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Financial Services Group WCS Sues Online Forum Over Negative Post

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the I-wish-you-wouldn't-say-that dept.

Censorship 112

First time accepted submitter kavzee writes The popular Australian online discussion forum, Whirlpool, is being sued by a financial services group for refusing to remove a negative review about its services. A similar story occurred a number of years ago when another company by the name of 2Clix attempted to sue Whirlpool for the same reasons but later withdrew their case. "A financial services business licenced through National Australia Bank is suing an online forum for refusing to remove an allegedly fake and negative post about its services, claiming it has damaged its reputation with would-be clients. It is the latest legal action launched against an online forum or review website for publishing negative comments, following several high profile cases in Australia and overseas. Financial advice group WCS Group has initiated action against Whirlpool in the Supreme Court of Victoria, seeking unspecified damages and costs, despite the fact the forum generates no revenue."

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The question comes down to can they prove fakery (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47689573)

If they know who the person is and they can prove they never used the service, they can win. If they cannot prove that, they will lose regardless.

Re: The question comes down to can they prove fake (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47689909)

That's irrelevant. All that matters is who has the bigger wallet the hire better lawyer. Even OJ won in court.

Re: The question comes down to can they prove fake (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47690429)

That's irrelevant. All that matters is who has the bigger wallet the hire better lawyer. Even OJ won in court.

OJ did lose in civil court, even if he won in criminal court.

Besides, OJ was the defendant. The defendant always as the advantage in US criminal law.

Re: The question comes down to can they prove fake (4, Informative)

NotSanguine (1917456) | about 4 months ago | (#47690927)

...The defendant always as the advantage in US criminal law.

That's hilarious! [nytimes.com] I wish [wikipedia.org] I had [pbs.org] mod points [ssrn.com] this is definitely [scpr.org] a +5 Funny! [duke.edu]

Re: The question comes down to can they prove fake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47694013)

6 cases is FAR from proving your point. "innocent until proven guilty"... that alone sounds like it is stacked in favor of the defendant. Not to mention all the rules on how you obtain evidence. And how you actually were noticed to begin with. I could go on... but that can't compete with your 6 examples. >_>

Re: The question comes down to can they prove fake (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 3 months ago | (#47693093)

That's irrelevant. All that matters is who has the bigger wallet the hire better lawyer. Even OJ won in court.

Not in Australia.

In Australia we have judges that are competent, not simply waiting for their next cheque.

Also the whole "better lawyer" thing is not as skewed because the winner can go after the loser for legal fees (even if they withdraw their case). So a lot of lawyers work on the idea that they'll get their fee after the case if your case is strong enough. Besides this, Whirlpool's Simon Wright has been putting money away after the 2Clix fiasco for just this kind of emergency.

But the National Australia Bank (NAB) owned WCS is about to learn about the Streisand effect the hard way. Before the tried to sue Whirlpool the only people who knew about that post were the people in that thread (I'm an active member and I didn't know about it) but now, there's an article in the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald about them.

This wont end well for NAB.

Re: The question comes down to can they prove fake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47694289)

Why do people keep bringing this up? OJ was not guilty, his son killed them...you know the psychotic son who has attacked people with his knives before? Anyway there are multiple documentaries on YouTube covering this information. Please educate yourself.

Re: The question comes down to can they prove fake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47695077)

Multiple YouTube documentaries!? How was I not made aware of this before!?

As a chrono-American, I can remember... (3, Interesting)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 4 months ago | (#47689605)

...when Australia had the reputation, especially with conservatives, as being "America done right." How times have changed!

Re:As a chrono-American, I can remember... (1)

emanuele_fanton (2529260) | about 4 months ago | (#47689621)

one swallow does not make a summer

Re:As a chrono-American, I can remember... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47689767)

one swallow does not make a summer

True, but it can make a good pr0n clip.

Re: As a chrono-American, I can remember... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47690285)

Wow, a misogynist? On a tech site? Color me surprised!

If you think women should have to swallow, then men should have to eat pussy without complaining. It's a two way street.

Re: As a chrono-American, I can remember... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47690583)

I love to eat pussy. Guys that don't, prefer hotdogs.

Re: As a chrono-American, I can remember... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47690589)

Wow, a misogynist? On a tech site? Color me surprised!

If you think women should have to swallow, then men should have to eat pussy without complaining. It's a two way street.

Show me one straight man who doesn't enjoy munching box and I'll eat the hat off of my head.

Re: As a chrono-American, I can remember... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47690745)

Eat your hat. I am straight and all I think of oral is ewwww.

Re: As a chrono-American, I can remember... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47690735)

Wow, a misogynist? On a tech site? Color me surprised!

If you think women should have to swallow, then men should have to eat pussy without complaining. It's a two way street.

Umm, so you've never heard of gay guys?

Re: As a chrono-American, I can remember... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47692733)

Wow, a misogynist? On a tech site? Color me surprised!

Perhaps YOU'RE the misogynist, since you assumed that the AC you responded to was talking about a woman doing the swallowing.

If you think women should have to swallow, then men should have to eat pussy without complaining. It's a two way street.

