This article was originally featured in Stuff and was written by Susan Edmunds.
Susan Edmunds is Stuff’s Business Editor. Each week, she will answer your money and personal finance questions. You can send yours to firstname.lastname@example.org. This information is not intended as personal financial advice and should not replace advice from a professional.
I’m taking out a new home loan and have been told I need to get some insurance to go with it. I already have life insurance – do I need income protection, too?
Whether you want income protection cover will depend a bit on your circumstances. It’s designed to help out when you’re not able to work due to illness (ACC will usually step in if you’ve had an accident). It could be a good idea if you have a big home loan and wouldn’t be able to make the repayments without your income, or if you being out of action would mean extra costs to cover. But if you’ve got lots of savings, or if your household primarily relies on someone else’s income, it might not be so important. If you’re worried about the cost, you can opt for a longer wait period before the payments begin, or a lower payment amount. There are other products on the market with a similar aim to income protection policies, such as mortgage and rent cover. It’s a good idea to get personalised advice from an adviser or insurer because insurance products vary – some will be offset by ACC payments and some won’t, for example.
I’m worried about my KiwiSaver provider having investments I’m not happy about, what can I do?
Lots of people want to be sure that the money they invest via KiwiSaver is going to support things they believe in. If you want to check where your money is, there are a few things you can do.
David Boyle, at Mint Asset Management, said he was worried that some providers did not make it easy to find.
“That said, most do provide this information via their website and in the monthly fund updates. At worst it should be shown on their quarterly FMA-regulated updates that have to be on the websites and accessible for investors. Though they may only show their top 10 or 20 stocks and bonds.”
The Financial Markets Authority says all managed funds (KiwiSaver or non-KiwiSaver) must report full fund holdings every six months. This information is available in a spreadsheet on the Disclose register. You can search for the fund in question.
He says, if you can’t easily find the information you want, you can contact your provider and ask. “If that doesn’t work might be time to find another provider.”
You can also use a tool like Mindful Money’s to check what exposure your fund has to a range of things like animal testing, fossil fuels and human rights and environmental violations.