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Fabulous article about social networking and freedom...

...and here you were thinking Facebook was just a cool way to share party snaps. LinkedIn a revolutionary act eh? You should look me up there comrade. Only, there should be less of that talk when its The Economist that is doing the talking.  Their red is republican, not communist ;-) You need to follow the thread through the various arguments as to whether social entowkring is a freedom promoter.

Register of financial services providers still sparsely populated

Google the 'register of financial services providers' and cheeck out the companies office managed register. Note, with two months to go, how few registrations there are - and with most of the industry (certainly in tersm of business processed) still absent. Of course, there are still two months left, and registration is not a lengthy process. So this is not too much to worry about, but does indicate some significant milestones are getting crowded together in this period.

Structuring issue explored for owner-operator financial advisers

Once upon a time (like 25 plus years ago) life insurance advisers ('brokers' or 'tied agents' back then) used to sign up agencies with product providers in their own names.

Then someone spotted that they should have a limited liability company, and the insurers nodded and said yes, that's a good idea, but that they would like to have a personal guarantee with that as well.

This is why most advisers now have both a limited company and a family trust. It's all about protecting that hard earned wealth from, well... things can go wrong can't they.

The Financial Advisers Act now requires that if you provide financial services to the public you must register as a financial services provider - this applies to both companies and individuals. It also pins liability on individuals (generally, there are some important exceptions, which came late in the game, but this generalisation holds for most life advisers today).

You get relief from 'doubling up' with disputes schemes, but you don't for registration. So many advisers will be required to pay two registration fees: one for themselves as adviser, another for the company.

Now, if you are a one man (or woman) band, so to speak - you have a choice. Since you are personally liable anyway you could leave the company out of it - take them off your business card. Sure, keep the company structure for signing your lease, handling your expenses, and paying your staff: but the actual service you provide can be provided by you individually - after all the FAA says that it works that way anyway. So you aren't sacrificing any protection. You also retain the utility of the company from a management and tax perspective because you can still direct that commissions / fees are paid there if you choose. You retain, of course, your trust - which may be handy.

Of course, if you are a larger business you will probably find it important to register company and however many adviser under that that you have.

Wellington reminds me to write about regulation

We have the wonders of Wellington today, which reminds me to provide you with a quick round-up of regulatory updates:

1. Advisers only have until October 29th to register with the ETITO if they want to be certain of being on the path to AFA by the deadline of 1 July next year.

2. QFE ABS must be with the Securities Commission by 1 October according to their timetable. Of course, you might be fine if you are after that date - but you might not.

3. By now you should be about to complete your decision about your disputes resolution service... and the price comparison can be tricky. Call us if you need a hand.

AIA Tries a Webinar Launch

AIA has a product launch out, and its delivered by webinar. This makes a lot of sense, for many reasons. I bet more people are reached because it is simply more convenient to find out what's going on this way than to lose half a day to a presentation. Those will always be necessary, but sometimes these can replace them. Here's your link.