I haven't met very many men, (myself included), who complain about eating pussy; in my experience most of us are happy to do so, given a congenial partner with a clean pussy.

Re:As a chrono-American, I can remember... (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 4 months ago | (#47689709)

When was that exactly?

Re:As a chrono-American, I can remember... (2, Insightful)

GNious (953874) | about 4 months ago | (#47689769)

I'm thinking it was around the time everyone there were either prisoners, or people hired to look after said prisoners ...

Re:As a chrono-American, I can remember... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47689995)

Seems to me the US has soon come full circle then ;)

Re:As a chrono-American, I can remember... (1)

TWX (665546) | about 4 months ago | (#47689869)

When was that exactly?

Probably '86 - '88, when Paul Hogan fleetingly made a particular self-reliant stereotype popular.

Re:As a chrono-American, I can remember... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47691895)

Can you please stay on topic. This isn't a wrestling forum.

Re:As a chrono-American, I can remember... (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 4 months ago | (#47689991)

Roughly speaking, the '60s and '70s.

Re:As a chrono-American, I can remember... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47689901)

That was when it was a penal colony. Things have changed and America only got worse.

Re:As a chrono-American, I can remember... (3, Informative)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 4 months ago | (#47689977)

America is closer to a penal colony these days.

From the internetz: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U... [wikipedia.org]

The incarceration rate in the United States of America is the highest in the world. As of October 2013, the incarceration rate was 716 per 100,000 of the national population.[2] While the United States represents about 5 percent of the world's population, it houses around 25 percent of the world's prisoners.[3][4] Imprisonment of America's 2.3 million prisoners, costing $24,000 per inmate per year, and $5.1 billion in new prison construction, consumes $60.3 billion in budget expenditures.

Re:As a chrono-American, I can remember... (4, Interesting)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 4 months ago | (#47690071)

That's because we've figure out how to monetize it. The "for profit prison', means it is a persons patriotic duty to be incarcerated, to help drive the economy.

http://www.correctionsproject.... [correctionsproject.com]

Judges can even profit.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K... [wikipedia.org]

This is a libertarian utopia, to be able to make big bucks, free market style from something that used to cost us money. More proof of their moral superiority, and of how the free market always does things better.

Re:As a chrono-American, I can remember... (2)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 4 months ago | (#47690131)

That's because we've figure out how to monetize it. The "for profit prison', means it is a persons patriotic duty to be incarcerated, to help drive the economy.

Or perhaps we Americans are much more prone to violent and illegal activities (gun crimes, theft, fraud, and so on...) that are likly to get you incarcerated? Americans as a whole are much less inclined than many European societies to actuall participate in scoiety with a goal of "getting along". We are an "I've Got Mine, Fuck You" sort of people.

Re:As a chrono-American, I can remember... (3, Interesting)

digsbo (1292334) | about 4 months ago | (#47690181)

We also have at least four or five separate cultures, some of which get along, and some of which do not. Look at how well northern European and Scandinavian countries react to losing their respective cultural supermajorities over the next decade or so. Should be very interesting.

Too many damn immigrants (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47690329)

Well if they don't like it, then they can go back to their own shitty countries. Im not a racist, but whenever blacks complain about slavery or discrimination here in America, I offer to buy them a one way ticket to Africa. But no. They don't want to go back to that shithole. I'd do the same for Mexicans or Chinese or any other fuckers who complain and cause problems in America, yet none want to go back home. Maybe they should shut the fuck up and realize how wonderful America is compared to the third world shithole from which they emerged.

And I don't really have a problem with whites or Asians. They work hard generally and don't cause violence or do drugs or fight. But the blacks and Mexicans, god, they are the worst. If they start invading your country too, then prepare for your country to start going to hell as well.

Re:Too many damn immigrants (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47690379)

A word to the wise, anyone using the phrase "I'm not a racist" usually is. Not that you seriously believed any of that stuff you posted.

Here's some more advice: racist trolling stopped being in vogue over ten years ago. Consider changing to something a bit more up to date.

Re:Too many damn immigrants (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47690625)

Here's some more advice: racist trolling stopped being in vogue over ten years ago. Consider changing to something a bit more up to date.

Yep, if you're quick you can still catch the end of the I-was-a-gay-teen-in-the-fifties wave.

Re:Too many damn immigrants (1)

Sp*rH*wk (1387649) | about 4 months ago | (#47690749)

I guess the phrase is "I'm not a racist, but ..."

Re:Too many damn immigrants (2)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 4 months ago | (#47691331)

Yes, don't forget that religion, work habits, family values and attitudes toward violence are genetically determined, with no element of free will allowed. That makes any comment about other cultures a racist comment. Isn't academia wonderful?

Re:Too many damn immigrants (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47690979)

How about you follow your advice?

You who complain about Americans, and tell them to get out. Perhaps you should set the example.

Re:Too many damn immigrants (0)

almechist (1366403) | about 4 months ago | (#47691641)

Well if they don't like it, then they can go back to their own shitty countries. Im not a racist, but whenever blacks complain about slavery or discrimination here in America, I offer to buy them a one way ticket to Africa. But no. They don't want to go back to that shithole. I'd do the same for Mexicans or Chinese or any other fuckers who complain and cause problems in America, yet none want to go back home. Maybe they should shut the fuck up and realize how wonderful America is compared to the third world shithole from which they emerged.

