Do you trust AAM advice?

ClubMan

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43,880
Bear in mind the disclaimer.

Do you? If so why? If not why not?

I find that the comments are generally knowledgeable and trustworthy and where they are not they are usually corrected promptly by others.

I get the impression from some of your other posts that you are playing Devil's Advocate on this issue. No harm in that as long as it's not trolling but I just wonder (a) if this is the case and (b) if so what prompted it?
 
D

dermot2006

Guest
Personally I think this place is a wealth of information on many things.
But I do think that people should be wary of taking action on direct advice that one member may offer. But I think the website is growing in popularity and has a bright and happy future.
 

ClubMan

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I agree and trust that the disclaimer and the many repetitive comments about seeking independent, professional advice on various matters hopefully reinforce this point.
 

onekeano

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912
ClubMan said:
I agree and trust that the disclaimer and the many repetitive comments about seeking independent, professional advice on various matters hopefully reinforce this point.
Personally I would value the advice on AAM more than most professional advice because invariably you will get both sides of the issue from AAM and if you are getting professional advice generally AAM will generate some good questions to ask the professional which otherwise might not have been covered.

Roy
 

demoivre

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onekeano said:
Personally I would value the advice on AAM more than most professional advice because invariably you will get both sides of the issue from AAM and if you are getting professional advice generally AAM will generate some good questions to ask the professional which otherwise might not have been covered.

Roy
Totally agree with my right honourable cyber friend :)
 

extopia

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Although quality of advice can vary (and we all make mistakes) it's very easy to check out a poster's previous contibutions (and reaction to them by other posters) and so evaluate the poster's expertise, to a degree.

There are many posters here whose opinions and advice I trust.
 

ubiquitous

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onekeano said:
Personally I would value the advice on AAM more than most professional advice
If you are prepared to place more value on unaccountable and largely anonymous comments made on a voluntary community forum than on formal professional advice, you should really ask yourself why you should ever bother to obtain and pay for the latter.

onekeano said:
invariably you will get both sides of the issue from AAM
This is true to a point but I would strongly disagree that it is invariably true. Problem is that you may be getting 'both sides' of the issue but some issues are more subtle and complicated than that and sometimes it can be hard to spot when this is indeed the case.

onekeano said:
if you are getting professional advice generally AAM will generate some good questions to ask the professional which otherwise might not have been covered.
I doubt this. If your advisor isn't telling you the full story on any given subject, then it's time to get a new advisor.

As a practising professional myself, I have often noticed how people get misled from reading technical items out of context in newspapers and on online media such as AAM. A little knowledge is often a dangerous thing. It is quite frustrating sometimes to see people making serious mistakes as a result of relying on hearsay.

One prime example is the legions of people who set up limited companies for tiny and modestly profitable businesses because they think there is some advantage to them in relation to limited liability if the business fails. This misunderstanding has been repeated so many times on AAM that I rarely bother correcting it any more.

There are many more examples. Brendan said this yesterday in reply to someone who quoted an article from the Sunday Business Post on Irish Nationwide:
With due respect, I am getting a little bit tired of people asking the same question again and again and quoting newspaper articles which are frankly wrong on the issue.
 

extopia

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ubiquitous said:
If you are prepared to place more value on unaccountable and largely anonymous comments made on a voluntary community forum than on formal professional advice, you should really ask yourself why you should ever bother to obtain and pay for the latter
Indeed. I think the increasing popularity of AAM is partly due to wildly variable quality and patchy definitions of what exactly constitutes professional advice - and not just in the area of financial services.

The proliferation of such "professionals" as tied insurance agents; in-house "advisors" at financial institutions peddling questionable products; unscrupulous estate agents; dodgy tradesmen etc. has made many people wary. This is entirely understandable.

AAM is as good a source of opinion on a wide variety of consumer related issues as any other. But of course, if you are not paying for the advice, you should be aware that you may only be getting what you paid for (i.e. nothing, or possibly less than nothing!). This can of course also be true if you pay for bad advice outside of AAM. That can happen too.
 

Dearg Doom

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Sure I trust it. But then the advice (on all topics) is usually:

1. Educate yourself, do some research – it’s often possible to do it yourself
2. If is sounds too good to be true, it probably is
3. If the cost of getting a professional involved is a small percentage of the total investment/cost then do so
4. If getting a professional involved, get one that isn’t limited to some subset of all available possibilities

Everything else is a discussion of the options.
 

