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A man is not a financial plan: Polson Higgs Wealth Management


Studies show women make higher returns on their financial investments than men.
Why, then, do so many take a hands-off approach to money? Authorised Financial Advisor Shiree Hembrow has dedicated 25 years to helping women plan for and reap the rewards of well-managed finances.

 

The phwealth adviser says women have a different perspective on money than men.

“Since I have been working in the financial planning world, I have noticed that few women I meet are fully engaged in their finances or planning for their lives after work, mostly leaving it up to their husbands, and sometimes to no one,” she says.

Taking an active role in managing it empowers women to protect themselves for their financial future.

Statistically, women live longer than men and earn less. Statistics New Zealand data shows the gender pay gap was more than nine percent in the June 2019 quarter.

“This means women will require more money saved for what is likely to be a longer retirement,” she says. “For women over 50, they need reassurance they will not run out of money or be a burden on their families. This is extremely important for widowed or divorced women.”

Shiree says a written personal financial plan from an independent third-party adviser allows women, both single and coupled, to map out what they want to achieve in their life and learn how money works so they can take an equal and active role in decisions around shared and independent finances.

“I learned in my life that a man is not a financial plan,” says Shiree. “I married at 42, which for my husband was a second marriage. At the time I was an independent person with my own career and enjoying looking after myself.

“Bringing two independent people together in a new relationship is a miracle in itself, but for me, putting our financial lives together was more than just checking the bank balance every so often. Some of our dreams are separate.

“We will not do everything together all the time. Knowing what each of us wants without having to do everything together is important to me as a woman. I am a woman who needs to know where I am going and where we are going as a couple too.”

Shiree says the benefits of a financial plan applies regardless of the size of your salary or assets – and evidence shows once women are empowered around money they become formidable financial forces.

Why women make good investors:

A 2017 Fidelity study found women earn higher returns on their investments and save more than men by about 0.4% per annum.

Women take a more hands-off approach, allowing investments to gain a better long-term return. There is a book called Warren Buffet Invests Like A Girl and Why You Should Too.

Women are more likely to evaluate success by asking the question, “Am I on track to achieving my goals?” whereas men can be reactive and try to “win” with frequent changes.


 

The business of discovery: The Vintro Room


The excitement of the chase and discovering unique and collectable pieces is what drives Maddie Hatton who opened her shop, The Vintro Room, just two weeks before the country went into lockdown.

 

 

“The timing wasn’t great,” says Maddie. “And I admit I had my doubts about whether we could make this work, but we had a lot of support from neighbouring retailers and are starting to build a regular base of customers and thanks to them, it has gradually built up.”

It has been many years since Merivale had an antique shop, art gallery or a shop full of unique and vintage collectables so The Vintro Room, which combines all three, is a welcome addition.

Maddie has always been a hunter and collector of art and antiques, and puts the blame firmly on her parents for her inability to pass up going to auctions or sorting through estates in search of the perfect piece.

“They are collectors too, and my brother has his own business in Perth as a designer and manufacturer of art in steel, so The Vintro Room was probably an inevitable and very happy outcome for me.”

Based at 186 Papanui Road, beside the Nurse Maude Hospice Shop, The Vintro Room is open from 10am to 2pm Tuesday to Saturday with new stock arriving every day.

“We deliberately keep the prices very reasonable and rely on a fairly quick turnover so there’s always something new to see. We also have people coming in and asking if we buy, which we do if it fits.”

Success in this field takes a good eye and a whole lot of research, and Maddie says a large part of the attraction of this business is the constant learning.

“There will always be pieces you’ve not seen before or haven’t got much information to go on,” she says. “So good research is important. You also need to be aware that art, antiques and collectables go in and out of fashion cycles like anything else, so what’s highly desirable one year can fail to achieve a good price the next.”

Maddie is also mother to a very active two-year-old and busy six-year-old – so running a business can be quite a juggling act.

“Having the support of family and friends is what has made this possible,” says Maddie. “Even my husband has stopped raising an eyebrow when I come back with yet another car-load of stock. Although I suspect this is only because he knows it will be going straight out again.”

While every business can have its moments and life is certainly being lived at a breakneck pace at the moment, Maddie can’t imagine doing anything else.

This will no doubt come as very welcome news to her customers.


 

The fine balance of working during IVF


The IVF journey can be an emotional and almost all-consuming experience for people trying to conceive. Balancing working life amidst it all isn’t easy but the team from Genea Oxford Fertility have a few tips to share.

