The KiwiSaver year end is fast approaching…

Friday, June 19th, 2020

If you are a KiwiSaver member and you haven’t contributed enough to receive your maximum Government Contribution, you will need to top-up before 30 June 2020.

Each year, eligible KiwiSaver members can receive a Government Contribution to their KiwiSaver account up to a maximum payment of $521.43. The Government contributes 50 cents for every dollar, on the first $1,042.86 that you contribute to your account between 1 July and 30 June.

Please note, the Government Contribution only applies to your own contributions, not your employer’s contributions, and are calculated based on the date your contributions are received by Inland Revenue. The best place to check how much you have contributed is via ‘MyIR login’ at

To ensure your payment is processed in time, we encourage you to do this well ahead of 30 June 2020.

To be eligible, you must be 18 years or older, not yet eligible for retirement withdrawals, and be mainly living in New Zealand. If you only meet these requirements for part of the year, or joined KiwiSaver part way through the year, you will receive a pro-rated amount of the Government Contribution.

If you would like to know more, join or discuss your KiwiSaver, please visit our website for your adviser’s contact details or drop us a line.

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Surviving through lockdown

Tuesday, April 28th, 2020

Our Office Manager, Michelle, has a small family of three and one of their daily activities involves cooking a meal from around the world. Each night they take turns pulling a country’s name out of a hat and cook a meal from that cuisine the following night… well, an interpretation at least. So far, they have enjoyed: French, Italian, Spanish, Irish, Vietnamese, Israeli, Caribbean, Moroccan, Greek, and Thai. Yum!

Ian and Janet are making most of their bubble in Otematata. Leaving Christchurch, the week before lockdown they have been living a quiet life where going to get the press and collecting the mail are the highlights of their days.

Susanne, in the Adviser Support team, also kept busy during the lockdown period and celebrated Easter making Swiss traditional Sunday bread, creating bunny shaped creations, which were virtually shared between her extended family around Australia & Switzerland. Also, a first: celebrating a lockdown birthday, having fun in the kitchen… keep calm & bake on.

Our bright and cheerful receptionist, Lauren, is in lockdown with these two adorable miniature ponies.

The Wescombe Family Bootcamp routine includes 200 push-ups and 200 sit-ups. They will be one fit family at the end of the lockdown period.

The Sequeiras live opposite the Red Zone (Horsehoe Lake) and enjoy walking and admiring the beauty of autumn. Being a family of six, we’ve cooked, cleaned, gardened, prayed and shared far more especially with no distraction and nowhere to go to.


Market & Portfolio Update

Wednesday, April 15th, 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 continue 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.

While share market volatility can be unnerving, Fund manager’s disciplined approach, combined with strategic diversification and active management, have all worked well to ease some of the downside risks. It is this combination of strategic planning and good risk management that goes in ahead of time, and which isn’t always evident in the ‘good times’, but whose impact becomes clear when it’s most needed.


The benefit of built-in ‘shock absorbers’

In today’s world where there’s more information available and more quickly than ever before, it can be easy to read about the latest moves in share markets and assume they directly translate to your investment portfolio. However, there are some key strategies that mean this often isn’t the case. These are the ‘shock absorbers’ that are often built into portfolios to help them deliver robust outcomes over time. The key examples include:

  • Diversification across different asset classes – particularly holding some high-quality fixed interest investments. This means that over the first three months of 2020, investors in a Balanced portfolio have benefited from gains of about 1% on NZ and Global Fixed Interest investments, which have helped offset some of the weakness in share markets.
  • Strategic Currency management. Being a small, open economy, our New Zealand Dollar tends to fall in value when markets are ‘stressed’, and this year has been no different. The NZ Dollar has fallen 13% against the US Dollar since the start of the year, helping support the value of overseas shares in NZ Dollar terms.


Governments and central banks ‘all in’

History consistently shows that investment markets ultimately recover from shocks – and often start this recovery process while the news headlines remain bleak. While the short term challenges are clear, it’s also clear that policymakers and central banks have ‘taken the gloves off‘ in providing liquidity and short-term support measures that seem to increase by the day. These measures are firmly aimed at helping to ease the burden and see businesses and economies through to the other side – acknowledging that some business casualties are inevitable along the way. From here what matters for portfolios is future return prospects, not the last few months. We expect our fund managers to focus on quality businesses and fixed interest investments putting client portfolios in good stead to weather this period, and ultimately will also show more areas of opportunity as the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ inevitably becomes clear.

Amidst the wall-to-wall Coronavirus news coverage, the exchange rate between the New Zealand and Australian currencies quietly rose to almost $1. This is a good opportunity to lock in an attractive exchange rate for Australian share investments, as it is unlikely to see this NZD level as sustainable long term.

This information was provided by Booster.



Covid-19 Update

Monday, March 30th, 2020

We know this is a very troubling time for all. We wanted to reach out and let you know we are still operating as usual from our home offices, so please contact us with any queries you have or services you require and we will endeavour to help you as best as we can.


We can still process your claims, review your covers and get new insurance policies issued. The only difference is we will be working from a phone/email and video conferencing environment. The insurers have let us know they are also operating as normal as possible at this time. If you wish to add or remove covers, we have the ability to do so. As we mentioned in our previous correspondence, most insurers do not have an exclusion for pandemics, so a claim relating to Covid-19 would be considered just like any other if it met the criteria.

We know times may get tough when it comes to paying for things such as insurance. If this is the case for you, please contact us. We will have a chat to your insurer and see what the best option is for you. We want you to know we are all in this together, and it’s important we stay united as one during this time.

If you need to talk to someone, we are always here. Stay safe and keep well.

For all our contact details, please visit our website or our facebook page. Our office phone will be available Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm on 033602001.

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