The Herald on Sunday commissioned a poll showing that 64% of the country oppose asset sales, but that 60% of the country would purchase shares in those same assets if they had the money.
This is something that’s always bugged me about the whole ‘mum and dad’ investors trope. ‘Ordinary mums and dads’ shouldn’t buy shares. They especially shouldn’t buy shares in a bunch of companies that all do the same thing, ie power companies.
They should invest money into their KiwiSaver accounts, in which the government will stake them a thousand dollars and partially match their contributions. If their provider’s analysis shows that the assets being sold are worth the purchase price of the shares, they’ll buy them (without the cost of the transaction fees mum and dad have to pay when they trade) and reinvest the dividends across a broad range of equities based on mum and dad’s risk profile. They’ll also monitor the company’s performance and sell down if they aren’t happy (if, say, the companies are so badly mismanaged the shares become worthless, something that isn’t too unlikely given that we’re talking about the New Zealand business sector here).