Personal finance plays a big role in the average Kiwi’s life, so it’s sometimes important to stop and salute those who oil the wheels of the personal-finance information machine.
Without them we wouldn’t know where the economy was heading, how to spot a good product in the mountain of options out there, where to complain when we feel hard done by, or the basics of saving and spending.
So without further delay, here are some of the brightest (and some of the most entertaining) personal finance commentators New Zealand has to offer.
Money King – Shamubeel Eaqub
Principal Economist for the NZ Institute of Economic Research (NZIER).
You can find his comments: Everywhere.
Advises on: How to deal with the ageing population of New Zealand.
This is the ruler of personal finance and the walking calculator of New Zealand. You’ll find his name next to most of the leading economic indicators printed in the news, and when he’s not releasing information he’s helping us prepare for retirement. He’s so prepared he recently worked on an in-depth set of economic forecasts for the next five years!
When it comes to the NZ economy, Shamubeel knows the score and has written the book on it. His resume reads like a checklist of how to become a country’s foremost economist.
Now he’s also working closely with the Retirement Commission on a number of projects to maintain a good macro-economic environment in New Zealand — in other words keeping our economic future safe.
Connect with Shamubeel: Profile
The sensible saver – Mary Holm
Too many to list! Author, finance columnist and a director of the Banking Ombudsman Scheme to name a few.
You can find her comments: NZ Herald, Christchurch Press, Dominion Post, Gisborne Herald, Waikato Times.
Famous for: No-nonsense financial wisdom.
You’re looking at the straight-shooter of the personal finance world. Mary Holm isn’t afraid to speak her mind and give her version of the truth no matter how many spruikers are saying otherwise.
Her key lesson is simple: slow and steady wins the money race. Three of the five books she’s written are bestsellers and she regularly writes a column for the New Zealand Herald, as well as a syndicated column which appears in the remaining major newspapers – all impressive achievements.
If she’s not writing she’s probably still talking shop: Mary’s a senior lecturer in financial literacy at the University of Auckland; on the board of the Financial Markets Authority; and a director of the Banking Ombudsman scheme.
The dethroned – Alistair Helm
Real estate blogger, consultant and speaker.
You can find his comments: Properazzi, NZ Herald, Interest.co.nz, The National Business Review.
Famous for: Being outed by the board of Realestate.co.nz in a structure shuffle.
Alistair Helm came, saw and conquered Realestate.co.nz. After spending six years at the helm (pardon the pun) of one of the country’s most popular and successful real estate websites, a sad twist of fate saw him dethroned by his own board after they decided to restructure the company. Now he’s the dark horse ready for a comeback.
Not one to rest on his laurels, Alistair continues to teach and comment on the property market, including matters such as the number of foreign investors buying New Zealand property. He recently launched his own successful property blog ‘Properazzi’ and is now on the lookout for his next project, with a focus on technology and real estate, and we can’t help but think it’ll be the next big thing.
Calculation queen – Sue Chetwin
Chief Executive of Consumer NZ, director of the Banking Ombudsman Scheme.
You can find her comments: The Dominion Post, The NZ Herald, Stuff.co.nz, 3News NZ, TVNZ.
Advises on: How not to get sucked-in by advertising.
If you want to work out how good a credit card really is you need Sue Chetwin.
She came into Consumer NZ with 25 years of experience as a journalist and editor for some of the nation’s largest newspapers, so she’s so she’s not afraid to be the catalyst and conduit for consumer power.
Her current role as Chief Executive and spokesperson for Consumer NZ means she’s talking the fight to the banks against over-the-top fees and surcharges.
Her latest personal finance comments have centered on high credit card surcharges and interest rates, and the true cost of credit card rewards programs, and they always include genuine help for those experiencing credit card grief.
Connect with Sue: Twitter
Debt therapist – Lisa Dudson
Financial coach and owner of Acumen Consulting Group, author and Director of Saturn Portfolio Management.
You can find her comments: NZ Herald, Sunday Star Times, YahooXtra, Women’s Day, NZ Property Magazine and on various television programs.
Famous for: Being the brains behind Money Man’s brawn.
Lisa started investing at the ripe old age of 16, so it’s safe to say she knows a thing or two about where you should put your money. What’s more, Lisa provided both on-air and off-air financial advice for TV3’s ‘Money Man’ program alongside fellow hall of famer Brendan Johnson.
To top this off she’s also a gifted writer, co-writing ‘The Complete Guide to Residential Property Investment in NZ’ which spent six months as a New Zealand best seller. Lisa then wrote ‘Winning the Money War’ to help get Kiwis out of debt.
If you don’t like reading she has a large library of online videos to get you on the right finance path as part of her MoneyTV series.
Cash caretaker – David Kneebone
Executive Director at Commission for Financial Literacy & Retirement Income.
You can find his comments: NZ Herald, Waikato Times, Stuff.co.nz, Good Morning show.
Advises on: Getting Kiwis prepared for retirement and financially ‘sorted’ (excuse yet another pun).
David is the best financial shepherd you can get. He’s a self-confessed sucker for helping the common Kiwi become financially literate. If trying to secure the future of the whole population isn’t enough of a reason why this man should be here, he’s also the face of ‘Sorted.org.nz’. This is probably why you’ve seen him on the Good Morning show quite a few times, explaining everything from store credit cards to mortgages.
Sorted has a number of quirky videos out there to help you understand the different types of debt you can find yourself in, plus a cute mouse who makes you question the wisdom of your financial debts, so check it out!
The industry mascot – Albert Naffah
Current Role: MasterCard Country Manager for New Zealand.
You can find his comments: NZ Herald, Stuff.co.nz, The National Business Review, TVNZ.
Comments on: Credit card security, statistics and technology.
Albert Naffah hit the ground running after being appointed Country Manager of card giant MasterCard in 2010. The lead up to the Rugby World Cup followed soon after, so if you were reading the newspaper at the time you probably saw Albert speaking about PayPass and contactless credit card payments being available at the cup.
Today he continues to brave the spotlight to comment on over-the-top credit card surcharges and how to keep your card secure, with a focus on future payment technologies we may one day call commonplace.
Connect with Albert: Albert’s not connected yet – get social Albert!
Money Commando – Brendan Johnson
Current Role: We can’t find him, so we don’t know!
You can find his comments: Nowhere.
Famous for: His role as a financial commando in TV3’s Money Man.
Money Man hasn’t reported back for duty in a long time. After a stint as the tough-as-nails finance guru, the ex-UK Royal Marine seems to have left the frontline for good.
The last we read of him was back in 2010 when he wrote about a trip to the West Coast of USA. Maybe he got lost among the stars in Hollywood or maybe he’s on a secret assignment in some far-flung debt warzone, dodging credit card debt detonations and crawling under balance transfer barbed wire.
Either way, his tough approach to debt and getting families back into a state of financial fitness will be sorely missed, as will his excellent moustache.
Connect with Money Man: The Money Man appears to have dropped off the face of the earth, so if you can connect with him let us know!