Financial fitness tips

It’s always good to check every now and again that what you are doing is working for you. I find people often fall into habits and become sidetracked with their financial goals.

Recently, a client said to me that they had been wanting to see me for five years but hadn’t got around to it. That is a common comment. Imagine how much further ahead they would have been financially if they had taken action earlier. Here are some questions you should ask yourself to check if you are on track to achieve your aims.

Are you running an investment business or are you a hobby investor?

A hobby investor could be one who buys one property then “crosses their fingers” and hopes it will be enough to fund their retirement. If you were running your investments like a business you would, no doubt, do a lot more planning, spend more time on your investments, know what they would achieve for you long-term and, therefore get a better result.

What is more important to you – wealth or happiness?

While in Melbourne recently I heard Robert Holden, who calls himself a happiness guru, speak. He actually has a PhD in which his specialisation is happiness.


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Rewriting tax policy would help ensure equal opportunity and choice for all,

Rewriting tax policy would help ensure equal opportunity and choice for all, says Gareth Morgan and Susan Guthrie. Your view?


By Susan Guthrie and Gareth Morgan

Last week we looked at why our Welfare State has lost its way, sees fit to give families earning $100,000 per year a handout, stigmatises everyone (apart from the elderly) who receives a benefit as a loser, and regards those not in the paid workforce as non-existent. Read More

Credit reporting could cause problems

The Citizens Advice Bureau is ”deeply concerned” about a proposal for more comprehensive credit reporting which would result in both positive and negative information about a person’s debt position being collected.

The organisation was the sole dissenting voice at the first of the submissions hearings yesterday before the Privacy Commissioner, who is proposing an amendment to the Credit Reporting Privacy Code 2004.

The other submitters in Auckland yesterday largely supported the proposed changes which would allow the ongoing reporting of repayment history, such as whether monthly credit card or mortgage payments are made on time.

This will complete the set of amendments permitting more comprehensive credit reporting by credit agencies.


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Cost of essentials outstrips wages

We are being paid a fifth more than we were five years ago, but the cost of essentials is rising even faster.

According to Statistics New Zealand, the average weekly wage across all industries rose from $705 in the June 2006 quarter to $855 in June this year, an increase of 21 per cent.

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PM Key says no one knows how much final quake damage will cost,

PM Key says no one knows how much final quake damage will cost, as overall bill rises toward NZ$25 billion and bad news keeps coming for EQC


No one knows how much the damage caused in Christchurch will eventually cost, but the government’s balance sheet is still in a strong position to pay its part of what could be a NZ$25 billion bill, Prime Minister John Key says.

The government’s bill for the earthquake took a double hit last week, when Finance Minister Bill English on Tuesday released new estimates from the Earthquake Commission showing its costs had more than doubled to NZ$7.1 billion, wiping out the EQC’s NZ$6 billion disaster fund.

That was compounded on Friday evening when the High Court made a ruling against the EQC, meaning homeowners could receive multiple claims of NZ$100,000 in the same year – a decision that could carry a bill worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

With estimations for the overall cost of the quakes rising to around the NZ$25 billion mark from NZ$20 billion previously, Key said the government was still in a strong position. Key’s Cabinet is meeting in Christchurch today to discuss the damage, costs, and rebuilding efforts.

The EQC High Court ruling was a good news-bad news story, depending on how it was looked at, Key said on TV1′s Breakfast programme this morning.

“The bad news is it means EQC’s liability is rising, and we don’t know by exactly how much…..