Bolster Risk Management
By Dominic Bish
If there is a topic that you would like Dominic to discuss, or maybe you have a question about life insurance, money and personal finance that is bugging you, please let us know.
Bolster Risk ManagementJun 11, 2022
Bonus Minute 3: Q&A
"Do I need to declare that I smoke?"
Whether you smoke cigarettes, cigars, pipes, vape, or use nicotine replacement patches (or chew nicotine gum), you need to declare this to the insurance company.
Bonus Minute 2 - Q&A
If you don't have insurance, you'll need a full risk review to understand your current situation.
If you currently have cover, then doing a full review should be done every 2-3 years, or whenever there are major 'life changes'.
Episode 70 - Compounding Interest - Why it is of interest...
One of the things that savings, loan payments, mortgages, KiwiSaver and the Consumer Price Index have in common is Compound Interest yet most people don't know what it is and how it works. In fact, most people would say what has it got to do with me and why should I even care about compound interest at all?
· What is compound interest and why care?
· The formula for compound interest
· How compound interest grows over time
· The good and bad
Read the full article here
Bonus Minute 1: Q&A
Personal insurance: The policyholder versus the beneficiary.
The policyholder can make decisions about the policy, and need to authorise any changes.
The beneficiary receives the benefit (for example, the life insurance amount)
Episode 69 - Women and Money
Recently we had International Women’s Day and the Financial Services Council of New Zealand (FSC) encouraged businesses to promote and discuss women and money in the finance sector. This is important and relevant but is difficult for me to write about as a man without mansplaining (wow the autocorrect saw that as a real word!) and to really get to the heart of the issues.
There is no denying that there are clear discriminations when it comes to women and money and I will discuss these. I actively want to encourage women to have agency over their financial affairs. Read on, let’s see how I do.
- “It’s a man’s world”
- Facts, more facts and inference
- Strong women help women get stronger
- Keep It Simple
Read the article here
Episode 68 - Income Protection Made Easy
I was going to call this article “IP for Dummies”, but figured there might be some trademark issues. It is not something we often think about, but what would you do if you became sick and were unable to work? You may have heard about Income Protection (or ‘IP’) already. You may know that if you are sick and cannot work, this insurance will pay you out each month. This sounds great, but you may have also heard that it is too expensive, not worth it, or is just too boring and hard to understand. As a result, you do nothing.
· What is IP (and what it is not)?
· When would you need it?
· How is the cost figured out?
· What is Agreed Value, Indemnity and LOE all about anyway..?
· Pricing examples
Read the full article here
Episode 67 - Inflation, Savings and Life Insurance
We often hear the words ‘rising inflation’ and ‘rising interest rates’ but do we really understand these terms and the impacts they can have on us financially? What is inflation anyway and what does it have to do with the price of fish or the price of tomatoes which has received a lot of media attention lately?
More importantly, what impact does inflation have on your savings and in turn your retirement nest egg? Surely, it will not impact on your life insurance or does it?
- What is inflation?
- And the price of fish and tomatoes?
- Your savings and their returns
- Life insurance and inflation - a double-barrelled impact
Listen to Dominic Bish discuss this further or you can read the supporting article here.
Episode 66 - KiwiSaver Confusion
We have all heard about KiwiSaver and despite having over 3 million members it would appear that confusion and lack of understanding of how it works is the most common talking point.
By the end of the March 2021 financial year, New Zealanders had invested $81.6 billion dollars into KiwiSaver, with $26,410 being the average amount invested. Not bad going for a scheme which started in 2007. However, given such a large amount of money has been invested into KiwiSaver it is hard to believe that there is still widespread confusion.
- What is KiwiSaver?
- What is the purpose of KiwiSaver?
- When can or should you get the money?
- Choosing the right scheme for you
Episode 65 - The 5 Pillars of Personal Finance
Are you using tomorrow’s money today? What happens when tomorrow comes along? Are you spending more than you earn? What if your income stops? If you are spending money today that was meant for tomorrow, then you have a problem. You will at some stage need to catch up. Are you getting the right information?
