How to make AAM even better?!

elacsaplau

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There's a thread at the moment which was created by Investor which has got me thinking!

After the zillions of threads on AAM (note: I'm not one to exaggerate!), the essence of his question should have been answered clearly before and comprehensively so. It has not and one can speculate as to the reasons for this.

And so to my suggestion - I think it would be really good to have a facility where really key information regarding individual topics is somehow recorded. I fully recognise that the "key posts" go a long way to addressing this. Ideally, what I would like is for it to be clear where information deficits exist!! So, maybe, for each topic, there would be a table of all key questions and where an approved answer exists, a link to the approved thread is listed on this table and where no approved answer exists, then, very simply, no link exists.

I recognise that I'm struggling a little to explain my point so it may be best if I give an example, as follows:

Say - in pensions - there are many key questions. The answers to some of these may be very difficult to consolidate appropriately - e.g. what is the appropriate asset allocation for ARFs? But other questions should be considerably easier for meaningful and helpful answers to be prepared. And Investor's thread is a case in point.

Essentially, what he was looking for is the details regarding competitive charges for ARFs - as a whole and for different asset classes within the ARF. In an ideal world, information along the following lines would be available on AAM.

(a) The options, charges and process of dealing directly with a QFMs

(b) The additional options and associated total charges of going through an intermediary

Providing this type of information would be an enormous "value add" for AAM.

Thoughts?!

*********************

I am just after seeing the thread about AVC charges - which presumably was prepared whilst I was writing this thread. Two points:

1. I had nothing to do with that thread!!
2. More seriously, note Early Riser's response!
 
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torblednam

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A lot of work to implement and even more work to keep information / answers up to date - thinking of tax, which is my niche area, every time there’s a new finance act there may be answers that become incorrect.
 

elacsaplau

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All true, torbledam - point taken.

I'm just wondering if there is a better way of doing things? Anyone who reads Investor's thread will be struck by the quality of his posts. Look at his opening line: "I apologize for starting yet another thread on ARFs, but here goes..."

Now, in my opinion, the reason that there is "yet another thread" is because this question never gets appropriately answered!

In response to your justifiable comment, could the relevant "key post" be dated......as in "information understood to be correct as at November 2019"?

In the example in question, wouldn't the charges would be broadly similar from one year to the next?
 

Brendan Burgess

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Hi elacs

I couldn't agree more

CiaránT's deposit rates is a great example of this.

I have done a number of key posts e.g. Best mortgage deals. They are very difficult to keep up to date. While I have done my best to keep this updated, there have been a few changes recently which I have not yet incorporated.

From time to time, when I see a long thread and someone has answered a lot of the questions in the middle, I pm them and ask them to do a Key Post on the topic.

For some reason, people have great difficulty in writing key posts. They can answer questions until the cows come home, but don't seem to be able to sit and write something from the start.

There are exceptions - off the top of my head Red's guide to the cost of early breaks from fixed rate mortgages.

Maybe we should do a sort of Wiki version? A forum for Key Posts. Allow about 20 or 30 users to edit any of the Key Posts. So while I have not updated the mortgage rates, you could do so.

Brendan
 

TrundleAlong

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If you have a look at the Tripadvisor website they have a key questions section where common questions are answered, offset to the right of the forum page. How do I get from the airport? Where can I get the Hop On Hop off bus? etc.

These are updated by the community as information changes. Many people however don't notice these questions and continue to ask in the general forum. Oftentimes the regulars will point out the often asked questions to the person asking.

 

elacsaplau

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Thanks Brendan,

Firstly, re-reading my initial post, I probably under-acknowledged the importance, usefulness and effort involved in creating and maintaining the existing key posts.

The challenges mentioned by torblednam and yourself are completely reasonable.

But as TrundleAlong has just mentioned, there may well be a framework from other sites that can be effectively deployed by AAM?
 

Brendan Burgess

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But as TrundleAlong has just mentioned, there may well be a framework from other sites that can be effectively deployed by AAM?
While that is an interesting idea, the key problem is getting people to do the work.

I would not change the layout of askaboutmoney hoping that someone would write lots of key posts.

Many people don't even read them. Rather than read a Best Buys post, they will post a question "Which is the cheapest mortgage?"

Brendan
 

elacsaplau

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Many people don't even read them. Rather than read a Best Buys post, they will post a question "Which is the cheapest mortgage?"
Fair enough, Brendan...…..I get it that you can bring the horse to the water but can't make him drink.


