbles” (as we’ve been calling them) may be a bit unnerving if you’re planning to use your KiwiSaver savings as a deposit to buy your first home in the next six months or so.
Market & Portfolio Update - September 2022
September was another volatile month for global financial markets, as central banks reiterated how far they are willing to go to get inflation back to long-term target levels. For example, in the US, this caused interest rates on bonds to rise by around 0.70%, weighing on the returns of bond investments. Share markets were also volatile, as investors came to grips with higher interest rates and slowing economic growth.
Looking at getting started with property investment? What should you do first?
Take your time. This is always very important. Property is a large investment and not something you should rush into. It’s important to understand how it is going to work for you.
Becoming an ethical investor
A recent survey highlighted that ethical investing is a growing area of interest for many Kiwi investors.
The survey, by RIAA and Mindful Money, revealed that over 75% of KiwiSaver investors expect their KiwiSaver funds to be managed responsibly and ethically1. And, more and more New Zealanders are considering becoming ethical investors so they know exactly where their money is being invested2.
But what exactly does ethical investing mean? And is it something you can do with your KiwiSaver savings?
Market & Portfolio Update - August 2022
Central bankers from around the world met during August at the annual ‘Jackson Hole Symposium’ in the USA. Central banks, like the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ), play an important role in guiding the various economies around the world as they battle inflation, so this event was an opportunity to discuss the challenges they’re facing and reiterate their commitment to getting inflation back under control. This came only one week after the RBNZ updated its own monetary policy, raising the OCR from 2.50% to 3.00%.
New GST rules for Airbnb and Short Term accommodation
There seems to be so many tax changes recently. Another new one is due to come out from 1st April 2024.
Can you rely on rent increasing?
A standard response to interest deductibility changes I see on property forums all the time is "We will just increase rent".
Obviously neither you or I have a crystal ball, and there is a lot of factors influencing rent, but it is worth considering some recent supply vs demand factors.
More Help For First Home Buyers
At Lifetime, we believe strongly in the financial benefits of homeownership. We also support the old rule of thumb ‘the sooner you own the better!’ That is why we were interested to note the new eligibility rules for the Kainga Ora First home grant. These changes could help you or someone you know, achieve that important life stage sooner than expected.
Market & Portfolio Update - July 2022
Prices of goods and services have continued to rise, with inflation numbers exceeding expectations around the world. In New Zealand we hit a 30-year high of 7.3%. Since this was released there has been a drop in a wide range of commodity prices, including oil, which has given hope to investors that we may be past the peak of inflation.
Four budget changes to consider when starting a family
Starting a family can be one of the most rewarding milestones a couple can experience. And one of the most stressful.
Planning for your first child might seem like a daunting and overwhelming task, but managing your finances need not be when you have a good idea of what to expect and how to budget around it.
Market & Portfolio Update - May 2022
Volatility in global share markets continued in May as investors focused on inflation and rising interest rates. Despite the volatility, global share markets rebounded to end the month flat, with the energy sector leading the way (up 13.5%). The energy sector includes oil producers which benefitted from oil prices rising to $123/barrel. The European Union agreed to a partial ban on Russian oil. The ban is expected to cover 90% of Europe’s Russian oil imports by the end of this year.
9 Financial Habits Of Successful People
1. They keep learning
Once they’ve identified areas in which they want to gain wealth, they start educating themselves in those fields.
Invest in your self-knowledge by reading the relevant books, following the right bloggers and spokespeople, and keeping up to date with policy changes in the news. A lot of websites in New Zealand even send daily or weekly updates to your mailbox. There are tons of resources out there (although it’s important to first check their credibility) that will help educate your financial decisions.
The Greatest Sharebroker Tip Of All Time
It was the early 1950s. A young PhD student at the University of Chicago was working on ideas for his PhD. He was waiting patiently in a lounge for a chance to talk to his dissertation adviser. Little did he know that he was about to have a conversation which 40 years later would see him awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics.
Market & Portfolio Update - April 2022
Global share markets continued their choppy start to 2022 during April. For New Zealand-based investors, a fall in the NZ dollar played an important role in helping offset the volatility global share markets experienced. The NZ dollar fell against most major currencies supporting the returns of unhedged overseas assets (assets that are free to move with exchange rates). As a result, ‘unhedged’ overseas investments fell by only 1.8% for NZ based investors.
The KiwiSaver Gender Divide – Why are women saving less and what can be done to combat this?
Recent data shows that, on average, women have 20% less in their KiwiSavers than men. The gap being at its largest between men and women in their 40s and 50s. There are a few factors that come into play causing this divide and although it will take years to achieve equality, there are ways in which we can be proactive to help close the gap. As of August 2021, the gender pay gap is at 9.1% in New Zealand, a decrease of about 0.4% from 2020’s stats.
Market & Portfolio Update - March 2022
Global share markets gained 3% following strong economic data releases, investors understanding the economic implications of the Russian invasion better, and more clarity around the Federal Reserve’s hiking path over the remainder of 2022. The New Zealand share market gained as well, however, the Australian market was the strongest performer returning over 6% for the month.
7 ways parents can help children buy their first home
Many first-time home buyers, often younger people, are finding it difficult to get their first mortgage. For many of you, this will be affecting your nearest and dearest, and it’s you, as family, they’re looking to for assistance. Lifetime’s Financial Adviser Robbie Crawford has a few tips (or mortgage hacks) for those hoping to give their loved ones a helping hand onto the property market.
With most banks requiring a 20 percent deposit to obtain a home loan, raising the initial capital can be the most difficult part for many first-time buyers, here’s how you can help.
Market & Portfolio Update - February 2022
Global share markets fell modestly in February (3%), with uncertainty regarding Ukraine tensions weighing on the market in the lead up to the invasion. While New Zealand and Australian share markets posted positive returns, being further from the conflict and experiencing the latest financial reporting season.
