Fixed Vs. Floating

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By Brendon Ojala

And the winner is … drum roll please … fixing! Fixing for one year to be precise. But, yes, as always, it does depend on your situation.

The good news keeps coming for those with home loans. Not great news if you have money in the bank savings accounts though.

Interest rates continue to nudge down through the month and there have been significant decreases in the three- to five-year fixed rates in particular. However, there are a number of reasons why most banks and economists are still seeing the “sweet spot” at a one-year fixed rate.

Most of our clients are fixing the majority of their loans for one year and many are leaving a small amount in some sort of floating rate (revolving credit or offset accounts) to provide for flexibility/debt reduction. In making these statements, the disclaimer of course is that every situation is different and unique, so a conversation with your adviser is key before settling on an interest rate strategy.

Anyway, here’s why fixing for one year is so popular right now:

The one-year rate is the lowest on the market and, for an owner-occupied property with 20 per cent equity, we are seeing rates of 4.1-4.2 per cent (the 3.99 specials have gone for the mean time).

The Reserve Bank governor has indicated any change in the Official Cash Rate (OCR) is likely to be mid 2020.

Again the Reserve Bank has indicated the next move for the OCR is as likely to be down as it is up.

Although noting there are other things that affect home loan interest rates rather than just the OCR, it does have a major impact.

Given the above (and of course, who knows what unpredictable market shocks will occur?) fixing at the lowest rate and having a really good chance of being able to fix at low rates in a year’s time seems like a sensible strategy for most.

Do let your adviser know before you re-fix your home loan for another period. We can get some rates from the bank for you to consider and talk through your best strategy.

Brendon Ojala is a Registered Financial Adviser with Velocity Financial. No investment decision should be taken based on the information in this blog alone. A disclosure statement is available free of charge upon request.

Hard Knocks rugby star on Well-being

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By Lance Shearman

Joe Harawira MBA, stars alongside Sir John Kirwan in Duke TV’s “School of Hard Knocks”. He’s also the RugbySmart Manager (NZRU), founder of Flo clothing, and client of Velocity Financial. I caught up with him to talk well-being.

Believe it or not, Joe and I played rugby together. We were both wingers, putting to rest the age old question, what would have happened if 80s All Black sensation Terry Wright came up against 90s bulldozer Jonah Lomu? (Note: I was the Terry Wright equivalent. Ask me some time about the result!)

Joe is a fit guy, highly motivated, and he tells me he has “flex-appeal” (he may or may not have used this term). If anyone could bring some thinking around well-being, he would be the person! So I picked his brain.

Well-being for Joe means having the right conditions to flourish in all aspects of life: physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual. Consistency in these areas is fundamental to long term health and well-being.

I asked him about well-being in the work place. He said that well-being has come a long way, but more needs to be done. For instance, it’s great to see workplaces embracing the notion of a “well-being week” or the like. However, outside of these initiatives staff are working longer hours and the digital age means many of us take work home or do it in the weekends.

Recent surveys show that stress related illnesses and heart attacks are at an all-time high, particularly among males over the age of 40. This is an issue that must be addressed, says Joe.

Joe has been very successful in his studies and his career, so what would motivate him to start a social enterprise targeting lifestyle fashion? His response in short: “To create a brand that stands for more than just fashion.”

Flo (short for flourish) Clothing brings together his love of health and fitness and lifestyle fashion and his passion for giving back. Joe’s vision is to helps kids around the world: “Flo is a community where we don’t just aspire towards our own hopes and dreams, but we want to help others and we want to give back because that’s when we create real value.”

In New Zealand, one in four kids go without the basics that many of us take for granted, and that’s where Flo comes in. Flo is the New Zealand lifestyle brand with a mission to “level the playing field” so all kids flourish in school and in life.

Every purchase provides a meal in school for a child in need. It also helps sponsor kids to access sport and recreational activities outside of school. Joe says, “This is made possible through a partnership model with amazing charities and initiatives.”

Joe is about to start a crowd funding campaign through Pledge Me to expand into the yoga market and deliver more impact for kids in need.

Joe is passionate about making a difference and actively promoting well-being at a personal and professional level.

