Review your KiwiSaver or other managed funds accounts at least once a year, using the various reports investment providers publish.
Even if you have an investment adviser, it’s important you read them yourself.
You can request other information from your scheme provider at any time, for example:
* These documents can also be found on Disclose.
For other investments, you’ll generally receive less information. This means you (or your adviser) will need to do more work to monitor them. If your adviser is being sent information directly, make sure you’re also receiving copies.
1. Read the company’s annual report and check its website
Most companies issue an annual report each year. This will include a copy of the company’s financial statements, giving a summary of how the business is performing. Financial statements of companies listed on the stock exchange must be audited and registered with the Companies Office.
In addition to the financial statements, there will usually be a summary of the business’s operations and plans for the coming year. You can also see how the business is governed and managed. Further information may be available on an ‘investors’ section of the company’s website.
This information enables you to identify any risks the business is exposed to, and helps you decide if you want to continue investing with them.
2. Check the PDS
If an annual report isn’t provided, have a look at the investment’s product disclosure statement (PDS) to find out how they will keep you informed. Alternatively, contact your investment provider directly.
3. Keep track of transactions online
Many investments give you access to an online account so you can check your account any time.
4. Use NZX information
Companies listed on the NZX must disclose certain information through an information service that can be viewed on the NZX website.
Managed funds (including KiwiSaver and superannuation schemes) publish quarterly updates and an annual update.
This gives details of how each investment fund has performed, what fees have been charged and other key information.
Fund updates let you see how your managed fund or KiwiSaver fund is performing, what it’s costing you and what your fund is currently investing in. They follow a standard format so you can easily compare the risk, return and fees of your fund to other similar funds. You’ll find fund updates on your provider’s website.
Fund updates include a risk indicator to help you see at a glance how much the value of the fund’s assets are likely to go up or down. It’s not a guarantee of future performance and there are other risks not considered by the rating.
Find out more about having a clear understanding of your own goals and attitude to risk.
Fund updates present returns relative to a ‘market index’ that invests in assets similar to the assets the fund invests in. This is to help you assess whether the return your fund is making is reasonable.
Annual and average returns are shown. Most funds (except restricted schemes) also have a complete list of their weekly / monthly returns on Disclose.
Take time to review the fee information and compare it to the same information for other similar funds.
Fund updates show the total fees you are charged as a percentage of the net asset value of the fund. It will also include a breakdown of what that total fund charge is made up of, and other costs such as annual membership fees.
In this section the update will also include an example (like the one below) that shows how fees impact returns.
Example of how fees impact returnsJane had $10,000 in the fund at the start of the year and did not make any further contributions. At the end of the year, Jane received a return after fund fees were deducted of $700 (that is 7.00% of her initial $10,000). Jane also paid $60 in other charges. This gives Jane a total return after tax of $640 for the year.
Fund updates also include a summary of what the fund has invested in over the period. It shows:
They also provide the names of the top five directors and employees who have the most influence on investment decisions. This helps you understand who is managing your money and enables you to do your own research about them.
*The investment mix means the percentage of the fund invested in each investment type (shares, bonds, property etc)
KiwiSaver scheme providers must give you an annual personal statement, and other managed funds may provide similar information.
The annual statement shows your account balance, including all contributions received during the year. For KiwiSaver this will include contributions from your employer and the Government.
It also provides the information you need to make sure your account is correct, and you’re on track to achieve your KiwiSaver goal.
When reading your statement, check:
All managed funds (including KiwiSaver) must give you a copy of their annual report, or a link to it on their website, within six months of the end of their financial year.
The annual report describes any changes made to the scheme in the last year, how it’s being managed, how investments have performed against the scheme’s goals, and if the auditor has raised any concerns.
KiwiSaver and superannuation schemes will also give details of the size of the scheme’s membership, total funds invested and investment returns.