Welcome to the Money Maven's Financial Blog

Money Maven Blog by Sheryl Sutherland, Authorised Financial Adviser and Director of The Financial Strategies Group

Recommended Reading

Recommended Reading by Sheryl Sutherland: Girls Just Want to Have Fund$ - Every Women’s Guide to Financial Independence, Money, Money, Money Ain't it Funny - How to Wire your Brain for Wealth, and Smart Money - How to structure your New Zealand business or investments and pay less tax.

The Financial Strategies Group

We think for ourselves and make unique recommendations. We only recommend investments and insurances that are in the best interest of our clients.

The Financial Strategies Group

Most of us spend 40 years working to secure our financial future; the most important investment you can make is to purchase appropriate financial planning advice.

Contact us for a review of your investments and insurances.

Begin to experience the serenity that accompanies financial responsibility and integrity: email sheryl@strategies.co.nz, call 0800 64MONEY or visit our website http://www.strategies.co.nz

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Musings and Amusings

A famous 19th Century German doctor put it this way “Women is a pair of ovaries with a human being attached, whereas man is a human being furnished with a pair of testes”.

Homer Simpson, that well known philosopher, told Bart that women are like beer, and he’s mighty fond of both!

Somewhere between these two statements lies the reality. Something both sexes are constantly trying to evaluate, perhaps we should concentrate on our strengths rather than our perceived weaknesses.

The only irrefutable fact is that men and women are entirely different – as the French say “Vive le difference”.

Everyday Money

Given the daily media barrage of disaster and crisis in the financial world what can you do to ensure your everyday money is structured to build a secure financial future?

Follow in the footsteps of those who have comprehensive financial plans. A recent study by the US Financial Planning Association reported that nearly half of those surveyed felt extremely confident in their financial future, with 30% fairly confident.

Interestingly, in these troubled times more and more investors are looking to financial planners to help them manage their finances. Only around 30% of Kiwis have a financial plan, so if you are one of the 70% who don’t, get thee to a financial planner

Who's Counting?

I love the irony of this – it appears that math wasn’t Einstein’s strong point. A recent book entitled “Einstein’s Mistakes: The Human Failings of Genius” states that Einstein’s doctoral dissertation was “a comedy of errors” based on “zany” physical assumptions. And he continued to commit more math errors in 1905, the year dubbed his miracle year.

What a relief! It is comforting to think that a genius of his ability and stature struggled with math just like us mere mortals.

Finance and Investment

Buffet says ‘Buy.’

Warren Buffett, the world's greatest investor, has a message for people who have become fearful of today's stock market: Buy stocks now!
In an editorial in last week's New York Times, Buffett says, "...fears regarding the long-term prosperity of the nation's many sound companies makes no sense."
The Oracle of Omaha, as he is known, cautions that he is not calling the bottom for stocks. "I haven't the faintest idea whether stocks will be higher or lower a month - or a year - from now."
But he clearly feels the environment of fear has created great opportunities. "A simple rule dictates my buying: Be fearful when people are greedy and be greedy when people are fearful."
History would certainly say Mr Buffett is right. Through two world wars, several recessions, the great depression, and countless other scares in the market, the market has always recovered. Yes, these times we now live in are different, but so are the global economies and the global opportunities.
We likely have not hit the bottom, but for anyone willing to invest for the mid to long term, history would also say that you won't see a better sale for a long time than that the market is offering right now.


Why in 2008 are we still seeing practices which restrict and marginalise women?

In Kuala Lumpur the main body of Islamic clerics has issued an edict banning tomboys, ruling that girls who act like boys violate tenets of Islam.

While in the port at Kismayo, thousands of people gathered to witness 50 Somali men stone a women to death. She was buried in the ground up to her neck and her head was battered with rocks. The local Islamist leader claimed she wanted Sharia law and the punishment to apply following her act of adultery.


There is no doubt that the world economies look bad. Andrea Learned, a specialist in marketing to women, suggests that the only way to dig ourselves out of the crisis is to model businesses and organisations on typical feminine behaviour. “Women’s way” includes building and leveraging community, being socially responsible, and operating from an “it all matters” perspective. She says that reaching out to women is how brands should be preparing for these questionable times when redesigning organisational policies, products, processes and marketing. To quote Ralph Waldo Emerson “Women are the best index of the coming hour” and who could disagree?