Aaroona: Thanks all for the replies.

I'm in my early 20's, so I think I can afford to look at a medium-high risk profile at this stage. I'm not currently saving for a house at point, since really, I think it's an unrealistic pipe-dream in the current market, or at least, certainly within Auckland, which is the only place I can see myself living for the foreseeable future. 

I'm not really interested in the low risk-low return, long term deposits the bank do. I am looking to get a return equal to, or above 9% if possible. Long term deposits from the bank seem to give maybe a 4-5% return, which isn't a great deal.
I will have a further look into the different kiwi-saver schemes that are available, especially given the employer contribution and how quickly that can help things grow.
I do know there are some higher-risk schemes you can get into for kiwisaver - I believe one of my colleagues at work is in one which would be considered high-risk (or medium, maybe).

Will also look into a few of the options mentioned here. I may very well seek out some assistance from an AFA soon, just want to get some general knowledge from everyone here before I go down that route.

Looks like I have a bit of reading to do :) 


Hi Aaroona
I have a Masters degree in Finance (I'm not an AFA), worked in commercial banking financing businesses and invested successfully (>50% p.a. returns) in the Australian and NZ sharemarkets.

My advice is to learn how to invest first, and that is even if you plan on someone else investing your money on your behalf, because you'll know the right questions to ask, and definitely ask about their investment returns. Most people that you will talk to in the finance industry will be good sales people, not necessarily good investors. The investment research is performed by the technical people who work behind the scenes. Chances are you won't get to talk to them face to face, so it will be challenging to figure out how good they are. Are they are fresh university graduates with no experience and no track history, or seasoned professionals (who for some reason are still employees)? By the way, being an AFA doesn't mean the person is a successful investor, it just means they've passed certain tests and undertaken certain courses.

The two best books I recommend are:
1. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Classon (good financial management advice)
2. The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham (Benjamin Graham was Warren Buffet's mentor) Chapters 8 & 20 are the two most important, so master the concepts in these chapters.

Even if you don't plan on investing in the sharemarkets, these books will give you the great guiding principles of successful investing.

Successful investing requires skill.

Best of luck.