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World Stock Markets

17 Dec 2017(latest close)



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Shares may decline in value

 

You should realise that there are long periods when the stock market does not generate returns or generates very low returns. In the US for example in the 17 years from December 1964 to December 1981, the Dow Jones recorded a gain of just 1/10th of one percent and in the eleven years to October 2008 it did not record a positive return.

In Australia between September 1987 and September 1996 the All Ordinaries Index returned a capital gain of just 1.9%. See our Returns by Asset Classes 1979-2013 chart to see the negative returns over the last ten years recorded by US Shares and International Shares.

In New Zealand the market in June 2011 was trading at about the same level as it did five or six years ago previously and in 2010 it was at 1993 levels. The GFC of course intervened but then there is always something.

Remember also we are talking averages. It is generally only the big professional investors and fund managers, with the resources, that do better than average!!

 

A classic example:

Here is a classic example of marketing hype carried by a leading on-line broker in Australia to promote the benefits of investing in shares. It says:

"On 28th February 1994, an individual invested $25,000 in a range of shares in the Australian market to build wealth over the long term. On 27th February 2009, based on the All Ordinaries Index, the portfolio value could have potentially grown to $37,807, a gain of $12,807 - even though those 15 years included the Asian financial crisis, the dot com boom and bust, the September 11 attacks on the United States, the Iraq war, the sub prime crisis and more."

Sounds great. But the fact is the return is merely 2.8% pa and achieved only if the individual could have kept pace with the All Ordinaries index. Not many "individuals" do. If dividends yields were say 3%, arguably that individual would have been better off with cash in a relatively safe interest-bearing account.

 

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Thank you for the wonderful service you provide through your website. I've had the pleasure of selling a parcel of shares: easy, efficient, and very cost-effective. And I especially like the super-easy way your site allows me to chase up companies' various name changes, and so remain up-to-date.
I Brandli, Coffs Harbour NSW


…out of all the exchanges that I do research for, your particular web site makes finding information so easy. I wish the rest of the world would follow your footsteps. Reuters


Thank you so much for assisting with this. I contacted the registry today and they did confirm there are …… shares [value: $42,000] in my sister’s name. I have put ......... in contact with them so she can update her address and will thereafter be able to claim the dividends [value: $3764] and sell her shares if she chooses. We really appreciate your help, this money will be of huge assistance to ..... What a fantastic service you provide.