Would you bank with Google, Amazon, Facebook or Apple?

‘GAFA’ and other neo-banks are shaking up Australia’s financial industry. But is neo-banking good for consumers? Neo-banking in Australia Soon, going into a bank branch to speak to the manager about getting a loan will be as outdated as driving to Blockbuster to rent a VHS cassette. Banking in Australia will increasingly be digitised over … Read more

Clients unshaken by banking royal commission

Client retention and managing reputation are now clear priorities for advisers, writes Nigel Bowen. If there’s one insight that even the most casual observer of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry has retained, it’s that finance-industry types are commission-obsessed con artists, right? Well yes and no. Research by … Read more

Why persuasiveness equals profits

The financial industry hasn’t always won people over. Nigel Bowen discovers how we can improve. As of January 1, 2018, it’s going to be a lot more important for advisers to be persuasive. They’re quite likely going to need to be able to persuade potential customers to hand over hundreds of dollars for advice. Plus … Read more

Can accountancy and financial advice really converge?

Are we about to see accountancy firms madly acquiring financial planning businesses, or vice versa? It’s becoming common wisdom that a combination of regulatory change, technological innovation, increasing competition, margin pressure and consumer demand is driving a convergence of accountancy and financial advice. It’s certainly the case that, as of June 30 2016, accountants will … Read more

Turbocharging growth through acquisitions

An ambitious strategy of growth through acquisition has seen Findex acquire more than 45 businesses since 2000, making it the largest privately owned financial services group in Australia and New Zealand. Spiro Paule, who started the business with his brother Terry in the late 80s, shares his growth strategy. In 1987, Spiro Paule started a … Read more

Are you ready for the end of the SMSF exemption?

And do you understand how much of a game changer this is going to be? You may know that at the end of this financial year the accountants’ exemption that’s allowed you to establish self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) without having an Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence is being phased out. But do you understand how … Read more

Why multiple retirement funds are a bad idea

If you’re one of the 8 in 10 Australians who have multiple super accounts, you’re allowing your money to line the pockets of fund managers rather than fatten up your retirement fund. A recent survey by a not-for-profit super fund found that 80 per cent of Australians were paying multiple sets of fees on multiple … Read more

Advice on a savings plan from the pros

As people return to work and get back into the swing of things we’ve seen quite a few tweets about goals like saving for a holiday or just building a nice big fat savings account for a rainy day. So this seemed like a great opportunity to revisit different tips for saving money. Guest writer Nigel … Read more

The safe way to enjoy mobile banking

Aussies are early adopters when it comes to technology, in fact it’s safe to say they have a love affair with their iPhone and have the second highest smartphone usage in the world. Inevitably this addiction to our smartphone is extending beyond playing Angry Birds on the train and into banking remotely. But the convenience … Read more

Is Australia getting too pricey for Aussies?

We’ve got the beaches, the sun and a relatively low crime rate. Aussies are also constantly told they’re lucky to have a booming economy, but the catch is that it’s pushing the cost of living, particular housing, skyward. Guest writer Nigel Bowen explains why. If asked to guess the five most expensive cities to live … Read more

Three ways to increase your super enough to retire five years early

The GFC was the catalyst to Aussies focusing on the state of their savings. A combination of hard financial times and a general poor track record for saving money has left many with the realisation that their superannuation fund isn’t so super, which means a need to catch up. Even if your financial planning is on … Read more

SMSF savings: The facts behind the $200,000 golden rule

If you’ve followed the financial section in the last 12 months you’ve probably heard about Self Managed Super Funds or SMSFs. It has been a bit of buzzword and largely driven by people who want more control and better returns from their Super. The thing is almost everything you read about setting up your own … Read more