Q&A: You’re a Hypocrite Barefoot

You’re a Hypocrite Barefoot QUESTION: I’m a certified financial planner. I read your articles every week and admire your work. And, of course, I know you bag financial planners every chance you get — and rightly so in a lot of instances. But reading your latest article I can’t help but laugh at your hypocrisy. You bang on that “cheap is best” with everything, but you’ve now admitted that the…

Continue Reading..

My Year of Spending Dangerously

My Year of Spending Dangerously

Last year our family home burned to the ground, with everything still inside it.
This week, after 488 (often sleepless) nights, we are finally back on the farm. In fact I’m typing this from my brand-spanking new deck, overlooking the dam.

It’s our slice of heaven — but we had to go through hell to get it. So let me tell you about those 488 days, and the things we learned along the way….

Continue Reading..

Q&A: I Want My Husband Back

Borrowed $14,000, Paid Back $50,000 — Now They Want More? Q: I am in a desperate situation. I borrowed $14,000 from a friend and returned $50,000 in cash in the next couple of months. He had given me the money through my bank account. Now he denies having received it and demands compound interest. How can I settle this? There was no agreement between us on interest payment! Martin A: I’ve ha…

Continue Reading..

Send in the Clowns

Send in the Clowns

What the hell is going on?

Our normally very reserved Reserve Bank chief, Glenn Stevens, this week broke ranks and said that Sydney property prices were “cray-cray and not in a good way”.

Okay, so what he actually said was that Sydney property prices were “crazy”, but make no mistake: this is coming from a man whose words ricochet around the world, often wiping billions of dollars from global currency trades. So them’s fighting words.

Continue Reading..

The coming ice age

The coming ice age

Oh dear.

It happens every now and again. A handwritten letter hits my desk. It’s written in beautiful cursive script — a skill from a bygone era, like sewing, or customer service.

“In good faith we invested our life savings with the advice of a Bendigo Bank financial advisor”, it begins. (And with a lead-in like this, I know the next line isn’t going to be: “and thanks to his independent advice, we’ve solidly outperformed the stock market”).

Continue Reading..

The Ten Million Dollar Kid

The Ten Million Dollar Kid

I must have sat through hundreds of investment lectures in my lifetime – but there’s only one that
literally made my jaw drop. Let me tell you about it.

It happened a few weeks ago in Omaha, at a talk that featured Warren Buffett’s only daughter, Susie, answering questions from the audience. A young Asian kid put up his hand and asked, “What would you do if your father had given you $10 million on your eighteenth birthday?”

Continue Reading..

Ready For Budget Round 2

Ready For Budget Round 2

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it at least three times: don’t take financial advice from Joe Hockey.

After the Reserve Bank cut interest rates this week to (new) historic lows, Joe covered his curlies by advising us that “now is the time to borrow and invest…now is the time to have a go”.

Continue Reading..