The financialalert Person of the Year 2012 has shown outstanding energy, commitment and professionalism as the first full year of the regulatory regime for the New Zealand financial advisory industry bedded in.

David Maida, financialalert | 1 comment

IFA and PortfolioConstruction Forum partner on professional development programs; Veteran financial adviser retires after 30 years; Regulator to undertake surveillance of research report providers

Deirdre Keown, financialalert

The RBA's latest and potential future interest rate cuts will do little to revive the Australian economy. The outlook for our Aussie neighbours is far from lucky.

Oliver Hartwich, The New Zealand Initiative

The traditional approach to the six-step financial advice process teaches advisers to be consultative - but moving to a more collaborative approach would help guard against being replaced by technology, online product sales and banks' standard offers.

David Greenslade, Strategi | 2 comments

What are the benefits of using a CTA (managed futures) fund in a portfolio? What is a reasonable allocation and where should it come from?

Compiled by PortfolioConstruction Forum

The New Normal will "take you down" and lower expectations of future asset returns - maybe not "forever" but for a long, long time.

Bill Gross, PIMCO

Does retirement income public policy and the design of the super system need to move into a new direction?

The Hon Paul Keating | 1 comment

Until we see the US producing at least 200,000 to 250,000 jobs a month, the Fed is likely keep rates low.

Russ Koesterich, BlackRock

I am not sure if this past week leaves us much the wiser regarding market issues, but here's my latest take...

Jim O'Neill

Demographics, workforce and trends are changing fast - and creating opportunities for financial advisers who move with the times.

David Maida, PortfolioConstruction Forum | 2 comments

FMA investigating advisers with clients invested in Ross Asset Management; Disputes resolution scheme blew whistle on Ross Asset Management; Few investors favour "all you can eat" advice model.

Deirdre Keown, financialalert | 2 comments

Cloud technology could be the key to providing end-to-end, seamless financial advice. Much has been said about cloud technology, but very little has been explained its potential positive impact on financial advice.

Jan Kolbusz, Decimal

What if the powers-that-be decide to change the rules such that every NZ adviser had to become an AFA not in three to five years as expected, but by December 2013? Would darkness descend on the industry? Or would it be a new dawn?

Tony Vidler, Strictly Business | 3 comments

Financial planner, financial adviser to be enshrined in law; Strategi Institute awarded highest NZQA rating...

Deirdre Keown, financialalert | 1 comment

All advisers know they should pay special attention to their top clients - the challenge is how. I suggest investing 20 minutes to create a four-age Client Opportunity Plan

Dan Richards, ClientInsights

The US GDP growth rate we've been used to for over a 100 years - in excess of 3% a year - is not just hiding behind temporary setbacks. It is gone forever.

Jeremy Grantham

Three insights from philosophy are helpful in times of financial and economic crisis and can result in improved decision-making...

Prof Jack Gray, UTS | 1 comment

Four key risks - the US fiscal cliff, EU debt crisis, global slowdown, and Middle East - are highly interconnected and yet to truly impact markets.

Nick Bullman, CheckRisk

Just after I write on the improved economic news in China and the US, it turns less constructive. But not as bad as Japan. The outlook for the Yen is highly asymmetric.

Jim O'Neill

Earlier this month, Tony Vidler called for SOAs to be no longer than four pages. But others see no problem with quite lengthy statements, as financialalert found out when it surveyed some advisers on how they interpret Code Standard 6's requirement to communicate "clearly, concisely, and effectively."

David Maida, financialalert | 8 comments

Top 10 concerns amongst advisers; AIS appoints new investment manager; Adviser summer school; William Blair enters Australia and NZ; Court ruling against S&P opens door for CDO lawsuits.

Deirdre Keown, financialalert

We are all susceptible to priming - exposure to a stimulus influences our response to a later stimulus. This has significant implications for investors in today's information age. But there is a defence against this behavioural bias.

Nick Armet, Fidelity Worldwide Investment

We recommend moving to neutral risk weightings in portfolios until a favourable resolution of the US fiscal cliff becomes more likely. A malign outcome is a clear possibility.

