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


Homeowners – remember your sum insured is stipulated now by you. Make sure you have the figure right.

Up until now, your house insurance covered the cost of full replacement – easy. Now, insurance changes mean that you have to stipulate a total sum insured – complicated! This sum insured includes things like driveways, fences, swimming pools and if you’re a country dweller, septic tanks. It also needs to cover demolition and compliance costs of rebuilding.  Daunting we know, but there are tools to help. The best one we have found, is the website This has a calculator that can work out the individual replacement value of your property. Once you have this vital piece of information, call us. We’ll put together the second part of this puzzle for you – the best price and policy to suit.

We make the complicated simple.

Call us!


John Barber and Regan Thomas

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The world of farm business is changing. In the past, if a farmer wanted to expand, he called the bank and borrowed the cash. Today around 7.1% of all farms are some form of equity partnership. Farmers are finding it is better to be part of something rather than risk all by over exposing themselves to any lender.

These investment structures are a joint venture between groups of individuals and can range from owning just the land to being part of the land and farming business. All equity partnerships aren’t equal and investors need to be wary. One needs to understand what they are investing into. Farming is a long term investment and the asset liquidity isn’t great but it can be very profitable over a ten year period. It is important to do due diligence with an informed third party.

It is important to understand the costs, both up front and on going.  Good governance is also vital.

My background as a Lincoln graduate, farmer and a qualified financial planner, puts me in a good position to assess these opportunities.  If you want advice on how to invest into farming by direct ownership, please give me a call.

John Barber


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New Zealand – God’s own

It’s been a while since New Zealand could boast being one of the best economies in the world, but our economy is in a sweet spot right now. It is great to be able to quote the positives and there are a number of positive factors at play.

  1. Immigration and the impact of Kiwis coming home.
  2. The Christchurch rebuild is solidly underway.
  3. Auckland new home building is start speed up.
  4. The government is focused on increasing infrastructural work.
  5. Commodity prices are strong feeding which feeds a healthy rural sector.

Normally positives are off-set by some negatives but the only negative I can see at present is our strong New Zealand dollar. This has hurt some of our export sector but we are lucky that New Zealand supplies what China (our largest trading partner) wants.

Who said Aussie was the lucky country?

John Barber

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Plan A or Plan B?

It is a sad fact that we often see the impact of people opting for Plan A, which is no insurance,  rather than Plan B, which is a prudent, well structured insurance portfolio. We hear the stories of families put into financial difficulty due to a death or disability within a family.

Unfortunately disasters do happen and a decision not to have insurance is a decision to take Plan A. The unintended consequence of this decision is far reaching. Yes, simple in the short term, but often devastating in the long term.  The last thing a widower wants is financial pressure after the loss of their loved one; but it happens far too often. In the first two months of this year, I have come across two such cases.

Our clients have had the benefit of the hard conversations. We have had a look at the “what if” questions and put in strategies to cover these potential disasters. This gives our clients peace of mind, and the ability to get on with life, knowing if the worst should happen, at least financial woes won’t be part of the equation.

Talk to your family (immediate and extended) and ask the question – have they had the discussion around risk?  If not, please let us know.  We are happy to sit down and have a conversation around this thorny issue.  We have answers; ones that won’t break the bank and will bring you peace of mind – Plan B, in other words.

John Barber



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Goals –are your goal posts in sight?

a Soccer ball on a soccer field


There is an old saying if you don’t know where you are going, how you will ever know when you get there? In investments this is very true. Last week we had our annual external audit for WealthDesign and one thing that was drummed into me was the need to always have clearly defined goals (defined in a clear and measurable way) on file, for our clients. These goals should always be the benchmark that every investment decision is weighed against. In truth this is easier said than done, and takes discipline and thought to achieve.  Which got me thinking … this applies in all of our lives, not just our businesses.

For example, say you are a trustee of a family trust or you hold a power of attorney for your aging mother.  Having the basics right from the start, is vital.  You have to know what you are trying to achieve.  So work backwards.  What does the family member or beneficiary require to live comfortably and without stress?  This involves numbers!  You can’t just be airy fairy and say I want my mum to be happy and comfortable.  What will that look like? Discuss this with family.  Communication is vital.   You need to be able to formulate how much money your investment needs to provide to have the outcome desired. 

This is where we help you.  It’s often new territory you’re treading, so having the support at hand, with an expert on your team, is invaluable.  We care!  Call us!

John Barber


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