Next Magazine

No investment portfolio? No worries – Helen Skinner from Craigs Investment Partners shares some thoughts.

What would you tell first-time investors?

Educate yourself. Financial advice isn’t just for the big guns, there are plenty of options for anyone and quite often it’s free. According to an OECD/INFE study from 2016, in New Zealand, 74% of males are considered ‘financially literate’, compared to just 52% of females. Give yourself the power by getting more educated, and get confident in the investing world.


Why should we start investing?

It’s never too late to make a start and the sooner you begin, the more time there is for compounding returns to take effect. The good news is if you’re in KiwiSaver, you’re already an investor – but that’s not the only way to start. Investing is a way to grow your money, outside of the usual savings account or property that Kiwis are known for.

What should we be aware of when investing in KiwiSaver funds?

Make sure you’re in the right fund for you. If you haven’t chosen your KiwiSaver fund, chances are you’re in a default fund. These tend to be very conservative, meaning they are lower risk but also potentially lower returns. Conservative funds are generally a good fit if you’re about to retire or make a first home purchase, but if you’ve got another 10 or 20 years before you want to access your KiwiSaver funds, then other schemes might be a better fit. When picking your fund, it’s important to get advice and think about what you’re invested in, fees and returns.

What is the best way to grow investments?

One trait that women excel at and lends itself nicely to growing investments is having a long-term view. That means when the market is rocky, women will generally ride it out. This is a great strategy for getting the most from your investment. Combine this with investing in quality companies, and annually checking your portfolio is the right ‘fit’ for your circumstances, and you’ve got a great start.

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What resources would you recommend?

There are various workshops and online learning tools that you can use to get investment savvy. Craigs Investment Partners offers investment workshops throughout New Zealand at various times of the year and they’re free to attend. The company also has some easy to understand videos and on-call advisers to provide some down-to-earth advice to get you started. Also, Sorted has some great online tools to help calculate how much to invest or how much you might get at the end of the day.

Originally published in the August edition of NEXT magazine.