1. Basic money management concepts
2. Cover against Risk
3. Build your retirement nest egg
4. Build Wealth
5. Get advice
Read the article here
If you need help - try this
Episode 64 - 9 Things You Should Know: Mortgage Repayment Cover
Mortgage protection: What is it? Why should you have it?
You have a mortgage; finances are tight because you have stretched yourself so much just to get a foot on the housing ladder. Then you get sick and cannot work for the next 2 years. What happens to your mortgage? Is your new home now at risk of being taken away?
You are renting; You’ve tried the property ladder, but right now it is out of reach. Your family relies on your income to keep paying the rent. Then you have an accident and cannot work for the next 5 years while you rehabilitate. What happens to your family’s home? Is it now at risk of being taken away?
These two examples are basic, but they help to illustrate the majority of reasons why people get this type of personal insurance. Below is a list of nine things you should know before you talk with your financial adviser.
The article that goes with this podcast is here
or go to
Episode 63 - Not Another Covid Article – Life Insurance NZ
“What does it mean to have life insurance? What is the value in it? What is it for anyway? I’m sure it costs too much, right?”
This article has nothing to do with Covid-19.
- What does life insurance do and why would I get it?
- Let’s start by being average
- How much? What do I want, or what do I need, to meet my circumstances?
Episode 62 - Money, Stress & Wellbeing
Last week was Money Week in New Zealand. It is a good time to talk about financial wellness, resilience and financial mental health. It has a huge impact on individuals, families and communities. It also impacts on business. Productivity, absenteeism and revenue are all directly and indirectly affected by the financial wellness of your team. If your team are busy thinking about how to pay the bills, they are not thinking effectively about their job performance.
· The state of our nation (in terms of personal finance)
· Presenteeism is even worse than absenteeism
· Is the ROI of Employee Assistance Programmes worth it? (Spoiler – yes, up to 12x)
Episode 61 MONEY: Buckets & Automation
It is easy to think that good money management is all about numbers and spreadsheets. Honestly, that is only about 10% of the whole gig. The rest, yes all the rest, is made up with our behaviours and attitudes around money. How do I know? I’ve been there in the worst of times.
If you have been following me for a while, you’ll know that I really believe everyone can change their financial position. It may take a while and it may be hard work at times. But there are some key concepts that could change your life.
I talk about a few books that might just change your life...
Episode 60 - Health Insurance: Why bother?
The myth is that you don’t need health insurance because of ACC, or because of the NZ public health system. Other myths are that health insurance is a waste of money or that all insurance companies are the same.
This episode will challenge those myths and will help you learn how to protect yourself from poor health treatment choices.
- ACC and the public health system: It is not an either-or choice
- Not all health insurers are the same
- The only two levers in your control to keep the cost of cover down
Episode 59 - 6 secrets you need to know before you get disability insurance
Personal insurance can be a minefield. 84% of people don’t have monthly-paying disability cover in New Zealand. 81% don’t have critical illness cover. If you were unable to work due to an accident or illness, how would your household survive financially?
Do you understand why you should have disability insurance?
In my experience, most people know they should have this cover. But most people do not want to think about worst-case scenarios. Most people will actively avoid thinking about worst-case situations.
I get it. I understand. But…
Sticking your head in the sand won’t help you when the proverbial smacks your butt.
If you want a topic covered or a question asked, let us know...
Episode 58 - Saving Money Made Easy
Do you struggle to save money? At the end of each month, do you wonder where all your money went? Perhaps you spend beyond your means?
If so, then this podacst is for you! Discover how saving money is as much a product of the mind as well as your financial habits. And speaking of habits, you’ll see how small positive changes, turned into habits, can automatically add up to big savings!
Episode 56 - Common Insurance Buying Mistakes
Unexpected losses can put the best-laid financial plans in turmoil. Insurance coverage is necessary to protect against unexpected costs, property loss, and disability. There are no universal answers to the question of how much insurance is enough. Situations vary. Today we are talking about personal insurance buying mistakes.
Episode 55 BMI - What It Is & How It Changes Your Insurance
BMI; that tool that nobody likes but everyone uses. “What is a Body Mass Index anyway and why should I care?”. And more importantly for us in this forum, what does it have to do with personal insurance?