Chris Watling

I question whether anything has materially changed as a result of the US election and Chinese leadership handover. I feared a US status quo, but perhaps things are different.

Jim O'Neill

The FMA has indicated it could bring the first disciplinary proceedings against advisers before year's end, likely around Code Standard 8 regarding suitability of advice. financialalert asked some AFAs, a lawyer, a researcher and a Disciplinary Committee member what the test for suitability should be and whether it should be applied at a product or portfolio level.

David Maida, financialalert | 3 comments

I suspect that one reason financial plans often don't turn out as expected is that the budgeting/cash flow planning doesn't do enough to plan for irregular expenses.

Michael Kitces

The US election is over but the US economic crisis is so severe that the outcome barely mattered while both sides deny reality.

Oliver Hartwich, The New Zealand Initiative | 2 comments

The Institute of Financial Advisers has appointed its new chief executive, following the departure of Peter Lee back in July 2012...

Deirdre Keown, financialalert

Reading is a basic tool of serious investing - but only if done in an engaged and critical way. Here is an exercise in critical reading.

Prof Jack Gray, UTS

Everybody who communicates with the investing public needs to sound a warning: we're in a classic bubble.

Bob Veres, Inside Information

While the ideal length for a Statement of Advice is one page, a maximum of four should be sufficient for most advice, to most consumers, most of the time.

Tony Vidler, Strictly Business | 16 comments

The current financial advice model serving retirees is suboptimal.

Lukasz de Pourbaix, Lonsec & Wade Matterson, Milliman | 2 comments

Despite a sluggish US economy, drift toward recession in Europe, and China slowdown, global monetary policy means equities will continue to outshine bonds.

Bill Priest, Epoch Investment Partners

How good are Chinese policymakers? US data creeping better. A pick up in global momentum...

Jim O'Neill | 1 comment

Are investors being paid enough to take on risk in the current market? Are systemic risks just as bad as in 2007? What is the best risk mitigator?

Nick Bullman, CheckRisk

Volatility is a risk for any portfolio that has cash flows, irrespective of investment time horizon. The culprit is sequencing risk, the risk of returns occurring in an adverse order.

Challenger Retirement Income Research

Despite financial advisory firms growing more efficient through technology, research in psychology and anthropology suggests that there may still be a limit to the number of clients we can take on...

Michael Kitces | 7 comments

TNPPA and LBA to merge into new association; Bankers Association accuses FMA of going beyond its powers with KiwiSaver guidance; NZICA signs MOU with FMA including financial adviser regulation; No complaints about financial advisers to ISO; AdviceFirst acquires STEP Financial Services' business; Australia's commission ban 'grandfathered'.

Deirdre Keown, financialalert

Dynamic asset allocation, MPT, risk premia, and how to get the regulator on board with a DAA approach.

Michael Kitces | 1 comment

Germany will not consider leaving the Eurozone unless the Euro threatens price stability. But this is a real risk.

Hon. Dr Pippa Malmgren, DRPM Group

The US is exporting coal, the West citizens is falling out of love with autos. Still bullish oil prices?

Jim O'Neill

On the Reader's Digest NZ Most Trusted Professions 2012 survey, financial advisers ranked 31 out of 40. To improve trust, we need to deliver the advice services clients value most - and a recent survey provides valuable insights into what that is...

David Greenslade, Strategi

Last month's Finology Conference introduced a new term for a subject financial advisers deal with every day. We spoke with delegates to get their key takeouts - for example, the importance of making financial planning fun.

David Maida, financialalert

If we step back and consider risk in the context that risk management experts do, we can test the key issue - a client's capacity for absorbing different risk events.

Tony Vidler, Strictly Business | 3 comments

The new RBNZ governor has signed a slightly revised policy target agreement with a greater focus on financial stability - but for some this is not going far enough. The question is: should NZ join the global currency debasement race?

Oliver Hartwich, The New Zealand Initiative | 1 comment

Is gold the ultimate currency? How do we feel about a currency that lost 79% purchasing power from 1980 to 2000?

