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.
Following the collapse of two small regional US banks in March, we saw a third US regional bank (First Republic) come under pressure toward the end of April. Ultimately the US regulators took control of First Republic Bank and sold it to the much larger and well-capitalised J.P Morgan.
New Zealand’s annual inflation rate fell from 7.2% to 6.7% in the first quarter of the year. While still well above the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) target rate of 1 – 3%, it was lower than many economists were expecting.
Undeterred by the better-than-expected inflation rate, the RBNZ raised the OCR an additional 0.5%, taking New Zealand’s benchmark interest rate to 5.25%. Current market expectations are for one more hike to 5.5%.
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.