Talk the talk, walk the walk

A good point here from influx insights

Of course, the time is right to launch a new bank complete with a new set of values, but importantly, a new way of doing things. Banks have been masters of trying to tell a story of change and doing very little about it.

Ally Bank is a new entity that's arisen out of the former GMAC. It should have been a chance to doing something very different, but it still looks like old banking.

Here's what they say on their website.

"We are Ally Bank, built on the foundation of GMAC Financial Services. And with that experience we’ve learned that these times demand change and a new way of doing business. So we’re taking banking in a new direction.

We’re a bank that values integrity as much as deposits. A bank that will always be open, accountable, and honest. Yes, honest. We won’t deal in half-truths, kindatruths, or truths only buried in fine print. That’s because we don’t have anything to hide. We’re always going to give it to you straight.

That means no monthly fees, no minimum deposits, and no minimum balances. It means developing new products that give you more options, like our No Penalty CD that lets you withdraw your money if you need to. And it means keeping our promise that our rates will always be among the top. It’s just the right thing to do."

Is this bank really doing anything different, it sounds good, but the promises and products seem fairly standard.

If the financial services industry is going to rebuild its reputation, it's going to need to invest in some serious product development. Without this, it's just going to be a series of hollow promises.

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First Home Buyers at a 7 year high...

So it's not all doom and gloom out there,  and hopefully good news for a couple of our clients (and us of course!) - it seems that the combination of a fall in home loan rates, increased incentive via the first home buyers grant, and the slump in property prices has resulted in a 20% increase in the number of first home purchases.
Read on.......

Not so easy to live long and prosper

This will probably come as a shock to most people, but losing money isn't the biggest financial risk you're going to face in retirement. The real question is how to make your money last as long as you do.

Think about it for a moment. A typical self-funded retiree leaves work with what seems like a healthy swag of savings - $500,000 is not unusual. They purchase a retirement pension to pay them a nominated income each year and assume they have enough to live on. Half a million, after all, is nothing to sneeze at.
But if they retire at 60 on an annual income of $40,000, their money will run out by 77 if their fund earns 7 per cent after fees. At last count, the life expectancy for a 60-year-old man was 82, and for a woman, 86. Takes the gloss of that half a million, doesn't it?
And don't forget, many of us will live longer than the average. Of those who reach 65, more than one in two women and one in three men are likely to make it to 90.
So if you think your super looks sick after last year's investment losses, spare a thought for the self-funded retirees who were expecting their savings to see them through their twilight years. Not only do they have to find a way to claw back what they've lost, they've got to stretch what's left for another 20, 30 or even 40 years.
That's why the Government's decision to ease its requirement for minimum pension drawdowns this year should be welcomed. While the critics will argue it benefits the well-off, the fact is that self-funded retirees have been among the hardest hit by the financial crisis.