- BMI – What is it?
- How is it used for insurance?
- What are the downsides to this measurement?
Use these calculators to check your own BMI (or other cool stuff).
Episode 54 - Protect Your Biggest Asset
What is your biggest asset? Unless you’re Kim Kardashian or earn a royalty income, your biggest and most enduring asset is probably your ability to earn an income. Most of us have insured our house, possessions, cars and our lives (even our phones!). But if you don’t have disability insurance, the most important asset you have is still unprotected.
- What Are the Chances of Actually Needing to Use Your Disability Insurance?
- How to Get Disability Insurance
- Some factors that influence the premium
Episode 53 - I’m too young for insurance; you are not actually bullet-proof
If you are under 35, do you have car insurance? Maybe, but maybe not. If you do have car insurance, does your car earn you money? Do you have protection for your greatest asset? What is your greatest asset? [spoiler - it is not your car!]
- Do you insure your car? Maybe, but maybe not
- Types of cover for the under 35s
- Insurance. Better to be too early than too late
Episode 52 ACC – Do you really know what they do?
Most people who live in New Zealand have heard of ACC. But ask 10 people what it is that ACC does, and you will likely get 10 different answers.
- What is ACC
- What does ACC not do?
- Self-employed versus employee
Episode 51 - Save for a house or do something else?
With property prices going through the roof and bank savings rates through the floor, what options do you have? If you do not currently have your own home, and you feel squeezed out of the property market before you’ve started, can you put your money to work in other ways?
- Another back-of-the-envelope calculation
- “Buy a business instead” (erm..?)
- Get your money working for you in other assets
Episode 50 - Financial Capability, teach and be taught
Industry, regulators and educators lament the poor level of understanding that people in New Zealand have of basic money management. What can be done? Let’s be bold – nah, she’ll be right.
- The time is now (yes, we are in a recession!)
- How bad is it?
- Sustained change? Education and investment.
Thanks to the 520 podcast "listens" so far...
Episode 49 - Trauma Cover, it is a Smörgåsbord
Trauma cover is a great product, but there is more than one flavour. It will pay a lump sum of cash to you if you are diagnosed with a specific health condition. But with so much choice, how do you know what is right for you (and your family)?
- What is the purpose of this type of cover?
- What dishes are available on the Smörgåsbord
- Indications of price
Episode 48 - Your Health & yet another COVID-19 article
Yes, another article about health insurance. Why bother when in NZ we have a public system that many in the OECD covet? As good as it is, there are plenty of gaps.
- We have a good Public health system but… COVID-19
- The Health System you didn’t know
- Don’t over-insure
Episode 47 - KiwiSaver: Low fees, yet you still want advice with that...?
We hear a lot in media sources about high fees for KiwiSaver. We also hear how people are not getting enough advice about financial products like KiwiSaver. Who is correct?
- What do your pay for?
- What the Regulators (and industry) want
- Who decides?
Episode 46 - “What is the Risk of Losing?”
I was this asked a great question recently. For all the talk of KiwiSaver-this and investments-that, what does it actually mean for my dollar? How much do I put in for what return? Here we come that wonderful world of ‘Risk’. What is ‘risk’ and what does it mean in everyday language?
- What is risk
- What is the ‘return’ part of “risk and return?”
- What is my comfort level?
Episode 45 - Indemnity versus Agreed Value (& ACC for self-employed)
Monthly paying disability payments. It can be great cover. It can also be a minefield. What is agreed value? What does indemnity mean? And why is ACC in the title??
- Purpose of disability insurance
- Indemnity versus Agreed Value
- ACC, yes it is an insurance firm
Episode 44 - How Distressing is Financial Distress?
Mental health awareness week was here in NZ recently. Money stress affects 22% of people every day. A further 25% worry about money weekly. Anxiety comes from looking at the future and being uncertain, of not being able to clearly see the way ahead. It is easier to ‘stick the head in the ground’ and do nothing. Do you worry about money? If you do, you are like 61% of New Zealanders who worry about it with different frequencies, but at least monthly.
