Reading Round Up

Banks go to war on mortgages
Mortgage rates have hit rock bottom as banks offer thousands of dollars in cash and slash advertised interest rates in response to pressure from home-buyers for deals.

Thousands use scheme to get a foot in the door
It’s less than two years since KiwiSaver members became eligible to withdraw their savings to help buy their first home, but already more than 7400 have taken that option to become property-owners.

Michael Coote explains why immigration is a good thing
…for NZ if we hope to avoid a national “death spiral”caused by crushing taxes and reduced public spending. Your thoughts?

A monetary policy for the 1%
The proper role of a central bank has been under much discussion lately. In its recent annual report, the Bank for International Settlements lamented central banks being forced into loose monetary policy as politicians fail to take steps to restructure their economies for growth.

NZ median house price and stratifed house price index hit record highs in June

but REINZ says market ‘just recovering from GFC, not booming’. Your view?

Yoga for Wine Lovers

I thought I would switch it up a little this month and post this extremely inspirational video….but please people do not try this at home!

Where are you on the global fat scale?

The new BBC calculator can tell you if you are a healthy weight for your height and how you rank against others globally.

Using your age, sex, nationality, height and weight, it will come up with a number representing your Body Mass Index or BMI.

This is a measure doctors use to gauge obesity.

The app plots your BMI and shows how you compare to people from your own and other nations.

Researchers see global weight gain as a bigger threat to mankind than population growth.

As well as the health implications, experts are also concerned about the environmental impact.


Does being overweight matter when it comes to insurance?

We are all feeling the effects of winter…most people pet on an extra kg or 2 during the winter months.  But it you are  serverely overweight it does effect your insurance prices.

Being overweight is one of the most common reasons people applying for life insurance are declined or charged higher rates. If you are obese, or even just overweight, your height/weight ratio will be a factor used by life insurance companies and their underwriters to increase the premiums for your life insurance policy. Read More

Reading Round Up


A little risk would pay off for KiwiSaver
A boost to New Zealand’s savings culture has been put on hold with the Budget announcement that automatic enrolment in KiwiSaver in 2014-15 is no longer possible

Retirement expert questions Govt choice of figures

A retirement policy expert says KiwiSaver providers should not be allowed to publish investment performance returns based on gross figures because they are “meaningless” and cannot be easily compared.
Mortgagee sales hit record levels
Some winners dream of being free of work forever. Calculating the cost to do that is tricky. Say you’re 30 and need $100,000 a year to live comfortably.

Who owns all the homes?
New Zealand’s 121 members of Parliament own, or have interests in, at least 292 properties between them, according to Parliament’s latest register of pecuniary interests.

Engines are stalled
Our economic engine is misfiring badly and our ship is drifting.  Bernard Hickey argues the developed economies’ engines are stalled and need a rebuild, or the world faces a Japanese style grinding perma-recession.

Why Neo-Classical economics is bunk
Here’s Australian Economist Steve Keen on BBC Radio’s Newsnight programme explaining what caused the financial crisis and what needs to happen next. He starts around 1 min 30.