NZ financial product search website, Pocketwise, has launched an online comparison tool to coincide with the beginning of ‘Money Week’.
The free ‘financial health check’ tool allows users to compare a range of products – including KiwiSaver funds, credit cards, term deposits and loans – against competitors through a single ‘dashboard’ view.
Binu Paul, Pocketwise co-founder, said the tool enables people to list many of the financial products they use and compare them against the entire market in each category.
Paul said Pocketwise produced the tool following numerous requests from current users.
He said to date the online comparison website, launched last year, has found a wide disparity in the costs and benefits of financial products – particularly across “big-ticket items” such as KiwiSaver funds or mortgages.
“We have been blessed with rich user data and feedback. While we have started with a minimum set of features for this new tool, we are continuing to refine the edges,” Paul said in a release. “My observation is that consumers tend to want to compare prices when buying TV’s, fridges, flight tickets and accommodation, but don’t apply the same savvy when shopping for financial products. That’s a lot of real money left on the table, unfortunately.”
Pocketwise also plans to include managed funds – covering all products available to NZ retail investors – under its digital umbrella.
Money Week, a government initiative spearheaded by the Commission for Financial Capability (CFFC) now in its seventh year, takes the theme this time around of ‘Weather the storm – financial resilience’.
Over 800 events involving 200 organisations have been slated over September 3-9, with resources listed on the CFFC-run Sorted website.
For example, the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) started the Money Week rolling with the release of a KiwiSaver quiz aimed at prepping younger members for a market downturn.
Simone Robbers, FMA acting director of external communications and investor capability, said in a release that investor confidence was linked to knowledge and engagement.
“KiwiSaver members under the age of 30 are the least knowledgeable and confident about their investments,” Robbers said. “Over the last ten years KiwiSaver returns have generally been positive. While there have been patches of volatility, younger members of the 18-30 age group have never experienced a major fall in the value of investments in their adult lifetimes.”
Also this week, FMA chief, Rob Everett, makes a guest appearance to promote the launch of the Financial Services Council (FSC) ‘Code of Conduct’.
The FSC code, two years in the making, is aimed at “increasing trust and confidence in the providers of financial services and the products that they deliver”, the industry body says.
Everett will front-up on Wednesday evening at Auckland’s Pullman Hotel to help launch the code before headlining the next day at the joint FSC/Workplace Savings NZ (WSNZ) annual conference.
The FSC/WSNZ conference has sold out with a record-breaking 400 delegates expected to flock to the Pullman over the two-day event due to wrap up on Friday. Under the ‘Shaping futures’ theme, the industry conference also features Reserve Bank of NZ governor, Adrian Orr, as well as government ministers Grant Roberston and Kris Faafoi among the speakers.
On Friday the FSC will release the final part of its KiwiSaver research trilogy.