Save more than time with automated money management tools to help you keep on top of your spending and investments. These won’t replace the advice of experts, but can act as helpful tools to level up your finances this year.
Easily track your incomings and outgoings with a free expense tracker mobile app like Money Lover. Categorise your spending into relevant groupings like bills, groceries and petrol, and set limits to get alerts if you come too close to your cap.
The government’s budgeting service is a slick and highly regarded offering of unbiased money management tools and advice. The website offers advice and guidance for everything from daily spending to mortgages, KiwiSaver, investing and retirement planning.
Another free expense tracker, Money Simple is web-based and pulls all your spending information from multiple banks and accounts into customisable categories – giving you oversight of all your expenditure.
New Zealand’s fastest growing investment platform makes investing easy and accessible for those less literate in the world of shares and stocks. Build and track your investment portfolio from the easy-to-use and low-fee online platform.
Dr Libby Weaver is an internationally acclaimed nutritional biochemist, author and speaker, and has just released wellness cards to educate and inspire. She chatted with Metropol about her secrets to de-stress, what brings her joy and a new way we can all make health a daily priority.
With the silly season fast approaching, do you get stressed?
“There are always going to be stressful situations in our lives that we can’t avoid. But a lot of the daily stress we experience comes from our perceptions and thoughts, so there is a lot of unnecessary suffering and it doesn’t have to be that way. I’ve had a period in my life where I was a ‘Rushing Woman’ and that showed me that I had to make some changes – practically, but also exploring where I was creating stress for myself through perceptions of pressure and urgency. That’s where the gold really is.”
What do you do to relax?
“Having some time to myself early in the morning outside, watering trees and vegies, and watching the chickens, is a joy and brings me a sense of spaciousness, even if my day ahead is incredibly full. I also really love to watch the light changing in the sky. I made a decision a while back that I wanted to see more sunsets so even if my work day hasn’t ended by that time, I do my best to take a break to watch it.”
Why is prioritising health and wellness so important – and in particular this year?
“Collectively, I think there has been a realisation of just how important our health is, yet it’s so easy for self-care to sink to the bottom of the priority list, unless there is a health crisis. I think that for many who have slowed down this year, there’s also been a realisation that they don’t necessarily want to go back to how they were living previously.
“Ultimately, if we don’t prioritise our own health and wellbeing eventually it’s going to catch up with us and we won’t be able to contribute and care for others in the way we really want to. Taking great care of the immune system has become a focus this year, and how we eat, drink, move, think, breathe, believe and perceive really does matter—not just to immune system function but to every cell in the body.”
What can we all do to prioritise our health and wellbeing on a daily basis?
“Many people share with me that they struggle to consistently take great care of themselves so I wanted to do something different this year that would help. That’s why I created my new Wellness Cards – I wanted to offer a simple way for health to become a consistent priority in your day or week, even if you feel time-poor. The cards are divided across the three pillars that I focus on – biochemical, nutritional and emotional.”
There’s plenty to love about growing your own fruit and vegetables. Terra Viva’s Peter Worsp tells Metropol about the holistic health benefits of this rewarding pastime.
The mental health benefits of gardening in general have been well documented in studies; ranging from early-onset dementia to hyperactive children. The studies pinpoint the calming influence of the outdoors, the physical handling of the soil itself, and the satisfaction of growing your own food.
The benefits of vitamins are well-known, especially the efficacy of vitamin C in citrus, so that old lemon tree that still produces so vigorously may well hold the key to dealing with next winter’s colds. For all age groups vegetables are high in vitamins A and C, antioxidants, minerals, and fibre to protect against cancer and heart disease. We’re all conscious of what goes into and onto our food these days so growing your own gives certainty about sprays etc.
Persuading children to eat anything that’s remotely green and healthy is an uphill battle. However, in case we didn’t know it (!), children have mysterious thought processes and it’s been shown that they’ll happily eat something they’ve grown themselves. So start with simple easy plants like lettuce, radishes, and strawberries (the only fruit that has its seeds on the outside) and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Growing vegetables gives you a healthy body and mind, a great sense of satisfaction – and a healthy pocket! That convenient back garden vege patch can save you big bucks, especially at this ‘in between’ season of the year.
Herbs are quick, easy, ultra-useful, and happy in pots if space is limited.
Tomatoes are still the leading summer vegetable with great flavour, good health benefits, and such a multi-purpose kitchen staple. Heat, consistent watering, and feeding are the keys to success.
