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How to review your KiwiSaver portfolio


Like any investment portfolio, it’s important to review your KiwiSaver portfolio from time to time to make sure you’re still on track for your first home deposit or retirement. But how do you actually review a KiwiSaver portfolio? Let’s take a look. 

A collage-style graphic depicts a pair of glasses over a spreadsheet.

First, check in with yourself 🧘

How long has it been since you last reviewed your KiwiSaver portfolio? Has anything changed since then? Here are four things to check.

Investment timeframe

Your KiwiSaver investment timeframe is the length of time between now and when you want to use your KiwiSaver balance—and this can change! For example, if you set up your KiwiSaver account with retirement in mind, and you’ve since decided that owning your first home in the next few years is important to you, your investment timeframe is now a whole lot shorter.  

Risk appetite

Generally for KiwiSaver, your risk appetite is tied to your investment timeframe. Let’s say you’re planning to use your KiwiSaver balance for your retirement in 30+ years. You may feel more comfortable investing your KiwiSaver contributions in higher-risk investments as you have more time to ride out the ups and downs of the share market. 

But your attitude to risk is also personal and can change. Over time you might feel more or less comfortable with how much risk your investments are exposed to—and that’s ok! 


A change in values could prompt you to change what you invest in. For example, maybe you’ve taken an interest in ethical investing since your last review, and have decided to exclude investments that negatively contribute to climate change from your KiwiSaver portfolio. 

KiwiSaver contributions 

You can choose to contribute 3%, 4%, 6%, 8%, or 10% of your pay to your KiwiSaver account. Different factors can influence the amount you want to contribute. For example, if your pay has increased since your last review, you could consider upping your contribution rate. On the flip side, if you’re finding it hard to keep up with day-to-day costs, and you’re not on the lowest contribution rate, you could consider lowering your contributions for the time being. 

If you’re self-employed—or want to give your KiwiSaver balance an additional boost—you have the option to make voluntary contributions to your KiwiSaver account. 

Next, look at your investment plan 👀

Once you’ve checked in with yourself, you can take a closer look at your KiwiSaver portfolio. For the Sharesies KiwiSaver Scheme, that means reviewing your base fund and—if you have them—your own picks.

Review your base fund

Look at the fund you’ve chosen in light of your personal situation—does it still align with your investment timeframe, risk appetite, and values? 

Next, in your Sharesies app, look at the fund’s performance. Take note of: 

  • your return (after fees)—did the fund perform the way you expected it to? How did it compare to similar funds? Is the return in line with your strategy? 

  • volatility—did the fund's value fluctuate more or less than the share market? Is this what you expected? Are you comfortable with the level of volatility?

Review your picks

Like with your base fund, you’ll want to make sure your picks (if you have them) still make sense for you, and that you’re happy with your investment plan as a whole. 

Your individual picks 

Compare each pick against your investment timeframe, risk appetite, and values, then look at how they’re performing.

For example, say one of your picks is a company that has substantially increased in value, meaning it now makes up a higher proportion of your portfolio value than you intended. You could consider rebalancing your portfolio—similar to how a fund manager needs to regularly rebalance a fund to keep it in line with the fund’s strategy and maintain a consistent level of diversification. 

To rebalance your KiwiSaver portfolio, you could sell some of your units in that company to redistribute the money across your other investments, or temporarily remove the company from your investment plan until your portfolio is back in line with what you originally intended. 

Remember, the Sharesies KiwiSaver Scheme has guardrails in place and we’ll send you an email (kitted out with some handy resources) if one of your picks grows to more than 10% of your total portfolio value. For more info on our guardrails, check out our Product Disclosure Statement and Guardrail Policy.

Your plan as a whole 

Once you’re across how your picks are performing, think about whether you want to add more investments to your plan or scrap some existing ones. And if you’ve only got a base fund in your investment plan, you could consider adding some picks if this aligns with your investment timeframe, risk appetite, and values.

The benefit of adding picks is that you’ll be more diversified, which helps mitigate the impact of individual company or industry risks (‘unsystematic risks’) on your KiwiSaver portfolio. 

The flip side of adding picks is that it might change the fees you pay. So if you’re thinking of making a change, you could have a go at building your updated plan with our investment plan builder to get a feel for the fees you’ll pay, and your updated plan’s risk rating. 

Ok, decision time ⏲️

Do you want to edit your KiwiSaver contribution rate? Rebalance your portfolio? Or add or remove picks from your investment plan? Now’s the time to do so. 

Rinse and repeat 🚿

It’s useful to review your KiwiSaver portfolio on a semi-regular basis. This could be a couple of times a year or once every couple of years—whatever makes sense for your situation.

Reviewing your KiwiSaver portfolio doesn’t have to be complicated—it’s about checking in with yourself and making sure you’re still on track. Keeping your investment timeframe, risk appetite, and values in mind while looking at your portfolio’s performance will help you work out if your investment plan is right for you. 

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.