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How to choose investments for your KiwiSaver investment plan


The Sharesies KiwiSaver Scheme is a self-select scheme, meaning you can pick your own investments for up to 50% of your investment plan. But how do you choose what to invest in? 🔮

Companies, ETFs, or both? 🧐

With the Sharesies KiwiSaver Scheme, you can select additional investments for your KiwiSaver investment plan from a range of companies and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX). 

Choosing a company (or several) to add to your investment plan could appeal if you want more control over exactly where your money is going—i.e. to the company you’ve chosen, instead of being spread across many companies you might not want to invest in.  

On the other hand, ETFs can be a way to diversify your investment plan and spread your risk across lots of different investments. This is especially important if you feel like your plan is weighted towards one industry, asset class, or geography.

As always, it’s up to you if you add companies, ETFs, or a mix of both to your KiwiSaver investment plan. You also have control over how much of your investment plan you allocate to your picks—from 0.10% up to 50%. And, you can always stick with your base fund for now and add your own picks later! 

Narrow it down 🔬

Once you have an idea of the type of investment(s) you want to add to your plan, you could refer back to: 

Your values and interests

Investing is about the future—not just for you, but for society in general. Every investment decision you make is an endorsement of a certain company, set of values, or the kind of world you want to see. 

Having the option to select investments yourself helps you to build an investment plan that aligns with your values. For example, if you value combating climate change, you could add a company that produces renewable energy or an ETF that invests in socially-responsible companies. 

You can also build an investment plan that caters to your interests. Maybe you’re interested in emerging technologies and want to invest in a specific tech company or tech-focused ETF? Whatever you’re interested in, just be sure the investment makes sense for your personal situation. And if you’re not sure that it is, talk to a financial advisor. 

Your goals, investment horizon, and risk profile

Think about what you want to use your KiwiSaver balance for. Is it for a deposit on your first home, or for retirement? 

Identifying your goal helps to inform your investment horizon. For example, if you’re planning to use your KiwiSaver balance for a house deposit in the near future, you’ll have a shorter investment horizon. If you’re planning to use your KiwiSaver balance for retirement and you’re still 10+ years away from retiring, you’ll have a longer investment horizon. It’s all about figuring out when you’re going to need to withdraw your KiwiSaver balance and use the money.

Your investment horizon plays a role in the amount of risk you may be able to take. For example, if you have a longer investment horizon, you may be able to take on more risk—because you’ll have more time to ride out the ups and downs of the share market. 

Risk is a personal choice. You may have a longer investment horizon, but be less comfortable with risk. And that’s okay! While you’re selecting the investments for your KiwiSaver investment plan in Sharesies, you can keep an eye on the investment plan risk indicator to get an idea of how much risk your KiwiSaver portfolio will be exposed to. 👀 

Due diligence 📚

Once you’ve got some picks in mind for your investment plan, it’s time to do your due diligence (homework!). 

Due diligence is about gathering info about an investment to make an informed decision on whether you should invest in it, and to understand how much risk you’re taking on.

Check in, reassess 📊

Once you’ve confirmed your KiwiSaver investment plan, don’t forget to check back in regularly to see how it’s doing and whether your plan still suits your goals, investment horizon, and risk profile. 

And that’s the gist of it! Our self-select KiwiSaver scheme gives you more choice, control, and confidence while investing for your retirement or first home. And, if you’re still not sure what investments make sense for your investment plan, chat with a financial advisor. 🗣️

Ok, now for the legal bit

Investing involves risk. You aren’t guaranteed to make money, and you might lose the money you start with. We don’t provide personalised advice or recommendations. Any information we provide is general only and current at the time written. You should consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice when considering whether an investment is appropriate for your objectives, financial situation or needs.

Sharesies Investment Management Limited is the issuer of the Sharesies KiwiSaver Scheme. The product disclosure statement (PDS) for the Sharesies KiwiSaver Scheme has been lodged, and may be viewed on the Disclose Register or on our documents page.

Join the KiwiSaver scheme that’s more you

Portfolio displayed is a guide, not from a real customer. For informational purposes only.
A young woman looking off to the side holds a lime-green electric guitar. Superimposed next to her is an iPhone showing a screen in the Sharesies app. The screen shows a KiwiSaver investment portfolio, made up of the Pathfinder Ethical Growth Fund, the Smartshares NZ Top 50 Fund, Meridian Energy, and Infratil.