While it holds your money, your KiwiSaver is not a savings account – it’s an investment fund. All of your KiwiSaver contributions are tasked with earning returns. These returns are then reinvested, earning you even more. As your money earns more money, your KiwiSaver balance grows over the long-term.
But what are you investing in exactly? The answer depends on the fund or funds you choose to invest in. Each fund has a different focus and is designed to suit people in different situations, with different goals and preferences, and with different risk appetites.
AMP offers dozens of funds from some of NZ’s leading investment managers. You can choose just one fund, or you can mix and match up to seven funds to spread your KiwiSaver investment across.
To get a better sense of your investment options, let’s take a closer look at four popular fund types.
If you don’t plan to touch your retirement savings for ten years or more, you may be best served by an aggressive fund, where your savings are invested almost entirely in shares. Aggressive funds aim to deliver high returns over the course of decades but are more likely to experience big ups and downs along the way.
If you don’t plan to touch your retirement savings for seven years or more, a growth fund may be for you. Another step up in the risk versus reward stakes, your money will generally deliver better long-term returns, but you may experience even bigger ups and downs over the course of your investment. Growth funds mainly focus on investing in high growth assets like shares and property.
As the name suggests, a balanced fund offers a nice investment middle-ground in terms of risk profile. It’s a popular option for people who plan to access their savings in four to seven years.
Compared to the conservative fund, you’re likely to enjoy better returns over that timespan, but may experience larger peaks and troughs along the way. Approximately half your money will be placed in more stable investments like cash funds and bonds, the other half in more variable but higher growth investments like shares and property.
A conservative fund is best suited to people who plan to access their retirement savings within a year or two. These funds make lower risk, relatively stable investments in assets like cash or government bonds, so your money tends to grow slowly but more consistently. It’s a safer, less volatile investment that can have fewer ups and downs.
In reality, short term or long term investment time frames are just one of the considerations you should make when choosing the right fund or mix of funds for your situation. Some of the other factors you should consider include:
Risk tolerance: Are you someone who is happy to take financial risks, or would you describe yourself as more conservative with your money? The more comfortable you are with risk (and the potential consequences), the more aggressive and targeted you can be when selecting your preferred fund/s.
If you prefer to play it safer, you can choose a conservative or balanced fund, or create an investment mix of up to seven funds to ensure your eggs aren’t all put in one basket.
Savings goals: What does your retirement look like, and what sort of KiwiSaver balance will you need to fund your ideal post-work lifestyle? You may also be considering using your KiwiSaver savings to secure your first home, so how much money will you need for that?
This target amount can help you to identify the right fund/s for your situation. If you’re on track to reach your goals, you can play it safer. If you need to build your savings significantly, a more aggressive approach might be in order. You can get a sense of the number you’re aiming for with the help of our KiwiSaver calculator.
Investment preferences: Often the right KiwiSaver fund will simply be a matter of personal choice.
Investing your money in the right type of fund can make a significant difference to the amount of savings you’ll get to enjoy when you retire. With investment returns compounding over the course of years and decades, a small change now can make a huge difference later.
In short, your fund investment decision has the potential to influence your retirement savings. Consider changing if:
Change funds online: Already an AMP KiwiSaver Scheme member? Changing funds couldn’t be easier – simply log into MyAMP and follow the prompts.
Need a little help choosing a fund? Are you a little unsure which AMP KiwiSaver Scheme fund is right for you? Help is at hand. Our KiwiSaver fund selector tool determines your ideal fund based on your goals, preferences and situation. It can help you find your ideal fund in just a few clicks!
We recommend speaking to a financial adviser when looking for financial advice. By speaking with a financial adviser, you can find out how your plan is working (or not) for you, and they can provide guidance on some suggested changes if needed.
Book a consultation and we’ll get in touch at a time that suits you.
As an AMP KiwiSaver Scheme customer, you have access to financial advice whenever you need it which can be obtained either through AMP or an external Adviser. The financial advice that can be provided by an internal AMP Adviser is limited to AMP products, whereas an external Adviser may be able to advise you on a broader range of financial matters.
Choosing the fund/s that will help you achieve your goals is an important step in making the most of KiwiSaver. But it’s not the only one. Check out the links below to find out more about how to enhance your savings and what you can do with them.
You may not have to wait until retirement to access the savings in your KiwiSaver account. As a first home buyer, you may be able to use your KiwiSaver savings to purchase your first home (minus any Australian superannuation savings transferred over). Check out all you need to know about KiwiSaver first home withdrawals.
The better prepared you are for retirement, the more enjoyable and comfortable it will be. KiwiSaver plays a significant role in retirement planning, so head to our hub to find out how you can live post-work life to the fullest, from understanding how much you need, to transferring over Australian superannuation.
Looking to grow your savings outside of KiwiSaver too? AMP Managed Funds are an effective way to do just that, requiring no minimum investment, low fees, and granting you the flexibility to withdraw when you need to.