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Business Bytes - Where your Kiwisaver money is invested

Radio New Zealand logo Radio New Zealand 6/05/2019
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Where your KiwiSaver money is invested depends on who's managing it and what type of fund you're in. 

There are basically three types - conservative, balanced and growth - which one you pick is down to age and how much risk you're willing to take.

Growth Funds

Growth funds are meant to be long term, they're invested in riskier assets - mainly shares in companies here and overseas such as Facebook and Google. 

Your money will also be put into companies you've never heard of, involved in businesses you didn't know existed such as medical research, these days cannabis or vegan burgers, and there will be investments in property and commodities such as gold or oil.

Those managing your money will be hands on, buying and selling as prices change, which will cost you more in fees. 

The idea is the more risk you take, the bigger return you should receive in the long-term - that's over decades rather than years. 

While that's not always the case, it seems to have been backed up over KiwiSaver's 11-year lifetime. 

Conservative/balances funds

If you're in a conservative or balanced fund, you're money will be invested in some shares, but more so in fixed interest securities such as cash and bonds. 

These funds are less risky - there's nothing safer than a government bond, but the return is lower - they're more suited to older investors keen to protect their nest eggs.

If you're in a default fund, it'll be a conservative or balanced type, but you can change it and choose whatever type you want. 

Lately, KiwiSaver managers have been criticised over where they invest your money. 

If it worries you where your money might be invested then there are a growing number of ethical funds - no guns or bombs, no tobacco, no booze, no gambling etc.

All the main Kiwisaver providers now have socially responsible or ethical funds to suit most tastes.

The advice from the government backed Commission for Financial Capability is take control of your Kiwisaver, who manages it, where it's invested, and how much you pay in fees.

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