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Who do you trust?; Getting fat in retirement and what it'll cost you; Magic pills for oldies; Triumph of diversification; Money is neither good nor bad

Personal Finance
Who do you trust?; Getting fat in retirement and what it'll cost you; Magic pills for oldies; Triumph of diversification; Money is neither good nor bad

By Amanda Morrall

1) Who can  you trust?

According to the 2012 Reader's Digest NZ Most Trusted Professions Survey, journalists rank 34 out of 40 on the trustworthiness scale sandwiched in between CEOs and real estate agents.

Medical professionals and rescue workers dominate the top of the charts.

Even financial advisors beat out journos but their 31st first place ranking is hardly anything to crow about.

David Greenslade, writing for the Financial Alert, points out the challenges ahead for his profession and the investing public's reluctance to take them on board.

You'll need to sign up to read the full text but here's a snippet below.

The latter part addresses the impact of the new regulation on the sector.

Google Analytics shows that there is a growing number of people searching online for information relating to financial products, financial advice and solving financial issues. However, we are not seeing this thirst for financial knowledge translating into people actually phoning financial advisers to make an appointment. Of greater concern is the Investment Trends September 2012 Survey which shows that Google searches for financial planners peaked at 1.7 million in 2006 and fell to just 600,000 in 2012.

Narrowing business focus comes at a cost

Unfortunately, many advisers decided to not rise to the challenge and instead, narrowed the scope of their advice to one single product sector - for example, insurance, mortgages or investments - in an effort to avoid the time and cost associated with becoming an AFA. Even amongst AFAs, Strategi is noticing that an increasing number are scoping out of their advice areas such as asset protection, estate planning and generic taxation advice

This narrowing of business focus may have provided short term cash flow relief but it could have a longer term detrimental impact on business growth and profitability. Unless an adviser has made a deliberate move to specialise in a particular niche and become recognised as an expert, there is a risk that their client base could come under attack especially as a result of:

a. The current aggressive churning of KiwiSaver. Based upon the number of adult KiwiSaver owners, 70% or more of insurance clients under age 65 years will have a KiwiSaver account. As the balance of their KiwiSaver account increases, so too will the client's interest in their KiwiSaver account. This means the adviser should be providing advice on both insurance and KiwiSaver so they can better ring fence the client.

b. The campaigns currently being conducted by a number of banks to switch customers, especially ex-National Bank customers. This switching may relate to all products and services a customer has with a bank. This could include the life insurance, KiwiSaver and other investment products on which a non-bank financial adviser currently provides advice.

c. The continued low performance of investment portfolios. Continual performance below client expectations inevitably results in rising client dissatisfaction and an opening of the client's mind to opportunities other than with the incumbent adviser.

2) Getting fat

Gaining weight seems to be a common side effect of retirement, a function of inactivity, over indulgence and maybe a slower metabolism.

Getting fat is not only bad for your self esteem, and health, it's bad for your finances too. Wall Street Journal's Catey Hill pulls up the sums.

 “There is no question that being obese or overweight is more costly than being of normal weight,” write the authors of “A Heavy Burden: The Individual Costs of Being Overweight and Obese in the United States,” a 2010 study from researchers at George Washington University’s School of Public Health and Health Services.

In fact, the study showed that each year, morbidly obese people pay $2,845 more in medical costs than their normal-weight counterparts; severely obese, $1,566; moderately obese, $807; and overweight, $346.

3) Magic pills?

In a low interest rate environment, investors world-wide have become desperate for returns beating both tax and inflation. Are dividend issuing stocks the answer? The Telegraph explores the pay off for U.K investors. So what stocks in NZ are proving most profitable for investors here?  Topyields looks at the best performers on the NZX.

4) Triumph of diversification

Of course we know putting all your eggs in the equities basket isn't a good idea. The Reformed Broker looks at the triumph of diversification amid today's tumultuous market. 

5) Good or evil

Apparently I don't watch enough TV. A friend expressed some mild surprise yesterday that I hadn't seen the latest BNZ ad philosophising about money.

Having watched just now, I think it's quite clever. Your thoughts?