Bridging the gap: how just being a woman impacts your bank balance and what you can do about it
New Zealand’s gender pay gap is unlikely to be going anywhere anytime soon and the impact of earning less over a lifetime has an enormous effect on a woman’s immediate and future financial security. This is compounded by a lower level of workplace participation, a tendency to seek part-time casual work and bear the bulk of caring responsibilities for children and other family members. So how can women bridge the gap? Here are some tips on how to build wealth and make positive steps towards pay equity and financial independence despite and in spite of the hurdles women face.
Don’t Let The Russia-Ukraine Conflict Rattle Your Investment Strategy
The headlines relating to this humanitarian crisis are very upsetting at many levels. At times like this it is easy to extrapolate your concern and start worry about your investment portfolio. Sadly a conflict like this often leads to more stimulatory impacts on economies as governments spending increases , this is a known fact to professional investors as shown below not many are concerned from an investment perspective.
A choppy start to 2022
Following on from an unusual 2020 and 2021, 2022 is already looking to provide some unique opportunities and challenges. With Omicron spreading quickly around the world, and making an entry into the New Zealand community, it is no surprise many investors are worried about how it will affect their investments.
Activate Tāmaki Makaurau – Business Advisory Grant
In the last couple of years, the Covid lockdowns have impacted Auckland’s small businesses greatly, this has left many business owners out-of-pocket and unsure on what to do. The Activate Auckland Business Advisory Grant aims to support Auckland’s small businesses in their recovery from Covid.
Market & Portfolio Update - January 2022
The latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures show high inflation in major economies across the globe. They reached 7% in the US for 2021, the highest since 1982, they reached 5.9% in NZ, the highest since 1990, and they reached 5.4% in the UK, the highest since 1992.
Reflecting on 2021
Kiwis won’t forget 2021, the year of sudden change to the way we live in New Zealand following the outbreak of Covid and the lengthy lockdowns that followed for some, but not others.
Top tips to stay social when distant, this festive season.
This is the time of year for family, friends and food - but what can you do to feel close and connect to your loved ones when they’re overseas, locked down or isolating? Here’s a few tips on staying social when distant.
Market & Portfolio Update - November 2021
News of the new Omicron variant broke late in the month, resulting in modest volatility in global share markets. Markets don’t tend to like uncertainty, and it is still early in terms of understanding the Omicron variant. Much more data is required, but initial suggestions are that it is more transmissible but potentially less severe than the Delta variant. Vaccine makers are also optimistic that existing vaccines will provide some protection, and Omicron specific vaccines can be developed reasonably quickly if required.
I want to break free (and refix my rate)
Wow, A lot can happen in a year! Cast your mind back to mid-late 2020, when New Zealand had just come off a period of lockdown. We couldn’t go out and spend money and subsequently, there was a pent-up demand to do so when we emerged from lockdown.
Market & Portfolio Update - October 2021
Global share markets rebounded and had their best month of the year – up 5.5% on average. A mix of positive economic data and company announcements continued to give investors confidence in the current cycle.
Desperate Measures For Desperate Times
As humans, we yearn for belonging; we want a shared experience. Psychologists will explain the evolutionary origins of this phenomenon – it’s human nature. Our experiences are all different and it’s not easy to understand exactly how people are feeling.
Many ways property can be taxed and some common mistakes
Property tax law is complicated and there are many ways to get taxed.
The biggest mistake I read all the time is that property investors are only considering Brightline. Note this is only one of many taxing provisions for property, and just because you are past Brightline doesn’t mean the property sale isn’t taxable.
Market & Portfolio Update - September 2021
Global share markets experienced some volatility during the month, falling modestly for the first time since January. This was in part due to expectations of rising global interest rates over the coming months.
Market & Portfolio Update - August 2021
Global share markets were up over 3% in local currency terms for the month, but with the NZ dollar strengthening against most major currencies, this performance was slightly offset for NZ based investors.
Lifetime and One50 group join; create nationwide full-service accounting and financial advisory
Lifetime continues its growth strategy to build a long-term sustainable financial advice business to serve New Zealanders with the joining of One50 Group. The deal adds accounting and property accounting partnerships, general insurance and business advisory services to the Lifetime advice suite.
The longer the party, the worse the hangover
Apart from the COVID blip, the New Zealand share market has enjoyed a decade-long bull market. It’s the kind of market that leads young investors to expect lightning-fast, sky-high returns.
Market & Portfolio Update - July 2021
Global share markets had another good month, with the US market performing well. July saw many US companies report their latest financial results, with around 85% of companies beating the market’s expectations.
Great trick for better cashflow and equity gain
Lots of property investors want better cashflow. But then you start suggesting ideas and opportunities, and the response is “no”, “no I can’t do that”, “no my property isn’t suitable” or “maybe later”.
I watched Ilse Wolfe (Opes Partners Property Coach - https://www.opespartners.co.nz/property-coaching/renovations) speak to Waikato Property Investors Association a few weeks ago, and really enjoyed it.
My key takeaway – Don’t just go with the easy answer and say, “no I can’t do that”.
Time to prepare for higher interest rates?
In May, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) released its updated forecast for the Official Cash Rate (OCR) showing rate hikes beginning in the second half of next year. Since then inflation data has come in above their 2% target at 3.3% and the unemployment rate has declined from 5.3% in September last year to 4%, its lowest level since before the GFC.
Market & Portfolio Update - June 2021
Returns on overseas investments were supported by the New Zealand dollar falling against most major currencies during the month.
Stop playing market whack-a-mole
You’re sitting in your favourite restaurant, feeling famished. The waiter arrives and reads out a long list of mouth-watering specials. Yet the moment he walks away, you find you can recall only the last item on the list. Congratulations, you’ve been struck by the recency effect.
The great investment debate; what does the latest evidence say?
One of the most persistent debates in the investment industry is whether investors are better to use passive or active managed funds. With strong advocates on both sides of this debate, it may seem like an obscure discussion. However, for investors, long-term performance data tells a conspicuous story.
