Financial advice: Is it in your interest?

We want an end to incentives that lead financial advisers to push products on their clients.
 
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  • Updated:1 Jun 2009
 

01 .Introduction

Three people looking at documents

The issue

The recent collapse of Storm Financial has plunged thousands of households into unexpected debt and desperation, with losses expected to exceed $100 million. In 2006, the Westpoint Group collapse lost investors in excess of $300 million.

Common to both collapses were remuneration models that created moral hazards for advisers and led to people being pushed into risky products that weren't necessarily right for them.

We don't think financial advisers should be pushing products simply to serve their own interests and we're calling on the government to ban commission, asset based and other incentive remunerations.

There are more than 16,000 financial advisers across the country, and many are doing the right thing. But seeking personal financial advice shouldn't mean playing Russian roulette with your life savings.

 

Video: Fair financial fees

Financial advisers are often influenced by commissions. It's time for change.

 

Send us your story

Read our case study - Is my adviser working for me or for themselves?

Read our submission

Our submission to the parliamentary inquiry

 

 
 

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Chef carving chickenCHOICE tested eight chickens: two organic, two free-range, one corn-fed and three regular factory-farmed birds.

A chef cooked the chickens, without seasoning or stuffing them. They were identified only by a number on a metal tag attached securely to a leg, so the expert tasters didn’t know the brand or type of chicken they were eating.

Each taster was served a portion of breast and leg meat with a plain green salad and slices of baguette for cleansing the palate between samples.

We asked the tasters to separately rate the breast and leg meat for aroma, texture, flavour and overall impression on a five-point scale.

Chickens tested

  Features
Brand (in alphabetical order) Type Price per kg ($)
Ingham Broiler 3.99
Inglewood Farms Organic Organic 12.5
Lilydale Free-Range Free-range 7.26
Steggles Broiler 4.27
Steggles Corn Fed Corn fed 5.99
Woolworths Free Range Free-range 6.49
Woolworths Organic Organic 9.99
You'll Love Coles Broiler 5.09
 

The result was unexpected

There was no significant difference between the scores for free-range or organic chickens and factory-farmed birds. No brand or type stood out as specially tasty. In fact there was general agreement among the experts at the end of the test that "none of them tasted much like the roast chicken that mother used to cook for us when we were kids.”

Two of the chooks divided the experts a bit, but not enough to single any brand out in the taste ratings. Two experts found the most expensive chicken in our test, Inglewood Farms Organic, "dry and unappealing", whereas the others quite liked it.

The Steggles Corn Fed chicken polarised the tasters the most. They either found it "flavoursome and very tender" or thought it had "no real chicken flavour" and questioned whether it had been "pumped up with something".

Our chef didn’t season the chickens at all, whereas most people use salt, pepper, butter, paprika or other herbs and spices on the bird itself, and add still more flavour with stuffing. (See Cooking the best chicken.)

Left to its own devices, chicken meat — no matter where it comes from — doesn’t seem to stack up to much. All in all, it doesn’t seem to matter what chicken you buy from a supermarket. Follow your conscience and go for free-range or organic, or save money on a standard chook — they all taste much the same. And there’s a reason for this (see Fast and faster food).

Meet the experts

  • Images of the tasting judgesSydney Pemberton
    Syd runs Pemberton’s Food Workshop in Sydney, where she gives demonstration cooking classes for adults and children. She’s the author of How to Clean Practically Anything, published by CHOICE Books.
  • Kim Coverdale
    Kim is food editor of Super Food Ideas. Prior to that, she was deputy food editor of Woman’s Day and New Idea.
  • Debbie Solomon
    Debbie is an Asian food specialist who organises and runs food tours of Sydney’s markets and more colourful food locations.
  • Dave Kasmoroski
    Dave has been both a butcher and a chef. He runs Eumundi Smokehouse in Sydney, where he makes traditional charcuterie products using recipes inherited from his Russian grandfather.

Chef carving chickenCHOICE tested eight chickens: two organic, two free-range, one corn-fed and three regular factory-farmed birds.

A chef cooked the chickens, without seasoning or stuffing them. They were identified only by a number on a metal tag attached securely to a leg, so the expert tasters didn’t know the brand or type of chicken they were eating.

Each taster was served a portion of breast and leg meat with a plain green salad and slices of baguette for cleansing the palate between samples.

We asked the tasters to separately rate the breast and leg meat for aroma, texture, flavour and overall impression on a five-point scale.

Chickens tested

  Features
Brand (in alphabetical order) Type Price per kg ($)
Ingham Broiler 3.99
Inglewood Farms Organic Organic 12.5
Lilydale Free-Range Free-range 7.26
Steggles Broiler 4.27
Steggles Corn Fed Corn fed 5.99
Woolworths Free Range Free-range 6.49
Woolworths Organic Organic 9.99
You'll Love Coles Broiler 5.09
 

The result was unexpected

There was no significant difference between the scores for free-range or organic chickens and factory-farmed birds. No brand or type stood out as specially tasty. In fact there was general agreement among the experts at the end of the test that "none of them tasted much like the roast chicken that mother used to cook for us when we were kids.”

