It being 'cool' to go green is no reason to do so. Worse, the idea of 'killing to birds with oe stone' - I need to save, so I'll go green with my savings is in great danger of generating hypocrisy - because it can make one feel good with no real impact on the actual environment. Discuss. Link.
Answers in comments please - the correct answer, provided I can be convinced it is not supplied by the person actually pictured, will win a good bottle of wine or a book.
Chapman Tripp's KiwiSaver booklet is out again. It's a digest of the Superannuation Schemes Act1989, KiwiSaver Act 2006, KiwiSaver Regulations 2006, and extracts from recent tax legislation. It's a very handy guide. Incidentally, if you want one and you haven't got one call Emma Harding on 357 9291.
This crowd reckon the new electoral finance act is spectacularly badly written - and that's from a crew that are actualy in favour of controls on third parties during election year. They have several excellent posts on the subject. Worth a read if you care about politics, or even, just a way of life that involves having any real choices.
Brilliant quote from the news engine at Asian Banker...
“The policy is an anachronism, a woolly mammoth dug from the Siberian tundra and shipped still frozen to Australia as a structure for banking"
Morgan, chief executive officer, Westpac Banking Corp., Australia, reportedly
criticising the government's four pillars policy that prevents mergers between
the big four
David Morgan, chief executive officer, Westpac Banking Corp., Australia, reportedly criticising the government's four pillars policy that prevents mergers between the big four banks.
It was a shock to hear 1ZB trumpet the supposed fertility benefits of Heinz soup today, when I read a story debunking it already on Saturday.
Trading online is something I do using National Bank's system, which is a nice front-end with bank integration of the First NZ Capital service. I rarely trade - being a buy and hold type with listed equities. However, when I do buy I need data. Yahoo Finance's stock screen is a nice tool, it's free, and the information is great. It would be nice if such tools were so easily available for the NZX and ASX.
On the one hand you have Dave McMillan of the PAA saying that he wants to explain the role of commission better to the MED. On the other you have Pinnacle Life saying that they reckon this is all about hiding evil commissions from the public eye. Who is right?
The legitimate commission disclosure argument runs that this influences the adviser's decision to place business with a particular carrier. True.
The legitimate counter attack to Pinnacle is that their business model includes no third-party distribution - the same as with, say, integrated bank and life insurance outfits, or, AA Life's offer online. These all include a distribution cost, and some are cheaper, and some are more expensive than adviser-sold offers. Should the client see their distribution margin? Or is it just about total cost?
What's more important to clients? The total price for the product or the knowledge that the person accross the table from them will make a tidy sum from the decision they are carefully trying to get the client to take?
Let's take a little microeconomic view of this problem. A cause for concern amongst advisers should be that because of a desire for relative prosperity economic researchers have found that purchasers in tests will often decline a gain for themselves because it means a greater gain for another. To put it more bluntly, they will sometimes 'cut off their noses to spite their face'. It could mean that with plenty of hard commission disclosure more clients choose not to buy their cover from intermediated sources because they feel they are giving too much away. Even if their interests were best served by the proposal put in front of them.
The New Scientist has this on the effect of obesity on global warming (you can tell its not good news, so don't go thinking you can eat up all the carbon you've been generating). The article is subscription only but you'll get the drift with this short extract (here).
What did amuse me (in the full version) is that Ian Roberts says that obesity is not an individual failing, its something created by gloabl businesses pushing excessive consumption. Of course this must be a different set of global businesses to the ones creating all the eating disorders in young women. It reminded me of this which I found at The Onion - always worth a look.
Click on the image to get a larger version. Careful examination of the T-shirt will show that the caption is: "When is someone going to do something about how fat I am?"