ABOUT GURUS|GURU COPS

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By showing you the many sources of financial and investment advice, advisers and other service providers – we hope to help you get on your investing  path as quickly and effortlessly as possible. No one adviser, or guru, can do it for you. Our aim is to help you avoid wasting your time, money and the angst of  poorly targeted information and advice.

We hope you enjoy our site and that it helps you quickly onto a path of financial freedom and more lifestyle choices using:

Your free Investing Guide: “3 Steps and the Questions to ask for Successful Investing

To help you ask the important questions to build your investing strategies.

5 Investing BiG Books

They give you information on investment strategies, gurus and guru cops (see below) in 5 areas:

    1. Wealth Creation
    2. Business Investing
    3. Property Investing
    4. Share Investing
    5. Investing in Yourself … and Others (we don’t rate gurus here – it’s too subjective and more for sharing great people, ideas  and things)

In Books #1-4 we rate investment ‘gurus’ (many without formal financial planning qualifications) red/yellow/green with our Traffic Light System™ (see below). The purpose is so you can choose the best gurus – selling products or services, especially education, mentoring and coaching, on wealth creation, property, share and business investments. We don’t  focus on financial planners, as you can easily find these yourself. There are already many financial sites and organisations that rate registered financial planners/advisers based on specific financial, measurable results – see the comparison sites in the BiG Directory.

Analysts and Commentators

BiG Directory

This lists ancillary service providers – such financial planners and the people and services to help you implement your investing strategy; and Resources and Giveaways. BiG Shop (like BiGBook #5) lists more personal and home management, ideas, people and products.

Investing Updates (blog)

Frequent, short updates on commentary, analysis and articles on trends, hot topics, new developments, tips and tools in investing

Investing Guides

More detailed information than Updates –  trends, topics, developments, tips tools and other resources

Investing Hot Topics

Look out for these throughout the Big Books, Investing Updates and Guides

Your BiG network

Ah the beauty of the internet – access to people and resources without having to leave home!  Throughout the site, through your comments and emails, and those of others – meet and keep in contact with other investors, experts and specialists. Hear, see, read and learn about investing experiences, strategies and services. We welcome interaction and sharing ideas and stories by anyone interested in investing.

The Traffic Light System™ to review and rate investment ‘advisers’

We rate those in the investment industry who sell products and services, but who aren’t generally formally qualified or registered “financial planners or advisers”. If you want to find a financial planner the BiG Dirctory has links to many rating and other sites with tips and help to choose one. We concentrate more on people who are mainly unregulated, apart from general, corporation, contract and consumer protection laws. Those who often sell products or services – advice, information, coaching and more – based mainly on their own success story, life experience or training.

Why rate them?

… Because – you know how Google gives you information and Facebook finds you friends? It’s hard to know if you can trust the information and friends to deliver on what they promise – especially in the world of investing. Do they really care about you? Just because someone “Likes” them, or is their “Friend”, doesn’t mean they’re good for you!

  • Is there substance to their claims?
  • Will they really help you get great results?
  • Someone else’s friend or guru might not be yours!
  • We’re here to be a true friend and help you find yours …

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‘Guru … a Sanskrit term for “teacher” or “master”…  the meaning of “guru” has been used to cover anyone who acquires followers … especially by exploiting their naiveté …’ Wikipedia

The Traffic Light System is our way of reviewing investment information, experts and advisers (gurus), and rating them.

As we find information, and as you and others contribute, we’ll review and rate more gurus.

Here’s how it works:

We break investing down into 5 BiG Books:

  1. Wealth Creation
  2. Business Investing
  3. Property Investing
  4. Share Investing
  5. Investing in Yourself … and Others (we don’t rate gurus here – it’s too subjective and more for sharing great people, ideas  and things)

We find the Gurus:

Under these categories and throughout our Investing Updates and Investing Reports you’ll  find a growing body of information, strategies and gurus. We research all available sources – the media, internet searching, experiences (ours, yours and others)  …

We look at the information ( including comments and feedback from you) that we have on them and any of their ‘friends’ ( not only in the Facebook sense!):

  • Their STRATEGIES – and any pros and cons (are they ones anyone could use, or do they involve complex or specific skills or resources. Are they conservative or higher risk?)
  • Any CONTRARIANS – peers, analysts … who may have ‘issues’ with the Guru, their strategies,  or practices (Non friends)
  • Any GURU COPS (see below) – individuals or organisations (government and non -government) there to protect us from others, or ourselves (usually ‘non friends’ of the guru)
  • Their  ASSOCIATES  (friends) – business associates or other connections
  • Any experiences – of clients and others – good and not so good  (Friends/Non friends)

What is the best for you and others as investors is subjective and depends on many things. Investing has so many variables, and opinions differ depending on you and your circumstances.

Reviews (and ratings) are just snapshots of all the information and opinions available at the time.

