March 8th 2003

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Articles from this issue:

ASIA: Taiwan: opposition parties combine for next poll

BOOKS: The Aquariums Of Pyongyang: Ten Years In The North Korean Gulag

BOOKS: Charles Dickens, by Jane Smiley

BOOKS: The Great Escape, by Anton Gill

COVER STORY: Iraq: make haste slowly

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Howard shifts focus to domestic issues

AGRICULTURE: Sugar industry reports: 'social science fiction' - Ted Kolsen

FARM INCOME: Rising dollar exposes parlous state of agriculture

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Middle life crisis / Damaged goods? / The green carnations

DRUGS: Quit Marijuana an effective program in New South Wales

DRUGS - DOCUMENTATION: New cannabis studies confirm danger to users

DRUGS: 'Fifth columnist' Mike Trace resigns UN drug post

Sugar levy (letter)

Financial planning (letter)

COMMENT: Christians and Muslims in Europe: how can they co-exist?

EMPLOYMENT: Casualisation a conjuring trick

ECONOMICS: 'Efficiency' blinds policy makers' judgment

Farmers' water rights at stake

ASIA: Is reunification possible for the two Koreas?

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Financial planning (letter)

by Robert Bom

News Weekly, March 8, 2003

The combined Australian Consumers Association, ASIC and Choice magazine report into financial planning could have been classed as constructive, but for its glaring omissions. Financial planning is a relatively new profession and much progress has been made through education and compliances. No doubt, much more needs to be achieved.

In its present form the combined consumer's report did only half a job, which in turn encouraged further vicious comments from a number of quarters. The report did not probe the workings and practices of the union-based industry nor the State/semi-State superannuation funds.

Why did the report ignore the needs and concerns of the clients in these funds? We are talking about some millions of people here. Are the members in the union and State and semi-State Government funds not worthy of consumer protection? Why set the bar at a high level for financial planners only?

Why let the union-based and State/semi-State funds off the hook? Financial planners come across examples of actions in the name of Industry and State funds that would be classed as malpractice if planners committed them.

The ACA-ASIC and Choice magazine report would have been far more credible if it had some balance. The report used the criteria of Certified Financial Planning as a yardstick. Applying these standards to the report it would be judged as poor to very poor, a definite failure. I have some questions for ACA, ASIC and Choice Magazine. Why are you offering only selective criticism and what is your agenda?

Robert Bom,
Rockhampton, Qld

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