Choosing a KiwiSaver scheme can be like choosing a pizza

Choosing a KiwiSaver scheme can be like choosing a pizza

When it comes to ordering a pizza, there are so many different outlets we can use, and, even then, there are so many different flavours to suit our tastes – from meaty, seafood, vegetarian to vegan pizza.  There’s even a range of crusts we can choose between, from thin to crusty to pan fried.  For the more health conscious among us there’s now available four-star nutritional pizzas.

You know, choosing the right KiwiSaver provider and scheme for you can be like choosing the type of pizza we want.  There are so many providers out there, and even when we may have found a provider we like there’s a range of funds between conservative, balanced, growth or aggressive and it can be confusing.

Now, like choosing that nutritious pizza, there’s a range of ethical – or socially responsible – KiwiSaver schemes and providers in the market.  This can make it difficult to choose something that matches what we’re looking for.  While in selecting a pizza it will depend on what flavour or taste we’re looking for, in choosing a KiwiSaver scheme that’s right for us it’s down to our individual values and beliefs.

Values are very abstract concepts aren’t they? But basically they’re our preferences and priorities.  We only really know that values are in our lives when we’re living in line with them.  Unlike that pizza in the picture, values are so intangible; we can’t touch them.  It could be said that our values are ideas that enable us to prioritise all our experiences.

Our beliefs influence and create our values.  The Christian KiwiSaver Scheme is based on universally accepted Christian values, and our investment team apply those values to where funds are invested.

Just like in choosing the type of pizza you eat – whether you want a vegetarian or even vegan pizza the key to avoiding any value conflicts is to be really clear about your priorities and align these with all aspects of your life – from your choice of pizza to including in your KiwiSaver provider or fund the type of companies you would want to invest in.

When next you order a pizza think about how you choose the toppings and base, see if it lines up with your values.  If you would like to talk with us about our ethical investment options check us out at Anglican Financial Care’s Christian KiwiSaver Scheme website. Or, if you prefer, give us a call on (0508) 738 473.

Love comes down from Heaven

Love comes down from Heaven

It is a pleasure to send you Christmas greetings on behalf of the Board of Anglican Financial Care, as we approach this holy season, and await the longed-for birth of Christ. In our celebrations we give thanks that God is continually reaching out to us, longing to be born in us, longing for us to be in God’s company and drawn into the divine life of God. This is why Christmas is a special time. It means tasting something of heaven on earth as Love comes to surround us and indwell us.

Christmas tells us that all human life is profoundly sacred, so much so that God comes to us in human form to speak to us on our level and in our language. In this festival God is telling us and showing us that human beings in their fragility and humility can be full of God; very holy, very precious. In the message of the birth of Christ about which the angels sing and shepherds rush to adore, we see that all life is held in God and surrounded by God, and that God can reach out to us at any time and in any place, especially to the places engulfed in the darkness of suffering and pain.

Given the events of the last year and the moral issues currently being debated in our Parliament at present, this message is needed in our world more than ever. That someone could be so filled with hate that it was possible to destroy so many lives in the Mosque shootings last March is unfathomable. Every Christmas we celebrate God becoming fully human, thus making our humanity holy. If we are to take this message to heart, and open our own hearts to the indwelling of God, then we need to embrace those who appear to be ‘other’, to overcome our fear of those who are different, learn to move beyond tolerance of others to being in relationship, and to celebrate our common humanity.

For when the heavens are opened on that first Christmas night, what is disclosed? God. God revealed in the flesh; God, full of grace and truth. We see the fragility and vulnerability of human existence in the new-born baby. When we look toward that holy Child, we see only Love; Love that is offered freely, that is not manipulative, controlling, fearful, or violent. It is Love that is simply present, that we can choose to receive and to adore, or not. It is Love that has come to win us over, to draw us to God. It is the same Love that moves the stars and stirs our hearts. It is a Love that invites our total allegiance. This Love also helps us see our humanity from a fresh angle; it is fragile, dependent, but more holy than we could ever have imagined. It tells us that our own very being comes from the heart of God and is the result of the creative outpouring of Love who looks upon all that has been made and pronounced it to be very good.

“Come, Holy One, come, my Redeemer; come Lord Jesus, and be born in me, live in me, grown in me, until my life is transformed by your life and I seek only to know your love and make your love known. Amen.”*

May you and yours have a holy and blessed Christmas and a happy New Year.

Dean Lawrence Kimberley
Chairperson

 

 

*Christopher L. Webber Ed., Advent with Evelyn Underhill, Morehouse Publishing, Harrisburg-New York, 2006.

Climate change

Climate change

In early 2019 we heard Greta Thunberg – a Swedish teenager – who made headlines protesting outside the Swedish Parliament about climate change.  She was calling for immediate action to combat it.  Her comments and actions touched a nerve among young people globally and set off a tidal wave around the world of young people speaking out and protesting about climate change.

Thunberg has continued to feature in international news regarding climate change.  In late September 2019, she spoke at the United Nations Action Summit aimed at tackling climate change.  She talked poignantly about how previous generations have ruined her childhood with their responses to climate change.  Thunberg even went as far as to say that humans are facing extinction on earth.  Here, in New Zealand, secondary school students have taken to the streets in several cities and towns in support of global action for more action against climate change.