Market & Portfolio Update - May 2021
Global share markets moved slightly higher during the month, driven by continued job growth in the United States, and business sentiment surveys remaining elevated.
What would you do if interest rates rise?
No one has a crystal ball or knows exactly when interest rates will go up or by how much. But it is important to have a plan and consider the options for you.
Small business, big benefits: The power of work perks.
Lifetime is now proud to offer exclusive benefits previously only available to larger businesses. With just five employees, your business can now qualify for a group plan.
Market & Portfolio Update - April 2021
Global share markets continued their march higher during April, rising 4% in local currency terms. Economic data has brushed off the horrid Covid situation in India and continues to surprise to the upside. Labour markets are rebounding quickly compared to other cycles and business confidence surveys sit comfortably in expansionary mode.
What do Civil Defence and Financial Planning have in common?
News alert March the 5th 2021: Three large earthquakes occurred off the coast of NZ. Civil Defence alerts buzzed cellphones around New Zealand warning of a possible tsunami on the East Coast. Updates in media and Civil Defence website were made known and Kiwis around the land in at risk areas responded to the threat.
Market & Portfolio Update - March 2021
The March market update reflects a theme of ongoing strength in global sharemarkets, but weakness in assets whose value is mainly driven by changes in long-term interest rates.
Nominations and Share Transfer
Following the government announcements - urgent action maybe required if you are;
- Restructure (in last email and see below)
- New property purchase and plan to nominate (for example to LTC)
- Share Transfers
This information is for residential long term hold rentals only, and not for commercial or trading properties.
Housing Policy Changes: What It Means For You
This week the Government announced a suite of new policy with the intent to assist first home buyers into the market. This included tax changes for investors, bright-line extensions and increases to the cap on First Home Loans and First Home Grants.
Are interest rates heading back up to ‘normal’?
The Fixed Interest investments (or bonds) in portfolios typically perform well during market stress, as investors favour low-risk assets that generate income. Last year was no exception.
Financial planning can transform your life!
The value of financial advice is often vastly misunderstood. People often assume the value centres around investments; determining the proportion of shares, property, bonds, and cash to hold in a portfolio, and how to manage and potentially reallocate them as markets move. But that's a dramatically simplified view.
Market & Portfolio Update - February 2021
World share markets rose a little further during February, continuing the gains they have seen as confidence in a gradual ‘re-opening’ grows. The vaccine roll-out was one of the contributing factors. At the end of February, around 3% of the world’s population has received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. Israel is leading the way with 92% of their population inoculated and the initial results are promising.
The best budget resolutions are set in February
January is often the month we take stock of our lives and set resolutions for the year ahead. But it's all too easy to set grand and ambitious goals while you're on holiday and relaxing in your hammock!
Market & Portfolio Update - January 2021
January continued the eventfulness of 2020 with the US presidency and Senate elections being finalised, continued social unrest in the US, new strains of Covid-19 and the roll-out of vaccines around the world. The result for share markets was a slight easing in performance for the month. Arguably, a much-needed breather after strong returns in the second half of 2020.
Is your emotional attachment to money holding you back?
The way you attach value to money is a far more complex process than you might realise. Our brains are clever little engines, attributing different emotional values to the same amount of money, depending on how important it is to us.
Prezzy Cards – The Christmas Grinch Of Gifts
(This article is a bit tongue in cheek, wink wink nudge nudge, but the core premise holds true).
Did you draw the office bully in your Secret Santa? Wondering what to get your mean old Aunt who only fed you broad bean soup as a child? Or maybe you’re still annoyed at your sister from when she ‘borrowed’ your favourite jacket and then lost it.
Great news, we have the perfect anti-gift; Prezzy Cards.
Move over coal as the naughty gift, at least we can draw with you. You might be surprised what is actually left to draw on from a $30 Prezzy Card though.
Market & Portfolio Update - November 2020
Global markets performed very strongly during November. The first catalyst markets liked was the result of the US election. Although we haven’t seen the ‘blue wave’ result the polls were suggesting, it is looking like the US presidency and Senate will be divided.
Reflecting on 2020
2020 certainly has been a year we will all never forget. On behalf of Lifetime, I would like to personally thank all of you for being supportive as we adjusted to our new way of working throughout the lock-down periods.
6 Steps To A Little Less Stress
The silly season can sometimes get a bit serious - if you’re feeling stressed, anxious or strung-out, be sure to take a moment to prioritise your mental wellbeing. Here are some quick tips to find the calm again.
Socially Distant Gift Ideas
This year many of us are keeping a bit more distant than social for the festive season. With that in mind, we have curated a list of 10 gift ideas for giving from afar. Step away from the Prezzy Card and avoid those Post Shop queues with these virtually virtual ideas.
All’s fair in love and war; when relationships fail, where go the spoils?
They say love is blind – but it’s time to take off the blinkers or it just might cost you more than a broken heart.
When you’re in a de facto relationship, marriage or civil union, you might be sharing more than you realised, such as assets, liabilities and inheritances.
What to expect from a new POTUS?
Over the past few months news headlines have been focused on a potential coronavirus vaccine and the outcome of the United States election.
Media Release: Lifetime Welcomes New Appointment To Board
Lifetime Group Limited has welcomed Kate Vennell as a Director to the Lifetime board.
Market & Portfolio Update - October 2020
New Zealand shares were up over October with electricity generators bouncing back after the Government suggested more support around the Tiwai Aluminium Smelter, which consumes 30% of electricity in NZ.
The biggest financial regrets; it all starts in your 30s
Recently, one of America’s largest life insurers (New York Life) did a survey of over 2,000 people to find out what they considered to be their largest financial mistakes, and how long it took to recover from them.
Market & Portfolio Update - September 2020
Global share markets rose nearly 5% in August as investors continue to digest news about ongoing vaccine developments and look for returns in a low interest rate environment.
Term deposits and low interest rates
Wondering why the interest rate on your term deposits is so low? There are a few reasons for that.
