We've been asked by many people, what do we need to do, and how can we prep?
Those that know me and have read what I write know I get pretty hot under the collar about things that impact peoples outcomes. Australia is about to career down the path of something that is going to punt us back to the dark ages when it comes to looking after people.
Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has decided that income protection is unsustainable, and it needs to be regulated to be more sustainable. Understand this is from a profitability and shareholder return perspective, not what is good for the consumer or the Australian public.
Yes, you've heard it before, you should have medical insurance and income protection. Well here's a story of exactly why you need to consider insurance cover.
Your life may depend on it.
We have a client who has had ongoing issues with immunity for some time. They have the cover and have been able to access treatment in a reasonably timely way.
It's all well and good to say we're being fleeced at the pumps. When the government is taking 97c of every $2.20 litre of fuel, you have to ask, who's fleecing who?
The fuel companies aren't wearing any of the taxes, and nor should they. However, when the raw cost is 84c, and the margin from the importer to the consumer is 34c, there's not a lot in it to run the distribution and delivery network for the fuel companies. Frankly, they do it on very high volumes and not margin. (as reported and not checked by the NZ Herald, not sure where the other 5c went?)
One of the biggest misconceptions in the New Zealand financial services market is the perception that advice is free. It isn't. Someone somewhere pays for it.
We have seen the investment market move away from commission and high percentage-based fees on investment product to advice fees. Also, to a degree, the mortgage broking industry has where the provider doesn't pay them a commission.
I think it's crucial that we better understand vaccines and especially the flu vaccine.
Myth number 1. The flu vaccine prevents you from getting the Flu.
No, it doesn't. It prevents you from developing a full-blown case of the Flu, and its complications. You may not realise you have had an infection at all because the immunity created by the vaccine has been effective in activating your immune system to deal with it.
Do you buy on emotion or do you consider the relevant details before buying?
The majority of people buy their insurance based on emotion and then struggle to get what they need at claim time when the harsh reality of the facts gets applied.
We've all heard about Lime Scooters and the media beat up about them, I call it a beat up as all of the stories have lacked any contrast, and they have focused on beating up the innovation and change from the status quo.
The terror unleashed in Christchurch has given New Zealand, and the world, pause to consider the world around us. And one of the things that was hotly discussed was Jacinda's decision to wear Hijab.
Given her position of authority, she could have ignored the cultural aspects and shown up as she would usually have, even in the mosque. She is our prime minister after all.
However, Jacinda chose to wear Hijab and demonstrate a deep respect for the pain of the people involved, without adding to the distress on either side (male or female), as religious views and customs in these situations tend to be heightened and more likely to create tension.
We have long been a nation of 'can do', mostly because of our isolation and distance from anywhere else.
This has been a double-edged sword, in its restriction to access the world and isolating us from the rest of the world. All that changed last Friday, when the worst of the rest of the world came crashing in on Christchurch.
This one has been rolling around in my head for some time. And with the more recent World Health Organisation statement that vaccine hesitancy is one of the top 10 global health risks, it's worth saying most of the rhetoric on vaccines are both overblown and entirely out of whack with the reality of the research.
What we do know is medicine in all of its wisdom isn't always right, and science is never 100% certain. And people outside these professions and disciplines don't always appreciate and understand this.
In our busy lives and lifestyles, we often overlook the very valuable activity of stopping and spending some time thinking.
I've taken the opportunity recently to look back over the last three or four years of the Asset Magazine, a financial services publication here in New Zealand and it has been interestingly similar.
The couple of key things I noticed; there has been much shuffling with people moving around, and much noise about new things and change, but the reality has been very little has actually changed.
If I reflect on my early years in the industry, again the reality on the coal face with good advisers doing the right thing for clients, not much has changed there either.
Seems defending ourselves is becoming the default position across most industries.
Where we have the misaligned, aggrieved and just plain biased, coming out of the woodwork.
While I get that there is an opportunity for people to have their say with the upcoming changes in the financial services legislation, some of what is coming out is so left field as to be based back in the ‘70’s when they last interacted with a life insurance adviser. Things have changed.
Ok, I’m riled. Be prepared for a bit of a rant with this one.
So we’ve had Partners Life on FairGo for two weeks in a row. Frankly, a beat up, but then I’m expected to say that...
However, working through the FairGo article, and you can see it here on TVNZ on demand, there are a number of things I have an issue with, and some I agree with.
If you are like me, you have likely grown up with the view that drug use was something both criminal and for others. Especially for those selling and pushing the drugs.
Moreover, for the ones producing and selling controlled substances, yes, throw the book at them. For the users, however, my view is changing.
Don't misunderstand me, I have had my fair share of it being used around me over the years, but it has never been my thing.
We are seeing more and more evidence that medicinal marijuana has a place in the management and treatment of chronic long-term conditions. That I agree with and it is one that needs both a closer look and a faster response.
Wellness is my theme for the first quarter.
So how did you go?
How did your new year's resolution to improve your life this year go?