Finding your KiwiSaver investment on the sharemarket

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The sharemarket can seem complex and confusing, or even a bit dull. The same goes for saving for your retirement.

But here is a way to think about it and help get you more interested.

If you are invested in KiwiSaver or any other retirement fund you are an owner of a vast range of companies.

Many of those companies are household names.

Each KiwiSaver fund is different. Growth funds invest mostly in shares, while balanced funds have a mix of shares and fixed interest investments. Conservative funds have more invested in cash and fixed interest investments.

But your KiwiSaver fund is likely to be invested in at least some of New Zealand's 10 biggest companies.

The top 10 includes Spark, Auckland International Airport, Fletcher Building, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, Ryman Healthcare, Contact Energy, Z Energy, Meridian Energy, SkyCity Entertainment and SKY Network Television.

Your fund is also likely to be invested in many international companies.

Let's start with the top 10 companies from the US S&P500.

You will recognise many of these names: Apple, Microsoft, Exxon Mobil, Johnson & Johnson, General Electric, Amazon, Facebook, Berkshire Hathaway, AT&T and Procter and Gamble.

Alphabet (Google), Chevron, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Walt Disney, Cisco, McDonalds and Phillip Morris are other companies that you might be invested in.

If you are unsure about what companies your fund is invested in, the first place to go for more information is the statement issued each month or every three months by your provider.

The statement will typically detail the fund's biggest holdings. It won't list every company because many retirement funds have small stakes in dozens or hundreds of global companies.

But you can seek more information from your provider or fund manager.

A growing number of fund managers are offering their clients the option of investing in "ethical" or "socially responsible" investment funds.

This is a tricky area however. That is because those funds may still include some companies that some investors disapprove of. One person might think a fast food company is acceptable. Someone else might have concerns about companies that are involved in fossil fuels.

A good starting point is the Commission for Financial Capability's website sorted.org.nz

It has this Fund Finder tool.

The page does not specifically list the ethical funds, but if you go through the list you can read about the individual funds and get a sense of where and how they invest. From there you can go to that fund manager and ask for more information.

The commission is hoping to create a specific tool for people to more easily locate the ethical and socially responsible investment funds.

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