Talk Money with Tony Field - August 31, 2015

  • 31/08/2015
Retirement Commissioner Diane Maxwell is concerned that many women may be left short-changed (file)
Retirement Commissioner Diane Maxwell is concerned that many women may be left short-changed (file)

It is Money Week, and people are being encouraged to get their money fighting fit.

The Commission for Financial Capability has organised the nationwide event, which includes activities designed to help people get smarter about their finances.

It says Money Week is a way of focusing attention on those things we keep saying we will do but don't get around to because life gets in the way.

That includes working out a financial plan, or simply working out whether you have more money coming in than going out.

For a list of events and more information go to

The Commission's website has lots of advice and information too.

And the Financial Markets Authority has a Kiwisaver online health check.

Retirement Commissioner Diane Maxwell is concerned that many women may be left short-changed heading into retirement.

Figures released by ANZ show that after eight years, women's KiwiSaver balances are 28 percent smaller than men's. Women are likely on average to retire with $50,000 less than men.

She told the Paul Henry programme one cause is a lack of long-term planning.

Here is Diane Maxwell's interview with Paul Henry.

You should expect another volatile week on Wall Street. At least you should if history is anything to go by.

Last week stocks on Wall Street traded in a range of over 7 percent from top to bottom.

The Dow Jones index plunged 1089 points at the start of the week, and at one point was down 6.6 percent. But it finished the week up 1.1 percent. That was the biggest reversal since October 1987.

The broader S&P500 was up 0.9 percent for the week, after recovering from a 5.27 percent fall.

Eric Chemi writes on CNBC that there have been 200 weeks since 1950 when the S&P500 saw a high-low difference of more than 6 percent. There were 1,457 weeks in which the overall return has been between -1 and +1 percent.

But he says there have been only 16 weeks in which both those things happened - a big swing in the trading range, but only a small return by the week's end. In each of those sixteen cases the following week saw big moves - either up or down.

He says the best week produced a 7.5 percent return. The worst produced a 6.8 percent loss. "Be ready for a big move one way or the other, and a big spread between highs and lows."

"The only thing we don't know is if we'll end next week positive or next week. We just know it will be a bumpy ride."

Outside of the US, the UK market rose 1 percent. European shares finished 1.6 percent higher for the week, Australia closed 1.4 percent higher. But those gains do not tell the full of what was a very volatile week.

The NZX50 lost 1.4 percent. However it was less volatile than other markets.

The New Zealand dollar starts the new week at 64.65 US cents. That is about where it was last Monday morning. Although, just like stock prices, that does mask the volatility.

Last Tuesday morning when the kiwi fell over 3 US cents in a few minutes before rebounding almost as quickly.

The New Zealand dollar is about one and a half percent lower against the other major currencies.

The kiwi is trading at 90.19 Australian cents.

The NZ dollar is 41.98 pence, 78.68 yen and 57.83 euro cents.

Oil prices rebounded strongly last week.

West Texas crude oil rose 12 percent last week to US$45 a barrel.

European Brent leapt 9.9 percent for the week to US$50.

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