March 2022: Journey to Financial Freedom update

Welcome to Passive Income NZ, my Journey to Financial Independence. Every month I share how I am tracking towards financial freedom by providing you with an update of where my portfolio is at and how far I am from financial freedom, and how my spending is tracking. My definition of financial freedom is not really the same as everyone definition. It’s not to stop working; it is much more than that. It’s about living a more intentional life.

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Life update

The last update I published was in December. And I have not been publishing any regular content since mid-2021. And I do miss it- I’ve just not had the time and motivation. I’ve been dealing with a few life events that haven’t gone as smoothly as I’d hoped. It’s been a second real-life lesson on why emergency funds are important (the first being the initial Covid lockdown). And that a 3 to the 6-month emergency fund may not always be enough to get you through. Especially if you are dealing with a relationship breakdown, which means that you essentially lose half the emergency fund you have. Even worse is if the emergency fund gets pulled into relationship assets and just sits there- with either partner not wanting to touch it.

I’m not trying to be cynical here but some of the lessons I’ve learned the hard way. Most likely you are already aware of these in principle, but I’d like to spell them out for you and ask if you have really thought about them if they were to happen? The first is Relationship Breakdown– are you ready? I already knew about the possibility of a relationship breakdown but figured I wouldn’t need to worry about it since that was never my plan. And if it was to ever occur, that I would be able to sort it out if it was ever going to happen. Again- as it was never in my long term plan. Now I realise that maybe it would have been smarter to have thought about it earlier on, rather than putting my head in the sand. I should have thought about it much sooner than I did. So as a takeaway- maybe you should have a think about it now. Since if it does eventuate- it will have a large impact on your financial independence journey.

The first thing that I’d like you to really think about with your relationship is are you both on the same page. I think that is one area where we went wrong. You and your significant other need to be on the same page in terms of spending, investing and saving habits. And I mean truly on the same page. Not having the same mentality can become a significant burden on your relationship over time. To the point where it stops any conversation about money from even happening.

The second thing I learn about relationships, money related lesson that is, is that you should combined finances. It makes the relationship become a true partnership- rather than just two people cohabitating. We’d been living with separate finances throughout our entire relationship. This is a good way of having your money and your partner having their money- but it also feels like you are not truly in a partnership.

Anyway- these are topics that may need to be flushed out in a longer post at a later date.

Investment Update

It’s that time of year when I have to check and do my tax return- which can be a boring tax but it’s always better to get it over and down with rather than letting it linger.

Above is my portfolio value over time. I sold a chunk of shares in December and in March. As an investor- you are not in a good position when you are forced to sell shares.

I decided to sell my shares in AMP NZ fund- This is because my emergency fund had been pulled into relationship property and basically frozen for the time being. I chose to sell my AMP fund, over other funds, because they increased their fees in recent times. I sold my US500 fund and tidied up some of my other funds as well.

  • I invested a total of $16134 from June 2018 to July 2020 into the AMP NZ fund, and sold for $20,297, which is a 24% gain.
  • I invested a total of $2887.76 from May 2018 to December 2019 into the US500 EFT, and sold for $5716.86, which is a gain of 98%
  • I sold $10,000 worth of shares in my Vanguard fund- mainly because it would be nice not to simplify my yearly tax over time and not have to worry about FIF returns.


With all that is going on in the world, it’s no surprise to me that my returns are not looking good for the month of February.

  • InvestNow: +8.85 %
  • Kernel: -0.31%
  • Genesis Energy: -14.97 %
  • Kiwisaver: +4.39 %
  • Lending Crowd: +11.35 %
  • Harmoney: +9.89 %
  • Hatch: +22.84 %

I now have a very small amount in Hatch Invest. This is I guess some play money to gain some experience of how the platform works. Besides that- it does give a bit of spice to my index investing. I do like the idea of having access to the very cheap international index funds- but at this stage- I am sticking with InvestNow and Kernel as my main investment platforms.

InvestNow: Returns from assets I hold are after fees and before tax for the last 12 months. Kernel Wealth: Internal rate of return since inception. Genesis Energy: Returns from capital gain and dividends in the last year. Calculated using Sharesight. Kiwisaver: Performance for the last year after fees and after-tax and membership fees. Lending Crowd: Net average return (NAR) is a calculated annualised return for your investment portfolio that’s calculated monthly on the 1st day of each month. Harmoney: Realised Annual Return (RAR) is a measure of the actual rate of return on funds invested in the Harmoney platform.

Introducing Maori Millionaire

I’ve also been introduced to a new NZ financial blog- Maori Millionaire- below is an introduction on what the blog is about- so go check them out.

Our Mission at Maori Millionaire is to empower Maori to become financially independent. Maori have the highest rates of health issues, homelessness problems, and are the lowest performers in education. I know that this isn’t our fault. You do too. Join us today to help make a change so that more Maori can become financially independent, gain access to adequate healthcare, housing, and education

Maori Millionaire provides free financial resources so that you can learn more about money, how to increase your income and ultimately – use money as a tool to improve your quality of life. The difference between Maori Millionaire and other financial blogs is that we are Maori from New Zealand and know exactly what it’s like to grow up poor. We write transparantley with our experiences at the forefront of the blog. If you’re not really one to read, then head straight over to our podcast where we do exactly the same thing – share down to earth conversations about money. 

Some of our most popular posts have been our Beginner’s Guide to Sharesies, Side Hustle Ideas, and our Step by Step Guide to financial independence. 

If you want to know more about how you can join the Maori Millionaire Whanau then head on over to our Facebook Page – @maorimillionaire, our instagram or our twitter @maorimillion_ 

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