Q&As: What are reasonable conditions for a home buyer to insist on?; Government’s proposed tax changes on international shares.
Wellington and Christchurch dwellers big spenders and risk takers. So much for Aucklanders’ image as the big spenders, risk takers and owers of debt! Wellington and Christchurch dwellers are more inclined to put some of their savings into high-risk, high-return investments than Aucklanders, a recent survey shows.
Share pickers respond to my doubts. Even as I typed it, I thought a certain sentence in my last column was bound to cause trouble. “Lots of research,” I wrote, “shows that an individual investor who researches companies doesn’t tend to do any better than someone who chooses shares at random.” Sure enough, a man who describes himself as “a paid-up member of the share pickers guild” emailed me.
Is it dumb to diversify shares or property? Diversification is not all it’s cracked up to be, according to a man who read my last column, which praised the spreading-your-risk idea. “Bill Gates didn’t diverse much, and it didn’t do him much harm,” he writes. “The fact remains that the richest people on the planet have become that way because they haven’t diversified.
One bad apple — New Zealanders are bad at diversifying. Most New Zealand shareholders are frighteningly undiversified. About 24 per cent of share investors own shares in just one company, and another 36 per cent hold shares in two to five companies, according to recent research by the stock exchange, NZX, and sharebrokers ABN AMRO Craigs.