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24 May 2018 (AFR) – Mass financial adviser exodus puts $900 billion in play

(24 May 2018, AFR, p17, by Alice Uribe) ‘A mass exodus of financial planners over the next five years will put $900 billion of client wealth in play as the reality of tougher educational standards and the fallout from damning royal commission revelations set in. The stunning shift in the industry is a key finding … Continue reading

5 May 2018 (AFR) – Hayne royal Commission and the banking crisis: insiders reveal when the rot set in

(5 May 2018, AFR, p15, by Karen Maley) ‘It’s been a torrid few weeks for the country’s big four banks. Not only have they had to endure the daily humiliation of having their misdeeds paraded before a disbelieving and horrified public by the Hayne royal commission, there’s also been a scathing official report on the culture … Continue reading

28 Apr 2018 (AFR) – Why investment bank research analysts are leaving their jobs in droves

(28 April 2018, AFR, p23, by Joyce Moullakis) ‘A seismic shift is battering the research departments of investment banks. Each year, after the rush of February corporate reporting season and as they inspect bonus cheques paid by their European and Wall Street head offices, investment banking staff take a moment to ponder their future. Often … Continue reading

28 Apr 2018 (AFR) – The untouchables: How the dodgy financial planners kept their jobs

(28 April 2018, AFR, p16, by Joanna Mather) ‘Charging dead people fees, impersonating clients, falsifying signatures. It’s all apparently in a day’s work for unscrupulous members of the $4.6 billion financial planning industry. For the best part of the past week, the Hayne royal commission explored the misdeeds of advisers employed by the big banks and AMP. The testimony was … Continue reading

28 Apr 2018 (AFR) – Banking royal commission raises separation of product and advice

[COMMENT: Caveat emptor!! How can we find a reliable financial advisor?] (28 April 2018, AFR, p4, by Fiona Buffini) ‘The banking royal commission has questioned whether the vertical integration of banks, as product makers and advisers, can serve the interests of customers. Counsel assisting the royal commission Rowena Orr, QC, asked whether it was possible … Continue reading

28 Apr 2018 (AFR) – Highway robbery? – How to find a decent financial planner

(28 April 2018, AFR, p28, by Joanna Mather) ‘How do you spot a truly independent financial adviser? Well, it’s tricky. The $4.6 billion financial planning industry is characterised by a complex web of allegiances and opaque reward structures that, as the Hayne royal commission has demonstrated, do not always serve the best interests of consumers. While it … Continue reading

26 Apr 2018 (AFR) – Bad planners simply ‘go down the road to another association’ – FPA powerless to discipline planners

[COMMENT: With the current revelations from the banking royal commission, investors should be looking wisely for a good financial planner.] (26 April 2018, AFR, p1, by Joanna Mather, Alice Uribe) ‘Incompetent or crooked financial planners can walk away from the industry’s professional associations, without any penalty, to avoid sanctions and punishment for giving poor advice … Continue reading

25 Apr 2018 (TheAge) – The questions you need to ask before you pick a financial adviser

(25 April 2018, The Age, Money supplement, p2, Christine Long) ‘A financial planner may enter your life through the recommendation of a friend or family member or an introduction via your bank. But that doesn’t mean you should simply hand your money over. As the Hayne Royal Commission is highlighting some thorough investigation is needed … Continue reading

25 Apr 2018 (TheAge) – One move that would go a long way to fixing financial advice

(25 April 2018, The Age, Money supplement, p1, John Collett) ‘There are no quick fixes to curb recurrences of the shocking revelations at the banking royal commission concerning financial advice. But there is a move you’d think would be obvious: licence planners individually.’ <snipped…> ‘… I recall the experience of a 61-year-old cancer patient. She showed me her … Continue reading

24 Apr 2018 (AFR) – Banking royal commission: The real cost of financial advice

(24 April 2018, AFR, p2, by Jennifer Hewett) ‘The guiding principles for AMP’s remediation program for clients who received dud and damaging financial advice certainly sound reassuring. They include the company’s commitment to “timeliness and transparency” as well as to restoring the client’s financial position. But don’t ever try persuading the hapless clients of AMP’s … Continue reading

