Money hero
15 October 2014

Kiwis quizzed on investment knowledge

Survey shows most confused about government guarantees.

Which of the following investment types is government guaranteed? Term deposits, KiwiSaver, shares, bonds or residential property?

If you answered term deposits you are incorrect, just like the 52 percent of people who were recently asked that question as part of a survey. Forty-two percent incorrectly said KiwiSaver was guaranteed.

If you said "none of them", you are right – the government does not guarantee any of the listed investment types and nor do the providers.

The survey was carried out for the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) as part of Money Week, which runs until 19 October and encourages Kiwis to think about their financial situation.

Respondents were asked to assign risk levels to various investments. Eighty-one percent said term deposits were low risk and 73 percent said KiwiSaver conservative funds were low risk.

But 44 percent thought shares were medium or low risk. The FMA said most experts would consider shares are a higher-risk investment choice.

The FMA’s head of primary markets and investor resources Simone Roberts said it was important to understand what level of risk was most suitable for you and the mix of investments that would help you reach your financial goals.

“Every investment comes with some level of risk and we need to ensure people are reading the descriptions in the product disclosure documents as these should clearly spell out the risks and the returns associated with a product. This product disclosure should describe whether and investment is guaranteed or not,” Ms Roberts said.

The Sorted Fundfinder tool helps KiwiSaver members compare investment funds and find out more about how their funds are invested.

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