ABOUT GURUS | GURU COPS

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Want to find money management and investing advice, advisers and other service providers, so you can you get on your investing  path as quickly and effortlessly as possible? Following the wrong ‘guru’ for you could set you back years. No one adviser, or guru, can do it for you. So avoid wasting your time, money and the angst of  poorly targeted information and advice by checking your investing choices here on BiG.

Quickly find your path to financial freedom and more lifestyle choices using BiG’s extensive free research, information and resources:

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.

The 5 BiG investing areas

Here you’ll find the latest research on investment strategies, gurus and ‘guru cop’s (see below) in 5 investing areas:

    1. Wealth Creation
    2. Business Investing
    3. Property Investing
    4. Share Investing
    5. Investing in You 

BiG rates 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. On the internet you’ll also find 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

Here are lists of and “How to find” and compare sites for ancillary money and investing service providers – such financial planners and the people and services to help you get started on investing strategy; and Resources and Giveaways. BiG Shop (like Investing in Investing in You) lists more personal and home management, ideas, people and products.

BiG Blog 

I pull together for you what people are talking about – the latest commentary, analysis and articles on trends, hot topics, new developments, tips and tools in finance and investing

Investing Guides

Here you get more comprehensive research than the Blog on trends, topics, developments, tips tools and other resources

Investing Hot Topics

Look out for these throughout the BiG Blog, money and investing areas, and Guides

Your BiG network

Love, love, love the internet! You get access to finance experts 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. Feel free to interact and share your investing experiences and stories.

The Traffic Light System™ to review and rate ‘experts’

BiG rates 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 Directory 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!
  • BiG is 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:

I break investing down into 5 BiG areas:

  1. Wealth Creation
  2. Business Investing
  3. Property Investing
  4. Share Investing
  5. Investing in Yourself … and Others 

I find people who claim to have expertise, on the internet (or elsewhere):

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

I look at the information ( including comments and feedback from you) and any of their ‘friends’ (not just 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 Cons and 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 – Pros (good) and Cons (not so good)
  • 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.

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

Traffic Light - Red

 

Red – Stop and think:

I’ve reviewed them and there appears to be some Cons (negative information, feedback or comments). 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 I, 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, opinions from others and available information – yours may differ.

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 me how you would rate a guru! I’d love you to share your opinions and comments.

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

Big has 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 money people or organisations may protect you and your money from yourself and save you time.  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. Check out  5 Tips to avoid investing scams and being an investing winner! and in this video and in Home truths of Perth’s property investment pitch from the homebuyer seminar circuit, journalist Annabel Hennessy shares some tips on avoiding investing seminars pitfalls.

Fact Checkers: International fact checker, Sanford School of Public Policy Reporters LabThey say: ‘is a center for journalism research in the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. Our core projects focus on fact-checking, but we also do occasional research about trust in the news media and other topics.’

Facebook sites: Facecrooks They say: ‘The social media watchdog. Our mission is to monitor and chronicle the seedy, unsavory and sometimes silly side of social media. We provide relevant and current information on how to safely use social networking sites.’

You’ll find relevant articles on scams in each of BiG’s 5 money and investing areas – 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

Experts from four generations ID the scammers eyeing your cash

General scams, consumer product and service scams:

Scam Analyse ‘Analyze Whether the Website is a Scam or Legitimate’

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

Business and investing sites to help you avoid scams:

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

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
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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