09 May 2019
Booster is proud to announce it is now accredited as a Living Wage employer by Living Wage Aotearoa. This achievement marks our ongoing commitment to help New Zealanders live financially secure lives.
The Living Wage encourages employers to pay workers an hourly wage that allows a worker to cover the necessities of life. It reflects the basic expenses of workers such as food, transportation, housing and childcare, and is calculated independently each year by the New Zealand Family Centre Social Policy Unit.
The Living Wage rate is voluntary and for 2019, it is $21.15 per hour. This is higher than the current minimum wage of $17.70 per hour.
Booster pledged to become Living Wage accredited as part of our CoGo accreditation in 2018. The Living Wage accreditation formalises our existing policy to pay our direct employees a living wage and extends to cover indirect workers employed by contractors who provide Booster with a regular service.
By committing to paying a living wage, we ensure all Booster employees can cover their basic living expenses, contribute to their communities and move towards a more secure financial future.
Learn more about The Living Wage movement.
09 April 2019
Booster has launched an innovative new budgeting tool, which instantly provides a snapshot of spending and income by automatically collecting and collating live transactional data from a user's different banking providers.
The budgeting tool, available free to all Booster members, automatically sorts spending into categories, allowing the user to track their expenses against income and compare their expenses to previous months via an easy-to-follow graphical user interface.
"Many people tell us they find managing their money difficult and time-consuming. Even the best of us can be broken by it. We wanted to create a simple and pain-free way to help people understand what they're spending, set goals and then keep track of them," says Allan Yeo, Managing Director of Booster.
"Our tool automatically tells you how much you are spending on what. Often that's the hardest part; nobody enjoys wading through statements and bills to create a budget. By using your payment data and automating it, what once took hours is now done in seconds. From there, you can identify the changes you want to make and most importantly, track how you are going.
“Additional functionality will be continually added over the coming months to provide users with the ability to set personalised spending targets for each category, set ‘good months’ as an example to follow, and receive notifications when set spending limits are reached.
“We already provide our members with an app that gives them a snapshot of their total financial picture. It enables users to capture all their assets (cash, KiwiSaver, properties, savings and investments etc.) against their liabilities (rent, mortgages, debts, student loans etc.).
“It’s a simple net wealth calculation but for many people, it’s the first time they’ve seen it that way. Once they do, it can be very motivating. Driving down debt and saving becomes even more rewarding when you can see the effect it has on your overall financial picture.
“The launch of the budgeting tool marks an important step for the Booster team. We are one of nine default KiwiSaver providers. We want to not only lift the savings of Kiwis but improve their overall financial resilience.
“At Booster, our philosophy is to help New Zealanders live with financial confidence. We want to put them at the centre and in control of their whole financial picture, helping them make the best possible decisions and live well, no matter what stage of life they are at – from starting out to retirement,” says Yeo.
Booster steers new course for KiwiSaver investors with Mahana Estates purchase
31 Jan 2019
Booster has announced its purchase of the former Mahana Estates Winery site and the formation of the Booster Wine Group.
Booster's specialist investment arm, Tahi, secured the Nelson-based site, adding to our other investments in the wine industry; Awatere River, Waimea Estates, Bannock Brae and Sileni Estates.
"In addition to the synergies we can achieve with our other wine investments, we are pleased to have brought a beautiful piece of land and a state-of-the-art wine making facility back into Kiwi ownership. New Zealanders collectively had more than $50b in their KiwiSaver accounts last year - however, only a fraction of this is being invested back into New Zealand businesses," says Allan Yeo, Managing Director of Booster.
Booster's approach is unique. Over the last 18 months, Booster's strategy of supplementing listed shares with direct investment in local companies has changed the landscape for Kiwi investors.
Through the purchase of the Mahana site and the formation of the Booster Wine Group, Booster has created a new investment opportunity for the benefit of our KiwiSaver members.
Booster's move now marks another milestone in the KiwiSaver industry.
Read the full press release here.
