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Investment industry gets KiwiSaver advice

NZN 18/05/2016 Jonathan Underhill

The majority of New Zealand investors have confidence in the nation's financial markets but the least confident are KiwiSaver members who need to be encouraged to engage with providers and question whether they're in the right mix of funds, says Financial Markets Authority chief executive Rob Everett.

The FMA's Attitudes Towards New Zealand's Financial Markets survey showed overall confidence has dropped slightly this year, with a combined 56 per cent of those polled saying they were confident or very confident, down from 60 per cent in 2015 and 58 per cent in 2014.

Those that said they were not very confident or not confident at all rose to 29 per cent from 27 per cent, according to the survey of 1,000 people conducted by Colmar Brunton.

The survey found KiwiSaver members were least likely to express confidence, with a combined 57 per cent confident or very confident, compared with 80 per cent of investors in managed funds or unit trusts. KiwiSaver members lagged behind residential property investors, with a confidence level of 71 per cent, and those with term deposits, at 65 per cent, the survey showed.

Everett said it wasn't surprising that KiwiSaver members lagged the field for confidence since many would have been "nudged" into schemes when the pension savings were first offered.

"But we're now at the point where it is a key issue to get them engaged in these decisions - what fees they are getting charged, what funds they should be in," he said.

KiwiSaver represents the biggest proportion of New Zealand investors. While almost nine out of 10 people have an investment, 66 per cent of those are in KiwiSaver, followed by 29 per cent with term deposits, 16 per cent in other pension plans and 14 per cent invested in residential property (other than their own home).

The most confident group, managed funds or unit trusts, accounted for only 11 per cent of investors.

"The real issue here is people have long memories - they remember the 1987 stock market crash, the finance company collapses," Everett said. "That's why so many are in term deposits. A lot of people are there because they are scared."

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