Amex knows what you do not

I love this status update: Google Being Cute Oh blurry Facebook user: you could not be more spot on! If you hold an account with Gmail, Youtube, Blogger, Picasa, or any of the other myriad of Google properties, Sergey Brin & Larry Page know exactly who you are, who you interact with, what you eat, where you live, and the exact time you last took a crap… OK, I’m kidding... Read More

AMPlify: Lending and the Social Graph

Facebook's mapping of its social connections Earlier today AMPlify (a thought-leadership conference currently underway in Sydney) hosted Venessa Miemis to discuss the future of money and the position of Facebook credits as an emergent global virtual currency. During her enlightening session, Vanessa briefly touched on the topic of leveraging the Social Graph to help build more... Read More

Bank of Melbourne – *Is* better banking closer?

Big news out of bankland this morning is the Westpac announcement that they will be resurrecting the Bank of Melbourne to replace St George’s presence in Melbourne. The Bank of Melbourne brand has been absent from Victoria since 2004, following acquisition by Westpac in 1997. By relaunching this brand the Sydney based Westpac is making a strong statement of commitment into... Read More

SXSW Day 2 – Banks: Innovate or Die (or just shout at your audience)

My Poor Head It’s now day 5 of SXSW interactive, and as much as I had hoped to report back on a daily basis, the constraints of epically good tech sessions, combined with what appears to be limitless free booze has provided somewhat of a stumbling block to my mission. I’ve been taking some notes from a few of the sessions so I’ll try to dump those here to give... Read More

#nabfail – viral, done wrong

Full disclosure: Prior to my current role, I worked for the NAB. Most of my time spent in the business was around the wealth management space, but most recently I had been helping the guys with some work for retail banking customer development. With that in mind, I’m not 100% certain how appropriate it is I discuss the strategy or approach of my former employer. As a result,... Read More

The changing face of financial planning

It used to be a pretty good racket. You’d hold a corporate super book for a couple of big organisations, and for the annual price of a PowerPoint presso and a bottle of Grange to the MD you’d receive a juicy 0.66% of each employee’s Super balance. Every now and again your accountant mates would send across someone looking for a bit of help getting across the line to retirement... Read More

Product Testing Westpac’s Bluechip 20

General Advice Warning: The information contained on this web site is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a financial advisor. With 2010 coming to a close – failing a Christmas miracle Santa rally over the next... Read More

Banking reforms and the fifth pillar – what it really means?

  Following tireless lobbying by the Australian people (via the reader comments section), the government has finally acted on the unscrupulous fat cats in bank land, with Wayne Swan yesterday announcing sweeping, industry transforming reforms aimed at increasing bank competition and establishing a “fifth pillar” of financial service.    Oh wait. No he didn’t. No,... Read More

FPA – no degree, no membership | Money Management

    The Financial Planning Association (FPA) has lifted the bar on membership, requiring that from July 2013 membership only be open to new members with an approved degree. Frankly, this has been coming for a while now, and certainly represents the correct approach in moving the industry away from the shonky salesman image to something more professionally aligned with accountants... Read More

REVEALED: Australia’s Sexiest Bank HQ’s

We’ve been bombarded recently with tales of multi-billion dollar profits out of our biggest banks, but it’s not all one sided – these banks have big expenses too; like some of the most impressive office space in Australia! Lets have a look at some of the pre & post GFC extravagance your 6.45% standard variable rates support. ANZ ANZ has recently moved into... Read More

Post Calendar

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Long Straws is the personal blog of Stephen Colman.

The views represented here are mine and should not be considered representative of my employers.

Any posts containing statements around the suitability of financial service products should be considered "general advice" which does not take into consideration your financial background or circumstances. Please contact a licenced financial planner should you require advice in this regard.