If you’re at Wellington airport over September be sure to call into the Flo pop up store to see Joe and the team. Otherwise check him out below:

Instagram @flo_clothing

Website www.flo.kiwi

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Lance Shearman is a Registered Financial Adviser with Velocity Financial. No investment decision should be taken based on the information in this blog alone. A disclosure statement is available free of charge upon request.

What does Wellness look like?

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Our team share their wellness practices. But, before we get to the inspirational bits, we can’t miss the chance to share possibly the worst/most brilliant dad joke in history.

What two words were used when the Loch Ness Monster was finally discovered?

“Well, Ness.”

The following is a ‘Monster’ Wellness Survey of the Velocity Crew.

Wellness is the new buzzword (not to be confused with “Melness”, which is a small crofting township in the Scottish highlands). We have surveyed the Velocity crew to see what their wellness strategies are and here are the (I’d like to say “surprising” but that would be an overstatement) results:

Graham:

Likes to journal and do yoga—probably not at the same time. Is hard at training for his first triathlon. Some of us have suggested he wear an emergency locator beacon during his swim.

His wellness has reached new heights since giving up drinking (fantastic effort, by the way!).

Brendon:

Apart from his daily 12:05pm trip to the sandwich shop, Brendon enjoys long-distance running and all the “fun” dietary requirements that come with this.

A client recently saw Brendon running in the morning and then again running at night, and was concerned that he’d been running all day. It has yet to be confirmed that this actually wasn’t the case.

Lance:

Is an avid fan of the nostalgic art of skipping and can be found a couple times a week at the gym skipping along to that old ditty “Jam, jelly, apple tart … Tell me the name of your sweetheart …”.

He also enjoys the odd game of “soccer” football, and serenading his neighbours with Lars Ulrich-esk drum solos.

Kylie:

Kylie tells us that she enjoys yoga (however, none of us have ever seen her carrying a yoga mat or wearing Lulu Lemon “essential” yoga gear). She also does something called F45, which may mean she enjoys shooting up a storm with the baby sister of the F90 assault rifle, or is secretly rebuilding a 1930s Fairchild Model 45 aircraft in her garage. It could also have something to do with a gym workout.

Stevie:

The newest member of the Velocity crew enjoys long walks on the beach and spending evenings cooking dinner with her partner. She has been voted “Most Romantic” staff member six weeks running. Her recently reduced coffee intake and numerous gym visits have no doubt assisted in her award-winning romantic ways.

Alex:

Enjoys rugby training (at a level most of us can only achieve via a Playstation) and walking his dog (making sure to leave his phone at home). Alex also gets great enjoyment from cooking for others. He is available for birthdays and Christmas functions for a limited time!

Debra:

Loves to relax with a gentle jog around Wellington’s “glory” run of Oriental Bay. As a living inspiration herself, it will come as no surprise that her on-going wellness journey also includes numerous inspirational podcasts. Her reduced sugar intake means the Velocity treat box lasts just that little bit longer these days.

Rebecca:

Another running fan, Rebecca also does something called Metafit, which sounds like it’s the not-so-long-lost cousin of Kylie’s favoured F45. I’m reliably informed that if there were to be an Office Olympics, Rebecca would be our weightlifting representative.

Simon:

Another in the office who enjoys long walks on the beach. He’s also a great “giver-backer” to the community and relaxes in the peaceful atmosphere of the world of kids’ soccer coaching.

Willie:

His time for the pursuit of wellness has in the past year been severely curtailed by the birth of his beautiful baby daughter. However, he still finds time to indulge in his favourite pastime of chopping and stacking firewood. His ultimate wellness goal is to have a firewood moat around his house, documenting the drying process on a monthly basis. He also enjoys the occasional jog up one of Wellington’s many hills to sit and enjoy the view.

Karl:

Working 3 jobs and studying full time, Karl maintains his full work to life ratio by enjoying the little things. An avid yogi, you will find him sitting on his matt at Hot Yoga Wellington most evenings, if not there, he’ll be behind his desk or spending time with his loving partner as they watch the latest Marvel movie cuddled up with popcorn in bed, “whoo-sa”