Money Matters

From Xero to hero

Xero is a New Zealand success story. It is now the most widely used online accounting system in New Zealand and is expanding rapidly into Australia and the UK – and to a lesser extent the USA. Not only has it managed to disrupt the accounting... Read more

Your money: Free money comes at a cost

I recently came across some interesting facts and figures about interest-free credit. Typically you see this type of credit advertised by appliance stores and furniture companies. As it happens about 12 percent of those who take out this type of... Read more

Beware of October

“October: This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August and February.” (Mark Twain.) It’s thirty years since the 1987... Read more

Migration and property prices

In the year to the end of July, a record 72,400 more people arrived to live in New Zealand than left.  That represents an annual population increase of about 1.5%. Few would dispute that this has had a significant impact on house prices in recent... Read more

The arrival of Amazon

There is increasing discussion in the business press about the changing nature of retail spending and the affect this is having on the demand for retail space. This is a matter of keen interest to commercial property investors. The debate on this... Read more

KiwiSaver Simplicity

A low-cost KiwiSaver provider called Simplicity is offering something new to the KiwiSaver scene: low fees and ethical investing (its investments exclude tobacco, landmines, cluster bombs and nuclear weapons!). Their website ( Read more

How good is your credit score?

How good is your credit score? Checking is simple, and free. All you need is some details from a driver’s licence (or passport) and a click on the website It literally takes less than a couple of minutes. A credit score is a... Read more

Budget 2017

The National Government has produced a measured and politically clever Budget. Where this budget differs from its previous budgets is that it has opened its wallet and distributed the benefits of eight years of conservative management and the... Read more

Crystal ball gazing

In its first review statement of the year the Reserve Bank has left the official cash rate (OCR) unchanged at 1.75%. The commentary from bank governor Graeme Wheeler suggested it could remain at these levels for quite a while – years rather... Read more

Valuations and statistics

A few months ago I reviewed two websites that had made finding property data whole lot easier: Trademe Property Insights ( and Both apply a secret algorithm, to arrive at a suggested market value for... Read more