New Zealand Fund Manager Puts 5% of Retirement Plan's Assets Into Bitcoin: Report

“If you are happy to invest in gold, you can’t really discount bitcoin," says the fund's chief investment officer.

Mar 26, 2021 at 10:39 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:32 p.m. UTC

New Zealand Funds Management Ltd. (NZ Funds)'s KiwiSaver growth fund has invested 5% of its money in bitcoin, according to a report by local news outlet Stuff.

The KiwiSaver Growth Strategy Fund, which had NZ$350 million (US$244 million) in assets at the end of December, began investing in cryptocurrency in October, according to a company product disclosure document.

The fund's chief investment officer, James Grigor, told the outlet he expects competitors to follow suit over the next five years, adding, “If you are happy to invest in gold, you can’t really discount bitcoin.”

The fund falls under the auspices of the national KiwiSaver program founded by the New Zealand Labour party in 2007. The retirement savings scheme is similar to a 401(k) in the U.S. and Superannuation in Australia, which allows access to a user's savings only after he or she reaches a certain age.

The fund manager's move represents a drop in the bucket, compared with the $66.5 billion (US$46.3 billion) market for assets currently under management by providers throughout the nation, according to data from Morningstar.

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