 

Talk it through
It can be a difficult decision to let others know you’re about to undergo fertility treatment, but if you have a good relationship with your boss, an honest conversation could be beneficial for you both. For example, a general understanding about you attending appointments and avoiding work travel will eliminate the need to invent excuses or explain mysterious absences. Generally, we hear people have a way of surprising you and will be far more supportive than you imagine.


Work can be beneficial
Your first reaction when starting treatment may be to take leave from your job but you might find work is a welcome distraction. Rather than worrying about the ‘what-ifs’, keeping busy with a purpose and focus outside of the IVF process might make the emotional load a little lighter. Sitting at home worrying can sometimes be just as stressful as going to your regular job. Work can also give you a sense of achievement at a time when it seems like no matter how hard you try, your fertility is not something you can problem solve. If you decide to work throughout your fertility treatment, see if you can lighten your load and investigate delegating some of your work to make life easier.


Put yourself first
To give yourself the best chance of IVF success, eating and sleeping well, exercising, relaxation techniques, and enjoying time with family and friends are all important. Where you can, cut back on additional demands and try a little pampering to help you through this emotional time. There’s no perfect formula when you’re going through IVF, but it is important is to look after yourself and create some plans to help you succeed in all areas of your life.


 

Christine Korako and Marg Foster, Directors of Inspired Events NZ

An inspired event: Women Inspiring Women luncheon is the feel good event you won’t want to miss

It’s been said that to achieve greatness, one must keep great company, which is the very premise behind one of the city’s most inspiring upcoming events.

Christine Korako and Marg Foster, Directors of Inspired Events NZ
Christine Korako and Marg Foster, Directors of Inspired Events NZ

On Wednesday 16 May from 12-3pm at the Addington Event Centre, the Women Inspiring Women luncheon brings together some of the country’s most inspiring women. From entrepreneurs and company directors to wellness warriors and television personalities, names from Toni Street and Angela Stone, to Lynette McFadden and Traci Houpapa will be on hand for inspiration.
Hosted by Inspired Events NZ and featuring MC Hilary Muir, the event supports some of the city’s most worthy causes.
Pay It Forward, with the charity Dress for Success, will have a clothing donation booth on site. Dress for Success invites attendees, and those unable to attend, to gift a ‘buddy ticket’, to enable a disadvantaged woman to attend, while In the Community Charitable Trust creates opportunities to do something special for mums with breast cancer.
Christine Korako and former Silver Ferns player and Motivationz Director Marg Foster are the names behind Inspired Events NZ. Established to inspire and motivate others, they believe investing in personal and professional development enhances individual and group motivation, leading to greater success and happiness.
“It’s all about connecting engaging and participating,” Christine says.
“We flourish when we have the right people around us who can advise us, support and strengthen our individual capability, grow our confidence and challenge us to reach our goals.
“People with a positive mindset are irresistible and that is why we came together to create Inspired Events. We unpack layers of motivation and inspiration through speakers and workshops to create a point of difference in people’s lives.”
For more information and tickets, email inspireatevents@gmail.com or follow @inspiredevents on Facebook.

Metropol Editor Melinda Collins

Editor’s Perspective: On feminism and changing perceptions

“The higher you go, the fewer women there are,” – Wangari Maathai.

Metropol Editor Melinda Collins
Metropol Editor Melinda Collins

A university lecturer once asked me and a group of my female peers how many of us were feminists. One hand of the 12 present went up. That was just seven years ago; 118 years after women got the vote, 92 years after women were allowed to stand for parliament and 78 years after the first woman was elected into parliament.
Somewhere between the brave and radical women’s rights campaigners of the late 1800s and post 1980s, it seems to have become uncool to be a feminist.
Feminism by definition is simply the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.
Yet, according to the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Gender Gap Report, gender parity is still more than 200 years away.
Men and women are different. We have different biological abilities, different hormones and we look – for the most part – different. There are slightly more women in the world than men – 52 percent of the population are women. And yet, most of the positions of power are occupied by men. In quite a literal sense, men rule the world.
This made sense 1000 years ago when physical strength was one of the key determinants of survival. But we live in a very different world now, one where creativity, intelligence and innovation are equal determinants of success.
Earlier this month we celebrated International Women’s Day. It’s one day a year where we reflect on the economic, political and social achievements of women. And, while it may not be ‘cool’ to identify as a feminist, as my university lecturer pointed out that day, why wouldn’t you?