24 Apr 2018 (AFR) – ANZ’s wealth sale driven by compliance breaches

(24 April 2018, AFR, p6, by James Frost) ‘ANZ’s decision to get out of the wealth business was driven by widespread compliance failures by its financial planners that the bank had identified as high risk as far back as 2013, the Hayne royal commission has heard. A business risk and compliance committee identified in late … Continue reading

24 Apr 2018 (AFR) – AMP adviser’s clients lost a quarter of their super. They don’t know it yet

(24 April 2018, AFR, p6, by Joanna Mather) ‘A husband and wife who rolled their superannuation into an AMP-owned product on the basis of dodgy advice lost a quarter of their money in fees – only they don’t know it yet. AMP has yet to inform the mystery couple of their loss even though the … Continue reading

17 Apr 2018 (AFR) – Regulators turned a blind eye to ‘inherent conflict’ for two decades

[COMMENT: This news article talks about the now infamous ‘fee for no service’ that was recently brought to light by the banking royal commission, but also includes a good history of the banks’ purchases of wealth management businesses over recent years.] (17 April 2018, AFR, p26, by Karen Maley) ‘In the late 1990s, it was … Continue reading

17 Apr 2018 (AFR) – Banking royal commission: AMP under attack – admits to lying to ASIC

[COMMENT: Ok, so what’s worse? Lying to the regulator? or ripping off customers? But how prevalent is this activity?] (17 April 2018, AFR, p1, by James Frost) ‘AMP copped the full force of the Hayne royal commission’s probe into the provision of financial advice with the company exposed for a policy of charging customers for … Continue reading

14 Apr 2018 (AFR) – CBA cops ASIC penalty for ‘fee for no advice’ scandal

(14 April 2018, AFR, p22, by James Frost) ‘Commonwealth Bank will cough up $3 million and submit to regular and independent third-party reviews of its financial planning arm as part of an enforceable undertaking reached with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. The agreement relates to 31,500 customers of CBA subsidiaries Commonwealth Bank Financial Planning … Continue reading

2 Sept 2017 (AFR) – What 30 years of market gyrations can teach investors

[COMMENT: Boy oh boy! I would not normally post a news article like this one; but I have to say that I disagree with almost everything that is said in this story. “Hold your line” – Rubbish!!  “Real estate…” – It might be best to avoid it all together. “Choose equities long term…” – Crap!! … Continue reading

8 June 2017 (AFR) – Stockspot survey highlights the hidden dangers of some passive funds

(8 June 2017, AFR, p28, by Myriam Robin) ‘Investors who put their money in small exchange traded funds that lack sufficient market liquidity could receive less than market value when they want to sell, according to Chris Brycki, the CEO of roboadviser Stockspot. Stockspot this week released its third annual survey of the Australian passive universe, rating … Continue reading

26 Apr 2017 (AFR) – Star active fund managers fall on hard times – Active fundies struggle as passive index huggers deliver

[COMMENT: I cannot help but comment on this, as regular readers will know – I don’t invest in managed funds based on past experience and ongoing news and research like this news story.] (26 April 2017, AFR, p1, by James Frost) ‘Australia’s most successful and well-known stock pickers are under pressure as active managers fail to … Continue reading

10 Apr 2017 (AFR) – Former NAB director to chair new financial sector body to oversee industry

[COMMENT: Now, according to this news article below, we have a powerful new body to “professionalise” the scandal-ridden financial advice sector. It might be possible to “clean up” the sector so that more honest “advice” can be given; but I seriously doubt if the industry will ever be able to avoid harsh criticisms and dismal … Continue reading

22 Feb 2017 (TheAge,SMH) – Padley: You need to understand brokers’ game – Why investors should be sceptical of broker research

(22 February 2017, The Age, MONEY supplement, p3, Marcus Padley) ‘I get regular emails pointing out how bad broker recommendations have been in hindsight. Most of the finger pointing is simply an investor attempting to transfer the blame to someone else of course, but if the investor is ever going to learn from their mistakes … Continue reading

