Each week the NZ Herald and Newstalk ZB's Cooking The Books podcast tackles a different money problem. Today, it's what puts people off the sharemarket, and why it's worth a rethink. Hosted by Frances Cook.

New Zealanders have a love affair with housing.

It's true, owning your own home gives you security, and if you pay it off before retirement your golden years should be a lot easier.

In comparison, many Kiwis are nervous of the share market. We were particularly badly burned by the 1987 crash, and that memory still haunts many people.

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Investment platforms Sharesies and the NZX's Smartshares have commissioned research from Colmar Brunton, that shows yes, we're a cautious bunch with the sharemarket.

Only 20 per cent of New Zealanders own shares, compared to 31 per cent of Aussies, and over 50 per cent of Americans.

The biggest barriers were a belief that shares are for people with lots of money, the idea shares are particularly risky, a lack of spare cash, and not knowing where to start.

But the times do change, and so it's worth re-evaluating these old truisms.

Housing is now getting further and further out of reach for many people.

It's also not the solid, risk-free investment that many believe. It ties you to one place, and if you get into financial difficulty, you have to sell the whole thing or risk the bank taking it off you.

Meanwhile, the sharemarket has had an overhaul since 1987, with tougher rules.

It's arguably a better investment for young people as you need far less cash than a house deposit, and it won't tie you to one location early in life.

I talked to Sharesies co-founder Sonya Williams for the latest episode of the Cooking the Books podcast.

We discussed why people are holding back, and what she makes of the shares versus housing mentality.

For the episode, listen to the podcast.

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