And it’s not even that long!
I want to say a few things about the shit that went down with the Hayne Royal Commission into banking and financial services. The final report was released on Monday,
I know, it’s the last thing you want to think or read about. But go with me for a quick moment.
But first of all, can we take a moment to appreciate the awesome awkwardness of the photo call.
The fact that Hayne gives zero fucks about hiding his disaste for the whole thing is just glorious.
Ok, now I want to get to the real point. There were 76 recommendations that came out of the final report. I’m not gonna lie, I haven’t read most of them. I usually nerd out on this stuff but it’s been a busy week.
What I have done is read a shitload of commentary on it. And I came here to say this: don’t trust anyone with your money.
I’m not saying bury it in the backyard.
I am saying that a recurring theme was people having no bullshit filter.
The hearings were full of stories of people given poor advice by dodgy bankers and advisers, who didn’t see it for what it was.
Like, people close to retirement were given supersize home loans for risky property purchases. Or parents went guarantor for their kids’ businesses and didn’t realise their own home was on the line. Awful stuff, where people lost their homes, marriages and families.
There will always be fraudsters and dodgy dealers. But much of the poor behaviour recounted in the Commission wasn’t technically illegal. It was just risky business.
People who couldn’t afford to take on risk were told to do so. And because they trusted ‘professionals’, they just went along with it.
So what can you do? Educate yourself.
Sorry, no silver bullet.
To become a truly fierce girl, you need to take some responsibility for, and interest in, your finances. Read books and blogs. Talk to smart people. Pick up the business section of the paper now and then.
If you’re making a big decision about your money, go in with a serious amount of your own research. Line up any advice or recommendations against your gut instincts. If it doesn’t sit well with you, think twice about it. And never feel afraid to ask ‘dumb’ or ‘rude’ questions.
The fact is, the Commission didn’t recommend fundamental changes to the sector. And greedy/unethical/incompetent people will continue to litter the finance industry the same way they do every industry. (You probably work with some yourself). As a result, you have to be on your game.
Sounds harsh, but the best defense against getting ripped off is to be a bossy, know-it-all, difficult-question-asking bitch.
Which is great, because that’s totally my style!