And I don't really have a problem with whites or Asians. They work hard generally and don't cause violence or do drugs or fight. But the blacks and Mexicans, god, they are the worst. If they start invading your country too, then prepare for your country to start going to hell as well.

Factually incorrect, at least about drugs. Drug use as a percentage of population is remarkably stable across racial lines. Do some research, BLACKS DO NOT USE MORE DRUGS THAN WHITES, if you believe that they do you are indeed a racist. As a matter of fact I don't even know why I'm replying to a -1 post, everything else you say is no doubt equally as wrong, and that especially includes the part about how "Im not a racist".

Re:Too many damn immigrants (1)

Cyberax (705495) | about 4 months ago | (#47692193)

Yes, you are racists. Most blacks were born in the USA, so why should they go anywhere? Maybe it's you who should buy a ticket to England or Ireland or to a country where your ancestors came from?

Re:Too many damn immigrants (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47693517)

no ta, you keep em, they are too racist and dumb

Re:Too many damn immigrants (2)

Scarletdown (886459) | about 4 months ago | (#47692479)

Well if they don't like it, then they can go back to their own shitty countries. Im not a racist, but whenever blacks complain about slavery or discrimination here in America, I offer to buy them a one way ticket to Africa. But no. They don't want to go back to that shithole. I'd do the same for Mexicans or Chinese or any other fuckers who complain and cause problems in America, yet none want to go back home.

Just out of curiosity, if the one complaining was a Hopi, or Cherokee, or Navajo, or Apache, or perhaps Salish, to which destination would you purchase a one way ticket for them?

Re:As a chrono-American, I can remember... (1, Troll)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 4 months ago | (#47690639)

Mysteriously, you are also quite happy to deficit-finance the billions upon billions it costs to incarcerate millions of your citizens.

If you want to lock up all those people for petty crimes (then throw away the key) then at least raise taxes so your citizens understand the true cost, instead of just borrowing the money to fund it. Eventually that's gonna unravel.

Re:As a chrono-American, I can remember... (2)

sumdumass (711423) | about 4 months ago | (#47692125)

The federal prison budget is only about 6.5 billion a year. It is generally not considered a budget buster and is largely covered before deficit spending is considered. Taxes wouldn't go up a complete percent to cover that little amount.

Your argument is really about running a ballanced budget so citizens can understand the true cost of everything the government does. But picking the federal prison system out of the mix will not have any significant impact in the grand scheme of things

Re:As a chrono-American, I can remember... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47694443)

Or perhaps we Americans are much more prone to violent and illegal activities (gun crimes, theft, fraud, and so on...) that are likly to get you incarcerated? Americans as a whole are much less inclined than many European societies to actuall participate in scoiety with a goal of "getting along". We are an "I've Got Mine, Fuck You" sort of people.

I've often argued this point. However, an embarrassingly large portion of the incarcerated are there due to non-violent drug possession crimes. Releasing those would lower the incarceration rate quite a bit. Not as low as other developed nations, but just about where it should be to reflect our greater tendency toward violence and a "fuck everyone" attitude.

- T

Re:As a chrono-American, I can remember... (5, Interesting)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 4 months ago | (#47690455)

> This is a libertarian utopia

You, sir, are ignorant.

The vast majority in prison are for drug or other consenting pseudo-crimes, none of which would be there in a libertarian utopia.

Secondly, libertarians are fine with government-run prisons. It's one of the few things we think government should actually do. Calving it off for private (which wouldn't be even suggested with a vastly reduced prison population) to for-profit private enterprise is a. thing people woupd be agnostic about until proven better. In any case, that's driven by decidedly un-libertarian types like Cheney.

Re:As a chrono-American, I can remember... (1)

T.E.D. (34228) | about 3 months ago | (#47694821)

Secondly, libertarians are fine with government-run prisons. It's one of the few things we think government should actually do.

Which shows you right there how naïve some libertarians can be. The real-world effect of this is that kids who make dumb kid mistakes are now being sent to private prisons due to the judges having back-door deals [wikipedia.org] with (or sometimes an outright financial stake in) the prisons in question.

Before you "not all" me, think about simple economics here. Any time you introduce the profit motive into something that should be run entirely for the public good, you automatically create crap like this. Its inevitable.

Re:As a chrono-American, I can remember... (1)

T.E.D. (34228) | about 3 months ago | (#47694879)

Ack. Sorry. Meant this for the GP. Clearly I'm in violent agreement with the parent.

Re:As a chrono-American, I can remember... (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 4 months ago | (#47691297)

If it were actually a libertarian utopia, we would have been able to shoot that judge in your cited Kids For Cash scandal.

Re:As a chrono-American, I can remember... (2)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 4 months ago | (#47691837)

If it were actually a libertarian utopia, we would have been able to shoot that judge in your cited Kids For Cash scandal.

In a libertarian utopia, everyone is high intelligence, and very civic minded, and posessed of a magical combination of greed, generosity, and altruism.