30 Jan 2017 (AFR) – Top stock pickers John Sevior, Hamish Douglass and Kerr Neilson lag benchmark

(30 January 2017, AFR, p18, by James Frost) ‘Australia’s top fund managers have had an end to the year they would rather forget with big name stock pickers John Sevior, Hamish Douglass and Kerr Neilson all lagging the benchmark.  The recovery of oil prices, a rally in mining stocks and the Trump-inspired reflation trade have … Continue reading

29 June 2016 (TheAge, MONEY) – Three types of managed fund to avoid

(29 June 2016, The Age, MONEY supplement, p6, Graham Witcomb) ‘Businessman and investor Mark Cuban – net worth US$3.2b – once said, “The No. 1 job of the hedge fund manager is not to make sure that you can retire with a smile on your face – it’s for him to retire with a smile on … Continue reading

28 June 2016 (AFR) – Former financial planner takes Westpac to court for bad advice

[COMMENT: Investing in financial products can be a mine field. It pays to study the detail and the fine print. It certainly pays to understand the product in which you might invest.] (28 June 2016, AFR, p3, by Misa Han) ‘A former Westpac financial planner is suing the bank, saying he has lost more than $800,000 and is at the risk of losing family … Continue reading

3 June 2016 (AFR) – ASIC targets mid-tier brokers over leaks and dodgy deals

(3 June 2016, AFR, p21, by Sally Rose) ‘The financial regulator is worried about how mid-tier research and broking firms are managing conflicts of interest.  Australian Securities and Investments Commission chairman Greg Medcraft has told a large gathering of stockbrokers the regulator has concerns about how some research and broking firms are making sure their clients’ … Continue reading

7 Apr 2016 (AFR) – PM puts huge pressure on banks to end scandals – to clean themselves up

[COMMENT: The thrust of this story is no different to what many commentators keep saying. And Phil Anderson had similar messages in his great book “The Secret Life of Real Estate and Banking”. It actually doesn’t matter who says what, and what new regulations are put in place, because the bad apples in the investment … Continue reading

6 Apr 2016 (AFR) – SMSF licence uptake flags; Most accountants shun SMSF licence

(6 April 2016, AFR, p3, by Kate Cowling) ‘Fewer than 400 accountants in Australia will be licensed to provide self-managed super fund advice from July, which is just over 1 per cent the number who were advising in this area a couple of years ago.  From July 1, accountants will need either a limited licence from … Continue reading

6 Apr 2016 (AFR) – Super industry ‘preys on financial illiteracy’: former ACCC boss

[COMMENT: Now this news story deserves a comment – but what can we say? It is a must-read for all investors.] (6 April 2016, AFR, “Banking & Wealth Summit” supplement, page S2, by Joanna Mather) ‘The former head of the competition regulator has accused superannuation funds of encouraging complexity and stifling competition to keep fees … Continue reading

30 Mar 2016 (TheAge, MONEY) – Unwary in for a nasty surprise – Truth about long-term investment and black swans

(30 March 2016, The Age, MONEY supplement, p6, Marcus Padley,  View more articles from Marcus Padley) ‘The expression “Black Swan event”…’ <snipped…> ‘…improve your chances, but to think that you can believe a long-term promise or make a long term judgment about a stock today, on the basis of the evidence available now, is irrational. … Continue reading

20 Feb 2016 (AFR) – “Everything seems backwards”: reality bites investors

[COMMENT: Now here is an interesting admission. So there are some advisors out there whose clients might have been better off if they had done the opposite of the recommendations?] (20 February 2016, AFR, p23, by Patrick Commins) ‘When an investment bank’s top equity strategist admits to his clients that “doing the opposite of what … Continue reading

19 Feb 2016 (AFR) – Childcare worker denied tax deduction for day trading

[COMMENT: *** Attention all short term investors and traders *** This is an enlightening article about how the ATO and the Australian Courts consider the proceeds from trading for income and tax purposes.] (19 February 2016, AFR, p12, by Misa Han) ‘A childcare worker who used a CommSec account to trade $600,000 of shares could … Continue reading

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