Market & Portfolio Update - August 2020
Global share markets rose nearly 5% in August as investors continue to digest news about ongoing vaccine developments and look for returns in a low interest rate environment.
The End Of Bonus Bonds
There has been much attention on Bonus Bonds recently with ANZ's announcement to close the scheme. But for the 1.3 million of you with a share of the $3.2 billion held in Bonus Bonds – what should you do?
Market & Portfolio Update - July 2020
Global share markets continued to rise following the volatility we saw during March, up a further 3% in July.
Making Your Golden Years Shine; Will Your KiwiSaver Be Enough?
As you may have noticed on your recent your KiwiSaver annual statement, this year the statements must have a projection to give you some indication of how much you could have in your account at retirement.
The Burden Of Debt
Debt. She’s a heavy burden to carry.
According to a recent research report by the Financial Services Council, 46%1 of New Zealanders have had their mental health affected by their finances.
Lifetime Powers Productivity With Software Robotics
Feeling the growth pain of data management as our client base increased, and knowing we needed to adopt best practice technology and solutions, Lifetime undertook a full data management review this year.
Market & Portfolio Update - June 2020
Although remaining choppy, global share markets have continued to bounce back from the March COVID-19 sell-off. Investors have continued to focus on the re-opening of economies and the amount of stimulus that governments and central banks have been providing.
It's Okay To Look Away
A few curious professors decided to run an experiment. The fact that two of them later became Nobel Prize winners… well, that probably has a bit to do with the outcome.
Market & Portfolio Update - May 2020
Share markets across the world continued to recover solidly during May, looking ahead to a gradual loosening of restrictions, and have now recovered much of the March sell-off.
How To Time Markets; When Is Best To Invest?
When to invest is a big question facing many budding and experienced investors. The answer seems difficult and has caused a fair few headaches, but here is an example of when to invest that gives a clear answer.
Market & Portfolio Update - March 2020
March saw the Coronavirus have a more tangible effect at home, with the move to lockdown in New Zealand taking it from a global event to something with a very clear impact on our day-to-day lives. Meanwhile, share markets around the world continued to be volatile, with the US S&P 500 index staging a dramatic partial 18% recovery in three days towards the end of the month.
Changes to LVR Restrictions
The RBNZ put out a proposal last week to remove the existing LVR rules for new property purchases for a period of 12 months. It is almost through a seven day consultation process with the lenders, and if implemented will be in effect until 1 May 2021. The RBNZ will monitor the market over the next year, and decide whether the LVR restrictions are needed in the future.
What You Need To Know About Mortgage 'Holidays'
There is no doubt that the outbreak of COVID-19 was something that nobody planned for, and the subsequent actions of the Government and health authorities to keep New Zealand safe will impact in different ways for many people.
"The only thing new in this world is the history that you don't know."
In our day, the current Coronavirus pandemic is new, but a crisis having an impact on share markets is not new at all.
KiwiSaver - Resist The Itch To Switch
As we navigate a rather turbulent time in the market, many of us are wondering what impact this will have on our KiwiSaver come retirement, and what, if anything, we should do. Lifetime Adviser Michael Heriot explains.
Handy Tips For Working From Home
As much of the country settles in to a new way of working, we're all finding out some of the challenges that can come with working from home. Here's a handy guide of a few tips we've picked up after our first week.
10 Financial To-Do's Whilst In Lock Down
There have been a lot of changes here in New Zealand as a result of COVID-19, in particular the Government announcing a Level 4 Alert and placing the country into lockdown.
With the country now in isolation, there is understandably a lot of concern around people’s health and finances.
As an Authorised Financial Adviser, I would like to share some tips on how you can help yourself financially during these times, with some practical financial to-do’s whilst in lock down.
Sam's Top Tips In A Market Shock
Lifetime Adviser Sam Walter shares his top tips when we find ourselves in the midst of a significant market event and we start to question things...
A Brief History of Viruses and Markets
Over the few past weeks newspapers and prime time television have been filled with information on the outbreak of the coronavirus in Wuhan, China.
Market & Portfolio Update - January 2020
The first month of 2020 saw volatility return to global markets, first with the attack by the US on Iran, followed by the recent health scare of the coronavirus. While global markets predominantly ended where they started in local terms, a falling NZ dollar, increased the value of unhedged overseas assets for NZ investors.
The Cost Of Choice
In New Zealand, a lot of us rely on the public health system for treatment. Why would we pay for medical insurance when our government can fund treatment for us?
Barbara was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and given only 12 months to live. Chemotherapy was the only treatment available in the public system and she wanted to look for other options.
10 Sustainable Gift Ideas
For many, Christmas creates pressure to bow to consumeristic, materialistic expectations. This can hurt both our pockets and the environment. We've curated a handy list of 10 sustainable gift ideas, some that are low-to-no cost, with a focus on financial and environmental sustainability. And remember, the best present you can give is to be present.
Market & Portfolio Update – November 2019
The month of November saw positive results from global share markets, as the United States and China look set to make progress on resolving some of their trade disputes after the last 18 months. Additionally, business confidence improved in both countries, suggesting improvement in the global economy.
Ring Fencing Basics and Eleven Examples
As many of you will know, Ring Fencing comes in from 1/4/19. This basically means that you cannot offset residential property losses against other income.
What does this really mean for a lot of property investors?
Approaching Christmas on a High Note
December is upon us and with Christmas approaching, many are thinking about Christmas celebrations, catching up with friends and family, and holidays to the beach. Another reason to cheer is that if we look back over 2019 global economies have continued to expand, businesses have continued to grow, and global share markets have risen over 20%, well above the average historical yearly return of around 10%.
Health Feature; Coeliac Disease & Financial Risk Protection
As a Coeliac and a Financial Adviser, I have been asking myself several questions about how best to protect myself and my Coeliac daughter from the financial effects of any future illness. Additionally, how much do insurance companies actually understand about Coeliac Disease? And how do they treat us when it comes to assessing our risks of ill health?