We rate the Guru either a Red/Yellow/ or Green (you can suggest your rating in ‘comments’ or by contacting us – but we decide)

Traffic Light - Red

 

Red – Stop and think:

We have reviewed them and there appears to be negative information and feedback. Some ‘Guru Cops’ or contrarians may be critical of them and/or their methods or strategies may not suit most investors, or be less conservative than others.

 

Traffic Light - Yellow

 

Yellow Get ready to go:

There are no, or few contrarians, but still not enough information or friends to confidently accelerate. Their strategies may be complex or out of the ordinary, and you may need special skills or resources to succeed with them.

 

 

Traffic Light - Green

Green – Good to Go:

From all the information and experiences we, and others, have had (and the guru may have many friends); following them and their systems should lead to successful investing for most investors.

But of course you should always make sure any of our opinions suit your circumstances – and get advice from professional advisers.

The red, yellow or green rating is simply an opinion and available information – yours may differ from ours.

Whether or not you choose to follow the particular guru or strategy,  is up to you. Of course you should always make sure any material suits your circumstances, and get specific advice from professional financial and investment advisers.

Gurus can be reviewed and re rated at any time – depending on the  feedback, comments or  further information we get.

So tell us how you would rate a guru! We’d love you to share your opinions and comments.

Please keep in mind that our purpose is to educate and inform, not to be a sounding board for disgruntled investors.

We have strict terms and conditions on contributions. Any comments not in the spirit of the site, or which are abusive or defamatory, will be removed.

GURU COPS

These individuals or organisations may protect you, save your time and protect your money – and you from yourself!  They may be:

  • individuals
  • organisations
  • public
  • private
  • local
  • national
  • international

Some of these are reactive, slow and have limited powers. Many have useful investing guidelines on how to start, and what to look out for, such as scam alerts and articles. See our Investing Update.

Fact Checkers: Check out the Sanford School of Public Policy Reporters Lab Fact checking sites, which is a worlwide fact checker. “The Reporters’ Lab explores new forms of journalism, including fact-checking, which is growing around the world, empowering democracies and holding governments accountable, and structured journalism, which creates new forms of storytelling and beat reporting.”

Facebook posts: Facecrooks “We provide news, educational resources and alerts on social media privacy, safety and scams. Like us to receive information that will help you and your friends stay safe on Facebook. We are the good guys!”

You’ll find relevant articles on scams in each of our BiG Books – Wealth creation scams; Business scams; Property investing scams and Share investing scams.

Here are some general articles, from various Guru Cops and others, on investing scams to watch out for:

Investment scams target males aged 50-plus Trish Power – SuperGuide

General scams, consumer product and service scams:

Australia.gov  “Helping you find government information and services”

Australian Skeptics

Cyberscams – ACORN (The Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network) is a national policing initiative of the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments. It is a national online system that allows the public to securely report instances of cybercrime. It will also provide advice to help people recognise and avoid common types of cybercrime.

The Checkout – ABC TV ‘s consumer affairs satirical show has a list of resources for consumer complaints/organisations. If you have a bad consumer experience, you could always email your gripe or post a video there on F.U. Tube!

Aussie Criminals

Kyle Hodgetts……serial fraudster. A Current Affair 2012

Business and investing avoid scam sites:

Money Smart (ASIC) Australian Securities and Investment Commission:

Especially its list of companies not licensed to give financial advice 

“is for all Australians – young or old, rich or poor, investing or paying off debt. We offer free, independent guidance so you can make the best choices for your money. We are not selling you anything. And when life puts your finances under stress, MoneySmart is here to help you ride the storm. We have smart tips on dealing with the ups and downs of life: losing your job, having a baby, divorce or separation, buying a home, losing your partner and many more.”

Online stockbroking scams MoneySmart (ASIC)

Scamwatch – Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)

” provides information to consumers and small businesses about how to recognise, avoid and report scams. Many scams originate overseas or take place over the internet, making them very difficult to track down and prosecute. If you lose money to a scam, it is unlikely that you will be able to recover your loss. The ACCC publishes this website to help consumers recognise and prevent scams.The ACCC’s roles extend beyond preventing scams and include other areas of consumer protection, infrastructure regulation, cartels and other forms of anti-competitive conduct … The ACCC also works with state and territory fair trading agencies and other government agencies to promote awareness in the community about scams … the Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce (ACFT) to coordinate this work.”

You’ll find some useful tips and tricks to avoid on:

  • Banking and online account scams
  • Chain letters and pyramid scams
  • Health and medical scams
  • Identity theft scams
  • Investments scams (get rich quick)
  • Job and employment scams
  • Lottery and competition scams (fake prizes)
  • Mobile phone scams
  • Money transfer requests (‘Nigerian scams’)
  • Online scams
  • Personalised scams
  • Small business scams

The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) – including franchise mediation

Choice “Independent and transparent … [its] one clear mission: to ensure the consumer voice is heard loudly and clearly… [it] empowers consumers to get the most out of all their purchasing decisions by providing a mix of advocacy and advice… the people’s watchdog … constantly looking out for misleading or unhelpful practices that stop you from getting the best deal. The leading consumer advocacy group in Australia … [it]campaigns to protect and assist consumers through changes to laws and industry behaviour… completely self-funded [it] prides itself on delivering expert, unbiased information you can trust.”