Let's consider this as a brain-storming thread - where many frogs may appear before progress breaks out!

I've been thinking about this again - this time trying to be more practical.

I think that there might be a limited number of key posts that could really help the population at large.

Take your best buys in the mortgage arena. My sense is that this info helps directly and indirectly very many people - who otherwise would be paying over the odds. By "directly" I mean those that read the post(s) and act specifically as a result; and by "indirectly" I mean that it presumably helps the general competitiveness of the market.

Similarly - thanks to the HIA site and Snowyb, people have very good comparative info re health insurance costs.

My very strong sense is that many folk are paying over the odds on their pension contracts (continuing the same example as earlier)…….and that a pension "best buys" would similarly be of very, very significant direct and indirect benefit. Frankly, the posters who have this information have been, to date, very reticent to share it, somewhat understandably.

Of course, many folk won't even bother reading a relevant key post but this site can only bring folk to the water.....it's up to them to drink!

You are right - we don't need to change the layout of AAM - we simply need to fill this information gap! So the question becomes......how best to do so?!
 

Brendan Burgess

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Frankly, the posters who have this information have been, to date, very reticent to share it, somewhat understandably.
You raise a good point here.

I can publish the Mortgages Best Buy threads because it will be helpful to people and people can deal directly with their lenders in most cases. I don't need to make a living out of it.

But I would not be critical of a mortgage broker who had the same information but declined to publish it. They make their living from helping people find the best mortgage.

So it might be the same with pensions. It's a very complex area. If a broker has compiled that information, I would not expect them to share it or criticise them for not sharing it.

Brendan
 

elacsaplau

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Again, I understand your points, Brendan

It's just that AAM is the Irish CONSUMER forum! Let the Irish brokers forum (or whatever it's called) look after the interests of brokers.

In relation to pensions, there are certainly complex elements but there are also straight-forward aspects. I am convinced that the information described in an earlier post would be of immense value and within the understanding of those seeking it!

I fully accept that the info won't come from brokers - at least not without encouragement!? If it doesn't come from brokers, how is it to be sourced?

An incredible range and depth of information is available on AAM - in my opinion, the lack of detail re insurance/investment charges is the one big remaining information deficit.

I am also struck by the lack of traction to date of this thread - it almost seems that we are having a PM exchange!
 

Brendan Burgess

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Trundle Along has made an interesting contribution.

Could I suggest that you compile the post you want on investment and see what it looks like.

I find that Best Buys posts are organic. I compile them and then others provide corrections or clarifications.

So even if you don't have all the information, compile what you know and others will add to it.

Brendan
 

elacsaplau

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Could I suggest that you compile the post you want on investment and see what it looks like.

So even if you don't have all the information, compile what you know and others will add to it.
Hi Brendan,

I take it that investment above is a typo? Regarding the suggestion to compile a post, I am happy to draft a template of the info that I think would be helpful. However, I have practically zero visibility on market info and charges so whilst I can draft the "template", I will need others to "lion ne bearnaí" mar a deirtear!

May be a day or two before I'll get time to do it.
 

Zenith63

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In relation to pensions, there are certainly complex elements but there are also straight-forward aspects. I am convinced that the information described in an earlier post would be of immense value and within the understanding of those seeking it!

I am also struck by the lack of traction to date of this thread - it almost seems that we are having a PM exchange!
FWIW I think a pension best buy would be a great asset. They're really not that complex when it comes down to it, but the language and inconsistent pricing structures can make figuring it out yourself seem more difficult than it really is. I don't necessarily think the desired outcome is everybody setting up their own pensions without advise, but a Best Buys thread could allow consumers go to advisers with some sense of what is good value and what is not.
 

Brendan Burgess

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Hi elacs

Prompted by this thread, I revised and restructured the Mortgages Best Buys


It was a lot of work and I am still not happy with the outcome.

And it will be hard to keep it updated.

Brendan
 

Protocol

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I apologise if this has been said already, but we need one post for:

best buys for AVCs
best buys for ARFs
best buys for non-pension funds/ETFs

Surely this would prevent duplication of posts?
 

Brendan Burgess

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Hi Protocol

I am not sure if you mean one post for all three or three separate posts.

But we need a volunteer to compile it and to keep it updated.

Brendan
 
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