Building Global Businesses from NZ
Following a wounding All Black loss the outbreak of a dark shadow can often be seen building across New Zealand. This can result in Kiwi’s forgetting rugby is not the only game New Zealander’s punch above their weight in. For example, there is a growing list of New Zealand companies that have successfully expanded and excelled in global markets.
Market & Portfolio Update – October 2019
October provided only modest changes in value for most diversified portfolios. While portfolios gained from allocations to global shares, lower returns on local shares and fixed interest investments kept performance relatively static after solid gains in the year so far.
What would happen if you sold half of your property portfolio?
If you have a large residential rental property portfolio of five or more rentals, what would happen if you sold half over the next few months?
Seriously think about what would happen:
- Your debt would decrease. How does this fit with your risk profile long term?
- Your passive income and cashflow is likely to get a lot better. Would this meet your long term goals?
- How much less stress and hassle would there be if you sold half your rentals?
Everyone has different aims and goals. In general, your aim should be to have a debt free personal house and passive income. The value of your personal house and the level of passive income depends on you and what you want/need.
Mind The Gap – A Traveller’s Guide To Retirement Planning
What do travel and retirement planning have in common? At first glance not much, however, whilst visiting the UK recently I was reminded of this saying at the London Tube stations – “mind the gap”. Most visitors to London have heard the words “mind the gap” when travelling on the tube.
Maximise What You Already Have
Rather than trying to buy another property, have you considered maximising what you already have?
What opportunities do you already have within your personal house or rental property portfolio?
Often, property investors are starting to look in less desirable areas and at less desirable properties in an attempt to get a reasonable return. In my opinion, a lot of these are not great investments long term, and often it is a fear of missing out that is driving the purchase.
Market & Portfolio Update – September 2019
September was a positive month for most share markets across the world, bouncing back from some softness in August.
With a very saddened heart we are sharing this story on behalf of Raewyn Thomas, our Mortgage Adviser from the Wellington office. Raewyn has been delivered the most devastating news possible, that she has lung cancer and its terminal with a very shortened life expectancy.
This is Rae’s story that we are sharing with her permission.
Which is better? 8% Gross Yield or 5.5%
It might sound like a really silly question, but which is better?
Tech Market Update: Capturing Opportunity In The Cloud
Over the past year, the pace of growth in developed economies has slowed, and there has been some talk about economic dark clouds gathering on the horizon. But there are in fact strong areas of innovation which paint a different picture - one of optimistic growth. A good example is the area of cloud computing.
Market & Portfolio Update – August 2019
After good gains so far this year, diversified portfolios produced a relatively flat return for August, but looking below the surface there was a bit more going on.
Retirement Planning 101 - Back To Basics
When we talk about retirement planning most people think about the financial side of retirement. While this is a very important part of retirement planning I believe it is only part of the bigger picture; I prefer to take a more holistic approach with clients.
Mid-Life Priceless: The Value, And Cost, Of A 'Mini-Retirement'
Go to school, get a job, work hard, retire at 65 and enjoy your golden years. That’s how it is supposed to go right? Well not necessarily according to a new and exciting global trend.
Market & Portfolio Update – July 2019
Portfolio returns were solid again in July, led by global share markets rising 3%.
Active and Passive Investing: Capturing the Best of Both Worlds
Investors have been debating for decades the merits of active or passive (index) investing, and no doubt this will continue into future decades as both sides have some good points. Rather than take an extreme view one way or the other, we have used the best of both approaches to complement each other within client portfolios. We call this a hybrid approach.
New Boarder Rules
New rules apply from the start of the 2019-20 Income Year, which is 1/4/19 for most tax payers.
How 5G will change your life
5G stands for the fifth-generation wireless network. It is the latest iteration of cellular technology, engineered to greatly increase the speed and responsiveness of wireless networks and the amount of data transmitted. 5G is reaching speeds of 20 to 100 times faster than the current 4G network, (depending on which 4G service you are referring to).
Market & Portfolio Update - June 2019
Global share markets had a strong positive performance in June, rebounding from May’s weakness, but in a somewhat volatile fashion.
Teaching Your Kids About Money - Part II
My last article was written about teaching your ‘young’ kids about money and that was well received by our readers so I thought I would continue down the financial education path and focus on what we need to teach our ‘young adults’ about money.
I have always found having check lists helpful so hopefully this will help those young adults heading on their OE, graduating and leaving home and possibly also for the parents or grandparents who are helping coach these young New Zealanders from the side-lines.
Keeping your information safe in a technical world
It’s a nightmare trying to keep track of the different website logins; passwords that seem to be ever increasingly complicated; PIN numbers and security questions that you have no idea of the answers to; (no I don’t know the name of my favourite teacher!), it is not a surprise that many think technology is making things harder, not easier.
Happy 12th Birthday KiwiSaver
This month marks the 12th anniversary of KiwiSaver. Over that time, we have seen many changes, but the greatest achievement is that almost 3 million Kiwis so far have enjoyed the benefits of what KiwiSaver offers.
All-time Low for Cash Rates
It is an age-old question: What are interest rates going to do? The answer to this question influences decisions for investors and borrowers alike. The chart below shows NZ and US official cash rates (OCR) as set by their respective central banks. After staying the same for two and a half years, the NZ OCR has now fallen to a new record low of 1.5%, as the Reserve Bank has responded to weakening global economic growth prospects and inflation pressures appearing to have eased off for now.
If in doubt, it pays to ask the question
At Lifetime we understand the impact that these health situations can have on you both emotionally and financially. Your Adviser can be that person who can be there to reassure you especially if you hold insurance policies; they often cover more situations than you think.
Market & Portfolio Update - May 2019
Most portfolios gave back a small portion of this year’s strong gains during May
Interest rate drops: What this means for homeowners and aspiring home owners
As a home owner myself, the interest rates changes offered by the banks will often grab my attention. In my role here at Lifetime as a Home Loan Adviser, I work with people from all walks of life who are trying to buy their first home. Most people have to overcome the obstacle of saving a decent deposit and KiwiSaver comes to the rescue for a number of people.
