How to Invest in a Low Risk Environment

One of the questions we are often asked is what to do when it comes to investing in a low-risk environment.

New Zealand’s low-interest rates create a dilemma. Do you accept a low return because you feel you must protect your capital or do you take a longer-term view that decent returns can still be achieved from regular savings?

Good investment returns are definitely still achievable but of course, every investor’s situation is different. As an adviser, the first thing we always do at Foresight Financial is to ascertain the investment time frame, your current financial situation and how much risk you are willing to take. These things differ vastly from person to person.



The other important thing for us to do is find out a potential investor’s expectations of achievable returns. When it comes to investment returns, we all have to accept that the world has changed since the global financial crisis and therefore, returns are lower. Failure to accept this means you having to take a higher level of risk with your investment planning.

Be Smart in a Low Interest Environment

So here’s why saving in a low-interest environment can be a smart move:

  • It gets you into a habit of saving – get into the habit of spending less than you earn, then you’ll make faster gains when interest rates rise

  • It can build up an emergency fund – why not have some spare funds stashed away which can be easily assessed and very liquid. Even if you are not able to make big returns, the funds are available and you aren’t spending the money

  • Potential tax benefits – different types of investment funds have differing tax rates (and benefits). For example, some unit trusts work like a term deposit but are registered as a Portfolio Investment Entities (PIE Funds) for tax purposes. PIE Funds have special tax rules that could result in less tax on your returns, which is another way of saving more.

Remember this though, whether savings rates remain low or not, the key thing to bear in mind is that if you save more often you will usually find yourself in a better place financially than those who save less but get a better rate of return.

For smart savings advice, give me a call on (06) 751 4510 or get in touch here