November 2019: 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 just stop working, it is much more than that. It’s about living a more intentional life.

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The next few weeks are going to be busy for us all. Many end-of-year get-togethers and Christmas parties, and getting ready for the holidays. There’s going to be a lot of spending going.

This is going to be a short update- it’s such a busy time of the year that I haven’t found much time to sit down and write an update.

Last month I spent a bit of time looking into how to invest in different Vanguard funds from New Zealand. Both investing directly into Vanguard, and buying funds that are Vanguard underneath but marketed and sold as something else. I’ve been getting quite a lot of good feedback from that post. I’m glad that it helped you guys.

I also wrote about Financial advisors and whether or not you need one. This post may have ruffled a few feathers. I received several very positive emails about Financial advisors, while others were very negative. If you have any opinions, good or bad about your experience with financial advisors I’d love to know.

I did learn that there are many different types of financial advisers- I’ll hopefully do a post about the different types.

Another quite relevant topic to this time of year was to look into what Afterpay is. With Christmas around the corner- Afterpay might be for you to spread out the cost. Before learning about Afterpay I was under the impression that it was a type of predatory lending- making all their money on late fees. But it turns out that it’s not like that- sure they do make some money on late fees- but the business model is to charge the retailers rather than the customers.

Investments in November

In November- I withdrew $1200 from my Harmoney account as loans are hard to find on the platform. That quickly got sent to InvestNow so I wouldn’t be tempted to spend it. So along with my regular investment plan, I purchased more of the following funds.

I still have some money sitting in Smartshares US 500 Fund (USF), which overlaps quite a bit with my Vanguard investments but has a higher fee of 0.34% to Vanguards 0.20%. One of these days I should tidy this up, along with with my Smartshares NZ Top 50 Fund (FNZ) and the AMP Capital NZ share index fund- 0.55% and 0.33%.

I’m just not sure if I should sell the lot and re-invest- or sell-off in stages- dollar-cost averaging but in reverse.

Portfolio November 2019

Asset allocation

New Zealand Personal Finance and Investing blog, all about Money budgeting debt credit cards and insurance for Kiwis NZ
  • Australasian Shares: 27%
  • International Shares: 29%
  • US shares: 4%
  • Total Shares: 60%
  • Kiwisaver: 13% (+1%)
  • Peer to Peer Lending: 13% (-1%)
  • Listed Property: 13% (+1%)
  • Bonds: 1% (+1%)
  • Cash: 1% (-1%)
New Zealand Personal Finance and Investing blog, all about Money budgeting debt credit cards and insurance for Kiwis NZ
New Zealand Personal Finance and Investing blog, all about Money budgeting debt credit cards and insurance for Kiwis NZ


The NZX50 hit a record high in November. It’s been a good month for other markets too.

New Zealand Personal Finance and Investing blog, all about Money budgeting debt credit cards and insurance for Kiwis NZ
NZX50 Index- last 6 months

The recent spike in the markets has improved my monthly performance across the board.

  • InvestNow: 19.15% (+4.46%)
  • Genesis Energy: 31.17% (-2.30%)
  • Kiwisaver: 6.62% (+0.79)
  • Lending Crowd: 11.52% (-0.02%)
  • Harmoney: 10.24% (-0.06%)

InvestNow: Returns from assets I hold are after fees and before tax for the last 12 months. 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.


Road to 100K by December 2019

I’m 96% there. It’s hard to believe that I’m going to actually make it. I set this goal back in July 2018. Back then I thought it was an achievable goal- but it would be hard. And it has been hard in some regards. Automating my finances is the only way I’d get this close to achieving my goal.

December is here, and I have not reached the 100k just yet- but December has just started. So there is still time.

Reduce my reliance on my car

I’ve decided to try form the habit of biking to work- especially with the summer months coming up there should be no more excuses. I want to aim initially for at least twice a week. I did quite well in November- a total of 7 trips. Not too bad- but I’m hoping to double that in December.

That’s it for the update- happy savings!

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