Financial advice in demand… China makes MG sports car… Reverse mortgages boom… Second Life record property deal… Vending mania

Financial advice in demand

An unprecedented demand for financial advice has led to an enormous increase in workload for financial advisers. Investment and Financial Services Association chief executive officer, Richard Gilbert, told a conference in Queensland that members are reporting they could hire two to three times the number of advisers.

The demand has come primarily from people worried about their future retirement and planning as the 30 June deadline looms.

“With 10% net growth in financial adviser numbers in the large dealer groups and with 10% of advisers expected to retire in the not so distant future, it is hardly surprising that there are 1320 financial adviser positions listed in SEEK alone as of yesterday.”

With such a shortage, there is a danger the wealthy will cream off the best advisers at high prices, leaving the less wealthy to figure it out for themselves.

China makes its first MG sports cars

The first Chinese-built MG sports cars have rolled off the production line in eastern China reports ABC online.

The manufacturer, Nanjing Automotive, which bought the assembly lines from the bankrupt British firm MG Rover late last year, wants to sell the cars around the world.

But with the Chinese car market growing by 10 million new cars every year, Nanjing Auto will likely be selling most of its MGs, which still have the Union Jack displayed on their body work, in showrooms closer to home.

Reverse mortgages find a home

The take up of reverse mortgages has increased by almost 11,000 since 2004, reports The Australian newspaper. The latest SEQUAL/Trowbridge Deloitte Reverse Mortgage Study states that the market for reverse mortgages was about $1.1 billion in outstanding loans at June 2006, an increase from $850 million at the end of 2005, and up from $460 million at the end of 2004.

It has been predicted that by 2010 the equity-release market could grow to between $12 billion and $15 billion.

They are the only new borrowing products becoming popular thanks to high property values. Shared equity mortgages and shared appreciation mortgages are also gathering more interest.


Second Life record property deal

News from Second Life is now making the news. The Age reported today that one of the hottest tracts of virtual real estate has been sold on eBay for $US50,000 ($62,000). (See our Second Life Big Issue.)

The Amsterdam sim in Second Life was put up for sale last week by its Florida-based owner, online sex industry entrepreneur Kevin Alderman – known in-world as Stroker Serpentine.

He listed it for auction at a starting price of $US20,000 or as a “buy it now” for $US50,000.

There were no bids over the first few days but on Monday, an unknown buyer based in the Netherlands (the real one) came up with a $US50,000 offer, sealing the deal.

The virtual Amsterdam lives up to its real world counterpart, boasting a wide array of adult venues, as well as canals and quaint gabled houses.

The property is well known as one of Second Life’s more popular destinations, not just because of the adult theme, but also for the attention to the detail in the virtual model.

Alderman told InformationWeek that he sold the property in order to fund the building of a bigger adult business inside Second Life.

A Second Life sim is a large plot of virtual property, that equates to 65,536 squares metre of real land.


Look what you can now get in a vending machine!

Entrepreneur Suzi Dafnis writes:

“Thought I’d send you this… seen in a hotel in Las Vegas that I stayed at last weekend. A vending machine selling… no, not chips, not drinks …but iPods and iPod accessories. Fantastic!”



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