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Aon Stylecover Shitdown

Colin Miles at Aon wins the prize for the most gracious apology for a miss-type I have ever seen. In his recent email he used the term "Shitdown". He handled it well.

These things happen from time to time. In far more serious circumstances I once printed an application form with no space to sign - kind of fundamental...

Colin just suffered from a little fatigue and the 'i' is distressingly close to the 'u' which would have made the right word "Shutdown" instead of the more emotionally involved "Shitdown"... although I actually like the mistake and I hope that it comes into common use amongst IT types ;-)

Readers might submit their personal favourites.

Financial Phobias

This article on RaboPlus's website may be written by Diana Clement (I'll check). I think its rather good.

What's more - it's almost deceptively good. I showed it to three people in the industry and they didn't spot - at first - what I was so keen on - and most financial services professionals wouldn't realise how good it is either. That fact is a sad indictment of the state of financial advice.

People talk about "General Practitioners" in the industry but GPs do something financial planners do not: they see the sick. This gives them a 'bottom up' approach to helping people with their health. They understand that a client needs first to have good diet, exercise, sleep, and not too much stress in order to have a healthy life.

Financial Planners are wannabe sports coaches. By virtue of their focus on lump sum investments they only see those that are fit already - already wealthy! Or who lacking personal discipline have lucked some talent - like a client that receives a large inheritance.

So they don't teach the basics. Whereas Diana Clement does. 

Friday Fun

My delight in bizarre statistics - fed by years in the life insurance industry - was stoked again by the revelation that the British are twice as likely to be unfaithful in marriage than the French. Yes, read it again, the British are horny dogs and the French are much more committed. Link.

Do Advisers Provide Advice?

Finding this post over at Phil's blog... about David Hutton questioning the quality of advice some of his members appear to have given the public. I began to think - is it all about advice?

Not all advisers are paid to provide professional advice. But most allow that impression to be conveyed to their clients... and it's worth debating whether they should hold themselves out to provide advice.

The underlying 'advice' issue in the recent finance company debacle is whether financial advisers add value through product selection processes.

Research evidence is permanently conflicted on this - some saying they do, some saying they don't.

It's times like these that those of us interested in adviser businesses might sit back and ponder whether a less intellectually ambitious value proposition might be better: providing choice, for example, or financial education.

Some might find that it's more commercially rewarding for being more credible.

KiwiSaver Not Guaranteed

As no self-respecting financial services company could ever get away with this it is nice to see that the Advertising Standards board was able to hold government to account for it. More on goodreturns.

"A complaint was made to the Advertising Standards Complaints Board (ASCB) that the phrase "KiwiSaver + New Zealand Super / Labour's guarantee for your retirement" was misleading and suggested there was a government guarantee for the scheme."

Biometrics - It's sounds Icky - but it's not

Biometrics - especially "finger vein scanning" sounds icky, but it's not. In fact - it's a lot cleaner than touching yucky keypads that everyone touches. The Japanese are trialling it for exactly this reason. However, the Brit's, in particular the Scots are not keen. One civil liberties fellow complaining "banks are not very good at keeping this kind of information secret" - which is complete BS. There is a world of difference between selling someone's address and letting anyone have unauthorised access to their finger scan. Has there, for example, been a large scale loss of credit card PIN numbers for example? Or what about signature cards? Are banks really careless with this stuff? NO, they are not.