10 Jan 2019
Booster is pleased to announce it is one of the first New Zealand co-signatories to the recent global investor initiative, calling for action on continued investment in controversial weapons.
The request to global index providers, including S&P Global, MSCI and FTSE Russell, is to remove companies involved in controversial weapons manufacture from the major index funds.
The open letter calls for global indices to exclude companies involved in the manufacture of cluster munitions, anti-personnel mines and chemical, biological and nuclear weapons from the main benchmarks. The initiative highlights a growing expectation that index providers need to reflect investor practices and expectations, making it easier for investors to actively avoid investing in companies that still manufacture controversial weapons.
David Beattie, Principal, said, “Booster has always taken a responsible approach to investing. Kiwi investors are increasingly wanting to know that their investments are not supporting harmful or controversial activities. Becoming a co-signatory to this global initiative is further confirmation of our commitment to responsible investing.”
“This initiative is a way for the global investment community to use its collective voice to persuade the major index providers to change their approach to one that better reflects the beliefs of everyday investors - as well as international conventions,” said Beattie.
Since the initiative’s launch, over 115 signatories across the world, controlling USD $6.167tn in assets, have signed the open letter (as at 7 Jan 2019).
Read the full press release here
05 November 2018
SuperRatings has released its top-rated KiwiSaver schemes for 2019, along with a list of schemes that provide the highest value on a 'net benefit' basis.
Booster achieved a Gold rating, one of only eight KiwiSaver schemes to achieve the rating.
SuperRatings' assessment criteria considers five key factors, including investments, fees, member servicing, scheme administration and goverance. Schemes awarded a Gold rating are considered to be strong across all key assessment criteria.
Di Papadopoulous, Marketing Strategist, Booster, says "We are pleased to see the results of the SuperRatings top rated KiwiSaver schemes of 2019 - particularly given its emphasis around customer engagement. We believe this is a key area within the industry, so that providers ensure people are in the right fund for them. We're proud to be the top provider for customer engagement. We also consider Net Benefit as one of the most important ways to measure overall value for KiwiSaver members, and are pleased to see this as a strong consideration in the SuperRatings criteria."
12 October 2018
You may have heard that global share markets have fallen sharply over the last few days and be naturally wondering what this means and what you should do.
The first thing to know is that markets will do this from time to time and that this is the second time they have done so this year. Back in February they also dropped sharply when Donald Trump first threatened trade wars with China. They recovered well after that, because it was soon realised that world economic growth and company profitability would not be significantly affected – importantly, this remains the case today.
The next thing to do is avoid panicking into any rash decision to suddenly change what fund you are currently in. We know this can be easier said than done. So this might be good time to check in with our online risk profile questionnaire, to double check that the fund you are in is still the right one for your time horizon and risk appetite. You could then use the results as the basis of a discussion with your financial adviser – they can help you with the results of the risk profile and talk through anything else that might be on your mind. We'll be keeping advisers well-informed about any market developments. If you don’t currently have a financial adviser, we can recommend one for you.
Market movements like we have seen are a bit unsettling and unpredictable in the short term, but they are not unusual. What is more predictable though, is the superior performance of markets over the long term. So, if you are a long-term investor in KiwiSaver, staying with markets through thick and thin has always been the best thing to do.
10 October 2018
As a default KiwiSaver Scheme provider, supporting our members to make the most of their Booster KiwiSaver scheme account is high on our priority list.
For many default members, that includes helping them make an informed decision (or 'active choice') about the fund they're in, so they are set up to meet their savings goals and aspirations.
The FMA has just released their annual report on KiwiSaver for 2018. Booster has topped the table for enabling default members to make their own decisions about which fund to invest in - this includes those who chose to stay in the Default Savers fund and those who moved into a different investment fund. In 2018, 15% of out total default members made an active choice, which means they're taking more control over their financial futures.
While this is great recognition for Booster and an indicator of the level of support we offer to all our members, what we're most pleased about is the growing number of our default members who are taking charge of their KiwiSaver accounts.
