"Very few people create wealth overnight.
"It takes hard work, dedication, and sacrifice… but the juice is worth the squeeze in the end."
Matt McHardy, general manager investor relationships, PMG.
Money. It's the driving factor behind many life choices, but is it the be-all and end-all?
'Me and My Money' is a regular feature that investigates Kiwi attitudes towards money and what drives the choices they make.
Matt McHardy, general manager of client relationships at PMG, a property fund and management company, spoke to Newshub about the myth that wealth can be created overnight (while Lotto is an exception, the odds are extremely low).
Creating wealth takes hard work, dedication and sacrifice, he says, adding that his clients typically tell him they wish they'd started investing earlier.
1. Are you a saver or a spender?
I’m naturally a spender.
Thankfully, over the years I've managed to re-frame in my mind what spending looks like for me.
I now consider and feel like I'm spending when I invest or make a lump sum payment to the home loan. When I buy shares or equity in a startup, I feel like I'm getting something back for my money.
It's not tangible, but I feel like it is. It's been a process reshaping that mindset, but it works for me and satisfies that desire to spend.
2. What's been your biggest financial lesson, success or failure?
Don't rush into things. If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.
In my view, DYOR (do your own research) is an acronym individual investors don't subscribe to enough.
I think we all rely far too heavily on friends, family and people we don’t even know for advice and guidance around money and investing.
Information is power. If you use available tools to search for it, there is a lot of it out there for free. Here's a hint: you typically won’t find it on a Facebook community group!
3. What do you know about money now that you wish you'd known sooner?
That money has strong ties to overall health and wellbeing (I never considered that when I was younger).
Being financially secure - that means paying the bills, saving and enjoying life (not necessarily flying around in a private jet) - has such a powerful impact on overall wellbeing.
If we feel secure in our finances, we are much more likely to be physiologically and mentally better off too.
It's never too early (or too late) to start. Save and invest regularly - and see the money compound!
4. A recent purchase you consider was value for money?
I had a crook back for most of 2021. After plenty of physio and painkillers, my wife and I decided to get a new bed (on sale, of course).
It's the best money I've spent of late.
Never underestimate the benefits of a good night’s sleep. Especially with young children!
5. What do you think is the biggest barrier to getting onto the property ladder (and what are some alternatives)?
Housing affordability and tightening of lending.
In response to the economic consequences of COVID-19, central banks around the globe dropped interest rates to historic lows. This had the unintended consequence of pushing asset prices to new highs and in particular, the residential property market in New Zealand.
For those already on the ladder, that’s great, but for those that were not, it would have been very hard to find the motivation to continue to save.
We’re now seemingly out the other side. In response to high inflation rates, central banks and in particular, the RBNZ, has moved to increase the OCR and signalled more hikes. This should result in asset prices being reassessed or stabilised, therefore, in theory, make it easier to buy.
However, add to that the ever evolving and increasing lending criteria, such as the CCCFA, debt to income ratios, and low deposit changes, for many it's now possibly even harder than it has been over recent years to purchase a home.
There's plenty of alternatives to create wealth outside of residential property (commercial property, shares, managed funds, Exchange Traded Funds, cryptocurrency, to name a few).
For those who can get into the property market and want to buy within a short period of time, having cash on hand is best. This avoids the potential downside of investment values moving and losing some or all of the deposit.
For others planning to put a long pause on the house hunt, giving up on owning a home, or who can invest for the long term as well as buy a home or manage a mortgage, looking to alternatives as a long term wealth creation tool is a 'must do' in my opinion.
6. What's your best saving tip?
Start early, save regularly and compound. When it comes to saving and investing, time is your friend.
7. What’s the best money advice someone’s ever given you?
In my daily work with investment clients, there's a common theme that comes through in conversation: they all wish they'd started earlier.
Very few people create wealth overnight. It takes hard work, dedication, and sacrifice…but the juice is worth the squeeze in the end.
8. Does money increase happiness?
There's a lot of evidence to support the position that those who feel financially secure generally lead healthier lifestyles and feel happier as a result.
Personally, it's comforting to feel financially secure and be in a position where we can enjoy life a little more as the years go on.
That hasn’t been without sacrifice. Rather, it's over a decade's commitment to save and invest small amounts over time.
The views expressed in this article are personal and are not professional financial advice.