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More than 2 million Kiwis are investing their money – so where are we putting it?

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RNZ

The number of investor visa applications has soared since the coronavirus outbreak, and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise says New Zealand’s successful public health strategy is behind the tenfold surge in interest.

More than 2 million New Zealanders are investing their money.

But what are we investing in, and how are our wealthiest divvying up their money?

Research from Finder found 56% of Kiwis were investing their money in some way – equivalent to 2.1 million people.

The nationally representative survey of 1,504 respondents found shares were the most common form of investment, with more than a third (38%) holding a stake in the stock market.

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Property came in second, with 14% building wealth through an investment property, while 11% owned cryptocurrency and 8% invested in bonds.

MoneyHub founder Chris Walsh broke down where the wealthiest Kiwis invested their money.

He found wealthy New Zealanders have a combination of managed funds, shares, term deposits, private banking, property, political donations, venture capital and patronage and charitable activities.

Sungmi Kim/Stuff

About 2.1 million New Zealanders are investing their money.

“They may also have business interests, such as shares in a small or medium-sized company that’s not listed,” he said.

Wealthy New Zealanders had long been investing in individual shares – however, the lack of ‘blockbuster’ companies listed on the NZX has seen many diversify into managed funds with an overseas focus, Walsh said.

The Finder survey found men (63%) were more likely to invest than women (49%), except for micro-investing apps where women took the lead.

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MoneyHub founder Chris Walsh broke down where the wealthiest Kiwis invested their money.

Between the generations, millennials took the lead when it came to share trading (46%), cryptocurrency (22%) and property (18%), but baby boomers were the most likely to claim they invest in other ways (22%).

Finder share trading expert Kylie Purcell said the combination of pandemic and the digital revolution had sparked a cultural shift towards investing.

“Share trading has undergone a makeover in recent years, particularly among younger generations where share trading apps like Sharesies and Hatch have taken off.

“It’s now easier than ever for New Zealanders to access overseas investments like US stocks, and that connectivity is drawing more people in.”

Purcell encouraged Kiwis not to let market fluctuations get to them.

“Let’s not ignore the elephant in the room – or rather the bear in the room. The stock market is down, but for the long-term investor, this shouldn’t have much of an impact on your portfolio.

“Share prices will always fluctuate, but holding your shares over many years is how you’ll build real wealth.”

And if you’ve had your eye on a stock for a while, now might be a good time to buy while the market is down, she said.

Among those who trade shares, Sharesies was the number one platform of choice (53%), followed by ASB Securities (17%), Hatch (12%) and Direct Broking (10%).

Brooke Roberts, co-chief executive at Sharesies, said it was all about creating equal share market opportunities and access for everyone, no matter their finances, age, gender, or expertise.

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Brooke Roberts, one of the founders of Sharesies, said it was all about creating equal share market opportunities for Kiwis.

“Over the past five years we’ve seen our investor base grow to over 10% of the Aotearoa population and part of that has seen a rise of women building their own investment portfolios,” she said.

It also had a strong focus on female investing and had partnered with Girls that Invest as well as She’s on the Money.

“We want to tautoko (support) a rise in financial empowerment for wāhine and anyone who has been left out of developing wealth,” Roberts said.

“That said, the work isn’t done–there’s a lot of mahi to do to create more equality when it comes to money and investing.”