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Friday fun: if you only have a hammer...


From the glorious XKCD, of course. But there is, perhaps, an underlying message. If you only have a hammer, perhaps everything looks like a nail. Surgeons do surgery, they tend to see conditions through the lens of their expertise - as indeed, we all do. While surgery may help, they may lack the knowledge to dispassionately assess the alternatives. Because of the nature of their work, they command much respect and are used to delivering opinions with confidence. The effect can be daunting, but it is always worth remembering that you are allowed to shop around. Medical insurance helps considerably in giving you that ability, too. 

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IAG hands over life insurance business

IAG handed over 50,000 life insurance clients with State insurance to Aon. State said in a letter sent to customers that they were focused on the general insurance and are no longer selling life insurance. Click here to read more.

Handing them over to an advice business means that they can be relieved of ongoing servicing obligations. This is a good example of a market exit which acknowledges the needs of customers in the medium term. It also shows ways in which conduct obligations - and possibly the current conduct discussions - can provide a positive wind-shift in favour of advice-giving businesses. In the past, corporate conversations have often been framed in the context of the risk of advice-giving. 

Fidelity Life and Southern Cross in with a chance at the 2019 CIO awards

Congratulations to Fidelity Life and Southern Cross who were both been nominated as finalists in the 2019 CIO Awards. 

'The awards recognise individuals and teams who have shown leadership, innovation and foresight in their contribution to the digital transformation of both ICT and business functions.' Click here to read more about what earned them the nominations. 

Adviser Valuation Seminar

Great to see a full house at our recent seminar on valuation of adviser business, and to have the feedback on the areas you would like to know more about. 

Valuations are useful for all sorts of reasons - not just for buyers and sellers - buy-ins, staff bonus plans, borrowing for growth, restructuring, and sorting out disputes. The best valuation has a firm foundation in both comparison to the marketplace, and a sound accounting basis. 

If you want to learn more about adviser business valuation, then drop me a line, as we are going to follow up the recent session at another Auckland venue, and in Wellington and Christchurch in the next couple of months. Business development managers interested in the subject are also welcome to join us. 

A beautiful summation of the conflict between heart and head

I can't think of a better demonstration right now of the conflict that happens for me when evaluating insurance product than this one: 


I am sure many advisers could create similar versions based on different features of insurance policies, funded and non-funded treatments, and so on. The struggle is real. 

AIA has appointed ambassadors for AIA Vitality

Here is an excerpt from a recent release from AIA CEO Nick Stanhope:

"AIA Vitality provides us with an opportunity to deliver our vision of helping to make New Zealand one of the healthiest and most protected nations in the world. It is a personalised science-backed program that encourages you to make healthier lifestyle choices every day. 

We are proud to share that Jess Quinn and Ian Jones have been appointed as AIA Vitality ambassadors. Both Jess and Ian are amazing health and wellness advocates, and we are thrilled that they have joined the AIA NZ family to help us help Kiwis live healthier, longer, better lives. For more information please read this press release."


Planning to finish

Seth Godin has an excellent post on finishing. Although its main purpose is, I believe, to point out the value of the old time-management technique 'start with the end in mind' it includes a number of references to financial planning: 

"Aretha Franklin died without a clearly stated will. As a result, her heirs will waste time, money and frustration, because Franklin was both naive (a will doesn’t make it more likely that you will die) and selfish.

If you’re born, it pays to plan on dying.

Every year, millions of people needlessly suffer in old age because they didn’t spend twenty minutes on a health care proxy."

It is sound advice, too little followed. It contains within it the reasons why good financial planners are needed so much, but also why they aren't welcome. That's because, of course, people don't like thinking about endings. They think 'something with come up' or just 'not today' or they just distract themselves with something else. But for us all, but especially the reluctant customer trying to decide  if you know where you're going, why do you act all the time like you do not? Is that helpful?

Note also the link under 'health care proxy' to a thoughtful post on how you may want to die. Something topical right now. The equivalent in New Zealand is an enduring power of attorney and advance directive - which you can read about at this link. Related reading: Atul Gawande's book "Being Mortal"