A simple investment strategy

Lifestyle Written by John Bolton, Sep 22 2008

In the absence of providing advice, I thought I'd let you into my world and what I'm saying to my own parents who are semi-retired.


First up you need to think about how much you will spend each year in retirement and how much of this will be covered by income (pensions and investment returns.) The shortfall is what needs to be covered by gradually cashing up your investments through retirement. I like to work to these three time horizons when thinking about investments:

  1. The first is straight cash and bank deposits.  (Hold about three years of outgoings.)
  2. The second is fixed interest that can include term deposits, debentures and bonds (all investment grade.)  Invest five to seven years' outgoings in fixed interest.
  3. The third is property and shares.  For a lot of Kiwis the house is a major part of this, but it can also include shares. Refer to my previous blog on how to use equity release as part of your long-term retirement planning (more as an insurance policy against living a long time!)

Keep it simple

With shares, the easiest thing is to invest in a passive managed fund with exposure to Australasian shares (for peace of mind.) Direct investing is like Lotto unless you are prepared to invest time understanding the stocks you choose. Passive index-linked funds are low-cost and have set rules around how they invest. My dad is share-averse! Yes, shares have performed dismally over the last 12 months. Unfortunately, that is the nature of investing. BUT to pull out of shares now would mean you'll miss out on any future upside.  Shares are a long-term investment - even if you're retired - that's why shares are a small proportion of your portfolio and why they are shown as long-term investments.  

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