Mary Holm is a columnist for the New Zealand Herald.
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How a fund does for a few months, or even a year, isn't the issue.
How quickly to repay $100,000 student loan is a question of ethics, not just finances.
Are you obliged to tell authorities about an inheritance if you're earning a benefit?
The faster you climb, the greater the danger.
While many shun oil and gas, Taranaki resident takes the opposite approach.
Both involve taking a risk, but that doesn't make them the same.
Rising real estate values may not translate into retirement income.
If you can afford it, why not have a little fun instead of playing it safe.
Can a couple with a joint income of $150K afford three children and a mortgage?
Whichever your choice, good habits early will help you later on.
I'm a single woman in her 50s, am I mad to sell my house, quit my job and start fresh?
"It's very powerful to save even quite small amounts over long periods," says Mary Holm.
Risk is one thing you don't need when coming out of a relationship with money in the bank.
When the going is tough animals offer a lifeline.
Will digging up a long-forgotten term deposit be all hunt and no treasure?
Some people take saving to extremes and miss out on life's finer things.
The answer is about more than just maths.
Should employers have to contribute for staff who aren't doing it for themselves?
The scary thing is sticking with low-risk investments while your buying power dwindles.
However fees are sliced, there's nothing to stop you trying for a better deal.
Is just liking the brand and its product/service a good enough reason to invest in it?
Would agents work harder if they got more money for getting the very best price?
KiwiSaver, tax, property - our financial expert answers your questions.
Insurance may be expensive, but no insurance can have an even higher price.
While you're still young, the key is to keep your financial options open.
Take the long-term view and lie back and watch your money grow.
The new KiwiSaver default schemes weren't chosen for their past returns.
Change to default funds opens up opportunities for many members.
I'm a multi-millionaire, and have been for many years, but still buy cheap beer.
Funds offer a return on your money while helping others get into a place of their own.
Here's the place to go for advice on tough financial challenges.
Do I hold on for five years in my current job just for the money?
A home should be a place for living, not just an investment, says a reader.
If weighing up a high-return investment, first find out how they're doing it.
A renter who's also a landlord misses out both ways from latest Govt changes.
Rents around New Zealand are rising faster than incomes.
If a family member can help, you may be able to find an answer that works for everyone.
Is it better to buy a lifestyle block or keep on saving? Why not follow your dreams?
We're a long way from the crazy days of the Dutch tulip mania.
Yes, you can use measures like P/E ratios when choosing investments — but it may not help.
Landlords have power over their tenants.
When you can't borrow for a long time, you need to do some hard thinking.
A young couple tired of house hunting may be happier taking a breather for a while.
Gift to a son isn't a worry - but ask if you might need the rest home subsidy one day.
Take a punt on cryptocurrency if you must. But don't go in too deep.
Prices are low, but if you buy too soon they may keep falling as you watch in dismay.
These were the top five advice columns from finance writer Mary Holm.
COMMENT: In parts of Europe, most people never own their home, and lead contented lives.
COMMENT: A few simple tricks to getting your mortgage down to size.
COMMENT: Family plan makes gift giving a lot of fun - and delivers financial savings, too.
COMMENT: At least today's savers aren't trapped in a losing race against high inflation.
COMMENT: Take care before you decide to reverse mortgage.
COMMENT: If you're leaving, what's the risk that you won't be able to buy back in?
COMMENT: Where do you turn when an elderly relative is running up big debts?
COMMENT: What's the right answer for a too-crowded family: Renovate, build new or sell?
COMMENT: Couple can afford to indulge dream of an Italian holiday home.
Comment: Debt-free in 50s and caravan is home, so where to put nest egg?
COMMENT: There's still a good argument for investing overseas.