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13 September 2020
Reading time: 3 minutes

Posted by Tom Hartmann , 1 Comments

We’ve rounded up some common financial jargon that makes people think: WTFinance does this really mean?!

Te reo Māori version

Bear markets, bull markets

When the sharemarket is trending down and the economy shrinks, it’s called a ‘bear’ market (its claws point down). In a ‘bull’ market, the sharemarket is on the rise again and the economy is growing (its horns point up). Most investors hope for a bull market (a rise of 20% or more), but need to be ready for the bear (a 20% drop or more).


A secure ‘chain’ of digital ‘blocks’ shared across a wide network of computers. Blockchains keep a trusted record of cryptocurrency and NFTs.


Virtual money that can be exchanged just like real-world dollars. But crypto can swing wildly in how much it’s worth!  


Unique digital tokens that can’t be copied. NFTs can represent real-world stuff like property or art even. If you buy the NFT, the art is yours. (Hopefully!)

Car loan

The privilege of paying more and more for something that’s worth less and less!

Credit score

A score for you based on how well you’ve paid bills or repaid loans in the past. If you’re a high scorer, you’ll get the best loan deals.


The cost of using other people’s money. Stay on its good side.

Gross vs net pay

What you earn (gross) and what you’re left with (net). 

Wage assistance

When your employer can’t pay you because of COVID-19, so the government chips in to cover the difference.


It’s not about getting a bargain. It’s about setting aside money for your future goals. 

Compound interest

When interest earns its own interest, supercharging your savings.

Government contribution

You can get up to $521 every year from the government, just for putting money into your KiwiSaver.

KiwiSaver rollercoaster

When balances fall and you want to switch out of your fund – but it’s a bad idea to try to get off the rollercoaster midway.


What you get back in your pocket from investing.


Cheeky hidden costs that blow out the real price of stuff. 

KiwiSaver hardship

Tapping your KiwiSaver fund to tide you over in the short term. It’s a last resort, since it hits your long-term prospects.

Net worth

What you own minus what you owe. It’s the way to really tell if you’re getting ahead moneywise.

Repayment holiday

Pressing pause on your loans for now, although they end up costing you more in interest. So this kind of holiday is best kept as short as possible.

Mortgage holiday

Getting a break from repaying your mortgage, but the interest keeps adding up all the same.

Stuck on some finance jargon?

Find more helpful explanations in the Sorted glossary.

Comments (1)


  • Gravatar for Meriana Taputu

    17 September 20
    Meriana Taputu

    Tino harikoa ki te panui Maori e pa ana ki te ngā Topanga mini. Mahuru Maori. X

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