time to get more from life, money and investingFind out some how, what and why of money and investing and check out some 'experts' BiG rates
Getting the most from your money and investing can be overwhelming and a little scary. But you’ll avoid catastrophic mistakes, opportunists and scammers with help from:
- ‘Guru Cops’ (below)
- BiG’s Traffic Light review and rating system (see below) and
- all the free research that’s yours in BiG
Wealth – Gurus and Topics and Strategies
Business – Gurus and Topics and Strategies
Property – Gurus and Topics and Strategies
Shares – Gurus and Topics and Strategies
You – Gurus and Topics and Strategies
Analysts and Commentators experts with a broader, often more objective overview of investing options than ‘gurus’.
The BiG Directory
Let’s get you started overcoming any fear of making mistakes, getting bad advice, or trying a strategy that might be stopping you investing for a better, more independent lifestyle.
money and Investing ‘guru cops’…
watchdogs who serve and protect you
‘Guru Cops’ (as I call them) are individuals, companies and organisations (government and private) in many life, money and finance industries. They focus on raising awareness, educating, sharing useful resources, such as investing guidelines on avoiding making mistakes, starting a business, investing and what to look out for (such as scam alerts). You can lodge complaints with many of them too. I’ve divided some of them into their specialist areas, so check out specific Guru Cops in Wealth, Business, Property and Shares.
Government Consumer Watchdogs - Money, Business, Investing, Health, Science and more | Reviews, How to Find a Good [Adviser]..., Avoid ' Scams’ and Complaint Sites
Money and Finance
AFCA The Australian Financial Complaints Authority “considers complaints that previously would have been handled by the Financial Ombudsman Service, the Credit and Investments Ombudsman and the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal. We are the dispute resolution scheme for financial services. We consider complaints about:
- credit, finance and loans
- banking deposits and payments
- investments and financial advice
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.” Here’s their warning list of common tricks:
- COVID-19 phishing scams
- Directing you to a fake website
- Stopping you pulling out of the deal
- Threatening legal action
- Using social media to approach you or your friends
- Artificially inflating the share price
- Passing your call along the line
- Calling or emailing you persistently
- Operating from overseas
ASIC suggests you ask questions and request information such as:
- What is your name and what company do you represent?
- Who owns your company?
- Does your company have an AFS licence and what is the licence number?
- What is your address?
- Is your investing prospectus registered with ASIC?
- Check the legitimacy of the person offering the investment
Scamwatch (by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)) has useful information, warnings, 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 ‘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.”
Victoria’s Consumer Action Law Centre is a great resource.
Consumers’ Federation of Australia CFA is the peak body for consumer organisations in Australia. [It] represents a diverse range of consumer organisations, including most major national consumer organisations.
Specific industry consumer advocate organisations:
Consumer Health Forum (CHF) they claim “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.”
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.
- Australian Skeptics Inc
- Bad Science
- Campaign for science-based health care
- DS’c Improbable Science
- Health Information
- Health Watch
- Institute for Science in Medicine
- Real Science
- Science-Based Medicine
- Sense about Science
- Skeptical Medicine
Society for Neuroscience – Brain facts
Franchises (mediation services) from the accc.gov.au
Horticulture (mediation services) from the accc.gov.au
Telecommunications from the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network
Energy and Gas | Oil/Petrol
Industry (non government) Consumer Websites, Blogs, Forums and Commentators
Here are a few people and companies who comment on various types of dubious investing and on professional conduct:
- Wealth Within and Your Trading Mentor (shares)
- Neil Jenman (real estate)
- Margaret Lomas Destiny (real estate)
- Stephen Mayne (shareholders)
- Scott Pape The Barefoot Investor (financial advisory)
- John T Reed (Real Estate BS Artist Detection Checklist – USA)
Word of Mouth They claim “is the No 1 business review site in Australia. It’s a user-generated directory where people share the experiences they have with businesses – both good and bad. Every day, Word of Mouth helps thousands of people find awesome businesses (and avoid dodgy operators). As well as helping consumers get better service, Word of Mouth also helps good businesses stand out from the crowd and be recognised for providing great service. We all know how powerful a recommendation is, but with our busy lives it’s sometimes hard to have that over-the-fence chat with our neighbours to find out where they get their hair cut or their car serviced. But who doesn’t want to hear about a great new restaurant that’s just opened, a fantastic plumber that won’t rip you off, or a dentist that makes the experience pleasant?”
Not Good Enough (NGE) They claim “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.”
InvestChat They claim “is an Australian Investment and Wealth Management Community… a community for investors in Australia to share knowledge, learn together and support each other in their wealth creation endeavours. [it] covers all aspects of investing, but specialises in financial planning, portfolio construction, discussion of managed funds and ETFs, using property and shares together in a complementary portfolio and structures such as trusts and self managed super funds (SMSF) and protecting your wealth using insurance.”
Its Forums, Community and Resources include:
- General Investing Discussion
- Investing Strategies
- Money Management
- The Economy
- Financial Planning
Study Groups (Sub-community for people taking investment related courses)
Financial Planning Study Group
Shares and Managed Funds (Sharemarket and equity based investments and managed funds)
- Managed Funds & Index Funds
- Exchange Traded Funds (ETF)Listed Investment Companies (LIC) and Trusts (LIT)
- Real Estate
- Real Estate Investment Trusts (A-REIT / LPT)
Advanced Investing Techniques (Generating money through advanced or risky techniques)
- Business & Startup Investing – Investing directly in businesses (including franchises), passively or actively. Startup investing, angel finance, private equity, etc.