Yet, while Greta Thunberg has international name recognition, many people may not have heard about her mother’s actions.  Her mother, Malena Ernman, is an opera singer, who has also been politically active regarding climate change.  Ernman was offered an opportunity to sing here in New Zealand.  However, she turned down that great opportunity because of environmental concerns.  Her actions have created a new buzz word – Flyskam – which means flight shame.  There is a growing movement globally to not fly because of its negative environmental effects.

As an indication of the sentiment about climate change, in July 2019 a Stuff survey of 15,000 readers found that New Zealanders aged between 10 and 19 rated climate change as more important than any other issue.  Those young people in their 20s were also very concerned about climate change.  But the level of concern with climate change decreased markedly with increasing age.

Attitudes are changing in New Zealand toward ethical investing, particularly among younger people.  In recent national news, there have been examples of companies acting ethically.  One such example is Wellington-based company Little Yellow Bird.  Little Yellow Bird supplies over 200 organisations throughout New Zealand, Australia and the USA with their uniform needs.  They act ethically and sustainably throughout the entire manufacturing chain.  In addition to ensuring that their employees are paid fairly, their customers are provided with complete transparency on the company’s manufacturing process.  The company is not just concerned with being a fair and transparent company; it also demonstrates a concern for the environment with respect to the plants they use.  The company measures the amount of water used in the manufacturing process; it, also, does not use any plastic to pack their finished product – the uniforms.

If you would like to check for yourself how Christian KiwiSaver Scheme investments mitigate the impact of climate change or to see – as ethical investors – what we do invest in, visit other pages on our website  or call us on (0508) 738 473

Teaching your children about money

Teaching your children about money

As parents, you understand how important literacy is for children. You sit for hours reading to your children. This can be the beginning of a life-long love of reading.

Learning how to think about money and manage it wisely is an equally important life skill.

It is important to patiently help your children learn many ways to control money. Most children will learn by doing.

Having your children help while you shop for groceries can help them learn the value of money versus the costs of items. Letting them use a calculator to add up the total spend as you work your way around the supermarket can keep them occupied and learning at the same time. For older children, you can set a meal budget and have them work out which items they could buy to make the meal which would remain in the budget.

In the end, you hope that your children will grow into financially responsible adults. The rewards are life-altering: living within their means, free from the anxieties of debt, and secure in their future.

Joining your children up to KiwiSaver is the perfect way to start them on their savings journey. As a Christian KiwiSaver Scheme member both you and your children can log-in and see their money grow over time. With time on their side, starting the savings habit young will return dividends in the future.

Members of the Christian KiwiSaver Scheme are not charged any fees while they are under age 18.

Some tweaks to our website

Some tweaks to our website

Earlier this month we tweaked the website. We believe the changes will make it easier for visitors to the website to find information and to navigate around. In a nutshell, we split up a large amount of information that had been under one menu heading into two separate pages.

  • Ethical Investing” now contains the investment-related information, i.e. our ethical approach and investment style, what being a member of Christian KiwiSaver Scheme can offer you, your investment choices, investment returns and fees.
  • KiwiSaver” now contains information mainly about KiwiSaver, how to join, contributions, withdrawals, your options at 65, children and Christian employers.
  • All forms, documents, guides and reports can be found under “Documents”.

We welcome suggestions from you on how we can improve your experience on our website. Phone us on 0508 738 473 or email at info@christiankiwisaver.nz

Guns are not cool now

Guns are not cool now

Many of us have grown up with the stories of Winnie the Pooh.  If we didn’t, some of us may have seen the recent movie called ‘Christopher Robin’ which re-introduces Winnie the Pooh to a wider audience.

Many of us would be surprised to know that Winnie the Pooh owned a gun in 100 Acre Wood.  We would be puzzled as to why they would own guns in that wood as they don’t hunt, and they don’t have target practice. Yet, in one account of Winnie the Pooh’s exploits, there was a knock on the door of his tree.  Winnie answered the door … with a gun in his hands.

When A. A. Milne started writing about Winnie the Pooh in 1926, it was a different time with a different attitude toward guns.  Like climate change, guns and munitions have increasingly become something that people are concerned about.

After the attacks on the Al-Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch earlier this year there has been a growing concern about whether New Zealand KiwiSaver providers have invested funds in arms or munitions.  There are some providers that have invested in this industry.  But the Christian KiwiSaver Scheme is not one of those; it is among a small number of KiwiSaver providers that provide ethical investments and excludes munitions.

In a recent Colmar Brunton survey, over 70 percent of respondents answered that it was important for them that their KiwiSaver money was not invested in weapons.  The survey found that a lot of members didn’t know if their funds were invested in munitions at all.

In New Zealand, there are over 2.7 million people signed up with KiwiSaver.  The New Zealand Herald quoted a 2018 Consumer survey finding that around seven out of 10 people wanted their money invested ethically. But only around 8,600 people had signed up to specifically targeted ethical investment funds.  While some people may hesitate in investing in ethical funds as they may feel these funds give lower returns, some of the best companies in the current market are those that are the most sustainable companies – they look after the environment and their employees.  So thinking seems to be changing among investors.

Remember you can log into your account and check which fund your money is invested in. Or, if you prefer, give us a call on (0508) 738 473.

 

 

Winnie the Pooh image from www.disneyclips.com