Financial planning crisis update 2
Just when everybody thought that life was getting on as normal the papers are once again filled with problems in the Financial Planning industry. This time it’s the National Bank and they have been very quiet about what they are doing because of all the headlines caused last year by the crisis at the Commonwealth Bank. Thanks to investigative journalists (yes there are some still employed) the National Bank and it’s subsidiaries are having to admit to problems in their financial planning departments.
31 + 6 Financial Planners terminated
The NAB has revealed that 31 of its financial planners were “terminated, suspended or had their resignations ensured due to conflicts of interest, inappropriate advice, inappropriate practices or repeated compliance breaches”. Also at the NAB owned Meritum operation six financial planners have also been terminated in the last two years. There is something very wrong at some of our major financial institutions and it needs to be remedied fast. Has greed overtaken the workforce to an extent that they no longer have a concept of working for the benefit of clients?
What can we do about it?
The best thing we can do to avoid being dragged into an unsatisfactory relationship with a financial advisor is to be wary. Ask questions and educate yourself before letting anyone near your hard earned money! There are plenty of good financial advisors and planners around and sometimes the best place to start is by asking friends if have a relationship with someone they trust. Also, there is the Financial Planners Association, although I’m sure they will also recommend the large banks and their subsidiaries. A government website that I have mentioned previously, Moneysmart , is also a good starting point. They give advice on questions to ask financial advisors at your first meeting and give other very important selection advice.
Do it yourself!
Of course the reason many people found themselves in inappropriate relationships with financial advisors in the first place is because they didn’t know enough themselves and therefore trusted someone with superior knowledge. Why not do it yourself. Educate yourself and start down the road of taking more control of your own finances. I try to include useful information for you to utilise on Yoursavings and recently wrote a post called Top Websites which I’ll update regularly with sites that contain interesting information. You will be surprised how much you can learn if you really want to. I’m not asking you to become a financial planner but by knowing more you may be able to take control of at least a portion of your savings and also be able to ask pertinent questions when interviewing a potential financial advisor.
The relationship with control of your money starts now! Please send a comment if you are interested in a particular issue or area of money management you would like me to cover in a subsequent article.