Some need to know, with a bit of WealthDesign nice to know thrown in.

Investment strategy counts

We have a new government and despite which side you of the political divide you sit on, one thing we all agree on is things are going to change.  Over 50% of the New Zealand sharemarket is foreign owned and what none of us knows, is how they are going to react to the new order.

One thing I know is we will read about their reaction in the paper the day after it happens. If foreign investors get spooked, they will sell and take their money out of New Zealand.  Our markets will fall and our dollar will go south. Interest rates and inflation in New Zealand will go up. Cost of fuel and living will go up and if we aren’t careful, New Zealand will have a very tough time.  There is already talk of wage inflation, as if just paying people more is good for our economy.

We are tiny on the global stage. Melbourne has more people than all of New Zealand, yet we think we are world leaders – oops, wrong! We are a little island nation miles from anywhere, and really the world doesn’t care (or in some cases) even know we exist.

For over 12 months we have been talking to our clients about building cash reserves and of paying down debt. Our investment strategy has been to buy quality companies with solid underlying assets. Focusing on companies with little debt and strong cash flows.

If and when the New Zealand sharemarket falls in value, our clients will be sitting on the other side of the table, happily buying any shares in quality companies that spooked investors (both foreign and local) are willing to sell, at a discount.

As an adviser, I’ve been through times like this before, and I’ve seen the winners and the losers. I know what strategies work. If you would like to have a chat, my door is always open. Remember, the first meeting is always free.


John Barber
WealthDesign – a life well planned

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Sometimes I think the share market is nuts!

Z Energy (ZEL) is a well-known New Zealand brand. The company owns the Z Energy and Caltex fuel distribution network. It is an integrated supply company, from crude oil to your local fuel stop.

In my view, this company is an infrastructure stock – the success of this company is based on their strong cash flow, and dominant brand.

On the 28 September, ZEL informed the market that they would dial back their debt repayment schedule, and increase the dividends paid to their investors. The weird market has responded by selling down ZEL and the share price is today trading at $7.36 (29th September 2017).

I think ZEL is a great long term investment and any time great companies sell at a discount, I’m the first to suggest being on the other side of the table, and being a buyer.

I suggest investors do some reading – visit and look up the announcements and their annual reports. Make up your own mind, as it is your money.

If you would like to talk about investing, I love nothing more than sitting down over a coffee and sharing ideas about savvy investment.

John Barber
WealthDesign – a life well planned

Disclaimer: Please understand this is not personalised advice. I recommend any potential investor gets qualified advice before making any investment decision.

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Is your insurer for sale?

At present, there are two insurance companies for sale. Both OnePath and Sovereign Life are on the market. They are owned by Australian banks (ANZ and Commonwealth Bank of Australia respectively).

It isn’t surprising the banking organisations are selling these assets as insurers don’t have the return on capital, like other parts of the banking businesses (lending for example).

Banks are in the transaction business while insurance companies are in the relationship business. Insurers rely on good relationships; products that meet the clients needs both today and in the future.  Banks specialise in transactions like lending, overdrafts and mortgages (one-off transactions).

With the potential sale of these insurance companies, we don’t know who will end up owning them, or what the outcome will be. What this will mean for their existing clients is yet to unfold.

If you want to talk over the impact of your insurer being sold, give us a call as we love to catch up for a chat.

John Barber
WealthDesign – a life well planned

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Exchange traded funds (ETFs) are the next trendy investments. World wide, there is around a trillion US dollars invested in these funds. Basically, these are funds that are listed on various stock exchanges around the world and fund/companies invest in other assets, much like a managed fund.

The portfolios held by ETFs are normally linked to different indexes and automatically rebalanced to that index, for example the NZX 50 (the top 50 New Zealand companies by size).

The problem is you could find yourself in a fund that only ever buys companies after their share prices have appreciated. For example, company A grows in value because their share value appreciates and becomes worth more than company B. An ETF automatically sells company B and buys company A. This seems slightly illogical to me.

Since 2008 every equity market around the world has appreciated and ETFs have shown reasonable returns on the back of this market recovery. The fees on ETFs are very low and they have been a ‘set and forget’ type investment. In a rising market, this has been perfect.

Unfortunately life isn’t that simple and we will see a market correction at some stage (and we are due for one any time, as they usually happen every 8-10 years). These passive, follow-the-index type products will be shown to be what they are – a proxy for the market. If the market falls by 25%, so will these ETFs.

Personally, I don’t have a problem with ETFs, however an investor must have a solid investment strategy. Some of these ETFs are better than others based on the underlying asset. They have a place in investment portfolios, but how they are used needs thought.

Give me a call to discuss your situation and your investment strategy. Let’s see if ETFs are going to be a good fit for your investment portfolio.

John Barber
WealthDesign – a life well planned

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