Re:As a chrono-American, I can remember... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47690135)

So many of these people are in jail because they made a deliberate, informed decision to use drugs. They put themselves there because they decided getting high and risking their health was more important than following the law. Nobody forced drugs onto them, and they ALWAYS had a choice to not use them.

People say it's harsh to say "if you don't want to go to jail, don't commit a crime", but tell that to the hundreds of thousands of hard-working, law abiding immigrants who come here from China, Vietnam, the Middle East, etc. who have no English language skill, less property, less knowledge of America, and still become successful despite being in poverty because they chose to obey the law. I hate saying it's that simple, but it really is.

Growing up poor and surrounded by drug use, I can't feel sorry for people who chose to do so. It's a choice, and it's a terrible decision to choose to use drugs. We must stop pretending that they are victims and hold them responsible for their own terrible decisions.

Re:As a chrono-American, I can remember... (0, Troll)

HiThere (15173) | about 4 months ago | (#47690437)

My first thought was "Idiot". Then I noticed your sign in, Anonymous Coward, and revised that to troll.

Re:As a chrono-American, I can remember... (2)

sjames (1099) | about 4 months ago | (#47692795)

Yes, they certainly should have thought of that before they let the cop 'find' a baggie under their seat and keep their car.

Re:As a chrono-American, I can remember... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47690311)

If it was a penile colony tourism might see a considerable enlargement...

Re:As a chrono-American, I can remember... (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 4 months ago | (#47690109)

...when Australia had the reputation, especially with conservatives, as being "America done right." How times have changed!

I'm not sure how this law suit falls outside that view...

Re:As a chrono-American, I can remember... (1)

stoatwblr (2650359) | about 4 months ago | (#47690359)

Australia has been heavily corrupt for decades.

It's only since the navel-gazing that occured after the revelations of massive levels of governmental and police corruption (predominantly in Queensland) that occured in the early 1980s that Australians have had the temerity to try and deal with the problem - and every investigation in every state is uncovering greater or lesser levels of corruption in government and business circles.

It's said that sunlight makes the best disinfectant - for many years australian govt and business relied on being in control of the media to shut this kind of thing down, now they're finding that they can't stop someone shining a public spotlight on unsavoury practices - and this is a GOOD thing.

Re:As a chrono-American, I can remember... (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 4 months ago | (#47690549)

I knew Australia was in trouble, freedom-wise, when a judge stripped a dwarf of his right to be tossed in bars for profit, saying it violated the dwarf's "dignity".

So he stripped the dwarf of the dignity of being a sef-reliant, self-deciding, sovereign individual and turned him into a ward of his local royal highness.

  " I decide when you have dignity, not you, dwarf!"

Re:As a chrono-American, I can remember... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47690973)

... Australia was in trouble, freedom-wise ...

The current Australian government is the political party of defense, immigration, taxation and corporate profits. The previous grand poo-bah (called a "man of steel" by GW Bush) created conservative utopia regarding these keystones leaving his fervent disciple and devout catholic, the current grand poo-bah, with minimal power in a slowing economy. The policy decisions of the current grand poo-bah have been driven by the 'war on terror', turning it into the 'war on welfare', and by fiscal conservatism turning it into man-bashing (he has 3 daughters) and middle-class bashing. This is alarming because Australia doesn't have a bill of rights: A religiously enforced due process is the only protection given to its citizens. With the current government working to eliminate due process, Australia is moving towards a dictatorship.

... I decide when you have dignity ...

Rather like when American courts decide that prostitutes have no dignity.

Even in a culture driven by profit, society decides that some activities in the pursuit of profit are best avoided: The obvious ones are covered by the criminal code, like assassin. But others, like aborting a foetus for a game-show, conflict with the moral values of most people. Plus people make moral judgements about victimless activities, such as prostitution and dwarf-tossing. This is a question of government interference: When does individual freedom trump social needs for uniformity and moral judgement?

Re:As a chrono-American, I can remember... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47693937)

Mate, we're 10 years behind yu yanks... shit's caught up now.

Sounds like a scammy company though (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47689609)

Will Dice get sued now?

Note Australia has slightly more sane laws than England, but not by much. One major difference is companies with more then 15 employees (I think) can't sue for libel there.

Seems legitimate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47689615)

...because financial services companies have such sterling reputations.

Financial Services (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47689635)

They all suck.

They are driven by commissioned sales; which means the salesperson's will try to sell you things to boost their commissions and NOT what's best for you - especially when it comes to shit like Index and Variable Annuities.

They obfuscate and make things more complicated than should be.

They intimidate people and make them feel stupid and imply that if you do not understand things then you are dumb*. And since most people do not like to appear to be dumb, they go and sign on the dotted line and get ripped off.

It's all perfectly legal.

If you are ethically challenged or too chicken to be real criminal, financial services, IT "solution sales" and car sales are where you should be.

....

*It's like that in technology too. Asking questions means you are dumb in our "profession". It's too bad. A LOT of time could be saved and productivity boosted if many of us didn't have something to prove. After all, the brains you have is 75% (twin studies) genetic lottery and the rest was your environment you were brought up in - luck - thank you Mom and Dad!

