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Peer-to-Peer lender Harmoney

TradeMe released a newsletter reading

"Harmoney and Trade Me share a common purpose in that we are both all about providing Kiwi consumers with a safe, trusted, scale-able, efficient online platform to undertake a transaction – Trade Me is all about items changing hands, and Harmoney is all about dollars being exchanged. 

It's a new way of lending and borrowing that has proved very successful in Australia, the USA and the UK and is just getting started here in New Zealand. Investors loan money directly to borrowers anonymously via an online platform, without having to go through a financial institution like a bank."

The announcement claims that Harmoney is the first licensed peer-to-peer platform in New Zealand and that it will lower the cost of borrowing and increase returns for lenders. 


Data Visualisation

I have just been working with our new data visualisation tool which will open up for our syndicated research users the ability to create new views of the data we send quickly and easily. If you have been invited to one of our demonstration meetings please make a time - I promise you will be impressed. I am impressed because where previously I had to get an analyst to create each new view of the data I wanted to look at I can now play with different views myself. 


Venture Capital Likes the Look on Insurance

The Insurance sector looks ripe for disruptive innovation according to venture capitalists. These were interviewed by LifeHealthPro and you can check out their comments at this link. Our experience has shown that there is a lot of interest in new life insurers (take Partners Life, for example) and new systems solutions in the sector (Konnect is another good example). 


A Monstrous Record

We have a new record for simultaneous users on Quotemonster. In fact so many Quotemonster users are quoting multiple benefits on multiple lives we have had exponential growth in quotes. So we know you’ve obviously come roaring back to work keen to make sales!

The monster got a little tired under the weight of all that work.

Good news: we’re adding 60% more processing power tonight.

Even better we have a new calculation engine in testing right now which is so much more efficient we should be breaking speed records, even while you folks break quote records, in the next couple of month. 


What is Financial Advice?

I read recently that the best thing a 25 year-old with an Arts degree could do with a $30,000 inheritance is to quit their job and go and get a business degree. The long-run difference in income would easily make this the best 'investment' of the money taking both risk and return into account. Although, it depends a lot on the person concerned, of course. 

That non-traditional piece of financial advice was brought to mind by this Herald article by Lane Nichols, which suggests that people contemplating buying a house to get their children into an "Elite" school should simply buy elsewhere and pay to send their children to private schools. They think the savings could be very large. Link. 

These are two excellent examples of financial advice - or maybe they aren't, it would take a personalised advice report including the appropriate calculations to demonstrate it - but which financial advisers will even help people with decisions like these? 

 


The Strange Dominance of Rate-for-Age Policies in New Zealand

Contrast can aid clarity. Here the market for new life insurance is overwhelmingly about rate for age or yearly renewable contracts. In the US permanent insurance still dominates. Some financial advisers feel the need to rail against it, and some have even hypothesised that its continued strength has something to do with a 'psychological' aversion to price increases (link). Unless New Zealanders are fundamentally different, mentally, to humans on other parts of the planet, that seems unlikely. But it does highlight the question - how did RFA life become so dominant, and perhaps more importantly, will it always be that way? It need not always be that way, and if you are looking for the simplest way to differentiate your service then consider offering some element of level cover for a term, where it is suitable.


Goldsmith: UPDATED - Financial Advisers Act "Issues Paper" later this year

Goodreturns has this article by Susan Edmunds reporting that Paul Goldsmith expects "... an issues paper for the review of the Financial Advisers Act to be available for submissions by the middle of the year." 

We had been setting ourselves up for no change in the legislation. Initially I jumped at the sight of the plan for a draft by the middle of the year - but it isn't draft legislation, just an issues paper.


Napier Quotemonster Roadshow

Quotemonster is now three years old and is the number one place to go for pricing and research. We are thrilled with this response and are committed to continuing to be your first choice.

As part of this we are holding another round of regional road shows which are ideal for you to attend if you are new to Quotemonster or if you are an old hand but want to learn about what’s new.

Including:

  • New Research tools (Business, IP Claims, Insurer Selector, Funeral Plan and Head to Head)
  • Policy Document Library
  • New poster - Why You Need Insurance: The Financial Facts
  • New quote options and products
  • Tips and tricks
  • The latest news on more than a dozen price and product changes since you last joined us

As always these sessions will be jam-packed full of good ideas and something to take away with you.

It is on Thursday the 19th of February at The Crown Hotel at 11am. Click here to register.


Making Insurance Real

If you doubt that communicating the essence of insurance is difficult then you should try this exercise: type "Insurance Images" into google and scroll through the pictures. These are very much 'first pass' at the brainstorming types of images. Lots of families, stacks of money, and the frequent use of umbrellas. Even more disappointing is the frequency with which the artist abandoned the visual medium and resorted to including words. That is why so many insurance people tell stories, but the simpler, the better, and the more they will quickly make the point to your clients.