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Personal Finance “Gurus”

December 3, 2019

This article was originally published November 2018

I recently met Noel Whittaker.

It was not a real “meeting”, I just helped him with directions to the building next to mine. But as I have a tendency to shamelessly talk to “celebrities” (see end of this article for my other guru(s) meetings), I could not help myself telling him I knew who he was, that I was a financial planner, and that I had read his first book when I was 13 years old.

That book was Making Money Made Simple which was released in 1987.


I cannot say reading it was a defining event in my life, nor did it in any way lead to my occupation. That story is much less interesting — I just needed a job when I was 21 and selling insurance door-to-door was all I could get at the time.

Noel is undoubtedly one of the most well known personal finance commentators in Australia. David Koch (Kochie) would be another. And more recently, Scott Pape “The Barefoot Investor” has probably taken over as the most recognisable person in this space.



I sometimes get asked for my views on Scott, with people expecting me to be critical, mainly because he has been critical of the financial planning industry. Just see the words used on his website — crooked, posers, leaching commissions, and kickbacks.

But despite this, I think what Scott has done is great. Same for Noel and Kochie. What is great is that they have been able to communicate very important concepts to the public. Financial literacy is a fundamental life skill, but sadly a skill most people never develop, either out of not being exposed to the concepts or just putting it in the too hard basket.

In my role, it is hard to help people who don’t know they need help. I usually only see clients who already “get” the importance of financial planning and have some level of understanding of the broad concepts.

But for the people who won’t see a financial planner, at least there is hope they will turn on the TV and see Scott, Noel or Kochie.



And now for something completely different…my other celebrity stories:

  • Peter Garrett — I was in the city one Saturday afternoon, Pokemon hunting with my son, and saw Peter walking down the street by himself. I said hello and asked if we could get a picture, he said sure thing. He turned to my son and said “Hi, I’m Peter” and shook his hand. My son went “Hi, I’m Matthew” while looking at me thinking “Dad, who is this tall, bald man!”.
  • Frank Ferrer (the new drummer) from Guns N’ Roses — GNR are my favourite band, as most people know once they see my office artwork. I needed a hat for the GNR concert in Brisbane in 2017, so a quick trip down the mall lead to meeting him. He’s the least known member of the band, so he seem surprised at the recognition. Made the concert even better seeing my mate Frank on stage!
  • Tim Rogers (from You Am I) — this meeting was more delicate. I know Tim is fan wary, so I left it at a quick handshake (he offered) after I simply said his great work has been a soundtrack to my life for a very long time.
  • Rick Grossman (bass player from Hoodoo Gurus) — I saw Rick and a mate at a gig before they played. I asked if I could get a picture and he was very obliging, so asked his mate to take it. We had a quick chat and he left. Then when they came on stage I realised his “mate” was in fact the drummer. So I met two Gurus but only recognised one, with the drummer relegated to the role of photographer. Sorry Mark!



This article is the opinion of the writer and does not consider the circumstances of any individual. This document has been prepared by Peter Keogh (Authorised Representative No. 253538 of Paragem Pty Ltd AFSL 297276) and is intended to be a general overview of the subject matter. The document is not intended to be comprehensive and should not be relied upon as such. We have not taken into account the individual objectives or circumstances of any person. Legal, financial and other professional advice should be sought prior to applying the information contained in this document. No responsibility is accepted by Peter Keogh, Paragem or its officers.


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