Re:Financial Services (0)

NotSanguine (1917456) | about 4 months ago | (#47690021)

They all suck.

They are driven by commissioned sales; which means the salesperson's will try to sell you things to boost their commissions and NOT what's best for you - especially when it comes to shit like Index and Variable Annuities.

I agree that some (perhaps even most) in the financial services sector are ethically challenged. However, I know from my own experience that not all are driven by commissions. My nest egg is managed by a firm who (like many firms) charge a standard fee based on the amount of money under management. No commissions or other charges are charged for any transactions.

In a nutshell, you're talking out of your ass. Stop stinking up the place.

Re:Financial Services (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 4 months ago | (#47690129)

My nest egg is managed by a firm who (like many firms) charge a standard fee based on the amount of money under management.

If that fee is more than 0.1%, then you are still getting screwed.

Re:Financial Services (1, Insightful)

NotSanguine (1917456) | about 4 months ago | (#47690385)

My nest egg is managed by a firm who (like many firms) charge a standard fee based on the amount of money under management.

If that fee is more than 0.1%, then you are still getting screwed.

You're 226.3% correct, sir. Because if I use a firm who charges 0.05% and gives me a 3% return, that's better than a firm that charges 1% and gives me a 10% return. I'm so glad to have your wonderful advice. May I turn over all my assets to you so you can manage them for me?

Re:Financial Services (4, Informative)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 4 months ago | (#47690661)

Because if I use a firm who charges 0.05% and gives me a 3% return, that's better than a firm that charges 1% and gives me a 10% return.

Funds that charge higher fees DO NOT give better returns.

Higher Fees Don't Mean Higher Returns, Study Finds [wsj.com]
24% of Active Mutual Fund Managers Outperform the Market [nerdwallet.com]
In every single time period and data point tested, low-cost funds beat high-cost funds [morningstar.com]
Morningstar Study Says High Fees Are Bad for Investment Performance [thinkadvisor.com]

Anybody that thinks that high fees are buying high performance is delusional.

Re:Financial Services (2)

NotSanguine (1917456) | about 4 months ago | (#47690785)

Because if I use a firm who charges 0.05% and gives me a 3% return, that's better than a firm that charges 1% and gives me a 10% return.

Funds that charge higher fees DO NOT give better returns.

Higher Fees Don't Mean Higher Returns, Study Finds [wsj.com] 24% of Active Mutual Fund Managers Outperform the Market [nerdwallet.com] In every single time period and data point tested, low-cost funds beat high-cost funds [morningstar.com] Morningstar Study Says High Fees Are Bad for Investment Performance [thinkadvisor.com]

Anybody that thinks that high fees are buying high performance is delusional.

A reasonable point. Often (as is evidenced by the links you provided), higher fees are associated with organizations which maximize their profits at their customers' expense. My point was most certainly not "you should find a money manager who charges you more! They're the ones who will make you the most money!" My point was that money managers who charge a percentage of money under management (regardless of what that percentage might be) have a strong incentive to maximize your returns, as it maximizes their profits as well.

That said, my point about returns is still valid. If (and, as you correctly point out, that's a big if) you are being charged a certain percentage and are receiving a certain return, that doesn't necessarily mean that it's impossible for someone to pay a higher fee and get an even higher return. How does that disclaimer go again? "Past performance is no guarantee of future performance."

The truth is that regardless of how someone manages (or pays someone else to manage) their assets, they should keep a close eye on them and make sure they are maximizing their returns. Making the point that, in the aggregate, higher fees don't necessarily translate into higher returns, is useful and should be factored into investment decisions.

However, each person needs to make their own decisions and those decisions may or may not track with the graph. It's in that decision space that the aphorism generally (and incorrectly) attributed to PT Barnum [wikipedia.org] is proven correct every single day.

Re:Financial Services (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 4 months ago | (#47690915)

money managers who charge a percentage of money under management have a strong incentive to maximize your returns, as it maximizes their profits as well.

True, and the best way to maximize the return is for the fund manager to invest in a high risk crap shoot. If the gamble pays off, they get their fee, and attract lots of new investors. If it doesn't pay off, then hey, it wasn't their money. This is exactly what high-fee managers do. They run multiple funds, make risky investments, then shut down the funds where the gamble fails, and advertise and promote the funds where it pays off. This gives investors the illusion of success, when on average, they would be much better off investing in a low fee index fund.

"Past performance is no guarantee of future performance."

This rule is an understatement. Past performance is not even an indicator of future success. Fund managers that have done well in the past, are no more likely to do well in the future than predicted by random chance. There is no evidence that their past success was due to anything other than luck. There is no rational reason to pay someone to gamble on your behalf.

Re:Financial Services (1)

NotSanguine (1917456) | about 4 months ago | (#47690961)

money managers who charge a percentage of money under management have a strong incentive to maximize your returns, as it maximizes their profits as well.

True, and the best way to maximize the return is for the fund manager to invest in a high risk crap shoot. If the gamble pays off, they get their fee, and attract lots of new investors. If it doesn't pay off, then hey, it wasn't their money. This is exactly what high-fee managers do. They run multiple funds, make risky investments, then shut down the funds where the gamble fails, and advertise and promote the funds where it pays off. This gives investors the illusion of success, when on average, they would be much better off investing in a low fee index fund.

