John Cameron's personal blog

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

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 They stand accused of using outdated definitions of what constitutes a heart attack, to knock back claims, that could have succeeded under more modern, liberal, definitions used by many others in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

IT IS NOT THE STRONGEST OF THE SPECIES, OR THE MOST INTELLIGENT, THAT SURVIVES, BUT THE MOST ADAPTABLE.      – Charles Darwin

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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Is a Self Managed Super Fund right for you?

A self-managed superannuation fund can be valuable to people who want maximum control of their fund’s investments, especially when they own their own business, if the fund can buy and lease back property.

Should the worst happen a superannuation fund also gives some of your assets a degree of protection from creditors.

Super funds can now borrow to buy assets, though the procedures are complex, opening up even greater opportunities for mutual benefit between a fund and a business.

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“I am not retiring!”

Words are funny things. Their meanings change over time, as does their usage.

One word that appears to be undergoing a metamorphosis right now is “retirement”. According to the Oxford English dictionary, retirement is:

“the action or fact of leaving one’s job and ceasing to work”

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