- What is distressing?
- What the numbers say
- What can be done?
Episode 43 - How much do Financial Advisers Make?
“Loads of doh” or “too much” maybe your first thought. How much is “too much”? Money is a representation and transfer of value. What is value in this instance? Is the job that is done by the insurance agent, sufficient to reduce the ‘pain’ for the client and therefore solves that client’s problem? Does the financial adviser meet all of the regulatory requirements while adhering to the insurer’s agency and contractual obligations?
- What ‘job is done’ for the client
- Business costs
- Agent commissions
Episode - 42 - Can someone else flick the lights off on your behalf?
You get munted in a car crash. You’re on life support for 6 months. Your spouse can’t access your personal insurance because technically you are still alive, but you are in a coma and cannot sign the policy. You are a policy owner and the insurance company need all policy owners to sign before they release your insurance benefits. What happens?
- Should you have a Will?
- What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?
- Why bother?
While the topic of Wills and Enduring Power of Attorneys can be very dry, boring and unsexy, it is another part of personal risk management.
To read the blog that goes with this podcast, click here.
To watch our insurance & KiwiSaver product reviews, look here.
Episode 41 - How ‘Permanent’ is Total & Permanent Disability?
TPD, as it is sometimes known, is a work-dependent benefit. This means that it pays if you are never able to work again. That is the permanent part. But - there is a ‘but’, it may not be entirely that permanent. Confused? Good, now you can read on and I’ll explain.
- What is TPD?
- What is ‘permanent’ (own vs any)?
- What the numbers say
Want some help?
Episode 40 - What is a ‘wealth’ mindset?
The Richest Man in Babylon is a small book that sets out a nice narrative showing people how to build and protect wealth. There are two overlapping themes in the book “Seven Cures for a Lean Purse” and “Five laws of gold’. It is an old classic by George S. Clason from 1926 that helps to cement that idea that wealth should be grown from the inside first. We need to develop ourselves so that we become ‘worthy’ of the wealth we ultimately receive. The two themes can be summarised as...
To request a quote or get more info, come to
Episode 39 - Life Insurance, it is pretty boring
Buying life insurance is not like buying a pair of sexy shoes. You can’t wear your life insurance policy like a fashion item. You can’t drive it like a new car from a dealer. You can’t eat it like fine food at a restaurant. No, life insurance is pretty boring.
- You may not like it, but you need it.
- Types of cover
- Pricing examples
To see if we can help you, fill in some simple info over at...
Episode 38 - How Long Before Insurance Companies Pay Up?
Some of the people I talk with wonder how quickly insurance companies pay claims. As with many things to do with personal insurance, that answer is ‘it depends’. Different insurance products have different claims requirements. Also, as we’ve seen recently in the news with Westpac, not all insurance providers are created equally.
- Personal insurance product groups
- Product benefits get paid differently
- When do insurance companies not pay?
Episode 37 - Unlocked KiwiSaver – what is it?
In a recent article I mentioned ‘unlocked KiwiSaver’ products. It would be remiss of me to not explain what these are. For people outside of New Zealand, KiwiSaver is similar to Australia’s Superannuation or perhaps the 401K in the US. For KiwiSaver, members are not allowed to make a withdrawal on these funds until they are 65. There are exceptions of note here: first home buyers, and those under “extreme hardship” (with various conditions attached).
However, the idea of investing in a managed fund that is easily accessible and available to the public should be appealing to people who want to spread their eggs into different baskets. Remember that diversification is good basic risk management tool for long term investing.
- Two examples
- Is it for you?
- Get advice
Episode 36 - KiwiSaver: Passive/ Active & fees?
Recently I put my nose into the debate around passive versus active investing. In my comment on the article pondered why the choice should be so binary, one or the other? In my observation of investments, the prudent path always seems to be one of diversification. The old euphemism of not having ‘all your eggs in one basket’ is well understood. So, diversification can be across asset classes, specialised investment products and geographical markets.
How does this affect your choice of KiwiSaver? We can only choose one fund. As far as KiwiSaver is concerned, we must put all our eggs in the one-fund-basket.