"Past performance is no guarantee of future performance."

This rule is an understatement. Past performance is not even an indicator of future success. Fund managers that have done well in the past, are no more likely to do well in the future than predicted by random chance. There is no evidence that their past success was due to anything other than luck. There is no rational reason to pay someone to gamble on your behalf.

You're quite correct. Although I think we're talking about different scenarios. You're talking about independently marketed investment funds, while I'm talking about licensed financial advisers managing portfolios of assets (which may include securities, index funds, investment funds as well as other financial instruments) on a client-by-client basis.

If I'm misunderstanding you, please correct me.

Re: Financial Services (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47691085)

Here's the payment scheme I'd like to propose - the fund manager gets to keep 40% of every dollar earned above and beyond the return garnered by the appropriate index benchmark fund. Period.

I can make the averages, and the fees at Vanguard are low. I'm willing to pay you handsomely to beat the averages - but not to loose.

Re: Financial Services (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47691103)

Better way to end this - I'm willing to pay handsomely to beat the averages, but not to underperform

Re: Financial Services (1)

NotSanguine (1917456) | about 4 months ago | (#47691233)

Here's the payment scheme I'd like to propose - the fund manager gets to keep 40% of every dollar earned above and beyond the return garnered by the appropriate index benchmark fund. Period.

I can make the averages, and the fees at Vanguard are low. I'm willing to pay you handsomely to beat the averages - but not to loose.

Great! Send me a prospectus. I can be reached at /dev/null.

Re: Financial Services (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 4 months ago | (#47691409)

Here's the payment scheme I'd like to propose - the fund manager gets to keep 40% of every dollar earned above and beyond the return garnered by the appropriate index benchmark fund. Period.

Only a complete moron would invest under those conditions. All a fund manager needs to do is take your money, walk into the closest casino, and bet it all on one spin of the roulette wheel. If he wins, he gets 40% of your money, and you get 160% back. If he loses, then you have lost 100% and he makes nothing. On average the fund manager will make 20% and investors will get 80% back, having lost the other 20%.

But there are enough morons out there to support an entire industry of investment funds that pretty much do exactly what I just described. They make risky or leveraged investments, keep a chunk of the winnings, dump the losses onto the investor, and collect generous fees for doing so.

Re:Financial Services (1)

HiThere (15173) | about 4 months ago | (#47690461)

Gross overstatement isn't the same thing as "talking out of your ass". And I'm not even sure that it was a gross overstatement, though it is clearly not true of *all* financial services companies.

That said, it's also true that there are many "honest police". But somehow the honest police never inform on the dishonest ones. Similarly, the "ethical" financial services companies don't campaign to get the rules changed that enable the unethical ones to prosper to the point where they dominate the industry. I understand that in the case of the police, each individual may have his life depend on support by any other, which may partially mitigate their reluctance. I don't understand, however, what is equivalent in the financial services sector.

Re:Financial Services (1)

NotSanguine (1917456) | about 4 months ago | (#47690579)

Gross overstatement isn't the same thing as "talking out of your ass". And I'm not even sure that it was a gross overstatement, though it is clearly not true of *all* financial services companies.

That said, it's also true that there are many "honest police". But somehow the honest police never inform on the dishonest ones. Similarly, the "ethical" financial services companies don't campaign to get the rules changed that enable the unethical ones to prosper to the point where they dominate the industry. I understand that in the case of the police, each individual may have his life depend on support by any other, which may partially mitigate their reluctance. I don't understand, however, what is equivalent in the financial services sector.

A reasonable point. I guess my reaction was more to the tone of the whole post (angry, as if the poster had been scammed -- which is certainly likely), rather than the phrase I singled out. Perhaps I should have used less inflammatory language.

As to your point about the lack of effort on the part of "ethical" FS companies not advocating needed reforms, I couldn't agree more. A mitigating factor might be that many of the "unethical" FS companies hold significant power to harm other companies which might prefer a more ethical marketplace.

The staggering lack of ethics or conscience in pursuit of ever more profit makes me want to hurl. And before someone starts accusing me of being a Marxist shill, I would point out that I am fully integrated into our capitalist system and have no problem with people making profits. What I'd prefer is that those making profits do so on a level playing field (you know, that whole "equality of opportunity" thing).

And while I do see the value in providing financial services, changes in the legal (tax and regulatory) framework (in the US at least) over the past 30 years or so have given large players undue advantage.

Those changes have been wrought by politicians and regulators who are beholden to the self-same players who have benefited from them. That won't change until the outsized influence of money is removed from our political system.

Re:Financial Services (1)

ewibble (1655195) | about 4 months ago | (#47690511)

Why should it be a % of the money under management is $200 somehow twice as hard to manage as $100, or do they guarantee your money so if they lose it they will pay you back? No, so the risk is all yours.

You may say $1,000,000,000 is harder than managing $100, not sure but if it is, is it 10,000,000 times harder? Its interesting since they fund managers tend to under perform the market, so they are worse than just blindly picking stock.