Two of the chooks divided the experts a bit, but not enough to single any brand out in the taste ratings. Two experts found the most expensive chicken in our test, Inglewood Farms Organic, "dry and unappealing", whereas the others quite liked it.

The Steggles Corn Fed chicken polarised the tasters the most. They either found it "flavoursome and very tender" or thought it had "no real chicken flavour" and questioned whether it had been "pumped up with something".

Our chef didn’t season the chickens at all, whereas most people use salt, pepper, butter, paprika or other herbs and spices on the bird itself, and add still more flavour with stuffing. (See Cooking the best chicken.)

Left to its own devices, chicken meat — no matter where it comes from — doesn’t seem to stack up to much. All in all, it doesn’t seem to matter what chicken you buy from a supermarket. Follow your conscience and go for free-range or organic, or save money on a standard chook — they all taste much the same. And there’s a reason for this (see Fast and faster food).

Meet the experts

  • Images of the tasting judgesSydney Pemberton
    Syd runs Pemberton’s Food Workshop in Sydney, where she gives demonstration cooking classes for adults and children. She’s the author of How to Clean Practically Anything, published by CHOICE Books.
  • Kim Coverdale
    Kim is food editor of Super Food Ideas. Prior to that, she was deputy food editor of Woman’s Day and New Idea.
  • Debbie Solomon
    Debbie is an Asian food specialist who organises and runs food tours of Sydney’s markets and more colourful food locations.
  • Dave Kasmoroski
    Dave has been both a butcher and a chef. He runs Eumundi Smokehouse in Sydney, where he makes traditional charcuterie products using recipes inherited from his Russian grandfather.

Chef carving chickenCHOICE tested eight chickens: two organic, two free-range, one corn-fed and three regular factory-farmed birds.

A chef cooked the chickens, without seasoning or stuffing them. They were identified only by a number on a metal tag attached securely to a leg, so the expert tasters didn’t know the brand or type of chicken they were eating.

Each taster was served a portion of breast and leg meat with a plain green salad and slices of baguette for cleansing the palate between samples.

We asked the tasters to separately rate the breast and leg meat for aroma, texture, flavour and overall impression on a five-point scale.

Chickens tested

  Features
Brand (in alphabetical order) Type Price per kg ($)
Ingham Broiler 3.99
Inglewood Farms Organic Organic 12.5
Lilydale Free-Range Free-range 7.26
Steggles Broiler 4.27
Steggles Corn Fed Corn fed 5.99
Woolworths Free Range Free-range 6.49
Woolworths Organic Organic 9.99
You'll Love Coles Broiler 5.09
 

The result was unexpected

There was no significant difference between the scores for free-range or organic chickens and factory-farmed birds. No brand or type stood out as specially tasty. In fact there was general agreement among the experts at the end of the test that "none of them tasted much like the roast chicken that mother used to cook for us when we were kids.”

Two of the chooks divided the experts a bit, but not enough to single any brand out in the taste ratings. Two experts found the most expensive chicken in our test, Inglewood Farms Organic, "dry and unappealing", whereas the others quite liked it.

The Steggles Corn Fed chicken polarised the tasters the most. They either found it "flavoursome and very tender" or thought it had "no real chicken flavour" and questioned whether it had been "pumped up with something".

Our chef didn’t season the chickens at all, whereas most people use salt, pepper, butter, paprika or other herbs and spices on the bird itself, and add still more flavour with stuffing. (See Cooking the best chicken.)

Left to its own devices, chicken meat — no matter where it comes from — doesn’t seem to stack up to much. All in all, it doesn’t seem to matter what chicken you buy from a supermarket. Follow your conscience and go for free-range or organic, or save money on a standard chook — they all taste much the same. And there’s a reason for this (see Fast and faster food).

Meet the experts

  • Images of the tasting judgesSydney Pemberton
    Syd runs Pemberton’s Food Workshop in Sydney, where she gives demonstration cooking classes for adults and children. She’s the author of How to Clean Practically Anything, published by CHOICE Books.
  • Kim Coverdale
    Kim is food editor of Super Food Ideas. Prior to that, she was deputy food editor of Woman’s Day and New Idea.
  • Debbie Solomon
    Debbie is an Asian food specialist who organises and runs food tours of Sydney’s markets and more colourful food locations.
  • Dave Kasmoroski
    Dave has been both a butcher and a chef. He runs Eumundi Smokehouse in Sydney, where he makes traditional charcuterie products using recipes inherited from his Russian grandfather.
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