Tim Farrelly | 6 comments

Soft, albeit stable data for Septemer so far; world imbalances improving; protests aboard; Japan's issues getting bigger?; China, where it is also pouring; QE3/QE Infinity

Jim O'Neill

We need to understand and assess four aspects of risk to truly understand a client's risk profile and create a portfolio that allows him/her to sleep well at night.

Videos, presentations, podcasts and papers from the jam-packed three day program featuring 50 international and local investment experts sharing their thoughts on the challenge of tHiNkInG oUtSiDe ThE bOx about constructing portfolios.

To make money in the next year, you have got to think in reverse. When it all boils down, there are really only two assets in the world economy.

Hon. Dr Pippa Malmgren, DRPM Group

The field of emotional finance emphasises the difference between actual and perceived risk. Perceived risk may be at its lowest when actual risk is highest...

Nick Bullman, CheckRisk

The Fed seems to have shifted the balance of its twin mandate, prioritising reducing unemployment. Meanwhile, we are in the early days of a 'new' China...

Jim O'Neill

Your client is demanding you go to cash. Was your risk assessment wrong? Not necessarily. His risk tolerance is much the same, but his risk perception has changed.

Michael Kitces | 1 comment

Your usually rock-solid client calls demanding that you go to cash. Was your risk assessment wrong? Not necessarily. His willingness to accept a loss is pretty much the same, but his perception of risk has changed. Here's how to manage the difference...

Michael Kitces | 1 comment

This month marks the end of the first year of the FMA's audits of advisers. Far from relaxing its vigilence, it plans to increase contact with advisers, increasing monitoring visits and introducing a new "verification visit" regime...

David Maida, financialalert

A growing chorus of (largely offshore) commentators has Australia falling into a pronounced slump. Are we on the edge of a precipice? No.

Tim Farrelly

While consumers conduct more and more of their own research on their financial options, advisers are actually better placed to gain credibility and trust - largely through cloud computing - according to Brian Greer, national sales manager with Allied Kiwi, and a speaker at next week's Finology Conference in Auckland...

David Maida, financialalert | 1 comment

"Save a healthy portion of your income every year from the start of your working years to the end" is a standard of retirement planning advice. But the better path to retirement success may not be to save a flat percentage of income every year at all...

Michael Kitces | 1 comment

Western equity markets have been in a secular bear market since the year 2000. Are we close to or indeed at the end?

Chris Watling

I have been doing lots of pondering, and there is one that has taken up more of my concerns than any other: China...

Jim O'Neill

The low uptake of financial advice by consumers directly reflects the negative perceptions of the public towards the financial advisory industry, according to Brian Boggs, co-founder of online education provider, Leading Minds Academy. But advisers can better articulate their value and engage clients...

David Maida, financialalert

FMA launches new website to help investors plan, choose and track investments; TNP signs strategic alliance; Mentor/Adviserlink merges with Strategi Institute; More former finance company directors sentenced; Australia has $1tn retirement savings gap...

Deirdre Keown, financialalert | 1 comment

If all the money invested in hedge funds had been put in T-bills, the results would've been twice as good.

Michael Edesess

The financial advisory industry still has a long way to go before the public sees it as a well regulated profession that can be trusted, according to according to financial adviser, Martin Hawes, who will be presenting on the issues of building trust and working with retirees at next month's Finology Conference in Auckland...

David Maida, financialalert | 1 comment

Lonsec named Research House of the Year; FSC Australia imposes insurance commission claw-back regime; ETITO rebrands; S&P upgrades Asset Finance outlook; new Code Committee chair...

Deirdre Keown, financialalert

The "Wizard of Oz Effect" where the adviser has to go away and do something behind closed doors not only breeds distrust with clients, but also boredom. Instead, the advice process needs to become visual and interactive, according to Dr David Lazenby, Ph.D, a keynote presenter at next month's Finology Conference in Auckland...

David Maida, financialalert

Exploring the myth that active portfolio management is solely about alpha, ignoring the (tax) consequences of how alpha is generated – and why passive portfolios cost more than you think...

