Most of the books above are fictional – in the sense that they don’t technically exist (outside of my mind or this blog).
Today, I want to share Devil's avocado: On giving advice.
When people ask me what I do, I'm often reluctant to say that I'm a "financial planner". I'm just as likely to say I'm a "recovering lawyer", "lion tamer", or "professional power walker". Read what you want into that.
However, I take the role of providing financial advice – or advice in any professional capacity – very seriously. It's something I think about a lot, as you can probably gather from these articles.
(Why "devil's avocado"? I use this term quite a lot. I define it as "a devil's advocate, but nice". Along with being careful about how I communicate questions and observations to clients (verbally and non-verbally), it's a framing that allows me to challenge and push back against people, without losing rapport.)
- On companies and their corporate DNA (2018)
- There are many different types of "financial adviser"
- Financial planners provide four distinct services. A lot of Kiwis don't need them all
- "The dirt on coming clean" (2015)
- "Experience is not always a good teacher" (2015)
- The paradox of advice
- Fiduciary: yet another "F" word (2019)
- You can't be half-pregnant: when to use (and when to be) a specialist (2019)
- Questions I ask clients (and why I’m not afraid of roboadvice) (2019)
- Roboadvice – I welcome our robot overlords (2017)
- No one is unbiased. No one is free of conflicts of interest. (2017)
- How money misconceptions can put your life into hard mode (2019)
- Conflicts of interest when providing advice (2017)
- Fees are important. I’m in the process of saving some clients over $5,000 per year (2017)
- When should a financial adviser say they’re “independent”? (2018)
- Fairhaven Wealth – a 3 year retrospective, and thoughts about the future
- Fairhaven Wealth’s competitive advantage (or: Why I don’t charge asset-based fees or commission) (2017)
- How I review financial advice (2015)
- How financial advisers can add value to their clients – “Adviser’s alpha” (2016)
- Is your financial adviser good for you, or are they an empty suit? (2017)
- A financial adviser can help you battle your worst enemy. Yourself. (2015)
- What can a financial adviser do for you? (2015)
- Financial advisers as bouncers (2017)
- Two cents on innovation (2017)
- Wealth distribution schemes masquerading as financial advice (2016)
- When sales spiels masquerade as advice (2018)
- Excessive fees – “a tax on smart people who don’t realise their propensity for doing stupid things” (2017)
- Financial advisers don’t need to implement on behalf of clients. Long live advice-only financial advice! (2016)
- The absurdity of asset-based fees (2018)
- "Fees never sleep" – Warren Buffett's bet (2017)
- The value of independence (2017)
- Many financial advisers are selling Porsches when most people want Toyotas (2018)
- Question the question (2019)
- “Sunlight is the best disinfectant”. Some thoughts on the Australian financial services Royal Commission (2018)
- The issue isn’t “bad apples”. What New Zealand can learn from Australia’s Royal Commission (2018)
- Show me the consequences and I’ll show you the outcomes – why our financial services laws need to be enforced more aggressively (2018)
- On bank conduct and culture (2018)
- Where are people getting advice about direct property and what sort of advice are they receiving? (2018)
- Getting started as a financial adviser in New Zealand
A final observation: when I read some of my earlier articles, I feel like I was a lot more a firebrand than I am now. Maybe I'm desensitised and numb. Maybe I'm better at picking my battles and focusing my energy on things that are more instrumentally useful, at a personal level. But on reflection, I'm proud of the thinking that has gone into the business decisions that I've made, and that inform the decisions I continue to make.