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Caveat Emptor? Your criticisms of financial products answered by the manufacturers

Do you have a criticism of a financial product, and want an explanation? We have a new regular feature called 'Caveat Emptor?'

Caveat Emptor is defined as: 'the principle that the buyer alone is responsible for checking the quality and suitability of goods before a purchase is made.' So we want to help the buyers, and you can contribute by sharing your concerns.

We invite readers to send us criticisms or questions about any financial product, and we'll ask the product manufacturer or another expert to respond. Write to us at

We ask anyone else with a constructive view to then write a comment on our website. The Q&A will be collected under a new menu tab called 'Caveat Emptor?' for future reference. We hope this becomes a good reference point for product enquiries.


Ian Kelly
December 13, 2013

Folks, Just a short note before Christmas – Your site is outstanding. I would like to say thank you for your efforts with the Cuffelinks Emails.

Probably the best source of commentary and information I have seen over the past 20 years – the last 15 as an adviser.

I trust you and all the team that put the effort in – get the opportunity to enjoy a break and spend time with those closest to you over the next month or so

Michael Connor
December 04, 2013

My concern lies with shares. I don't believe there is enough done by the overall industry to list new companies in Australia's strengths being Agriculture/Food and Tourism. Many companies seem to get a start in say mining or technology and then fall by the wayside destroying shareholder funds. These funds could be utilised elsewhere in say as an example Darryl Lea, Spring Gully type operations.

November 30, 2013

Thanks for the questions coming in for Caveat Emptor? We have passed them to appropriate people and will chase a response next week. Keep them coming!

Rob Prugue
November 29, 2013

My personal pet peeve are "Dividend Income Funds". The name would imply that such funds are invested so as to maximse DIVIDEND income, be it franked or not, and as CASH (or even DRPs). Yet, the number of so called "Dividend Income Funds" whose investment strategy is to access income-like outcome through the usage of derivative arb strategies confound. Whilst I accept such strategies may yield (pardon the pun) income like results, they are not Dividend, they are not tax effective, nor as they paid out as received CASH. If we're fair dinkum, then why not call them what they truly are: "Synthetic Arb Funds"? Rhetorical question as any agent could answer why they're not.

Another, perhaps, would be to highlight how investment paper issued by banks are NOT term deposits?

Caveat Emptor indeed, but the "caveat" is fair only when there's symmetry in information I'd suggest.

Graham Hand
November 30, 2013

Thanks, Rob. So we don't show any favouritism, any volunteers to defend these income funds? Or we'll track one down.


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