Love fresh fruit but short of space? Any fruits or vegetables with good colour are classic health providers, including beetroot, blueberries, tomatoes, and red capsicums, and all can be grown in pots.
Soil preparation is the key to growth so dig down to a spade’s depth and mix in blood and bone, a dusting of lime and sheep pellets to provide loose and fertile earthworm-attracting soil.
One of the keys to successful financial portfolio management is to ensure you are treated as an individual and not boxed in as just another number. Authorised Financial Adviser Alistair Bean tells Metropol why this approach is especially vital in uncertain times.
WHY SHOULD I HAVE AN INDIVIDUALISED INVESTMENT PLAN PREPARED BY A FINANCIAL ADVISER?
“More than just completing a series of fact finding and risk profile documents for your available lump sum, it’s about getting to know and truly understand you, your family, your trust, business or charity to discover how we can best help you meet your short, medium and longer-term goals and needs.”
DOESN’T IT TAKE TIME TO BUILD TRUST WITH AN ADVISER?
“I always tell my clients it may take some time to build a level of client-adviser trust, but any of my long-term clients will attest to how investing with Alistair Bean & Associates – Financial Advisers has helped them meet their life goals. I’ve been told authorising me to “make decisions so I don’t have to” was the best decision they ever made. I love hearing tales of how we’ve helped put children and grandchildren through school; buy new properties, cars, family holidays, and provided income for retirement. Clients are part of my family and doing our best to ensure the meeting of financial goals is my priority.”
WHAT DOES AN INDIVIDUALISED INVESTMENT PLAN INVOLVE?
“Among many other valuable things, you will be presented with initial investment recommendations for your available funds. These should reflect the current economic and market information available in New Zealand and overseas at the time and be used as a starting point.”
IF MY ADVISER HAS TOLD ME WHAT TO DO WITH MY AVAILABLE LUMP SUM, THEN WHY DON’T I JUST DO THIS MYSELF?
“This is where the rubber actually hits the road and where your financial adviser makes a difference! While funds should be allocated to the short, medium, and longer-term, as we are seeing in the current Covid-19 environment and many previous crisis situations – the whole world can spin on a ten-cent piece. Your financial adviser’s highest skills are employed here to adapt your investment portfolio as changes occur.”
WHAT KIND OF RECOMMENDATIONS MIGHT BE MADE?
“Your adviser’s actions will include ensuring you have enough funds to see you through a crisis. This used to be three months, but I now recommend a minimum of one year’s expenses.
“Then, ensuring you have medium-term funds for things like home improvements, family assistance, car, and appliance upgrades. And finally, for longer-term nest-egg and retirement provisions. Your financial adviser will keep an eye on your funds and adjust as appropriate to the current conditions. This could include keeping your investments exactly where they are or moving them somewhere deemed more beneficial.”
Contact Alistair Bean & Associates – Financial Advisers on 03 288 0404 or via Alistair.Bean@abafs.co.nz to help achieve your financial goals. Personal disclosure documents available free in the resources tab of the website below.
As the adage goes, “It’s not what you know but who you know”, but how do you get to know the who? Here’s some top networking tips for breaking the ice this conference and event season.
TIME TO SHINE: Attendees generally walk out of an event with a stack of business cards, so if you want to stand out from the crowd, creative cards will leave a lasting impression. Imagine a landscaping business card that sprouts tiny trees when wet!
MAGIC NUMBER: Set a goal for the number of people you will speak to at the event and stick to it. Throw in some curveballs like meeting five people wearing red and five with large briefcases to keep things interesting and ensure you meet a range of people.
PREPARE YOUR PITCH: Prepare your elevator pitch, a multi-million dollar sentence or two explaining who you are and what you do. Keep it punchy and have some icebreakers ready to keep things fun and relaxed. The more you practice, the more confident you will be.
FANCY A FOLLOW-UP? If you meet someone at an event, follow up straight away. Let them know it was great to meet them and offer to follow up with a coffee. All relationships need a little bit of help to get going – networking relationships included.
COOL, CALM AND CONVERSATIONAL: Dread the concept of “networking”? Networking is simply the process of building relationships, not putting the hard sell on. So just relax and get to know people – the rest will come naturally. Make sure you listen so the conversation flows.
Firstly, we at Alistair Bean & Associates – Financial Advisers want to send our best wishes to all, hoping that you and your families are fit and well.
By Alistair Bean & Associates Managing Director Alistair Bean
Among other things, financial change has hit most of us like we have never known before and this causes concern for past, present and future planning.