When is the best time to start investing?
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.
Is paying off your mortgage early the best financial decision?
Paying your mortgage before you reach retirement age is the ultimate milestone for many Kiwis. But could your net worth be higher and your home loan repaid sooner, if you re-invest the equity in your home elsewhere instead? Home loan adviser Christine Hazeldine considers the options.
Market & Portfolio Update - April 2019
April saw global share markets continue the strong performance that we have seen so far this year.
Teaching Your Kids About Money
I decided when my boys were young that I would teach them both about money and investing. I opened KiwiSaver accounts for them when they were only months old. They also have non-KiwiSaver investment accounts to help fund the cost of university. My wife and I add to the accounts when we can and so do the boy's Grandparents.
A Beginners Guide To KiwiSaver
KiwiSaver is a long-term investment scheme that the government has put in place to help Kiwis save for retirement. Joining KiwiSaver is voluntary and currently, more than 2.7 million Kiwis belong to the scheme.
Focus on What Matters and Ignore the Noise
Albert Einstein famously said, “compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world, those who understand this, earn it… those that don’t, pay it.” The simple truth of compounding returns is the most important thing that matters for the long-term investor. Yet in today’s world we are consistently bombarded with distractions, become pre-occupied with other things, and we forget this simple truth.
Market & Portfolio Update - March 2019
Global share markets had another positive month and have had one of the fastest starts to the year since the 1990’s
How millennials can overcome barriers to getting into their first home
Buying your first home is undoubtedly one of the biggest financial steps you can take, but not completely out of reach for the millennial generation, writes Josh Martin.
Lifetime Investment Philosophy (version 2.0)
Lifetime is truly up and running post its 2018 merger and now rolling out new and improved advice and investment training program for our advisers and administration staff.
Banking the Takeover Premium
There are several drivers of returns from investing in companies. The main two are from a company growing their earnings over time and from paying dividends to shareholders. But recently in New Zealand we have seen instances of another driver of returns - takeovers.
Market & Portfolio Update - February 2019
Global share markets continued to rebound in February and have now recovered almost all of the decline we saw in the last three months of 2018.
Protecting your prosperity
Paying for trauma cover might seem like an avoidable expense, but it can prove vital to safeguarding your financial standing should the worst happen, says Lifetime financial adviser Nathaniel Byers.
How to help your children gain a financial-freedom mindset
The lessons you teach them now can significantly impact your children once they leave home, writes Lifetime financial adviser Matt Wenborn.
Four crucial conversations you need to have with your financial adviser
The support of an expert financial adviser can make a real difference to your financial health. Lifetime’s Emily Wheatley advises on the four most important questions you should ask your adviser.
Eight reasons to be optimistic about 2019
Happy New Year to all and I hope that you all had a wonderful and peaceful holiday season. As I noted in my recent quarterly performance report, we remain optimistic about the markets over the long-term but have a cautious short-term outlook as we expect volatility to remain with us for the foreseeable future.
Clever ways to avoid overspending this holiday season
OPINION: It’s easy to confuse the holiday spirit with excessive spending.
A millennial’s guide to financial freedom
OPINION: As millennials, there’s often a gap between what we think will make us financially free versus what actually does. My story is testament to that.
By 23, I was working full-time running a business, studying full-time at university, and proudly took out a loan for my first home in a bid to grow my wealth and ultimately gain financial freedom.
Investment Update November 2018 - A Holiday Perspective
Those who have been following share markets will know that returns during 2018 have been more variable (both up and down) than in the few years prior, which were unusually smooth.
Market & Portfolio Update - November 2018
Global share markets rose slightly in November (up 1%), although returns for NZ investors were offset by a 5% rise in the New Zealand Dollar.
Why every couple needs a joint financial plan
Setting clear money goals as a couple can pay real ‘dividends’ for both your bank account and relationship. Lifetime financial adviser Chané Berghorst explains what you need to consider when drawing up a shared plan.
Group health insurance: four pitfalls companies need to avoid
Health benefits can play a critical role in retaining existing staff and attracting new talent to your organisation. Lifetime financial adviser Carmen Lapthorne warns business owners and HR managers against making these common mistakes.
What to make of recent market volatility?
In the past, we have written how volatility can be a friend to the long-term investor, by providing the opportunity to add to investments when prices are lower. October has provided an interesting test to this point, with global share markets finishing October down 6.5% on average (albeit only partly offsetting a 16% rise over the previous 12 months).
Market & Portfolio Update - October 2018
Share markets continued their 2017 ascension during October, with a moderate 3% gain boosted further by the New Zealand Dollar falling 5%.
What AMP's changes in New Zealand mean for you
Over 10,000 of our Lifetime clients have AMP policies and investments. Lifetime Group’s Managing Director Peter Cave explores the impact AMP’s New Zealand disinvestment is likely to have on you.
Investment Update - October 2018
Investment portfolios had a rather subdued month in September, capping off a very strong quarter driven by solid returns during the months of July and August. In fact, the US share market produced its best local currency quarterly return since 2013, with the S&P 500 up 7.2% for the September quarter.
Cash Is No Longer King
It is a changing world, one that is moving very quickly. Moore’s Law is a quoted observation that states computing power double every 2 years or so. With this rapid increase is computing power, ‘Big Business’ is putting this new technology to work (and making a profit).
Eight of the biggest financial mistakes women over 40 make
OPINION: For a woman, your forties can be the most defining and lucrative decade – especially when it comes to finances. Taking the right steps can improve your financial standing and set yourself up for the years ahead.
Market & Portfolio Update - September 2018
Share markets rose further in September, shrugging off the unresolved NZ election and war of words between the United States and North Korea.
Booster Client Update - The Irrational Investor
Humans are irrational by nature – we’re afraid of mice, we play the lottery, and we perceive things to be superior if they have a higher price. For years both economic and finance theory ignored this fact and instead assumed everyone acted rationally when making financial decisions. But recently there has been a new train of thought – human emotion can have an impact on financial markets as much as any other aspect of life.
