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Discover how we rate the investment advice online

ABOUT THE TRAFFIC LIGHT™ SYSTEM

Our trademarked Traffic Light™ system is used to rate those in the investment industry who sell products and services, but who aren’t formally qualified or registered as ‘financial planners or advisors’.

I use this system to focus on those who sell financial products or services (advice, information, coaching etc.), based on their own success story, life experience or training.

Why?

In an online world, Google will throw high ranking information in your direction, and Facebook will ‘suggest pages and friends’ based on your search history. But sometimes, this information is purely SEO based, not factual.

It’s hard to know if you can trust the information you find – especially in the world of investing. Your money is on the line.

So, we examine if there’s substance to their claims and if they can really help to get you the results you desire.

Investment guru cops

These people or organisation may protect you, save you time, and protect your money, and you, from yourself! They provide useful investing guidelines on how to start, and what to look out for (scams alerts), and articles.

Business and investing ‘avoid scam’ sites
Check out MoneySmart’s (ASIC) list of companies not licensed to give financial advice, or their Online stockbroking scams list.

This website “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.”

Another site to look at is Scamwatch, from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). You’ll find useful tips and tricks 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

Choice is an ‘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.”

For Victorians, you can also visit the Consumer Action Law Centre for more information.

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

Even more 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.”

Australian Skeptics – Links of interest

Quackwatch – affiliated sites

General scams, consumer product and service scams
You’ll find articles on scams in our investing sections of wealth, business, property and shares.

Have a read of an article by Trish Power of Super Guide, ‘Investment scams target males aged 50-plus’.

Other useful links include:

‘The Reporters’ Lab explores, and checks the facts of new journalism around the world. It empowers democracies and hold governments accounts, creating new forms of storytelling and beat reporting. Visit the Sanford School of Public Policy Reporters Lab Fact checking site.

Facecrooks provide you with news, educational resources and alerts on social media privacy, safety and scams. Make sure you pop on over and Like them to stay informed.

Industry consumer advocates and commentators
Look at the following:

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 Planning Association of Australia FPA

Financial Services Institute of Australia – FINSIA

Independent Financial Advisers Association of Australia – IFAAA

Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia – MFAA

Property Investment Professionals Australia  – PIPA

Real Estate Buyers Agents Association – REBAA

Real Estate Institute of Australia – REIA

Various consumer watchdogs
Consumers Federation

Specific industry consumer advocate organisations:

Energy and Gas | Oil/Petrol

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 more Friends 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.

how it works

To make it easier for you, we’ve broken the information down into 5 main invest areas:

We find the investment gurus for you:

Adding information to our website and via our investing updates , you’ll find loads of information, strategies and gurus. We’ll do the research for you by listing the available resources: in the media, on the internet, and sharing experiences (ours and others).

Our investment research is shared with you:

We’ll source the information (including comments and feedbacks from you) and share:

Z

Their STRATEGIES

– and pros and cons (can anyone use their strategies or are they complex, requiring specific skills, and are they conservative or high risk?)

Z

Any CONTRARIANS

– are there any peers or analysts who had ‘issues’ with the guru, their strategies or practices (these are from non-friends)

Z

Any GURU COPS

– individuals or organisations there to protect us from others or ourselves (these are usually non-friends and can be government or non-government organisations)

Z

Their ASSOCIATES (friends)

– business associates or other connections

Z

Any EXPERIENCES

– from clients and others

The best part of this is that all ratings are subjective and unbiased. As investment has so many variables, and opinions differ depending on personal circumstances, our reviews and rankings are snapshots of the information and opinions available at the time.

N.B. We don’t rate gurus here as it’s too subjective and it’s more about people sharing contacts, ideas and resources

Rating investment gurus using the Traffic Light™ system

The red, yellow or green rating is an opinion formed from available information (yours may differ from ours).

Red – Stop and think

There appears to be negative information and feedback. Some ‘guru cops’ or contrarians may be critical of them and/or their methods or strategies, and they may not suit most investors, or be less conservative than others.

Yellow – Get ready to go

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

Green – Good to go

From our experience, and that of others, and from all the information available, following them and their systems should lead to successful investing for most investors.

You should ALWAYS make sure any of our opinions suit your personal circumstance, and please, seek advice from professional advisors.

Whether or not you choose to follow the guru or strategy is up to you. Gurus can be reviewed and re-rated at any time depending on feedback, comments or further information we receive.

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

And of course, we’d love for you to share your opinions and comments with us to help other investors.

Start your investment on the right foot

 

Years of research created our investment guru rating system

By presenting the many sources of financial and investment advice, advisors and other service providers to you on a silver platter, you’ll be able to get on your investing path as quickly as possible.

Remember to grab your free Investing Guide: ‘3 steps and the questions to ask for successful investing’.

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Disclaimer: The information and comments in this site are general in nature, opinion only and don’t take your personal financial circumstances into account. Our aim is purely to educate you and show you people and organisations in the finance and investing industries you may, or may not, choose to contact for personal financial advice. Any claims or comments of others are strictly those of the cited individual and not endorsed by Andrea or Best investment Gurus. Before you take any financial or investing action or buy any service or product - get your own independent financial advice, tailored to your specific needs.