Re:Financial Services (2)

NotSanguine (1917456) | about 4 months ago | (#47690689)

Why should it be a % of the money under management is $200 somehow twice as hard to manage as $100, or do they guarantee your money so if they lose it they will pay you back? No, so the risk is all yours.

You may say $1,000,000,000 is harder than managing $100, not sure but if it is, is it 10,000,000 times harder? Its interesting since they fund managers tend to under perform the market, so they are worse than just blindly picking stock.

I get your point. However, it seems to me that charging a percentage of money under management makes a lot of sense. If the manager increases the value of your portfolio, their profit increases. Which makes your self-interest their self-interest.

Such an arrangement provides the relatively honest money manager with a strong incentive to make more money for you.

Yes. If I wanted to spend a significant amount of my time watching the markets and moving my assets around, i could, potentially, increase the value of my portfolio to outperform the typical money manager. At the same time, I would have to pay someone to move those assets around, so there is a cost there as well. It's a calculation -- how much will I have to pay to move those assets around, plus how much time will I have to spend monitoring the markets and researching particular investments? And further, how much is my time worth? That needs to be weighed against the returns, not from a typical money manager, but from *your* money manager.

I could also spend two or three hours at the laundromat washing my own clothes. It would certainly be cheaper. However, I made the calculation that I'd rather pay extra to have the laundromat staff wash and fold my clothes for me, so I can spend my time doing other things -- and the premium I pay for the extra time is worth it to me.

That brings me back to the self-interest bit. If I pay a money manager a percentage of the money under management, they have a strong incentive to maximize my returns, as it improves their bottom line. And if they give me reasonable (again, that's a subjective determination) returns, it's a win-win all around.

All that said, the value/cost calculation is a subjective one, and one person's subjective calculation is likely different than another's.

not smart (5, Funny)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 4 months ago | (#47689639)

Why did WCS hire Barbara Streisand? She doesn't know anything about investing.

Always a dumb idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47689667)

When will people learn that trying to take down negative reviews just gets you more negative reviews and the spotlight.

Re:Always a dumb idea (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 4 months ago | (#47690117)

When will people learn that trying to take down negative reviews just gets you more negative reviews and the spotlight.

Maybe that is intentional. When you are at the bottom of the pile, any publicity is good publicity. The saying in Hollywood is "It doesn't matter what they write, as long as they spell your name correctly."

Re:Always a dumb idea (2)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#47690269)

When will people learn that trying to take down negative reviews just gets you more negative reviews and the spotlight.

You have to remember that there might be many cases like this where the negative review gets successfully removed and gets no public attention. That might be the reason why "they won't learn" -- because the trick might actually work.

From TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47689697)

Currently, the #1 post in the Herald's "Most Popular" sidebar is called "Cheating rife in financial planning". 'Nuff said.

info goes both ways (4, Insightful)

deodiaus2 (980169) | about 4 months ago | (#47689711)

In an age where companies collect and trade info about customers, it seems only fair that customers should be able to trade info about companies and governments. I hate it when my bank sends info about me to their financial investment partners. Banking and investing are separate business, however there is money to be made off suckers and to avoid people with financial or legal problems.
The most egregious of these are doctors, who recommend unnecessary procedures just because you have the money to afford them. A patient puts his trust in a doctor, yet it seems as if oftentimes this trust is misplaced. I noticed that Angie's List no longer maintains reviews on doctors. They must have been sued into silence.
The other day, Fox news ran a story about a lawyer who was charging his client money for sleeping with her. Funny story, but it would have been even funnier had they released the name of the lawyer. Whatever happened to free speech and defending to the death our right for it.

Re:info goes both ways (1)

speed_rrracer (802714) | about 4 months ago | (#47689799)

Whatever happened to free speech and defending to the death our right for it.

That was some British chick talking about what she thought a French dude believed. This is an Aussie mess, so I don't think it applies.

info goes both ways (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47689851)

I just checked, Angie's list has reviews on every doctor I use.

Re: info goes both ways (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47690067)

Thomas Lowe of Minnesota, is your lawyer friend

Backlash (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47689759)

And they will get their name dragged through the mud just like every other challenge to an online review. When will companies learn that it is almost impossible to fight the collective trolls on the internet?

Re:Backlash (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#47690297)

The definition of trolling is to post messages with the deliberate intent of exciting readers into an emotional response, so I'm not sure if it's the correct term to use here. I don't think that was the main motivation of the writer of the review.

karma (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47689855)

good, I hate that forum - you get banned for simply posting something off topic which is inevitable when there's no general/other category.

Ever sued a company for fake positive post? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47690039)

I mean, all the companies do fake positive posts, buy likes, give presents like whole tablets for 'free' (for positive ratings), so why would it be more illegal to post fake negative comments?
In the end you can never tell which post is real and which is not, do you?

The comment. (4, Informative)

Macfox (50100) | about 4 months ago | (#47690091)

This is the comment they're referring too apparently. http://forums.whirlpool.net.au... [whirlpool.net.au] Could have all been dealt with, had they participated in the forum to correct any misunderstanding. Too late for that now.

