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FAQs — Should I move to a conservative fund because my KiwiSaver is changing?
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Frequently asked questions

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Fisher Funds
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12 March, 2020

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31 March update from Frank Jasper

The latest update from Frank Jasper, chief investment officer. Finding great stocks in the coronavirus crisis.

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Fund queries

Is now the right time to change my fund - should I move to a more conservative fund?

The answer is not unless your investing goals or timeframe have changed - most of our clients should do nothing. Simply said now is the time to be patient. However if you are worried that you are in the wrong fund or you have not chosen a fund, then speak to one of our advisers.

What is the best fund to be in to weather this storm?

This is a personal one. It depends on your investing goals, timeframe and your other investments. We talk about this a lot because your goals and timeframe are essential in determining the best investment option for you.

My balance

I've never seen my balance drop before, what's happening?

  • KiwiSaver is an investment not a bank account. Your money is invested in a range of different areas we call “asset classes”. This includes higher-risk or growth assets like shares and property and lower-risk or more conservative assets like bonds, fixed interest and even some cash.
  • It is normal for the value of these assets to fluctuate. The coronavirus outbreak has had a significant impact on the economy and caused a number of different asset classes to fluctuate more than is typically normal.

Why is my balance going down so quickly when it has been going up steadily for so long?

It is typical for markets fluctuate. Markets have fluctuated less than usual over the last decade so this is the first notable market drop for most KiwiSaver investors.

Should I be worried about the drop in my KiwiSaver balance?

  • No one likes to see the value of their investments drop. KiwiSaver is a long-term investment and most people are a long way from withdrawing their KiwiSaver. It’s the value at that point that will matter. If you are planning on using it sooner, you should probably be in a more conservative fund.
  • It is typical for markets fluctuate however markets have fluctuated less than usual over the last decade, which means that this is the first notable market drop for most KiwiSaver investors.
  • Technology means we also have greater visibility of our investments than ever before. If you have an online account that shows your balance you’ll be more aware of any fluctuations than you would have previously. The downside of this is the temptation to check them too regularly - remember KiwiSaver is a long term investment.

Should I withdraw my funds because of what’s going on?

Our advice is to stick to your original investment plan and intended timeframe and don’t make hasty decisions. If you need any help with this then talk to one of our advisers.

The economic outlook

Should I be worried about the effects of the coronavirus on my investments?

The coronavirus is having a significant impact on parts of the economy and its effects will be far reaching. If your goals and investing timeframes remain the same, we would counsel you to do nothing; and if you need help or you are worried then talk to us.

How long does Fisher Funds expect this to last for?

The answer is that no one knows how long this will go on for, although the economic risks are clearly growing and we think it will be a while before the economy is back to full strength. We have an investment team of over 20 people who between them have vast experience managing investments through previous financial crises, including the most significant in modern times, the Global Financial Crisis. This is also creating investment opportunities which our team are acting on.

Processing KiwiSaver first home withdrawals

Is Fisher Funds still able to process my KiwiSaver first home withdrawal?

Due to the current coronavirus lockdown period there may be some delays in Fisher Funds receiving your withdrawal forms via mail. If your statutory declaration has been correctly witnessed, we can potentially grant a temporary exemption to this if the forms have been received via email. This would be granted on the understanding the application is fully completed and originals are sent once the lockdown has been lifted.

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