Investing is about using money to make more money. Investment can take on many forms like property, bonds, savings, shares, and managed funds like Kiwisaver etc.


No matter what you’re investing in or how you invest, it helps to know; The type of investor you are (your investor profile), the right mix of investments for you and the sorts of results you can expect.

Decide what it is that you’re trying to achieve. Think about financial goals, like saving for a car, buying a house, or saving for retirement. It helps to ask, ‘What goal will investing help me achieve?’

Different ways to invest(external link) — FMA

Goal planner(external link) – Sorted

Understanding your investor profile

Consider what type of investor you are with an investor profile. An investor profile helps you work out what kind of investor you are how much risk is right for you. You can figure this out for yourself through a series of questions that will evaluate your appetite for risk against your financial goals.

Investor profiler(external link)  – Sorted

Understanding risk and return

Risk is the chance you take when you invest, and return is how much money you make. The risk is the chance of making money or not and getting your money back or not. Return is the reward for your investment, what you make on it.

Low risk investments can be safer but offer smaller gains. Higher risk investment can bring higher returns — but if things go badly the losses can be big too.

Risk is part of investing, but only you can decide how much risk you take on.

Read about risk and return(external link) – FMA

Diversification helps to make sure your money is spread over a variety of investments, so, if one of them suffers a negative effect, only a small portion of your wealth loses value.

How to start investing(external link)  – Sorted

Find out about share investing in our world of uncertainty(external link) – Sorted


Chance you take when you invest


How much money you make when you invest

Decide how you’ll invest

Overhead view of a person sitting cross legged holding a phoneTwo people smiling and laughing together

Directly invest yourself – Online investing platforms

Online investing platforms enable you to trade shares in specific companies or funds yourself online. They are usually easy to use and often cheaper than a share broker, but you need to be comfortable making your own decisions as you won’t receive advice and often you won’t receive research reports.

Unlike investing in a single company, a fund allows you to invest your money in a bundle of shares in companies, bonds, or property.

Some platforms offer fractional investing which allows you to buy portions of shares instead of purchasing an entire share. This method allows you access to more highly priced shares.

Some platforms also offer investments that are higher risk, including derivatives like options trading and cryptocurrency. Generally, these types of investments are not suitable for the average investor and are best approached with caution. To find out more see Understanding the risks(external link)

Find out about online investing platforms(external link) — FMA

Choose an online investing platform(external link) — FMA

Investing in small amounts regularly has other benefits too. It becomes a habit, so you’re less likely to forget.

Learn about drip feeding(external link) — FMA

The 5Ds of DIY(external link) – FMA

Using an adviser

An investment adviser helps you choose and make investments. Some advisers will offer additional services such as investing on your behalf or financial planning and will charge a fee for their services.

If an adviser is providing investment advice and has suggested certain investment products, they should make sure you have enough information to make an informed decision.  This could include:

  • Information about why these are right for you. For example, do they meet your personal goals and tolerance for risk?
  • What returns you can expect and how likely these are to go up and down over time.
  • What you'll pay in fees and how to get your money out.
  • Where your money will be held – custody arrangements.
  • How tax is paid.
  • Details of the information you’ll receive about your investments.
  • Some advisers may only be able to offer advice on products offered (manufactured) by their employer – for instance an adviser working for a bank may only advise on investment products offered by that bank.

Find out more about working with an adviser(external link)  and the rules that apply to all financial advisers.


Understand how fees will affect your returns - fees are charged when investing online yourself or through an adviser. They are added to the cost of your investment so will affect your return.

More information  

Getting financial advice(external link) – internal

Code of professional conduct for financial advice services(external link) (PDF, 99KB) – Financial Advice Code

Find an adviser(external link) – FMA

Read about misleading advertising of investment products(external link) – FMA

Do your due diligence or research(external link) – FMA

Avoid investment and finance scams

Investment scams are becoming increasingly more sophisticated at targeting even the most careful person. Protect yourself from being scammed.

Check out current investment warnings and potential scams(external link)  – FMA

Learn how to recognise, avoid, and act against scams - Scamwatch

Get help if something goes wrong

Things can go wrong, for example you may have trouble getting your money, or cannot understand why your investment has lost money. If that happens, talk to your adviser or provider first. They may be able to explain the problem and fix it. They must tell you:

  • About their internal process for handling complaints.
  • How to access their dispute resolution scheme.

Your provider must belong to a dispute resolution scheme. If you cannot sort things out with them, contact their dispute resolution scheme first.

There are four dispute schemes in New Zealand

Your adviser may be part of any of the four of them - Banking Ombudsman only covers advisers who work for a bank

Going to dispute resolution to solve problems with your adviser(external link) – FMA