Have you transferred your KiwiSaver money to the bank, and now you can’t help but constantly check your balance online, day in and day out? Sure, getting an eagle-eye view of your finances in one place seems like a no-brainer, but is it really as beneficial as it sounds?
We’re advocates of financial transparency, but here are few things to think about if you’re constantly checking your KiwiSaver balance.
Short-term ups and downs
It’s important not to read too much into the short-term swings of the markets. Markets fluctuate and change rapidly, but remember, KiwiSaver is a long-term investment.
In other words, you’re in it for the duration, so aiming for the horizon is key. Whatever happens in between, if you have a good plan in place, the scales should tip in your favour over time. It’s important to keep an eye on your KiwiSaver, but if you’re checking it every week, expect to see some movement, up and down.
Yes, your balance may drop…
Your KiwiSaver may change from day-to-day, one way or the other. And for many people, watching these ups and downs unfold in real-time can create anxiety. And more importantly, it might lead to making a rushed decision about your funds.
So, what’s a good frequency to review your KiwiSaver performance? As a rule of thumb, you may want to check your balance every six months, if not annually. That way, you’re more likely to see the trend as opposed to changeable spikes and drops.
… or it may not grow ‘fast enough’
It takes time (usually, around three months) for your KiwiSaver contributions to reach your account. That’s because before they’re paid into your fund, they go to the IRD first. Yet another reason why checking your KiwiSaver frequently may cause confusion (and potentially, a rash response).
Absolutely, if you want to keep your finances in check, having 24/7 access to your balances and transactions is important. But don’t forget that growing your KiwiSaver fund takes time, persistence and commitment.
Like to maximise returns? The most important step you can take is to make an active choice regarding the fund based on your age, long-term goals, and attitude to risk. And if you need any help finding the right fund for you, a KiwiSaver adviser can help you explore your options in detail, now and over time.