Sent: 05-10-2010 11:04:02
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Conflicts of Interest and Financial Advice
Last week The Australian carried a very interesting article about the recent controversy about flu vaccine and a high rate of adverse reactions to that vaccine amongst children.
The article began by looking into what had happened to a Perth family. The children's mother said that she had trusted his doctor and the doctor had assumed that the government had done all the testing.
It now appears that no testing had been done.
The mother is said to be "flabbergasted to discover some of the federal Department of Health and Ageing's [DHA] top immunisation advisers have links with the drug company that created the vaccine that landed her kids in hospital".
The WA Government has asked this Federal department to "formally review and address any perceived or real concerns in peak bodies with ... perceived conflicts of interest, with expert members of peak bodies in relation to immunisation also being involved in pharmaceutical companies and clinical trials for vaccines."
Earlier last week The Australian had identified that two members of the DHA's Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation are also advisory board members of the drug company which manufactured the flu vaccine.
The article in The Australian quotes the two members as saying they have done nothing wrong and don't believe they were in a position of conflict of interest.
I'm not in a position to say whether or not something wrong has occurred.
Obviously with financial advice we're rarely talking about concerns about someone's immediate health.
However it's clear that these types of conflicts arise all the time in financial advice circles but few seem terribly concerned about them. Many people like the status quo and are doing all they can to maintain it.
Most of these conflicts arise in financial services because of commissions and other incentives. Personally I always found the justification of commission on financial products flaky.
Finally please consider purchasing a copy of "A How To Book Of Self Managed Super Funds". You can look at the contents page at the following link: http://www.atcbiz.com.au/r.php?r=0mjd6ne
The 3rd edition was released a few weeks ago.
For details of the changes made from version 2 to version 3 visit: http://www.atcbiz.com.au/SMSFBookAmendments.pdf
There have been many changes to this book. Version 3.0 contains over 30 pages of new material.
This update has taken longer than I would like however I have been delayed due to a frustratingly steady stream of political policy announcments, review documents and the release of various ATO documents.
Two purchase options are available - once only subscription - $55 inc GST - or an annual subscription will gives you access to all the updates made throughout the year ($120 inc GST). The book can be purchased at the following link: http://www.atcbiz.com.au/r.php?r=5a4agqb
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