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Another advisor bites the dust; Science Guy savings tips; Toxic financial attitudes; Flat fee for roaming; Seismic shifts in insurance

Another advisor bites the dust; Science Guy savings tips; Toxic financial attitudes; Flat fee for roaming; Seismic shifts in insurance

By Amanda Morrall

1) Another one bites the dust

A demoralising day no doubt for the financial advisory sector after the conviction of yet another bad apple. The New Zealand Herald reports here on the lavish lifestyle led by North Shore based advisor Evan Cherry who syphoned some NZ$4.7 million from his 175 clients to fund a celebrity-style lifestyle that included three Porsches. Would the morally in tact financial advisors please stand up? 

Here's a link to my interview with Pathfinder Asset Management John Berry who discusses a six-point check list that could help investors screen for irregular (i.e. bad) behaviour by advisors and fund managers. Vehicle count and garage size wasn't one of them but maybe it should be?

2) Science guy savings

"Science Guy" Bill Nye talks to Wall Street Journal news editor Wendy Bound about energy efficiencies on the home front and how to save money. Nye's own residential home retrofit included denim insulation (instead of pink bats) which is not only recyclable but far less toxic and less likely to go up in flames. Who knew? We'll have to get resident energy saver PDK to chime in here with his own energy saving strategies. 

3) Toxic financial attitudes

Speaking of toxic, Luke Landes of a blog called looks at some toxic financial attitudes that are bound to impede your progress on the path to financial liberation. Repeat after me: Thou shall not envy the friend/wife/husband/etc. who came into wealth through inheritance or dumb luck.

4) Flat free for roaming

It's about time! Telecom announced a new policy whereby its mobile users won't be robbed blind over roaming charges. Provided users aren't exceeding their normal data usage, they'll be charged a flat fee of $6 a day for mobile use in Australia and for other international destinations $10 a day. Telecom chief executive Simon Moutter told the NZ Herald that when he stepped into the job he was determined to find a solution to insanely high roaming charges because he too has "shared the pain" personally.

"A flat fee provides certainty and puts an end to consumers' nasty bill shocks on your return home," he said.

5) Seismic shifts

Big changes afoot in the insurance industry. The latest is a move toward sum-insured replacement policies as opposed to compensation based on square metre calculations. Here's my interview with AA Insurance head of distribution and customer relations Suzanne Wolton talking about the change. 


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

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"Taxing fizzy drinks and fatty foods and subsidising fruit and vegetables could have significant health benefits for New Zealanders, a local study has shown." herald
Have to wait for the socialists to slither back into power before the above happens...they love deciding how peasants may live.

#1 hardly a disincentive when the minimum non-parole period is only 3 1/2 years, and for that he got to burn through $4.7 million. Also somewhat confusing is that the investors get nothing back - so does he just pop out of the low security prison-farm in 2016 (just enough time to get a degree while incarcerated) and go back to the homes he paid off and the three porsches???

Almost enough to make you want to start a fund and defraud it yourself!

What a sound retirement plan. Well worth consideration.

It's just as well he was not taking a double dose of a fertility drug,he may have walked.

nope, you lost me there NG *makes sign of hand whooshing over head*. Further clarification required...

I refer to the case of former SFO chief prosecutor Anita Killeen who was discharged without conviction on tuesday.
One of the reasons was that she was taking a double dose of a fertility drug which may have had an adverse affect on her behaviour.

Aha, thanks for that NG. Note to self: take some harmless drug and then make out that it was the cause of my offending.

The hilight for me about the HSBC money-laundering enquiry was the mexicans who came in every day to the mexican branch with a box full of cash - the box was ever so slightly smaller than the dimensions of the hole in the glass at the tellers window, so they could just squeeze through the most cash every day they went in!

Nothing suspicious about that at all... LOL

#3 read an interesting article recently after the 500 million US lottery about the effects of sudden wealth. One of the interesting statistics is that the people who live near the suddenly wealthy household are much more likely to upgrade their car or do some major renovation to the house than those who live further away.

The green-eyed monster?

#3 also, I have to say that I disagree with your consumercommentary guy on the luck thing. While it certainly is true that by trying and not giving up you can create your own luck, at some point you are either lucky or not.

I read an interesting article recently about the OS2/Windows 'war' back in the early 90's. While it's true Bill Gates was a tenacious competitor to IBM, the fate of the winner was actually decided by a (very lucky for Bill) bad decision by one IBM executive.

And of course everyones friend Mark Zuckenberg only created a website so his college buddies could rate the women on campus - lucky for him everyone thought it was great and myspace dropped the ball and before he knew it he'd inadvertently created the next step in social media.

etc. Very often the difference between the super-successful and the also-rans is blind luck and/or serendipidy.


There is this view:

O, once in each man's life, at least,

Good luck knocks at his door;

And wit to seize the flitting guest

Need never hunger more.

But while the loitering idler waits

Good luck beside his fire,

The bold heart storms at fortune's gates,

And conquers its desire.

Lewis Bates.


He does add a nice rhyme to the idea ..

well I can't find anything about Lewis Bates - he doesn't even have a wiki entry, ergo it's safe to assume that he didn't go on to fame and fortune.

So we can take anything he says (rhyming or not) with a pinch of salt...

American poet who died in 1932, somewhat before the wiki :)

#5 backup retirement plan: buy a dunger on a good section, *calculate* house value at around $3 mill, *accidentally* burn it down, then rebuild 3 million mansion and flog off for massive profit. Repeat until retirement fund is looking good or insurance company start asking pointed questions.

These financial blogs are so handy!

yeah but the Windsors are still technically the rulers of England, and England paid for the NZ branch of the British Empire, so (also technically) it's just like Oracle NZ paying for Larry Elison to visit or Microsoft paying for Steve Balmer to visit - a subsidiary branch of England is paying for one of the CEOs to pop over and check out how you are running things.

You are still part of the commonwealth and the Queen is (technically again) still your head. So all your base are belong to them.

Got to love insurance companies and their ability to constantly change the goal posts in policy. Got to admire their ability to profit via FEAR manipulation and their ability to constantly find the next sucker!
They are the ultimate parasite! 

Well to be fair, the UK Royal Family brings more money into the country in tourism etc than they cost. And of course they are major landowners of some very expensive real estate that pays for a fair whack of it as well.

If one weighs up the benefits of NZ being in the commonwealth, you'd probably find the odd $mil here and there isn't such a bad deal. Also you have to bear in mind that the money went on accomodation and travel etc i.e. straight back to NZers who then have to pay GST & tax on it, so in real terms it probably cost the taxpayer bugger-all.

BTW It's a shame there isn't more German blood in the lineage - they are certainly better at running/building/designing things than pretty well anyone else, especially the English. I'm still confused about how they lost WW2 - they had uniforms designed by Hugo Boss FGS!

You know what? NZ seems to feature highly on the non-corruption index, but there seems to be an awful lot of fraud going on. I can only assume the NZ government also scores highly on the non-compentence index as well...

BB gun shooting is annoying. Next time chase them and ram them off the road - you can tell the court you were taking a fertility drug (see above).

In my experience of dealing with the NZ justice system you waste a lot of your own time at court, the other person doesn't turn up, and even if you get a judgement you still have to try and track them down because the court is useless at trying to serve them.

And they wonder why people take the law into their own hands.

Maybe you should pop around with a few "associates" and have a wee "chat" :-)

Days to the General Election: 27
See Party Policies here. Party Lists here.