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W & K

KiwiSaver

KiwiSaver Fund Performance Survey 30 June 2014

Most investment commentators when discussing KiwiSaver are concerned about the portion of funds invested in conservative funds. According to the latest Morningstar survey around 32.5% of the almost twenty billion dollars of KiwiSaver investments are in them.

Dollar Cost Averaging

Dollar cost averaging is something that seems to get talked about when investors are looking at making their first foray into higher risk assets such as shares. In our many years of experience, investors seek our advice when they have either accumulated significant savings which are invariably held at the bank, or when they have had an inheritance or have sold a business, often a farm.

Proposed Tools to Control Inflation

Last week Labour announced its policies to help the Reserve Bank to control inflation, including a variable savings rate (VSR). This would increase the level of KiwiSaver contributions to ease the pressure to increase the Official Cash Rate (OCR), being the benchmark against which almost all borrowing costs are set. The policy outlined that the variable savings rate would be one of several measures, which also included a capital gains tax, controls on migration "at the hot part of the cycle" and the impact of the transition to compulsory KiwiSaver.

How are KiwiSaver Returns Stacking Up?

KiwiSaver is for many New Zealanders their primary savings method to help meet their retirement costs. Despite reasonable contributions from both the employer and individual, many investors seem ambivalent as to what fund to invest in. This is reflected with around 40% of contributors still being in a default fund. These funds have very conservative asset allocations with only around a 20% weighting to growth assets.

Following the Leader

It was interesting to read recent comments from our long term asset allocation consultants Farrelly’s. These confirmed our long held views that many investors and their advisers simply seem to follow the leader when investing. Farrelly’s were commenting on a recent research report that they had received on asset allocation trends and intentions of financial planners.

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