To read other Take Fives by Amanda Morrall click here. You can also follow Amanda on Twitter @amandamorrall

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#2 I'm pretty big on the exercise thing - it kind of comes in handy if you want to live to be at least 100 and enjoy a lot of those years without having to work full time towards the end. It amazes me that people spend so much energy saving and planning financially for retirement and at the same time ignore the very thing they need most in those years - a well-functioning body.

Also incomprehensible is the way people (my dad included) reach retirement and take that as a cue to bin the trainers and become their own grandfather. I work full time and still get in about 2 hours exercise a day, and I plan to steadily increase this as I start to work less hours until most of my day is spent being active outside.

Your main focus in retirement should be staying healthy and alive. One of your main focus's before retirement should be looking after yourself.


Another one of those days where my comment is so profound and logical it stuns all the other posters in silence.

Until tomorrow then...


....... don't be sad , StanGoodVibes ..... it's just that I seem to be the only other blogger around currently , and Walter Kunz  says I'm as thick as a brick ( which I reckon is being seriously demeaning & rude to bricks ) ....


Daddy Gummy ate lots of high fat foods , drank heartily of the ale , smoked his pipe incessantly , always carried a " spare-tyre " .... and pegged out at 95 of a rare form of cancer ....


Luck of the genes , has alot to do with longevity ......


...... but there's no harm in following your prescription of keeping the body tweaked , tuned , and given high grade fuel ...... as if you're looking after a Ferrari ( Gummy resembles a Trabant , sad , but true ! ) .....


Daddy Gummy ate lots of high fat foods , drank heartily of the ale , smoked his pipe incessantly , always carried a " spare-tyre " .... and pegged out at 95 of a rare form of cancer ....

Reminds me of that old joke about the old man sitting on a rocking chair on the porch and a passerby asks him what the secret is to living a long life - he say "well I drank a bottle of bourbon and smoked 20 Marboros every day". The passerby goes "wow, and how old are you?", and the old man replies - "38"

Pappa GB would probably have lived to be about 130 if he'd looked after himself, with those genes. My mum and dad are still cracking on into their 80's so gene-wise it's not looking too bad for me either.

Time will tell *runs off to find some wood to touch*


Stunned me into thinking you were exactly right Stan.


He is , isn't he !


 ...... I was saying to girlfriend only t'other day ,   "  'e by gummy , woman , that Stan , 'e is most profound and logical chap , oooh arrrrrh ... "


She must've been stunned to silence too  , 'cos she said nought ,...  just kept on grazing in field ...


Ivan at age 48 I'm still making some PBs at the gym. Heavy weights are my thing too (well, I was the skinny kid at school and so my dreams of squatting 300kg are probably never going to materialize - I'm just not that big). But yeah, stronger and more muscle that I had when I was in my 20's and almost as fit.

What most people don't know is that over the age of about 30 your body starts losing muscle mass at a rate of about 5% a year. As well as that, bone density decreases and you become more frail. Your body adapts by adding more fat, so by the time most ppl get to 65 they are already half way to being sendentary. FAIL.

But, working out with weights increases both muscle mass and bone density (especially squats). Result! And you burn fat too. Throw in a spot of running/cycling/walking/swimming and you can still kick sand in peoples faces at the beach! (Thanks, Charles Atlas!)

As for the mind, you have to keep it active. People don't stop doing things because they get old - they get old because they stop doing things. One of the reasons I plan to keep working at least some days every week until I die, as well as learn the piano and probably do another degree or two when I semi-retire, is because an active brain is a healthy brain.

There is always a chance element with getting older, but you have to do what you can, and hope for the best.


Yeah you certainly have to be more careful about injuries. For me the annoying thing is the time it takes for your muscles to stop being sore. Some part of me always hurts! Still, it's a good pain - reassuring to know you are pushing it.


Yeah I have an after workout shake but as I try and up the weight every workout I manage to make my muscles sore and then I'm always sore the next day and often a day or two after.

There is a truism that goes that you know you are middle-age when you start making noises every time you get up from sitting down. I am always making ohh and argh noises because some part of me is always hurting from the gym!


Totally agree. I always preach about well-being in my blog. I guess not lately. 


Well your stats about obesity are a blog in the right direction. I just can't imagine being that fat!