But this is exactly what we must do. We must continue to plan; however it doesn’t need to be difficult.
Sticking to your own rules is extremely important but adapting those rules to situations as they occur is vital to success.
Re-visiting the reasons for your short, medium and longer-term goals are imperative however, it doesn’t need to be cumbersome.
Your short-term goals should include immediate plans for spending like upgrading cars, home maintenance and perhaps family weddings.
Overseas trips may now be deferred for some time and maybe you have received a hotel refund and an airfare credit, so include these figures in calculations.
We say that you should have a three-month backstop of emergency savings for expenses; my recommendation is that you now make this at least a 12-month back-stop.
For medium and longer-term, look at the reasons why you originally selected your investments.
For example, was it because you were going to get a good rate of interest and this has now reduced, or you bought some shares only because you were to receive a dividend, but that dividend is no longer there or reduced significantly.
Perhaps you purchased another investment in an industry that may now not see recovery for a number of years, whether it be property, tourism or entertainment.
For these decisions maybe it’s time to consider investments in sectors that now look more in need.
Discuss these short, medium and longer-term plans with us.
We can individualise what is best suited to your own situation; it may be that you continue as you are, or we can recommend adapted changes as appropriate to your own needs.
Interestingly what gives me some comfort lately is an article I read recently, in the current Covid environment; 96-year-old Charlie Munger, (investment guru, Warren Buffett’s offsider) said, “there is no need to rush when making investment decisions to buy, hold or sell”.
I thought, when a 96-year-old says there’s no need to rush, then you should probably listen.
He went on to say that moving investments at the right price is the right thing to do.
This isn’t about market timing; it’s more about what makes sense as opposed to ‘common’ sense.
We at Alistair Bean & Associates – Financial Advisers understand the market highs and lows, and we can help guide you through these unprecedented times.
Our specialty is “to make decisions for you, so you don’t have to”.
My team and I look forward to assisting you to help review your past, present and future ongoing needs. Please feel free to contact us today to assist you in adapting to change.
The best way to get involved with investing is to keep it simple and let a financial adviser do it all for you. They know how to navigate the highs and lows and assist you in achieving the growth you desire. Bank term deposit rates are still at their lowest for quite some time and are likely to remain lower for longer.
Alistair Bean and Associates – Financial Advisers can assist you with investment planning for your short, medium and longer-term needs and goals.
They can ‘make decisions for you, so you don’t have to’ by creating an investment portfolio specifically tailored for you, is constantly monitored, continues to assist you for the life of your investments and take into account any personal insurance and KiwiSaver needs.
In what appears to have been a decade of unrest and turmoil, the New Zealand market and economy has performed spectacularly well compared to other global markets.
Overseas investments have also offered opportunities to receive returns well above term deposit rates, inflation and the effects of tax.
Investment portfolios tend to go up over time and typically outperform property (eg. your own home).
They can skyrocket in a three-month period but also collapse at the same time.
Like a one-year term deposit, the first proof in the pudding of a managed portfolio is the value at the anniversary date of the original investment and then say the average of three years invested – very much like increases in the value of your own home.
You know that in the first three months of purchasing a home that you would not likely be able to sell the home after three months and expect an increase in value.
The same could also be said if you sold your own home after only two years but after three to 10 years you would like to think that there has been an increase in value.
You could also expect the same for your reserve fund or nest-egg investments.
This is particularly when you need to use a Financial Adviser to assist in maintaining your investments who will constantly follow the market on your behalf.
Some alternatives to term deposits are direct New Zealand and international shares, managed funds and property funds.
With a mixture of these types of investments that cover short, medium and longer-term needs, you can get excited by following each individual investment, or just leave it up to your Financial Adviser at Alistair Bean and Associates to look after for you.
None of your investments need to be locked in or have early repayment penalties.
Investments are cashed in at their market value at the time of withdrawal (from three to 14 days in normal market conditions).
Many clients also take regular monthly withdrawals to help them meet their budgetary needs.
While past performance is no guarantee of future performance, clients of Alistair Bean and Associates – Financial Advisers, have been very pleased with the decisions that have been made on their behalf.
Alistair Bean and Associates welcomes new clients interested in receiving quality advice with an individualised portfolio and oppurtunity for impressive returns over time.
Alistair Bean and Associates are located at Level 1, 293 Durham Street. Christchurch. Phone 021 552 587.
Personal Disclosure documents are available free on demand.