Read the FMA 2018 KiwiSaver Annual report
18 September 2018
Recently, an article was published announcing a new 'web-based' rating system for KiwiSaver schemes, based on their ethical offerings.
Booster's two SRI funds achieved a much higher rating on this scale than was reported. Both of our SRI funds have been independently certified by the Responsible Investment Association of Australasia (RIAA) as ethical investment funds.
Booster applies nine exclusion filters to our SRI funds. By investing in our SRI funds, you can be assured you are not investing in socially controversial industries or businesses with damaging activities such as tobacco, fossil fuels and nuclear power production.
Disappointingly, the rating process and outcomes were more of an indication of how well KiwiSaver providers communicate their responsible investing process to investors, rather than being about the quality of the investment itself.
The article's analysis of KiwiSaver providers does present an opportunity for both ourselves and the industry to provide clearer consumer investor information. At Booster, we will be improving how we share our Responsible Investing information on our website.
Booster is a member of RIAA and remains committed to continuous improvements in how we integrate Environmental, Social and Governance factors into our decision-making on behalf of all clients.
Read our Responsible Investment Policy here
06 September 2018
Sileni Estates is the newest addition to Tahi's investment portfolio. Renowned for their quality, Sileni are one of New Zealand's premium wines with distribution to 60 countries around the world.
Tahi's investment is part of a new era for Sileni and means we will be working together with the Avery family to provide a solid foundation for Sileni's operations and continue a proud history for the Sileni brand.
The addition of Sileni Estates gives the wine businesses within Tahi significant scale in the New Zealand wine industry and strengthens their collective ability to take the best of New Zealand to the world.
Learn more about Tahi
27 August 2018
Supporting New Zealand innovation and business has always been important to Booster. As part of our investment strategy, Booster has formed a partnership with Viclink, the commercial arm of Victoria University of Wellington.
This partnership, NZ Innovation Booster LP, provides secured funding to take research from Victoria University to the next stage of development or commercialisation.
Learn more about NZ Innovation Booster
23 August 2018
Booster is pleased to announce it has now become the first accredited financial services provider with Conscious Consumers, and has received their brand new 'Responsible Investment' badge.
Developed by Conscious Consumers in conjunction with RIAA, the Responsible Investment badge is awarded to financial service companies that offer investment funds which exclude socially controversial or damaging investment activities.
Booster has always had a responsible investment philosophy to our fund management, and we're pleased to be awarded this recognition in an industry first.
28 July 2018
At Booster, one of our driving philosophies is to help New Zealanders build financial resilience. So, it made sense to support Nikau Foundation's recent PledgeMe campaign for the Wellington Resilience Fund - a dedicated Area-of-Special Interest Fund to help build the resilience of the Wellington Region against potential threats like a significant earthquake.
With Booster's support and donation, Nikau Foundation hit their $20,000 goal to supply community centres & schools with vital emergency equipment.
Booster’s Managing Director, Allan Yeo said, “We’ve called Wellington home for 20 years, so we’re Wellingtonian through and through. At Booster we’re about building resilience of the financial kind. Nikau’s fundraising was an opportunity to support the resilience of the very special city we call home. It was just the natural thing for us to do.”
“Being based in Wellington helps make Booster the kind of company we are. Supporting this initiative builds a stronger, resilient, more connected community. That’s important to us because we live and work here.”
Learn more about Nikau Foundation
Consumer's latest KiwiSaver report looked at the overall customer satisfaction with chosen KiwiSaver providers.
Booster achieved a 65% customer satisfaction rating, with more than 25% of members opting to join Booster on the advice of a financial adviser. Our members were also the least likely to be thinking of switching.
Compare that with the survey's winner, BNZ, who had a 71% satisfaction rating, but more than 22% were looking to switch to another KiwiSaver provider within a year.
That's fantastic news and a great achievement for Booster.
The full report is available on Consumer.org.nz