Long Term Investing - The Benefit Of Time
One of the benefits of being a long-term investor is that time is on your side! Long-term investors can skip over the short-term noise and just focus on achieving their long-term goals, (i.e. retirement savings). Short-term volatility is usually just a distraction.
Market & Portfolio Update - August 2018
August was a relatively quiet month for share markets, but with currency movements boosting fund returns.
Seven clever ways to maximise your KiwiSaver
If you’re keen to get the best out of your KiwiSaver Investment take heed of these expert tips from financial adviser Ian Stewart.
Boarder vs Flatmate
For tax, if you receive boarder income under the threshold, then you don’t have to return this income for tax. This is great if you have a low or debt free personal house, as you are then making a great profit but not having to pay any tax on it.
Whereas, for tax, you do need to declare any flatmate income and you can claim any expenses against this. If you have a high debt on your personal house, this might even result in a tax-deductible loss.
When a financial adviser needs to claim: ‘I learnt not all health insurance plans are created equal’
From relying on only Pharmac-subsidised drugs to thinking you’re fully covered by your work health insurance, Lifetime adviser Lisa Davis warns of the common mistakes we make when selecting health insurance and how best to avoid them.
Rothbury Life Becomes Lifetime
Rothbury Life are excited to announce our new name - Lifetime. After a merger with Lifetime in 2016, and since with Camelot in 2018, we are all unifying under the name ‘Lifetime’ and our ethos of ‘Advice For Life’.
How does Lifetime safeguard your investment assets?
It is the Custodian’s job to safeguard your assets and hold them in bare trust for your benefit. This means that if there are any financial problems with the Fund Manager, your investments are ring-fenced in a separate legal entity.
Is it the right time to re-mortgage your home?
OPINION: A mortgage tends to be the single biggest expense most home owners face, and what most of us don’t realise is that it can often provide the biggest opportunity for cost saving.
Market & Portfolio Update - July 2018
Share markets again rose moderately for the month, which saw investment fund returns resume their gradual upward path.
Booster Client Update - Share Markets are at record levels, shouldn’t I sell?
The first seven months of 2017 have seen global markets continue to go up at a surprisingly consistent rate. However, most investors, particularly those in growth or high growth investments, will be aware that equity markets rarely experience such blissful performance without some form of volatility.
Booster Client Update - Taking a ‘Responsible’ Interest
Since we started in 1998, Booster has always considered itself “Responsible” when looking after other people’s money. However over the past 20 years, more ways to do this have emerged.
Opportunity Cost of Term Deposits
One of the fundamentals of investing is the time value of money. If you make an investment with your capital, you need to be compensated for the use of your money. Generally speaking, the longer the investment term the higher the return.
The dos and don'ts of raising finance for an investment property
OPINION: Whether it’s a bach at the beach, house in the suburbs or small apartment in the city, the prospect of owning an investment property has long been part of the Kiwi dream.
According to Statistics New Zealand, residential property now accounts for 32 per cent of all Kiwis’ investments (as at March 2017) – making it the highest share of investment New Zealand has seen in 45 years. This comes despite concerns about primary residential home ownership levels.
Market & Portfolio Update - June 2018
June was a fairly quiet month for world share markets, with most investment funds relatively flat – although this capped off a solid overall first half of the year.
Do You Need A Trust?
In my opinion, asset protection and Trusts are becoming more important for property investors.
It’s important to consider your possible risks and the assets you have at stake.
Booster Client Update - Adding yield and resilience through unlisted investments
For most investors, lower interest rates have been a key feature of the past 10 years, thanks to the extraordinary policies adopted by the world’s central banks. This has particularly reduced income returns on fixed interest investments, raising the question of how best to deliver the “income” part of Farming portfolio returns in the years ahead.
Market & Portfolio Update - May 2018
Global share markets added another 1% in May, amidst a background of solid economic growth spiced up with news of political instability in Italy.
5, of many, reasons why you need a Will
Research has shown, time and time again, that Kiwis are more likely to get their Wills set up after a life changing event. From getting married to having your first child or buying a house, these are the occasions that often prompt us to think about the future. Think these are the only reasons to get a Will? Find out why you might just want to consider protecting your future now.
Booster Client Update - Market volatility, a friend to the long-term investor?
We mentioned a couple of updates ago that more ‘normal’ volatility has returned to markets so far in 2018. This can be unsettling to investors as they can start to worry about the value of their portfolios.
How smart business owners manage key staff losses
The right insurance can be the answer to navigating the uncertain seas ahead. But what exactly should business owners do to get the most bang for their buck?
Merger Creates One Of New Zealand's Largest Full Service Financial Advisories
Two of the country’s fastest growing financial advisory firms, Lifetime Group Limited and Camelot NZ Limited, today announced a merger that would make the combined operation one of New Zealand’s largest full service financial services companies.
Reducing our Loss Aversion
In psychology (the science of mind and behaviour) and decision theory, loss aversion refers to people’s tendency to prefer avoiding losses rather than acquiring equivalent gains. Some studies have suggested that loss aversion is twice as powerful, psychologically, as gains.
Your lifetime earning capacity: how knowing your ‘number’ will change the way you think about your finances
OPINION: Have you ever stopped to consider just how much you will earn during your working life?
If you have a few minutes it really is quite useful to do - even if you’re not a number cruncher. All you need is your current gross annual income and how long a period you plan to stay in the workforce.
A Man is not a Financial Plan
Money often appears to be a taboo subject in relationships, it can be the catalyst for unhealthy discussions and frequently blamed for fractured partnerships. What if both parties could sit and make a Financial plan for their joint goals assisted with the help of a Financial Adviser?
Booster Client Update - Responsible investing, haven't we always?
Booster has always considered itself ‘responsible’ when looking after other people’s money! We also follow the six Principles of Responsible Investing (PRI) set in motion in 2005 by Kofi Annan of the UN. However, investors are increasingly looking for responsible investment to be clearer across the investment world.
