John Cameron's personal blog

Serious discussion about your financial position now - and in the future.

What Is A Financial Planner’s Role??

Just what does a Financial Planner do?

Coming up with a suitable strategy and recommending suitable investments is an obvious job, and is the one that attracts the most public attention.

However, another job that can be just as important, is helping clients make better financial decisions. Your financial planner should be able to engage with you on a range of issues, help you clarify the different options that are available to you in a given situation, and choose between the alternatives.

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Later this year Britain will vote on whether to stay in the EU, or leave. This is an excellent account of the pros and cons.

Should they stay or should they go?

Oliver Hartwich | The New Zealand Initiative | 17 March 2016

I wrote recently about the political implications of the UK's forthcoming referendum on EU membership. Let's take a closer look at what the British are voting on, and why your columnist is not sure what to wish for.

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Comm Bank scandal – it's all about culture

Over the last few months, important non-banking arms of the venerable CBA have come in for lots of media criticism.

First it was the financial planning arm and now it is the life insurance arm, Comminsure. They stand accused of using outdated definitions of what constitutes a heart attack, to knock back claims, that could have succeeded under more modern, liberal, definitions used by many others in the industry. Insurance is a minefield of definitions and complexities. There is not much doubt whether somebody has died, but has a person had a heart attack? – it all comes down to the definition.

In the bank’s financial planning arm, in-house advisers gave clients poor advice, that cost them dearly. 

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Forecasters: rabbits, foxes or hedgehogs

It’s that time of the year when forecasters are thick on the ground.  It’s like they’re “breeding like rabbits”. But, however they breed, are they more like foxes or hedgehogs?

Hedgehogs are driven by one big defining idea. Their style is well suited to 10 second grabs.

Foxes, are into the detail. They look at lots of small facts However, they don’t come across well in the media, and their style can quickly bore the pants off just about anybody.

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Investment waves and how to ride them


For a long time I have felt frustrated by the lack of suitable research to provide guidance when advising clients, particularly retirees, on how to invest their money. There is lots of complex theory, but little practical guidance and little hard practical evidence. What evidence exists is largely directed towards big institutions, with large amounts of money to invest over a very long term. 

In 2014 I set out to gather hard evidence about investment performance, to provide better evidence for advising clients in the current climate.

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