Read Mary's current Herald column on-line now, or search the archives for previous subjects in her Herald and syndicated columns.
The following is a selection of articles mainly from January 2005 to the present. To explore this topic in more depth and access earlier columns, please use the search box.
NZ Herald 30 November 2013
Q&As: Should people be forced to put some of their KiwiSaver money into an annuity?
NZ Herald 23 November 2013
Q&As: Gear both or neither when comparing shares and property
NZ Herald 19 October 2013
Q&As: Is there life after bankruptcy?
NZ Herald 25 May 2013
Q&As: Easier to borrow to invest in property than shares, but that's not always a plus
NZ Herald 20 April 2013
Q&As: Two readers warn about trying to control children's inheritances
NZ Herald 26 January 2013
Q&As: Beneficiary can do well with KiwiSaver - with help from a Buddy
Syndicated column 2 June 2012 - Let's educate our way out of 500%+ loans
When I first saw "Annual interest rate 547.50%" on a New Zealand website offering loans, I thought there'd been a mistake. But no. That's the rate for a small, short-term cash loan from www.savemybacon.co.nz.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 5 May 2012
Q&As: Reader could do with a re-think
NZ Herald 14 April 2012
Q&As: Should reader buy a NZ house now - while still overseas - or later?
NZ Herald 7 April 2012
Q&As: Best ways to play the KiwiSaver game if you are an employee with a mortgage
NZ Herald 31 March 2012
Q&A: Students get a good deal by world standards, and shouldn't dodge student loan repayments
Syndicated column 24 March 2012 - How to join the new debt cutting trend
We're all living through three "great transitions", said the keynote speaker at a recent conference. One transition is from West to East - with the growing emphasis on China and India, another is from analog to digital, and the third is from debt to saving. Let's look more at that third transition.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 4 February 2012
Q&As: Most people still get their money doubled in KiwiSaver, or close to that ...
Syndicated column 3 December 2011 - Columnist is wrong - mortgage repayment is well worth it
Contrarian investing - when you put your money into investments that most people are getting out of - sometimes works well. Such investments are usually cheap. But should we extend that to borrowing when most others are repaying debt?View - It's FREE!
Syndicated column 27 August 2011 - Bridging the gap between those who want to borrow and those who have to
There were times when I felt distinctly uncomfortable at the government's recent Financial Summit to discuss what should be done about loan sharks.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald 23 April 2011
Q&As: Why it takes both partners working to afford a house these days
Syndicated column 29 January 2011 - Turning interest into your friend
New Zealanders are, apparently, a fairly satisfied bunch - except when it comes to our financial situation. But maybe that's not such a bad thing.View - It's FREE!
Syndicated column 17 November 2009 - It pays to know how numbers grow
The recent fuss over food price rises shows how little feel many New Zealanders have for the power of compounding numbers. And that lack of knowledge could harm them when borrowing and investing.View - It's FREE!
Syndicated column 14 July 2009 - Recession could be a blessing for most
The response to a question in a recent survey bothered me a little. Asked what they would do with a $10,000 cash windfall, 54.3 per cent of the respondents said they would pay off debt or save the money - down from 58.3 per cent three months earlier.
Syndicated column March 24 2009 - You can indeed go wrong with bricks and mortar
I first heard people saying, "You can't go wrong with bricks and mortar" years ago, when I lived in the US. I bet the saying isn't quite as common there these days, now that millions of people have, indeed, lost huge amounts because of property.
NZ Herald March 7 2009
Q&As: Don't try to time markets. Stick with your regular retirement savings, although you may want to modify where you save.
NZ Herald February 21 2009
Q&As: Terminally ill reader should get his money out of KiwiSaver and eat, drink and be merry.
NZ Herald February 14 2009
Q&As: The possible perils of parents lending a mortgage to adult children.
NZ Herald November 29 2008
Q&As: Repaying a mortgage - on a home or rental property - almost always better than saving with term deposits.
NZ Herald August 30 2008
Q&As: A poem from the past shows how our attitudes to debt have changed. Will they change back again?
NZ Herald March 29 2008
Q&As: Do Blue Chip, finance company and other investment victims deserve what's happened?
NZ Herald November 17 2007
Q&As: Why don't banks lend money for share investment?
NZ Herald October 20 2007
THE OTHER B WORD
NZ Herald March 31 2007
Q&As: Have you got what it takes to borrow to invest in a share fund?
Syndicated column March 6 2007: Digging your way out of the big hole
You're never in debt so deep that you can't get out again. At least one reader of this column will be reassured by this message from Raewyn Fox, chief exec of the Federation of Family Budgeting Services.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald March 3 2007
Seeking your questions about KiwiSaver
Syndicated column February 3 2007: Help for those in debt
Repaying high-interest debt is sometimes called the best investment. And there's a way to do it that, I suspect, many people don't know about.View - It's FREE!
NZ Herald July 15 2006
Q&As: Lessons from the Bible: Is borrowing bad?
Holm Truths autumn 06
Stuff and happiness: Buying things you don't really need
NZ Herald February 4 2006
Q&As: Man who has made $3 million from shares.
Syndicated column November 15 2005: Borrowing is not all bad - it depends why we borrow
Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard has been telling us off because we keep raising our mortgage debt. But, from the individual's point of view, how bad is that? It depends on why we borrow.View - It's FREE!
Syndicated column November 1 2005: Borrowing tricky between family or friends
A quote recently caught my eye. "The easiest way to teach children the value of money is to borrow some from them," it said.
Holm Truths spring 05
Kids, cash and cards: Help your children learn about money
Syndicated column September 20 2005: Wellington and Christchurch dwellers big spenders and risk takers
So much for Aucklanders' image as the big spenders, risk takers and owers of debt!
Holm Truths autumn 04
'His & Hers' investment styles - How gender affects the way we invest
Holm Truths winter 02
Getting into gear: Borrowing to invest makes a good investment better and a bad investment worse
Holm Truths autumn 02
Burrowing into borrowing: Buying goods and services using credit cards or hire purchase can hurt your wealth