Andrew Sisson, Balanced Equity Management

The search for yield has never been more difficult. Can income-oriented managed funds compete with direct equities and ETFs?

Don Hamson, Plato Investment Management

The risk of using MPT - like any model - is that if poor inputs go into the model, poor results will come out...

Michael Kitces

Advisers aren't getting any younger and with the average age now around 60 attracting new talent into the industry is a must if advisers are to create a healthy demand for their businesses at sale time. financialalert looked at the demand for new entrants amongst financial planning firms, and their expectations...

David Maida, financialalert

Some firms that shifted to annual retainers are now shifting away from retainers and back to AUM pricing after a few years of business pain!

Michael Kitces | 4 comments

Clients are becoming more aware of their rights to take a grievance against their adviser while at the same time, regulation has instilled formal disputes processes. financialalert looked into factors influencing PI cover rates, what is actually covered, and what can advisers do themselves to mitigate the risk of a claim...

David Maida, financialalert | 2 comments

IFA starts hunt for new Chief Executive; Kiwibank KiwiSaver replaced by Gareth Morgan scheme; Diana Crossan to step down...

Deirdre Keown, financialalert

There are an increasing number of multi-asset class "real return" funds available. Are they really different to the multi-sector funds of old?

China is reeling from the aftermath of a political earthquake of moderate magnitude - the damage is noticeable and the risk of aftershocks lingers...

Linda Jakobson

The mechanics of solving Europe's crisis are in place. The US's fiscal position is considerably worse and holds greater uncertainty...

Chris Watling | 1 comment

The use by financial advisers of derivatives in portfolios - primarily for downside protection - is growing in Australia but not here in New Zealand. That may change with plans by the NZX to launch new products in 2013...

David Maida, financialalert

Most of the reasons why clients come to your door involve stressful changes in their money situations and their lives. Here are some tools that can help you do a better job of helping people successfully navigate significant shifts in their financial lives...

Bob Veres, Inside Information | 1 comment

KiwiSaver has a number of advantages over overseas schemes. In addition, the ability to conduct meaningful KiwiSaver performance analysis is improving - we look at whether returns are ahead of inflation and cash...

Collin Nefdt, NZ Trends

IFA honours Graham Rich with Outstanding Contribution award; FMA finds issues with advisers' record keeping; Australian regulator proposes adviser exam;

Deirdre Keown, financialalert | 5 comments

The Financial Markets Authority has been busy. In the last month, it has announced the Trans-Tasman mutual recognition of financial advisers as well as releasing a guidance note on giving KiwiSaver advice. financialalert spoke with advisers, researchers and industry associations about what the changes mean to advisers...

David Maida, financialalert

Picking up where he left of in February at the Markets Summit, Russ explains his expectations for the markets for the remainder of 2012...

Russ Koesterich, iShares

This one just won't go away. Central to this is the idea that the limiting factor behind bank lending is enough cash to lend out. It is just wrong...

Tim Farrelly | 9 comments

Linda was the highest rated speaker at Conference 2011. Here she begins a series of thought pieces exclusive to PortfolioConstruction Forum on developments in China...

Linda Jakobson | 2 comments

Over the short term, forecasting equity returns is nearly impossible - but over longer terms, forecasting can be done with some degree of confidence, according to AMP Capital's Keith Poore. He's going to walk advisers through how to do just that, at the IFA 2012 Conference this month...

David Maida, financialalert

This heading is THE question being asked within the depths of the Financial Markets Authority's guidance note on the Sale and Distribution of KiwiSaver. And, it does appear that RFAs may be able to advise those going into KiwiSaver after all...

Tony Vidler, Strictly Business

From 6 July, New Zealand financial advisers will be able to provide services to clients based in Australia, without holding an Australian Financial Services License, under a mutual recognition arrangement just announced by the regulators in both countries. But the devil's in the detail, warns one industry leader...

Deirdre Keown, financialalert

With global equities failing to impress over the past decade, real money might be better made closer to home, according to Andrew Bascand, managing director and portfolio manager with Harbour Asset Management. Bascand gave financialalert an insight into what he'll be speaking about at next month's IFA 2012 Conference.