Consumer Action Law Centre (Victoria)

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre – PIAC (NSW)

“is an independent, non-profit law and policy organisation that works for a fair, just and democratic society, empowering citizens, consumers and communities by taking strategic action on public interest issues.”

Industry consumer advocates and commentators:

Wealth Within and Your Trading Mentor (shares) see and listen to warnings on ‘black box’ share trading software

Neil Jenman (real estate)

Margaret Lomas (real estate)

Stephen Mayne (shareholders)

Scott Pape (financial advisory)

John T Reed real estate artist BS checklist (USA)

Consumer Websites, Blogs and Forums

Real Estate Investment Info Australia
Resources for Property Investors , Training, Tools

Wealth Seminars – Due Diligence Checks on Promoters

InvestEd (investing generally)

Jamie McIntyre Exposed “VICTIMS OF JAMIE MCINTYRE are now UNITED!! We’ve had ENOUGH of being ripped off.

This web site was set up to expose the truth about Jamie McIntyre. As you will see from the content, there are many people who feel they have been ripped off by this man.
The goal of this site is primarily to allow people to share legitimate concerns about dealing with Mr Jamie McIntyre”

Not Good Enough – NGE “Is an Australian Customer Complaints & Opinions website operating in Australia and New Zealand – and around the world… [it] is Australia’s largest and longest running online consumer advocacy website. … [with] over 54,000 members that discuss a range of products and services, including retailing, financial services, utilities, airlines, hospitality, telcos, as well as politics and social issues.”

Somersoft (real estate)

Web Hosting Talk Australia

Industry bodies/associations

Association of Financial Advisers – AFA

Australian Bankers’ Association – ABA

Australian Investors Association – AIA “Is a non-profit organisation which exists for one purpose: to help our members become more successful long-term investors. We protect and advance the interests of Australian investors across all types of investments and asset classes – including shares, cash, property, self-managed superannuation funds and managed funds.”

Australian Property Institute – API

CPAAustralia – CPA “Find a CPA (certified practising accountant) or financial planner”

Finance Broker’s Association of Australia – FBAA

Financial Ombudsman Service – FOS

Financial Planners’ Association (a division of the National Tax and Accountant’s Association) Media Release of 2010 Launch (not sure of how active this association is)

Financial Planning Association of Australia FPA

Financial Services Institute of Australia – FINSIA

Indepenent Financial Advisers Association of Australia – IFAAA

Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia – MFAA

Property Buyer’s Agents Association of Australia – PBAAA

Property Investment Professionals Australia  – PIPA

Property Investors Association of Australia PIAA (no longer active?)

Real Estate Buyers Agents Association – REBAA

Real Estate Institute of Australia – REIA

Senior Australians Equity Release – SEQUAL

Various consumer watchdogs

Consumers Federation – consumersfederation.org.au

Specific industry consumer advocate organisations:

  • Energy and Gas | Oil/Petrol

Consumer Advocacy Panel – advocacypanel.com.au

Queensland – ewoq.com.au
New South Wales – ewon.com.au
Australian Capital Territory – acat.act.gov.au
Victoria – ewov.com.au
South Australia –eiosa.com.au
Tasmania – energyombudsman.tas.gov.au

oilcodedra.com.au

  • Health

Friends of Science in Medicine “was established in late 2011 by five founding members from a cross-section of concerned professionals, each with a long but different history of involvement in educational activities fostering good science in Medicine.

Australia has recently seen an increase in the use of ‘complementary and alternative medicines’ (CAMs), at considerable cost to the public who use these unproven interventions. In parallel, the teaching by our universities and colleges of many courses based on clearly non-scientific principles have alarmed academic and clinical researchers, health professionals and informed lay persons.In early 2011, the founding members publicly raised their concerns about a clinic for children operating in association with a Chiropractic course at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. In September 2011, they and an initial 29 Friends protested to the Vice-Chancellor of the Central Queensland University when it announced its Chiropractic course for 2012.

Initial support from many colleagues prompted a larger campaign to attract moreFriends of FSM. Overwhelming success within a few weeks led the founders to write to the Vice-Chancellors of all Australian universities, urging them to support the principle of good science in Medicine and to review their teaching of health courses not based on science … We welcome suggestions from Friends as to our future strategy.The initial members, with the recent addition of an ordinary member, now form our first executive.”

FSM has some natural friends and allies with websites that complement and add information relevant to the principles and commitments of FSM.We would appreciate further suggestions for appropriate links from critical thinking groups.

Lists of other great links:

Other sites of interest:

Society for Neuroscience – Brain facts

Consumer Health Forum (CHF)  “is the peak organisation providing leadership in representing the interests of Australian healthcare consumers. We work to achieve safe, good quality, timely healthcare for all Australians, supported by the best health information and systems the country can afford.”

 

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