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Adviser Numbers

So, how many financial adviser do you think there are in NZ?

It does depend what you call an adviser, but a quick look at memberships would indicate NZMBA, about 800, PAA, about 500, FPIA, about 1200, non-members and people in organisations like banks, newcomers, accountants, and myriad part-timers, property coaches, and assorted well wishers...

Who is to say exactly how many full time. We certainly have a view and a more technical analysis available to those that wish to know in a more formal way.

Next question, though, how many do you think there will be post-regulation (if it comes). Any increase in regulation increases costs. A number of adviser businesses are marginal at any given time. Even a light-handed regime will knock some out. The heavier, the harder. Perhaps, after agreeing a starting point, we could have a sweepstake on the number that will be able to practice post-regulation.


Capital Gains Tax

It is cheering to see commentary building up in criticism to the proposed capital gains tax on off-shore equity holdings that have not previously suffered this impost. Under the guise of supposedly doing something that is good for savings it appears that total tax on savings vehicles would rise as a result of the changes:

"Deloittes tax partner Thomas Pippos believes the tax revenue the Government will lose through those taxpayer-friendly changes - about $100 million a year - will be more than offset by the tougher tax rules on overseas investment. "

An overall increase in tax on savings good for savings? eh?


Geography

I was once reading one of those 'har har, look how thick Americans must be' articles which reported that something like 75% of Texans could not name the neighbouring states.

So I did a little test, pulled out the atlas and identified the four contries closest to New Zealand as the Boeing flies (made by those poor, stupid, Americans). and asked the next dozen people I met. Only two got it right. I must admit I figured our situation made the challenge a little tougher than it should be for the average Texan, but it did make me think - it's just not THAT important to know is it?

A teacher friend of mine has just sent me the following link. Saying somethin a bit similar, but much more elegantly. "It's more important to know how to use an atlas, than know where each country is from memory".

Nevertheless, this is fun. If you think my score of only 83% with an average error of 33 miles was bad, you just have a go. It is trickier than you think!

http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/country_europe_G2_drag-drop.html


Mike Shaw on Proposed Taxation

This is a good, straightforward, critique of proposed changes to tax structures for individuals and savings vehicles by Mike Shaw in The Herald. The introduction of a capital gains tax is being heavily camouflaged, but it is there, nonetheless. The explanation of the sense of the current grey-list regime is helpful in picking out why this change would appear to be unfair and unecessary (at least based on the reasons given by Cullen) - unless perhaps there is a wider agenda of introducing capital gains tax at a later stage, perhaps for investment property.


SROs - All for one? Or One for All?

In the thinking out loud category...

With the balance of probabilities pointing to a number of SROs the prospect of quasi-licensing by sector looms. If each SRO enforces minimum standards-plus, and does so only for a narrow segment - e.g. FPIA colleges for just investments, or just insurance, NZMBA just for mortgages, etc - then... what will happen to the single general practitioner? Or the 'cross-over' practitioner - such as an investment planner that also, occasionally, sighs, gives up, and does a property deal and associated mortgage for someone.

We do not know - yet. It will be interesting to see whether the task force goes for explicit 'sector' regulation by each SRO, or whether they simply leave it to SRO's which happen to regulate only certain sectors, and through their rules ban members from practice outside those areas. If the latter were the case there would then be opportunities for an SRO to differentiate itself by regulating members across segments.

Larger business will not altogether mind - specialisation is more common in their operations anyway. But smaller businesses, and single person entities will have to change the way they work - forcing referral if narrow regulation by sector makes it too hard to join and qualify to under a variety of SROs.

Drop me an email if you would like to continue this debate and work through the different possible outcomes.


Framley Examiner

Anyone who has found themselves in the bathroom with only the local paper for company will identify with this example of the art. I have started you off with the classifieds section only because I felt it proper to refer you to just some of the cleaner content (yes, that IS a warning for those of you with aggressive corporate internet use policies).