David Maida, financialalert

FMA's KiwiSaver sales guidance note "a defining piece of guidance". Advisers unable to gain new clients under proposed Financial Markets Conduct Bill. AdviceFirst appoints new chairman. FSC retirement savings report "overlooks a critical area".

Deirdre Keown, financialalert | 17 comments

PortfolioConstruction Forum Symposium is a unique professional development program designed and presented specifically for NZ practitioners who focus on giving quality investment advice. The two-day program featured leading local and international investment professionals presenting on contemporary and emerging portfolio construction issues around the three pillars for building better quality investor portfolios - markets, strategies and investing.

It's one thing to help a client plan for retirement, but quite another to plan a retirement fund for a nation. Adrian Orr, CEO of the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, gave financialalert a sneak preview of the issues he'll be covering when he opens next month's IFA 2012 Conference...

David Maida, financialalert

For a valuation driven rally in risk markets to be sustained for anything more than a week or so, the global credit system has to revive. This six point plan could achieve that...

Andrew Hunt, Andrew Hunt Economics

A usual criticism of modelling tools is the assumption that returns are normally distributed. But black swans seem to be a short-term phenomenon...

Michael Kitces | 6 comments

Overcoming the limitations of financial theory and the biases of its practitioners is difficult but not impossible - the financial equivalent of the Hippocratic oath may help...

Robert Huebscher, Advisor Perspectives

The debate around active versus passive managed equity funds provoked lively discussion at last month's PortfolioConstruction Forum Symposium in Auckland. For this follow up feature, financialalert asked proponents of both approaches why they choose the strategy they do. One thing they all had in common is a strong belief in their position...

David Maida, financialalert

In the past, trust was built via face-to-face meetings with clients or prospects. However, in today's busy world with low cost and easy access to technology, things have changed. Trust can now be built from afar...

David Greenslade, Strategi

More than a year after the proposed fees and levies for financial advisers were announced, advisers finally have clarity about how much they'll have to pay for being regulated. But the end outcome came as a surprise to industry leaders.

Deirdre Keown & David Maida, financialalert

IFA CEO Lee steps down. New CEO for UDC Finance. No appetite for ANZAC dollar.

Deirdre Keown, financialalert

One of the most worrying aspects of the best practice advice process for many advisers is trying to determine what is “good” advice – and therefore (the worrying part), what might be considered less than good?

Tony Vidler, Strictly Business

Building debt portfolios used to be easy. But it’s much harder now. These days, the debt side of portfolios must be absolutely secure and should designed as three buckets...

Tim Farrelly | 3 comments

Britannia launches new compliant QROPS - open to all advisers. Call to ban publication of gross returns for KiwiSaver funds. Annual declaration time for AFAs. Where your clients income tax ends up...

Deirdre Keown, financialalert

PortfolioConstruction Forum Symposium is a unique professional development program designed and presented specifically for NZ practitioners who focus on giving quality investment advice.

In early May 2012, 120 portfolio construction practitioners - 90% of them AFAs - gathered in Auckland for the two-day PortfolioConstruction Forum Symposium featured leading local and international investment professionals presenting on contemporary and emerging portfolio construction issues. financialalert asked delegates to send in their key takeouts from the two-day program...

In the short term, we often see dramatic differences in the performance of hedged versus unhedged portfolios. This interactive Workshop debated the pros and cons of various currency hedging strategies and provided insights into what you should consider in setting your own currency management policy.

PortfolioConstruction Forum Symposium featuring Tim Farrelly

Lonsec puts Fisher Funds' international fund on watch. Lifetime Group acquires Meridian Brokers. NZ Funds joins lawsuit against Morgan Stanley, S&P and Moody's. Tyndall replaced international fixed interest manager. Kiwis awake to retirement savings reality - Mercer. NZ foreign trust schemes catch ATO's eye...

Deirdre Keown, financialalert | 1 comment

Have your 2012 revenue resolutions gone by the wayside? If so, the year is far from over - consider picking one of three simple strategies identified in a recent research study which differentiated financial planning firms that outperform...