- The birth of KiwiSaver
- How do you diversify your risk within the one fund of your KiwiSaver?
- Passive vs Active & fees
- Is your 3+3 contribution enough?
Episode 35 - I use marijuana, can I get insurance?
MaryJane is not everyone’s choice, but for those who partake, are they punished by the insurance companies? Not necessarily. What does the occasional toke mean for users and their personal protection plans?
Listen to find out.
Episode 34 - What Is The Best Age To Get Life Insurance?
Episode 33 - Recession is the time to sort your $
In a recession, nearly everyone is worried about money. We know that 23% of kiwi’s worry about money daily. In fact, 62% worry about money at least monthly or less. That is in normal times.
Now is the time to sort your money and insurance.
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Episode 32 Compound Interest - is it interesting?
One of the major religions banned its use due to the power it welds. Einstein said something along the lines of compound interest is having more relevance on HUMAN KIND than his theory of relativity.
Use The Force wisely...
Episode 31 - How realistic is Monopoly?
I love monopoly. I think it is a great game and tool to demonstrate some basics concepts about money and purchasing and trading. However, it is a bit of a set-up - don't you think?
You start with $1500. The value of the most expensive property is $400. That means that you are starting with a slush fund of 3.75 times the amount of the most expensive property.
A New Zealand company, helping financial literacy one bit at a time.
Episode 30 - Pre-existing health conditions - "Companies will run a mile...!"
A friend on mine recently asked me “How do I get insurance with my pre-existing conditions - the insurance companies will run a mile when they look at my situation…?”
A New Zealand Company helping financial literacy one bit at a time
Episode 29 - FSC research report - kiwis need help
It's not just me saying it, there is research to back up what I am saying...the Financial Services Council with their latest report. It is all about New Zealanders, and our thoughts and attitudes towards money, insurance and investing.
If you are Generation X Y or Z, therefore anyone who is under 53 years of age, have a listen. This is all about you.
Massive under-insurance issue in NZ:
- 1/3 have life insurance
- Just 1/5 have critical illness (trauma)
- Just 15% have income protection
A New Zealand Company
Episode 28 - For the Good of Your Health…Insurance!
Health insurance - keep it simple - cover the big stuff. Don't start dollar-swapping.
There seems to be a lot of confusion out there around health insurance – not so much around providers, or even product. More around, with NZ’s world-class FREE public health system, do you really need health insurance at all? If so, how do you get the best of both worlds – making the most of public and covering off private healthcare?
A New Zealand Company
Episode 27 - "Can I keep my cover if I plan to live& work overseas?
Another question from a listener - "Can I keep my cover if I plan to live& work overseas?
There are a few things to unpack from this question, to make sure that we answer it correctly.
A New Zealand Company
Episode 26 - "Can I still get insurance if I am planning on getting pregnant?"
One of our listeners ask this question "Can I still get insurance if I am planning on getting pregnant?"
Great question, and before I answer that, please feel free to ask your own questions, if there is some that you want to hear about.
A New Zealand Company
Episode 25 - CPI – A major reason for your policy going up in price so drastically
Adding CPI is a good idea because we know that the value of money goes down over time. Think about how much a Big Mac (a beer, a pack of smokes, a loaf of bread…) cost you 10 years ago, versus today?
Part of the thinking for the insurance providers is to make sure that your sum insured keeps pace in ‘real terms’, that the ‘true’ value of your policy remains same over time.
However it trap for some people who don’t realise that their cost inflation (how fast the cost goes up) will be so high.
There is a way to mitigate this.
A New Zealand company
Episode 24 - Insurance Stack and the Budget Pizza
So you might have heard me talk before about the insurance stack and the budget pizza so I'm just going to go back through it again.
This is a good way to help people to visualise how they might determine which type of product is more relevant to them at this time, according to their budget.
Check out more at
Episode 23 - Not another insurance podcast. Money 101 in 5 minutes
If you have more assets than liabilities that is a good thing. If you have more income then expenses that is also a good thing.
And there you have, a very simple money 101 in five minutes. This stuff doesn't have to be complicated.