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

Who said New Zealanders don’t save?

The total KiwiSaver balance for all investors is now $ 19.94 billion of savings. Who said New Zealanders don’t save?

With rising investment balances, investors need to consider the fees they are paying and which asset allocation they are invested into. In some cases they are paying top fees for the lowest return.


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We have access to independent research that can compare fund with fund and manager with manager. Fees and performance really matter, and you need to be an informed investor. This is especially important as most of the marketing around KiwiSaver focuses on things like access to your KiwiSaver balance; not the real issues of fees and performance.

Our door is always open and we are happy to help you become an empowered investor.

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MTC is a great sweetener for KiwiSaver scheme members.  As long as you have saved $1,042.86 by June 30th each year, you receive a full tax credit of $521.43.  For a number of reasons, you may not have hit this target but it isn’t too late.  If you haven’t saved this amount during the year, you can still make one off payments to maximise the tax credits.  You can either send a cheque or pay IRD directly or go via your KiwiSaver provider.

If you want to talk about your KiwiSaver or do not know who it is with, do not hesitate to call the WealthDesign office. We have the latest Morningstar research on all the KiwiSaver funds so you can see if your fund is right for you.


John Barber

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Why invest in farming

It’s often overlooked because it’s not particularly sexy to mainstream investors, but there is huge opportunity in global farmland and sustainable farming.

You see, global population has increased at a staggering rate over the past century, with an increase of one billion in the past decade alone and a projected world population of nine billion people by 2050. Yet today’s global food production continues to leave over a billion people undernourished.


There has also been a proliferation of a new middle class with increased purchasing power in emerging markets, coupled with a shift in dietary trends, which has increased the demand for meat.

This global population growth and an increasing reliance of the global livestock industry on grains for feeding its livestock has, in turn, led to an increased demand for grains that will continue to trend upwards.

Add to that the millions of acres of land lost to urbanisation every year and the negative impact of extreme weather events, soil degradation, water scarcity, and rising temperatures on agricultural productivity.  Then there’s increase demand for biofuels, and the ‘finite’ nature of arable land to meet this ever-increasing global demand, and you’ll begin to understand why global farmlands — a prime asset — continue to be an attractive investment on a global scale.

On a local scale, we are starting to see a move into farm syndication that will allow investors to invest directly into land. Today farm syndication makes up 7.1% of all New Zealand farming operations. The fact is that not all syndicates are as good as another and prudent investing is wise.  If you would like to discuss what is available, and how best to take advantage of it, please do not hesitate to give me a call.


John Barber

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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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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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