Dan Richards, ClientInsights | 1 comment

Nearly a quarter of your clients do invest for the thrill of it, according to FinaMetrica’s sample of more than 500,000 investors. What that means for advisers?

Geoff Davey, finametrica | 1 comment

Two retail fund analysts have been awarded scholarships by Blackrock Investment Management and PortfolioConstruction Forum to attend the prestigious CIMA Program...

Investment Management Consultants Association Australia

The prevailing wisdom is that tensions with Iran have caused oil prices to rise recently. But there's
a much greater long-term threat shaping investment opportunities...

Robert Huebscher, Advisor Perspectives

Politics are messy. Reforms have stalled. The economy is slowing. Some question whether India's economic miracle is over.

Dr Taimur Baig & Aberdeen Asset Management

Statements of advice are one of the more onerous requirements for financial advisers under the new regulatory regime. Code Standards 9 and 12 now mandate advisers must provide written information to clients regarding personalised services. With very little guidance from the regulator on how to go about this, financialalert asked some advisers what they're doing to comply and how they're going about writing financial plans...

David Maida, financialalert

FMA to publish adviser compliance results, notes it is watching fees vs commission issues; Investors will pay $770 for comprehensive financial advice; Financial Planning Standards Board seeks board nominations; Weldon's top 10 for the next 10 years for growing NZ's economy; Macquarie to recruit 30+ financial advisers...

Deirdre Keown, financialalert

Nobody should care how an adviser gets paid, other than the customer. This is not another piece on which type of remuneration is best - it is about the most significant regulatory debate happening in the developed world today and why AFAs have nothing to fear from it...

Tony Vidler, Strictly Business | 14 comments

The Japanese house price experience of the past two decades remains a real possibility for many countries including Australia...

Chris Watling | 5 comments

In this second part of our two-part feature on adapting to the new regulatory reality, we look at what to tell clients about investing, how pedantic advisers need to be with record keeping, and what the Financial Markets Authority is doing to educate consumers.

David Maida, financialalert

Court rejects AFA authorisation appeal. Only 3% of plans "good quality" in shadow shop. Fund manager of the year finalists announced.

Deirdre Keown, financialalert

Struggling with a staff member? According to a recent book, once people feel that they're fairly paid, more money won't increase their motivation or performance - but three other factors definitely will...

Dan Richards, ClientInsights

The biggest myth that investors believe about China is that its economy is primarily driven by exports. Two charts debunk this misconception...

Andy Rothman & Frank Holmes

How ironic that the former safe havens of bonds and income-oriented equities now stand accused of being 'crowded trades' - the new bubbles...

Bill Priest, Epoch Investment Partners

PortfolioConstruction Forum asked the fund research houses - should gold be a part of most investors’ portfolios?

Compiled by PortfolioConstruction Forum

Regulation has forever changed the way advisers and their businesses operate - but has it changed the marketplace for advice? In the first of this two-part feature, financialalert spoke with several practices about how they've adapted to the new reality, what effects regulation has had on their bottom line, and where clients are coming from these days...

David Maida, financialalert | 1 comment

How do we take into account the trade-off between clients’ willingness to risk running out of money in return for enjoying their retirement portfolio now?

Bob Veres, Inside Information

Recent research suggests financial planning firms with revenue-based incentives for their staff nearly tripled their revenue growth compared to firms with merit-based bonuses. Your staff may impact the planning firm's revenue far more than you realise - here are six ways they absolutely impact the revenue of your firm...

Michael Kitces

If you're not excited about the work you do, you can't expect your team and your clients to be. Here are three different approaches that can help you restore your energy and excitement level...

Dan Richards, ClientInsights

HMRC knocks 41 New Zealand QROPS off its list. Planning practices worth 2-3 times recurring revenue. Call to ditch KiwiSaver defaults. NZ and Australian corporate defaults fall. Advisers using social media. FMA does better second time around on disclosure guidance.

Deirdre Keown, PortfolioConstruction Forum | 1 comment

Is gold a good means of diversification? Is it a hedge against inflation and currency depreciation? Or is the last decade an anomaly?