- Trading -Trading share, options, currency, etc
- Alternative investments – such as hedge funds, precious metals, rare coins, wine, art, etc
Managing Wealth Discussions
- Accounting, Tax & Legal
- Finance & Banking
- Superannuation, SMSF & Personal Insurance
- Investor Resources & Tools- Books, magazines, websites, seminars, software, anything of use to investors
- Estate Planning – Wills, Probate, Testamentary trusts
Service Provider Directory
Investing Resources – Glossary, Articles, Reviews
Investing Resource Repository
PropertyChat [is a property investing forum launched in June 2015 built by the group who built and managed Somersoft Investing Forums.] They claim “[we] provide a way that property investors can learn about property investment from fellow investors … the forum is a place for investors to: Discuss property investment issues in general; Share reviews and recommendations on a wide variety of investment resources and services (everything from events, books, software, websites, sources of finance, property-accountants, etc); Help each other evaluate property investment opportunities; Keep abreast of important education events (courses, seminars, workshops, etc); Keep up to date on the latest innovative investment techniques; Make friends, keep in touch, motivate, support and mentor each other … [the] Forum [is] a natural extension of what Jan and I have been trying to achieve through our books and software tools: to help fellow property investors and potential property investors gain the knowledge necessary to confidently invest in real estate.”
Jamie McIntyre Exposed They claim “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 bloke! The goal of this site is primarily to allow people to share legitimate concerns about dealing with Mr Jamie McIntyre”
Industry (non government) Bodies Who Regulate Members and Unprofessional Conduct
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.”
CPAAustralia – CPA “Find a CPA (certified practising accountant) or financial planner”
General Scams, Consumer Product and Service Scams to Beware Of
- Facecrooks They claim “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.”
- ACORN (The Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network) “is a national policing initiative that allows the public to securely report instances of cybercrime“
- The Checkout – ABC TVs consumer affair satirical show that has a list of resources for consumer complaints. If you’ve had a bad experience, you can email your gripe, or post a video there on F.U.Tube!
- Aussie Criminals YouTube They say “Australian criminals and their Crimes. Con artists, scum bags, murderers, corrupt cops, politicians, rapists and paedophiles will find themselves in this blog. It was expanded to also cover those that ought to be charged for their idiotic disgusting behaviour. Usually high-profile people who think they are above the law.”
- Virgin Online Scams Common Richard Branson, Virgin scams, but also other famous personalities Bitcoin Scam Endorsements
- Investment scams target males aged 50-plus Trish Power, Super Guide
ABOUT BiG's TRAFFIC LIGHT™ SYSTEM
With the Traffic Light™ system BiG rates people and companies who sell products and services (advice, information, coaching, mentoring) in many areas of investing. I search for online reviews or links about them, look at their claims, “success stories”, life experience, qualifications, training and more.
Have you noticed that in this online world of ours, Google and Facebook algorithms first show you paid ads (sponsored content) then rank sites (information and stuff based on your previous searches. Just compare a search you and a friend do on your devices – your results will be different. Using collected data too Facebook also suggests pages and friends.
Businesses use this data and analysis using SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) to target ads and information to you. Your own little secret information silo, that you have little control over.
Can you trust the information you get, especially in the investing industry? Your time, money and sanity are on the line!
So, I examine as best I can, if there’s substance to their claims and if they really can help you get the results you want.
NOTE: I don’t ‘rate’ formally qualified or registered financial planners or advisers. There are lots of rating sites for registered financial planners and investment advisers, you’ll find some of these in the BiG Directory
how it works
To make it easier for you, I’ve broken my research into 5 main investing areas.
I’ve found lots of life, money and investing gurus for you and constantly add information, strategies and gurus. Whoever and whatever’s around in the media, on the internet and sharing experiences (mine and others).
Check out my life, money and investing research:
I’ve found information, comments and feedback, and share them with you:
– any peers or analysts with any ‘issues’ with the guru or their strategies or practices (these are from non-friends)
Any GURU COPS
– individuals or organisations there to protect us from others or ourselves (these are usually non-friends and government or non-government people or organisations)
Their ASSOCIATES (friends)
The best part of this is that I try my best to be objective and unbiased with the ratings. I’m not tied to any particular expert or guru. Investing involves so many variables, and opinions differ depending on your personal circumstances. My reviews and ratings are snapshots of the information and opinions available at the time.
Rating investment gurus using the BiG Traffic Light™ system
The red, yellow or green rating is an opinion formed from information I’ve found (yours may be different).
Red – Stop and think
There appears to be negative information and feedback. Some ‘guru cops’ or contrarians might have criticised them and/or their methods or strategies. They might not suit most investors, or use riskier strategies.
Yellow – Get ready to go
There are no, or few contrarians, but there still isn’t 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 my experience and that of others, and from all the information available, if you follow them and their systems – it’s likely you’ll achieve investing success.
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 a particular guru or strategy is up to you.
Gurus will be reviewed and re-rated at any time depending on feedback, comments or further information received.
Please remember that my 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 to help others.
Start your investing on the right foot
My investment guru rating system has been built on years of research and experience
By sharing the many sources of financial and investing advice, advisors and other service providers I’ve discovered, you’ll be able to get on your investing path much more quickly.
Remember to grab your free Life Planner.
spending your money
What area of money and investing are you going to explore?
Grab your Life Planner
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.