Opinion

When No plus No can equal Yes

When No plus No can equal Yes

Being originally from England, I am not unhappy with the use of double negatives (did you see what I did there?). I have since learned however, that as well as enabling the mastery of understatement, a double negative can also be used as a very effective decision making tool. It is quite easy to identify the benefits of something by looking at how things will be better if you do it or buy it.  If

Financial Advising with positive intent

Financial Advising with positive intent

I recently wrote about how clients of financial advisers can ask questions to test for conflicts of interest around their advice relationship.  Reflecting on it since, my thoughts have now turned to exploring all the positive qualities that un-conflicted advisers can bring to their client engagements. Doing this has taken me back to what it was that attracted me to financial planning as a profession in the first place (for those that don’t know me,

How to pick a good one? (5 questions to ask your Financial Adviser)

How to pick a good one? (5 questions to ask your Financial Adviser)

There is no doubt about it, Financial Advice is taking a hammering at the Royal Commission into Banking and Financial Services.  With advisers charging fees for no service, making recommendations with the purpose of meeting sales targets and even charging to accounts of customers who have died it is clear that there is some work to be done to restore the reputation of financial planners in general. As a relative newcomer to financial services and

What you need to know about commission on life insurance

What you need to know about commission on life insurance

One of the biggest challenges facing financial planning as a profession is the need to shrug off its commission based origins. Early pioneers of financial advice were essentially door to door salesmen. Working for the big life companies and pounding the pavement, their wages were based on the number of policies sold. In some sections of the advice community, this style of remuneration is still very entrenched.  Even though a Statement of Advice document has

Property investing and the value of professional advice

Property investing and the value of professional advice

I usually try to keep my ranting on my blog to a minimum, but I have been so saddened by the story of the 71 year old lady from WA who is faced with losing her home to a high risk investment strategy that was probably never appropriate for her (ABC report here). Over a number of years, on a nurse’s wage,  she has amassed 11 investment properties (in addition to her home), owes over

Is thrift coming back into fashion?

Is thrift coming back into fashion?

Call me a tight-wad, but I have always enjoyed being a bit thrifty.  Whether it be scraping that last little bit of sauce from the jar before I open the next one, or my “fashion” items from the ’80s that still like to wear occasionally,  I like to get the most out of everything before I am done with it. I suspect that the seed was sown by my parents.  As children of the second

Why I don’t give off-the-cuff advice (and why you shouldn’t want me to)

Why I don’t give off-the-cuff advice (and why you shouldn’t want me to)

I sometimes get approached by people who are not wanting to go the full-monty financial planning experience.   They may be looking for  guidance on a specific decision they need to make, or for a second opinion on a strategy that they are already following. These requests can be tricky to satisfy.  The regulations under which financial planners are authorised require that all personalised advice is given in writing.  We also have to be certain that

With financial advice, why go comprehensive?

With financial advice, why go comprehensive?

You have an in-growing toenail.  Annoying, but not typically life threatening.  You go to your GP. Is it your expectation that while you are at the consultation your doctor also assesses your general health?  Would you be comfortable if they take your blood pressure, ask about your alcohol consumption, recommend that you lose a bit of weight? Would you expect that they also might notice the suspect looking mole on your arm?  Take a biopsy,

A financial planner should be with you for life

A financial planner should be with you for life

We all know that a puppy is not just for Christmas;  By taking the cute little bundle into your life, you are making a commitment to a long term relationship.  Your reward for this being years of faithful companionship (and hopefully some fun along the way as well). A lot of people only consider enlisting the help of a financial planner when they have an urgent need.  Redundancy, divorce and bereavement are all crisis situations

If only we could insure against relationship breakdown

If only we could insure against relationship breakdown

When I sit down with couples to talk about their life insurance, the conversation usually goes along the lines of “I want you both to consider what you would want your life to look like if your partner was no longer around, or unable to provide for the family”. For a couple with dependent children, the process would usually involve putting a value on the primary breadwinner’s likely financial contribution to the household between now