Prof Jack Gray, UTS | 2 comments

Mssrs Henry, Murray and Tanner are successful in their fields. But none has a background in financial planning or investment management. It shows.

Tim Farrelly | 2 comments

Despite the decision by the US Fed to postpone another round of quantitative easing, two questions remain unanswered as to the appropriateness of QE...

Ivan Trofimov, van Eyk | 1 comment

Key themes playing out in the market at present include the ECB's LTRO, ongoing recovery in the USA, the rise of the Eastern consumer and a secular move to e-commerce and electronic payments...

Hamish Douglass, Magellan Financial Group

Last week, I visited Shanghai and Beijing. The most intriguing insight relates to the longer term sustainability of China’s economic growth model.

Chris Watling

Advisers could grow their client bases much more quickly if they could eliminate the bad habit of asking their clients for referrals...

Bob Veres, Inside Information

In this second feature in our series, financialalert spoke with a major fixed income provider, an Authorised Financial Adviser assessor, various AFAs and our own publisher about how advisers should consider the use of debt in portfolios...

David Maida, financialalert

SFO launches further investigation into NZF Finance; Home loan affordability near its best in 7 years; NZACU partners with Fisher Funds; Quick check formula for retirement savings; and Kiwis' net wealth increasing...

Deirdre Keown, PortfolioConstruction Forum

Geoff Davey has an international reputation as a risk tolerance expert. He discusses the role of risk tolerance and where regulation may be headed.

Carly Schulaka, J of Financial Planning

It's time for Australia's political leaders to acknowledge that our relative economic good fortune is attributable as much to luck as good management...

Matt Drennan

Woody is one of the world's leading economic thinkers. He view is that China is the worst case of currency manipulation in history.

Robert Huebscher, Advisor Perspectives

The way investment advisers think about debt within portfolios has changed over recent years given the demise of finance companies and of the ING CDO/CLO fund failures. In the first of a two-part feature, financialalert asked advisers and product providers what debt instruments should feature in portfolios, and what role they should play...

David Maida, financialalert | 4 comments

While attending the American Economic Association meeting in early January, I had three conversations with leading academics concerning experiments to help people stick to their plans, including one that tripled savings rates...

Dan Richards, ClientInsights

FSC launched, three clear aims; Australian regulator to ramp up wrap regs; FMA consults on disclosure in offer docs; Research underway cost of 'comfortable' retirement; NZ major banks' outlook 'benign'; Rating released on NZ Association of Credit Unions...

Deirdre Keown, PortfolioConstruction Forum

Now seems to be one of those times when investors and financial advisers have learned the wrong lessons from recent history, and may be putting themselves in more, not less, danger going forward...

Dominic McCormick | 1 comment

Fees and levies on advisers under the new regulatory environment were due to be established in May 2010. But nearly two years on, advisers still don't know how much they'll be paying. We asked the Ministry of Economic Development for an update...

David Maida, financialalert | 1 comment

While we tend to focus on sharp market crashes, sudden declines that recover quickly within just a year or few are not necessarily problematic. What is far more destructive are extended periods of mediocre returns...

Michael Kitces

Communicating with clients in an effective and economical way can be tricky - especially when the news might not be crash hot. financialalert spoke with communications experts working with advisers on both sides of the Tasman about the frequency, content and types of contact advisers should be having, and the growing use of social media...

David Maida, financialalert

Analysis of Lombard v Nathans; Lonsec to launch quant analytics tool; Partners Life appoints Knowles; AIA grows market share; Home affordability continues to improve...

Deirdre Keown, PortfolioConstruction Forum

The US dollar has proved to be the Comeback Currency in the past - and there are early signs that it could stage another comeback. However, the A$ looks set for big drops before the end of 2012.

Jonathan Davies & Matthew Richards, UBS Asset Management

Helping clients understand portfolio risk is one of the most difficult challenges faced by advisers. Following on from my previous blog in which I looked at how often a portfolio might be falling, recovering and rising, now we turn to showing investors how often and over what periods falls might occur, how deep they might be, and how long the portfolio might take to recover...

