Online tool for KiwiSavers
The country is pretty evenly split between those who have a KiwiSaver account and those who don’t.
Of the nearly 4.5 million of us, 2,202,414 had KiwiSaver accounts at the end of September.
Strip out the over-65s and from Stewart Island to Northland we’ve long since passed the point where KiwiSavers are in the majority.
But though nearly everyone knows what KiwiSaver is, almost nobody has a good grasp of how the fund their money is in compares to the plethora of other funds out there in KiwiSaverland.
And as it money, they should.
I’m not surprised really. Most KiwiSaver schemes don’t really want savers to know how their fund stacks up.
The information they send out is mostly accurate but it has no context.
I bet none of you have had a communication from your KiwiSaver provider along the lines of: ‘‘Dear investor, this
is their jolly well year our fund is the lowest returning fund of its type on the market.’’
Or one like this: ‘‘ Dear KiwiSaver, thanks for investing in our balanced fund which has the highest fees for its type in all of New Zealand.’’ Context is everything.
If you could zip back to Victorian New Zealand and told someone there about a car in 2013 that could travel up to 55kmh, they’d be pretty impressed, but only because they don’t know how fast other cars of the modern age can go.
I’m sorry to say it but most KiwiSavers are just like that Victorian when it comes to knowing if their fund is expensive or cheap, a good performer or a bad.
But I’m happy to say that as of Friday, there’s a very quick way of getting a perspective on how good/bad/indifferent/ expensive/cheap the fund you picked is.
That’s because one of the leanest governmentfunded agencies (and one I consider among the best value for the country) has just launched a fantastic online tool which casts light on KiwiSaver where darkness now reigns.
The lengthily named Commission for Financial Literacy and Retirement Income launched the KiwiSaver Fund Finder on its popular sorted.org.nz.
What it really is is a fund comparer.
It allows humble KiwiSavers anywhere to type in a fund type and then on a single page compare its returns with similar funds, as well as its fees, and it gives averages for that type of fund.
In a second someone with money in the ASB Cash fund can see exactly how it stacks up against ANZ, or Westpac’s or AMP’s or any other similar fund on the market. Voila. Instant context. Clicking on parts of the Fund Finder screen brings up lots of useful information on each fund like what the fund is invested in and what its top 10 holdings are.
In a fairly short time, a user of the tool can get a good starting picture of their fund and how it compares to others.
And if you don’t like what you learn, you can demand answers, agitate for better value, or shift to a different fund, or scheme.
Give Fund Finder a try. Learn a little about where your money is.