Changes to Bank Capital Rules


The RBNZ recently finalised its capital review in an effort to safeguard banks against economic shocks. Retail banks will be expected to hold $20 billion in capital at all times, which will have implications for small and big banks alike. While this move is a great insurance policy designed to reduce the potential of a public bailout, it could also lead to more expensive mortgages, lower deposit rates, and more stringent lending criteria.

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The Science of Gift Giving


Christmas is on the doorstep, which means tough decisions, budget allocations, and last-minute shopping. If you're like most people, then you probably approach gift giving with a combination of random luck and hours walking the streets. As it turns out, however, there is a clear and robust science behind gift giving, with people who receive gifts much more appreciative when decisions are based on thoughtful consideration and long-term value rather than immediate satisfaction and price.  

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National Housing Market Gets Hotter


New Zealand house prices are moving north as the property market springs into action. The average property value in Auckland was up 1.3% over the last three months, with values in the regions moving ahead at an even faster rate. While Auckland is still more affordable than it was a year ago, national values are up on an annual basis and first home-owners are struggling to see a way forward.

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How to Increase Your Mental Bandwidth


The modern world can be busy and stressful, with people often experiencing a lack of time and mental resources. It's easy to make bad decisions in such an environment, as our mental bandwidth narrows and we focus on the wrong tasks. While some people thrive under pressure, for others, busy routines and ongoing stress lead to procrastination and reduced productivity. As it turns out, achieving a healthy work-life balance is a great way to increase our attention span and upgrade our cognitive bandwidth.

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Negative Effects of Bushfire Smoke


Bushfires remain prevalent across Australia, with smoky conditions possibly becoming more normal as climate change takes hold. Rural communities in NSW have been inundated by smoke for weeks, with Sydney also choked by bad air and dangerous smoke particles. While everyone is aware of the destructive power of fire when it comes to harming property and affecting lives, the true dangers of bushfire smoke are only starting to be understood.

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