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.
For New Zealand based investors, the volatility global share markets experienced was offset by the NZ dollar falling. The NZ dollar depreciated against most major currencies, supporting the returns of unhedged overseas assets (assets that are free to move with exchange rates). The result was a positive 3.2% return for unhedged overseas investments.
Fixed interest portfolios provided the diversification we expect during a period of equity market volatility. Both Global and New Zealand fixed interest portfolios returned almost 1%.
In New Zealand, the Reserve Bank hiked the Official Cash Rate 0.25% as expected – taking the rate to 0.75%. Their updated forecasts now show the OCR reaching 2.5% by mid-2023.
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.