ClubMan

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ubiquitous said:
Beware of whores who say they don't want money.
The hell they don't.
What they mean is they want more money. Much more.
- William S Burroughs
Nice quote but I don't see what it has to do with the voluntary nature of AAM. Most people here are not looking for money. Definitely nobody gets it directly through AAM. I totally agree with the view that people should get independent, professional and separate confirmation of information and advice posted here or picked up from any other "unofficial" or casual source - especially when the benefits of such professional advice significantly outweigh the potential costs (e.g. when the potential cost of making a wrong decisions based on partial or inaccurate information are high). However I would not throw the baby out with the bathwater by, as some people might, dismissing out of hand most or all amateur comment/feedback or necessarily assuming that all "professional" advice is necessarily perfect. We have seen many anecdotal first hand reports of this patently not being the case over the years on AAM. I'm sure that it's also possible that some "professionals" have a vested interest in keeping people in the dark and discouraging those pesky clients from poking their noses into things that they might not understand? Much information is free and information is power. By all means use AAM and other sources as opportunities to educate yourself about stuff (such as personal finance and related isssues in this case) but when it comes to making decisions/plans, if in doubt, get independent, professional advice. If you deal with any professional who is dismissive about reasonable questions that you raise or unnecessarily secretive about how they do their job then find another one who is more consumer friendly.
 

ubiquitous

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ClubMan said:
Nice quote but I don't see what it has to do with the voluntary nature of AAM.
It came to mind actually as a response to this excellent point by extopia

I think the increasing popularity of AAM is partly due to wildly variable quality and patchy definitions of what exactly constitutes professional advice - and not just in the area of financial services.
The proliferation of such "professionals" as tied insurance agents; in-house "advisors" at financial institutions peddling questionable products; unscrupulous estate agents; dodgy tradesmen etc. has made many people wary. This is entirely understandable.
 

dam099

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866
ubiquitous said:
One prime example is the legions of people who set up limited companies for tiny and modestly profitable businesses because they think there is some advantage to them in relation to limited liability if the business fails. This misunderstanding has been repeated so many times on AAM that I rarely bother correcting it any more.
But someone normally does correct it. I would say in most discussions I have seen on this issue someone has pointed out the dubious advantages to having a limited company for small businesses so surely this is an example of where AAM works by pointing out an alternative viewpoint to people who have assumed a limited company is a good idea.
 

casiopea

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381
ubiquitous said:
I doubt this. If your advisor isn't telling you the full story on any given subject, then it's time to get a new advisor.
I think this is a bit unrealistic. In an ideal world this would be the case but this isnt an ideal world. Some people dont have enough knowledge/information available to them to know if an advisor is giving them the whole story or not.

For example, I have had a couple of accountants, but I have yet to have one that actively challenges my set up. I have to go to him and say "I have heard of such and such a benefit am I elligible"/"should I be doing this" etc. Its more of a push model rather than a pull model to put it in IT terms and before you say it, I have changed accoutants, but Ive yet to find one that actively reviews my set up.

When I bought a house (pre-AAM) the broker I used, though independent, did not do a good job and only really promoted one option to me. Yes, I changed broker, but I could have done with AAM to help me identify what I should have been asking the broker in the first place to save me time.

I think AAM as a board is an excellent tool to help people start what they should know/do regarding mortgages/savings/ssia etc.
 

onekeano

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912
ubiquitous said:
If you are prepared to place more value on unaccountable and largely anonymous comments made on a voluntary community forum than on formal professional advice, you should really ask yourself why you should ever bother to obtain and pay for the latter.



This is true to a point but I would strongly disagree that it is invariably true. Problem is that you may be getting 'both sides' of the issue but some issues are more subtle and complicated than that and sometimes it can be hard to spot when this is indeed the case.



I doubt this. If your advisor isn't telling you the full story on any given subject, then it's time to get a new advisor.

As a practising professional myself, I have often noticed how people get misled from reading technical items out of context in newspapers and on online media such as AAM. A little knowledge is often a dangerous thing. It is quite frustrating sometimes to see people making serious mistakes as a result of relying on hearsay.

One prime example is the legions of people who set up limited companies for tiny and modestly profitable businesses because they think there is some advantage to them in relation to limited liability if the business fails. This misunderstanding has been repeated so many times on AAM that I rarely bother correcting it any more.

There are many more examples. Brendan said this yesterday in reply to someone who quoted an article from the Sunday Business Post on Irish Nationwide:
Actually UB I disagree with pretty much ALL of the above. Experience tells me that the quality and especially the consistency of professional advice varies sometimes alarmingly in terms of it's implications. I very mich like the forum approach as it allow for the advice to be calibrated by others. In my experience when your doctor / lawyer / dentist / accountant give you advice across a desk there is rarely a gaurdian angel whispering "that's not quite right" over his shoulder. In a lot of cases what you are paying for is "an opinion" but as they say doctors differ and patients ........

Roy
 

coleen

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486
i think it is independant advice as most people are giving their experiences and it is up to you to reacherch all the info you get it is like sitting around a big table in pub getting peoples opnions but it is just that opnions but lots of usefull info and more questions for you to ask of your proffesional if you buying a toaster you can ask a question or 2 and buy it will either work out or not just an experience but if you are spending a lot of cash you will do more rechearch and think it out more carefully all information is good
 
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