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Investing is all about buying things that put money back into our pockets. Sound intimidating? It’s really not. Those of us who have a bank term deposit or are in KiwiSaver – we’re already investors! 

First, some basics

We become investors when we put our money into things (assets) that can earn income or grow in value. The general aim is to earn a return that’s greater than any fees, taxes and inflation.  

Being an investor also involves a degree of risk. Generally, the higher the returns we chase, the higher the risks we’ll need to take on.

There are some key fundamentals of investing money that we can rely on. These investment basics are covered at the link below:

Investing basics

Then, some key questions

We can ask ourselves a number of investing questions to get on the right track with our investments.

Investing questions

My investor type

Knowing what type of investor you are helps you work out the right mix of investments.

Shares? Bonds? Property? Term deposits?

How do we know which is right for us? And how much of each should we hold?

Knowing what type of investor you are will helps you work out the mix of investments (and kinds of investments) you should consider - what to invest in and where to invest.

Sorted’s investor kickstarter can help with your investor type, give you a typical mix of investments for each investor profile and show you what we can expect when investing money.

Ways to invest

You can invest money 'directly' through a bank (term deposits), sharebroker (shares and bonds), real estate agent (property) or other brokers. If you invest directly in shares, bonds or property you’ll need to be well informed about the sharemarket, and the business or real estate scene. 

Guide to term deposits

Guide to shares 

Guide to property investing

You can also invest money ‘indirectly’ through a managed fund. In a managed fund (or unit trust) your money is pooled with that of other investors, and a professional fund manager invests it in a variety of investments on your behalf.

Guide to managed funds 

Guide to KiwiSaver

Top tips for investing

Before leaping into any investment decision, there are some basic rules to follow:

  • Set goals: Decide what it is that you’re trying to achieve. Where do you want to be at some point in the future? What is the final outcome you want from your investments and what is your timeframe? Think about any debt you’re carrying – is investing the right option right now? Would you be better off using your money to pay off high-interest debt (e.g. credit card, hire purchase), or to reduce your mortgage? 
  • Know your investor type: How much time do you have? How much volatility (ups and downs in the value of your investment) can you tolerate? How much money are you willing to lose? Our investor kickstarter will help you work this out.
  • Know how you want to invest your money: What mix of investments suits your investor type? Bonds, shares, property, bank deposits? Will you invest money directly yourself or use managed funds? The investor kickstarter can help here too. 
  • Do some homework: Research, compare and contrast the options – or get someone to do that for you. Read the business sections of the newspaper, go online, talk to an adviser, bank manager, or accountant. It’s also wise to read any documents relating to an investment you’re considering, such as the investment statement and/or prospectus.
  • Research the companies themselves: What does the company do? What markets is the company in? Who is running the company? Have they ever been declared bankrupt? Are they on the Financial Markets Authority's warning list? How is the company run? Does the board have independent directors? How has the company performed in recent years – is there a steady performance over time?
  • Get the right advice: Shop around for a Financial Adviser. Financial Advisers must tell you (in a written disclosure statement) how they are paid and the impact that can have on the advice they give. Find out more about getting investment advice.
  • Spread the risk: As the saying goes, we shouldn’t put all our eggs in one basket. Distribute money around different options and different companies. For example, if you’re considering high-risk investments, you can balance the risk with other investments in lower risk areas, like cash and bonds.