Talks by Mary

Mary is speaking at the Winter Fest in New Plymouth on Saturday, June 15.

10 to 11 am at 4th Wall Theatre. Book here.

Mary in the Media

Watch or Listen to Mary here

Get Mary to run a seminar for you

Click here

Something About Mary

In the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours, Mary was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM), for services to financial literacy education.

A Qantas Media Award winning columnist, Mary writes a Q&A personal finance column in the Weekend Herald. She is interviewed on money issues every second Thursday on National Radio, and presents highly praised seminars (see Seminars page). She is a director of Financial Services Complaints Ltd (FSCL), and frequently discusses personal finance in the media.


Mary is the author of seven books, four of which have been on the NZ bestseller list:

  • A Richer You: How to Make the Most of Your Money (HarperCollins)
  • Education

    • BA in economic history (Victoria University of Wellington)
    • MA in journalism (University of Michigan)
    • MBA in finance (University of Chicago, where she was taught by Nobel Laureate Merton Miller and graduated in the top 15%)

    Earlier Work

    • Founding director of the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) from 2011 to 2019
    • Director of the Banking Ombudsman Scheme for six years ending January 2016
    • Part-time senior lecturer in Financial Literacy at the University of Auckland for five years ending 2013
    • Syndicated columnist in the Dominion Post, Christchurch Press, Waikato Times and Gisborne Herald for 16 years ending 2013.
    • Business editor of the Auckland Sun and Auckland Star
    • Financial reporter for the NZ Listener, Australian Financial Review and Chicago Tribune

    Government Advisory Groups

    • Evaluation panel for KiwiSaver default providers in 2014
    • External Advisory Group for Treasury’s Long-Term Fiscal Statement in 2013
    • Savings Working Group in 2010–11
    • Capital Market Development Taskforce in 2009
    • Development of Smart Investor and KiwiSaver Fund Finder tools on

    Mary enjoys movies and plays, walking in wild places, swimming, and spending time with family and friends.

    Listen to Mary discuss some of her favourite songs, books, and films on RNZ:

The Complete KiwiSaver Cover
KiwiSaver Max Cover
KiwiSaver Cover
Get Rich Slow Cover
Investing Made Simple Cover
What Readers Say

Mary routinely edits out compliments from letters before running them in her columns. But here are some recent comments:

  • I must say that I am an avid listener to your podcasts on RNZ. It’s one thing I look forward to on every 2nd Thursday.
  • I’d like to say I am a huge fan of your work and have been to a seminar recently in Wellington which was just excellent. I’m pretty sure I was the youngest in the room.
  • I listen to all the money talk I can — of yours! Not particularly interested otherwise.
  • The first thing I do on a Saturday morning is read your column….Recently my employer’s superannuation fund paid out (it was a huge fund) and they provided free professional independent financial advice for the beneficiaries such as myself. Before I met with the financial advisor I said to my wife — “I’m not going to be able to get through this meeting without saying at least once ‘But Mary Holm says…’ By the end of the session with the advisor even he was saying “Mary says…”!! Your advice is deeply appreciated and has helped us in unexpected ways in uncertain times. Your advice is garnished with kindness and thoughtfulness.
  • I enjoyed your answer in today’s Shares vs Property question. As a uni student … I have referenced some of your books for personal finance assignments too, so I just wanted to let you know I always enjoy reading your insights.
  • I’ve lost count of the number of currency swings, economic downtowns, property slumps (and booms), even global financial meltdowns I’ve navigated thanks to your advice.
  • Thanks for your continuing excellent work educating investors.
  • I love your column. I have had your column linked as my homepage for at least 2 years.
  • Thanks Mary, for being part of my weekend. Saturday morning for me entails making a giant cup of plungered coffee and parking up at the kitchen table, pouring over the Saturday Herald. Your column is always a favourite. Thanks to you I have now, at the age of 50, joined KiwiSaver… I have learned lots over the past 7 months, thank you for being part of my learning financial journey.
  • Your column, interviews and support of KiwiSaver are terrific. I would never have saved a cent if not for KiwiSaver.
  • My wife and I have followed and enjoyed your writings for many years, including over the past decade that we’ve been overseas (Seattle), by following your weekly column in the Herald.
  • I often listen to your RNZ slots, have read some of your books, and have learned a lot from you. As a member of the generation rent cohort I would like to thank you for making me feel a wee bit better knowing that there are other ways to invest money other than property! …Following your advice on RNZ, we have paid down all our debts, saved up our rainy day money ($15,000), and got some savings too now ($20,000).
  • To Jesse Mulligan: Your money chats with Mary Holm are simply fantastic. I am thinking of starting a religion in Mary’s honour and building statues and singing songs about her.
  • I LOVE your work — inspiring, straightforward and non-judgemental.
  • Long time fan who has never been in contact before. …Reading your Herald column got me into KiwiSaver — and then I got my teenage children signed up. After years of them giving me a hard time about it, they now realise the benefit. So thank you.
  • By the way — absolutely love your column. Have done for years. Read it every week. I love how you express your opinion yet are not opinionated. And how you are firm and sure yet with a light touch and without arrogance. Thank you very much for what you do.
  • My wife and I read your column every week and we very much appreciate the advice (as well as your sense of humour!).
  • I have done very well out of KiwiSaver (doubled what I put in) and a part of that has been from reading your many columns over the years, which have had great information about the good, the bad and the ugly of KiwiSaver and finances in general.
  • All in all, I feel as though mine and my son’s future is set and secured thanks to KiwiSaver and your fantastic advice.