Market & Portfolio Update - February 2018
Share markets regained ground as February progressed, recovering most of the declines from the start of the month.
How would you cope with this scenario?
Medical insurance is so much more than just paying for surgery. It is paying for you and your family to never have to answer, "How would you cope"
History can show us the way
History can help answer these questions and show us the way, but only for those who are willing to look.
Holiday Homes and GST Risk
From the 1/04/11 the definition of a dwelling changed for GST purposes. In the past a holiday home would be exempt for GST, but this change of definition most likely makes them liable for GST. If purchased before 1/4/11, there is an amendment that excludes holiday homes, but any holiday home purchased after 1/4/11 DOES NOT have the exemption!
So, in theory, you could claim GST on the purchase of a holiday home (as long as not purchased from a GST registered vendor as then zero rating, or purchased from an associated entity as a limitation can apply), and the portion used, for the rental business.
You would then need to pay GST on rent, but could claim GST on other expenses.
Six financial resolutions to make in 2018
Make it your year to get your finances in order and use your money goals to guide through the next twelve months. Lifetime financial adviser Allan McNaughton reveals the most beneficial resolutions to make.
The end of the year is the perfect time to take stock of your financial situation and plan for greater success in the year to come. Each year I set aside time to review my current financial portfolio and map out my next steps in becoming more financially fit. Whether you want to tackle your debt or start building a wealth portfolio, it’s never too late to start improving your financial bottom line.
Booster Client Update - Global market pullbacks in perspective
As has been widely reported in the news, global share markets have fallen over the past few days, giving back 6% of recent gains. While this has been quicker than the usual decline, the size of the pullback is actually within the “normal” bounds of market behaviour, even when share markets are generally rising.
Do you want to buy and sell properties for profit?
If you trade residential properties, then you will have to register for GST once you have a continuous taxable activity. This means that you can claim GST on purchase costs that have GST but you also have to pay GST on the sale.
If you do a one-off trade, then this is often not a continuous taxable activity. Therefore you would not be required to register for GST. But there can be a fine line, and it is often difficult to determine, if the trade will be a one-off or if you are likely to do numerous property trades, thus becoming continuous. I suggest seeking professional advice from a property accountant on this subject and the best approach is to be honest. If you trade further properties, then you will most likely be required to GST register.
For long term residential property investors, there is no GST, so the above comments are just for property traders.
Our Turn to be the Bad Guy - If you renovate, then sell, probably non-deductible!
Our Turn to be the Bad Guy - If you renovate, then sell, probably non deductible!
Let's look at some examples...
Gender Gap - The retirement impact
Looking at some recent research, I found a study that outlined that women in the EU receive 40% less in pension payments than men do. What alarmed me with this is that this is a much bigger gap than the often talked about gender pay gap, but it is the gender pay gap that is the main cause for the pension pay gap in Europe.
General Election Update 2017
By international standards, both National and Labour-led Governments appear relatively centralist, without large policy differences. While a Labour-led Government, may tend to be more fiscally liberal (willing to spend more) than a National-led Government, relative to global alternatives, the New Zealand economy is still likely to be considered relatively low risk, regardless of which party is in power.
Why I Don't Like Standard Companies
When trying to set up the right structure, there are a few things that are looked at:
- Asset protection and your level of risk
- Flexibility - what is going to change over time
- Tax minimisation - how do we save you the maximum amount of tax
- Long term goals and strategy
- MOST IMPORTANT - Can we keep it simple?
Unfortunately, a lot of advisors miss another key component: What happens if you need or want to sell?
Lifetime Group gets life business, sells general - Good Returns
The Christchurch-based Lifetime Group has formed a strategic partnership with insurance brokerage Rothbury Group which see each one focus on its core strengths.
Lifetime Group gears up for mortgages - Good Returns
It has formed a strategic partnership with the Rothbury Group which see it take over Rothbury’s life insurance and mortgage businesses.
You're Missing Out If You Haven't Had a Chattels Valuation Done!
Did you know that you can still depreciate carpet, curtains, stoves, heat pumps, dishwashers and other chattels? From 1/04/11 there is no building depreciation, so depreciating chattels has become even more important. For commercial property owners there are even more deductions available!
The Personal Financial Design Revolution
Lifetime Group is hardly recognisable from the organisation it was 12 months ago. With a completely refreshed management team, ambitious new strategic direction and an industry first training platform, Lifetime’s new world order is now well in play.
Ownership forms for investment portfolios
A common question that comes up when setting up a new investment account for clients is which form of ownership should they adopt, (‘client type’ on some application forms). Should they use ‘tenants in common’ or ‘joint tenancy’?
Reducing Depreciation Recovery - Recap!
Quite a few property investors are thinking about selling, so I thought it was very timely to send through this article I wrote in 2013 on reducing depreciation recovery. At the moment we have a few investors who are selling their properties to developers, and the developer are then demolishing or selling the existing building. In this situation the building is worthless or worth a small sale value like $20,000. So if you are selling to a developer, find out what they will be doing with the building, and then have a chat to me. Most likely we would add a clause in the sale and purchase agreement to confirm the building value, and therefore stop any recovery!
Deal increases Lifetime's reach - Good returns
John Ashby, national sales manager of the Lifetime Group, said it had established an Academy of Learning and Development, for its advisers and support staff.
Free lunch? Make sure you get yours
In today’s busy and complicated world, there are not too many free lunches available but if you look carefully, you may be able to find one!
Investment Basics - Keep it simple
As a trader, I was proud of my ability to handle ‘complexity’. To be a successful financial adviser, I realised I would have to simplify investing for my clients.
Happy 10th Birthday KiwiSaver
Well, 10 years on and KiwiSaver is still here! Not only is it here, but it is in a strong position. KiwiSaver now has over $40 billion funds under management with over 2.5 million investors. $40,000,000,000 looks and sounds impressive, right?