October 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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2019 is quickly wrapping up- October went by in a flash as I spend an exhausting 9 days overseas at a work conference. I’m still recovering from the lack of sleep and time zone changes. By the time that you finally get used to the time zone change- it’s time to go home and re-normalize.

Before I left I had scheduled a post for when I was gone- except that I scheduled it on the wrong day- so you were fortunate to have to post one week- and then nothing last week.

In September I updated the website theme- Much of October was spend sorting out bugs- I think it’s been running smoothly so far. Let me know if you find any bugs. I also added an RSS feed page from all my favourite kiwi blogs– mainly because it’s easier for me to have them all in one place- you should also bookmark it if you want to keep up with all the Kiwi blogs.

Last month- I wrote about how to save money by driving a cheap car. I do really like cars, but I know that they are big money pits- I’ve spent a reasonable amount on a car, but I’m not planning on dropping a significant figure on a car anytime soon. I’m going to sit back and just admire your car for now.

As you may remember- I switched KiwiSaver. And since I wanted to share my experience- I wrote a post about changing schemes and how long it took. So if you want to find out how long it actually takes to switch KiwiSaver check the post out- or if you have been considering changing to a lower cost scheme check out my review of Juno, Simplicity, and Superlife.

My TransferWise international debit card was a treat to use when I was overseas. I initially thought that you needed to have all your money converted to the currency you wanted to use- but it turns out that the card will automatically convert (at a 0.5% rate with no margin) to the currency you are trying to use. Which was super helpful when I ran out of Australian dollars.

Also- I was expecting it not to work all the time- but I was pleasantly surprised it worked everywhere- I guess that is because underneath it all it’s just acts like MasterCard debit card. The one downside is how long it takes certain big banks to transfer money to my TransferWise account.

If you are interested in learning more about Transferwise, last month I wrote a review and some information about how it works and the fees involved. So if you want to get the most out of your travel money– check it out.

I thought I was an early adopter of TransferWise- since it only launched in NZ …, but my Canadian mate who I visited in while away had been sending money to Canada through transfers for several years- think how disappointed I was when I enthusiastically told him how great it is to be able to cheaply convert currencies- “yeah mate- I’ve had one for years”.

New Zealand Personal Finance and Investing blog, all about Money budgeting debt credit cards and insurance for Kiwis NZ

October was also the month we had to get new insurance for my partner’s car- we did a quick shop around and Cove insurance was the cheapest option. Which is good- since I did write a post about car insurance which showed they were the cheapest. I couldn’t use my own referral to get 2 months free- but the referral is still there if you are shopping for car insurance. I can see that several of you have signed up already.

Investments in September

I really don’t want to talk about October. I spent way too much on going out for dinner while I was away- both socially to connect with colleagues at the conference and to catch up with old friends. I’m going to have to recoup some of that spending in November.

My trip has dropped my savings and investing rate from 72% down to 44%- still not that bad really- but I need to keep my investing rate up to hit my goal.

The amount of money invested or principal paid on the mortgage as a percentage of total money spent, for the month of October, as a percentage of spending;

  • Investment: 22% (-15%)
  • Mortgage: 22% (-12%)

Portfolio August 2019

Asset allocation

Not much to say when it comes to asset allocation- the graphs do a much better explanation.

New Zealand Personal Finance and Investing blog, all about Money budgeting debt credit cards and insurance for Kiwis NZ
  • Australasian Shares: 27% (-1%)
  • International Shares: 29% (+1%)
  • US shares: 4%
  • Total Shares: 59%
  • Kiwisaver: 12%
  • Peer to Peer Lending: 14% (-1%)
  • Listed Property: 12%
  • Bonds: 0%
  • Cash: 2%
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 monthly performance has decreased across the board this month. Remember- I’m not trying to gloat here- just showing my returns so that if you are not currently investing you can get an idea about what your returns could be, both positive and negative- and hopefully you will get excited about investing like me.

  • InvestNow: 14.69% (-1.56%)
  • Genesis Energy: 36.24% (-2.77%)
  • Kiwisaver: 5.83% (-0.49)
  • Lending Crowd: 11.55% (-0.09%)
  • Harmoney: 10.30% (-0.05%)

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 not 90% there. But with only 2 months left, I’m even more certain that I’m not going to make it. I’m going to keep pushing on- might even try a few side-hustles selling seedlings and excess plants from the garden that we don’t want anymore.

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 was doing

Read more

I have a goal to read more book- not only to learn by to improve my reading speed and writing skills. So far I don’t know where to start- I like non-fiction books- Strong Money recently has posted a review of a few so I’m going to start there- also I’m halfway through think like a freak by Steven Levitt and Steven Dubner of Freakonomics.

Exercise More

Our upcoming holiday is going to involve a lot of tramping- so I need to get fit. Cycling to work is great- but I’m going to need to do more. With the evenings getting longer I’m aiming to run 4 times a week, and do some weights on the other nights. I’m against paying for the gym- but then again if I’m paying for it- it might motivate me to go. Historically this hasn’t worked- so I’ll take the free route.

Grow more

Happy Investing Everyone.

Not what you think- although it would be nice to gain a few centimetres in height. No- I want to grow more in the garden. I’ve just finished getting some capsicums and tomatoes in, as well as some rows of mesclun lettuce that will be done in 6-8 weeks.

That’s it for the update- happy savings!

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2 thoughts on “October 2019: Journey to Financial Freedom update”

  1. Hi Rohan, which tool or application do you use to track your complete portfolio esp asset allocation over time? I’m currently using Sharesight for my equity investments. Thanks!

    • Hey Chakresh- I don’t really have a “complete” tool. I use sharesight to track my individual shares, but all my funds are in Investnow- I dabbled with using pocketsmith to track all my investments- but it requires manual entry every month- so in the meantime I’m just using a spreadsheet which I update monthly. It’d be great to have one tool- but with investments in several places, there would still be a lot of manual entering of data.


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