Each week the NZ Herald and Newstalk ZB's Cooking The Books podcast tackles a different money problem. Today, it's the strategy many people are turning to, to stop emotion hurting their finances. Hosted by Frances Cook.

When it comes to watching your finances, your biggest enemy is you.

Yes, you need to watch out for the scammers, the charlatans, the get-rich-quick schemes that will only make you poor, or of course the people who mean well but don't actually know what they're doing.

But still, you and your emotions are a bigger danger than that lot.

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We've often talked on this show about how you'll get the biggest rewards for your money if you can stomach some risk, and think over the long term.

People tend to nod sagely and agree with that, right up until they're tested on it. Like the past couple of weeks.

Shares have gone rocky, KiwiSaver balances have fallen, and even those in property are grumbling about the possibility of legislation restricting their ability to get the maximum bang for their buck.

All of a sudden I'm being flooded with messages from people asking when they should pull the pin and change their KiwiSaver provider, or sell out of those shares that have just taken a nosedive.

This is a very human reaction but also one that can leave you worse off. People tend to buy in when the hype has reached fever pitch, and prices are high. Then things hit a rocky patch, and people sell out, when prices are low.

You don't need me to do the maths and tell you that's not a smart plan.

But there's an investing strategy to help you avoid these emotional reactions that can hurt you in the long term. It's called buy and hold, and it's got a huge following all over the world.

I called up Martin Hawes, authorised financial adviser and chair of the Sumner KiwiSaver Investment Committee, for the latest Cooking the Books podcast.

We talked about his own experiences with buy and hold, the mistakes he's made selling impulsively, and the times when buy and hold can be a bad idea.

For the episode, listen to the podcast.

If you have a question about this episode, or an idea for the next one, come and talk to me about it. I'm on Facebook here, Instagram here and Twitter here.

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