Geoff Davey, finametrica

TNP launches new professional association; guidance note for adviser remuneration disclosure; check business interruption cover; Asia-Pacific ahead in ESG ratings; site offers director of parliament and government agencies; Auckland Council ratings upgraded...

Deirdre Keown, PortfolioConstruction Forum

After the 2008 meltdown, is Roger Gibson - one of the most consistent apostles of modern portfolio theory - still touting the value of holding diverse asset classes?

Bob Veres, Inside Information

Another mystery shop of financial advisers is rumoured to be on the way. financialalert spoke with Consumer about a possible mystery shop this year, as well as advisers about the different approaches to dealing with a potential mystery shopper...

David Maida, financialalert | 7 comments

Tate explains why IFA broke from FAANZ; S&P exits fund research; NZ will top developed world growth over next four decades; New risk tolerance tool; Health insurance numbers stablising...

Deirdre Keown, PortfolioConstruction Forum

For most financial advisers, the next challenge in complying with regulation is continuing professional development (CPD). The good news is there are a range of organisations ready and able to assist. financialalert spoke with the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) and some leading education providers about advisers' responsibilities and how they can fulfill the requirements...

David Maida, financialalert

For decades, long-only equities has been “king”, the dominant component of most long-term investors’ portfolios. But, the King has been overthrown in recent years, and cash has assumed the throne as investors have flocked to its supposed safety. Cash is King - but is just it a pretender to the throne? Markets Summit 2012 debated how long cash will remain King, how other asset classes will fare against it over the coming three years – and how we can do better than cash when building quality investor portfolios…

The year 2011 saw modest earnings growth of 5% overwhelmed by price to earnings contraction of -15%. It would be hard to imagine that 2012 will be another similar year unless something major or unexpected occurs...

Ian Harding, Wavestone Capital

2011 was a disappointing year for equity markets in Asia ex-Japan, recording negative returns and underperforming the developed market peers - however the outlook for Asian equity markets in the short term (one year) and longer term (three years) is promising...

Eng Teck Tan, TAAM Asia Pacific Investments

van Eyk awards A ratings to funds and ETFs; KiwiSaver FUM up 7.5% for quarter - the big get bigger; ANZ reviews Bonus Bonds portfolios; business confidence uptick; house affordability improves as median house price slips; adviser joins Plus4...

Pamela McLeod

Last autumn, a veteran adviser I know contacted his retired clients with the suggestion that they meet to discuss one simple goal. Not only did this exercise benefit those clients, he tripled his referrals in the process...

Dan Richards, ClientInsights

Kiwi AFAs who work in the UK pension transfer space may start receiving a lot of phone calls if a new law is passed in the UK which aims to ensure any QROPs scheme not obeying the rules loses its QROPS status - leaving investors in those schemes subject to a retrospective 55% tax claw-back. But, the real hook is that the legislation is retrospective back to 2006 when QROPS first began...

David Maida, financialalert | 12 comments

Kiwibank rating affirmed, Lombard trial enters final phase, SFO charges finance company directors, HFANZ proposes health insurance funding changes, Milford still top of KiwiSaver tables, Bollard to step down, FMA issues draft guide for offer docs, OCR stays at 2.5%, inflation down to 2%, FMA issues anti money laundering guide for advisers, GE Money settles claim, Sovereign A rating unchanged...

Pamela McLeod

Investors need to major in three subjects to get asset allocation right in 2012 - plus, they would do well to study psychology.

A Koester & M Richards, UBS Asset Management

With 2011 so frantic for most financial advisers, 2012 looks set to be an 'interesting' year. As the new regulatory environment has pretty much settled in, advisers are keen to get back to business, and back to basics. We asked industry leaders what 2012 will bring...

David Maida, financialalert

The financial advisory profession may be in the process of creating opportunities and challenges similar to the huge transformation of the early 1990s. Internet-based information consolidators and financial organisers, hooked into planning calculators, will commoditise the adviser's traditional value proposition - how should advisers respond to be successful in the future?

Bob Veres, Inside Information