Re: The comment. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47690337)

Wow that's weak sauce. The OP in that thread sounds like an astroturfer if I ever saw one. What a scam.

Re:The comment. (1)

KitFox (712780) | about 4 months ago | (#47690727)

In many cases it is more "profitable" to do something dumb, take a loss, thus being able to write off that loss on taxes and make more net as a result. Having somebody handle the forums intelligently would cost money that couldn't be written off.

Re:The comment. (1)

sribe (304414) | about 4 months ago | (#47690905)

In many cases it is more "profitable" to do something dumb, take a loss, thus being able to write off that loss on taxes and make more net as a result. Having somebody handle the forums intelligently would cost money that couldn't be written off.

Wow. You just really don't have the first clue about accounting do you?

Re:The comment. (1)

KitFox (712780) | about 4 months ago | (#47691537)

Sadly I do. I just simplified things for folks. Not going to bother to type out details for you though. Go to school if you want to learn those.

slashdot error messages (1)

pigsycyberbully (3450203) | about 4 months ago | (#47690249)

Error messages when posting. The reason you are seeing multiple postings from people is because they are receiving an error message saying: "please try posting again you are either behind a firewall or a proxy." Even though their post has been posted it is telling them to try again.

A point that is missing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47690413)

It is later claimed in the legal action that advice from fellow Whirlpool users had allowed ‘homemadecook’ to avoid using WCS Group.

Why does this sound wrong?

Re:A point that is missing. (1)

gronofer (838299) | about 4 months ago | (#47692783)

It is later claimed in the legal action that advice from fellow Whirlpool users had allowed âhomemadecookâ(TM) to avoid using WCS Group. Why does this sound wrong?

If I post some recipes on the forums, will I get sued by Australian restaurants for helping people make their own meals and avoid their services?

Another reason to boycott the big 4 banks (2)

jonwil (467024) | about 4 months ago | (#47691105)

Anyone in Australia who hasn't at least considered one of the many smaller (and better) financial institutions instead of the big 4 banks (or one of their subsidiaries) is stupid, the smaller guys are just as good (if not better) than the big 4 when it comes to service, products etc and they dont do a lot of the crap the big 4 do.

Re:Another reason to boycott the big 4 banks (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 3 months ago | (#47693099)

Anyone in Australia who hasn't at least considered one of the many smaller (and better) financial institutions instead of the big 4 banks (or one of their subsidiaries) is stupid, the smaller guys are just as good (if not better) than the big 4 when it comes to service, products etc and they dont do a lot of the crap the big 4 do.

Yep, I dumped NAB and went to Citibank and GE Money...

I almost miss NAB some days... Almost.

Re:Another reason to boycott the big 4 banks (1)

jonwil (467024) | about 3 months ago | (#47693141)

Considering that Citibank is part of the gang of big US banks directly responsible for the Global Financial Crisis through their dodgy practices and considering they are just as bad as the big 4 when it comes to doing evil crap, I wouldn't go with them either.

I used to be with the National once, then I switched to P&N Bank (formerly Police & Nurses credit society) who were really really good (and are the only WA based bank left). Then I moved to Queensland and wanted to switch banks to one that had branches here. After checking all my options (including a number of credit unions) I ended up with an account from the Bank of Queensland because they have both a GREAT zero-fee everyday bank account (with attached Visa Debit card) AND the best customer service I have ever gotten from ANY financial institution.

Re:Another reason to boycott the big 4 banks (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 3 months ago | (#47693185)

Considering that Citibank is part of the gang of big US banks directly responsible for the Global Financial Crisis through their dodgy practices and considering they are just as bad as the big 4 when it comes to doing evil crap, I wouldn't go with them either.

To be fair, if anyone but Citibank offered a similar product I'd jump ship.

But I do a lot of transactions overseas and Citbank are the only one with no conversion fees what so ever.

Really Bad idea... (3, Interesting)

Billlagr (931034) | about 4 months ago | (#47692919)

Whirlpool is incredibly popular, and has a very loyal user base - the offers of money for a legal fund are starting to roll in! I saw nothing in the thread that is defamatory, the OP asked for advice, was told 'do your homework' (entirely sensible), OP came back and said 'I found a better deal, thanks'. Nobody came out and said "this company is shit!" I very much doubt they have a leg to stand on, and all they have done is ensure that a future Google search will bring this little act of douchery up and forever associate their name with it. Good Job!

Re:Really Bad idea... (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 3 months ago | (#47693127)

Whirlpool is incredibly popular, and has a very loyal user base - the offers of money for a legal fund are starting to roll in! I saw nothing in the thread that is defamatory, the OP asked for advice, was told 'do your homework' (entirely sensible), OP came back and said 'I found a better deal, thanks'. Nobody came out and said "this company is shit!" I very much doubt they have a leg to stand on, and all they have done is ensure that a future Google search will bring this little act of douchery up and forever associate their name with it. Good Job!

It should also be added, the majority of WP users didn't even have a clue about WCS until there was a news article in major papers saying that the NAB owned WCS was suing them.

This is probably going to be back-pedalled faster than Tony Abbott running from gays on a boat.

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