After much thought and consideration, I have decided I need to be a bit more explicit about my policies for dealing with discussion on financial services products and companies. First let me clarify something - what I do NOT want to do here is stifle discussion, and 99% of people posting on this site do what I consider to be a very good job when posting. Please understand that this post is aimed at those few people who tend to step over what I consider to be an appropriate line. I just want to try and give some guidelines as to what I consider to be reasonable and what will not be tolerated. Let me start by stating this: I will not tolerate ill-informed debate, opinion posed as fact, nor posts which I deem to be malicious in intent. When discussing specific products, people or companies - you should aim to base your discussions on fact, or post questions based on a genuine desire to learn. I will not tolerate questions or opinion posted in a manner which I consider to be destructive and not adding value to the discussion. When expressing an opinion about something, you should be careful that your post isn't misinterpreted as fact, and you should at least try and base your opinion on an analysis of fact - not on an ignorant or mis-informed view of a topic. You should also consider that other people may have different opinions which may be equally valid based on the facts available. Some people are prone to what I call "crusading", which means they always feel the need to have their strong (and usually one-sided) opinions heard about a specific topic - particularly in relation to a product or company. This will not be tolerated - you are allowed to state your opinion, but it would be best if you could perform a balanced, neutral analysis of the matter, and indeed argue both sides of an argument, outline what you see to be the pros and cons of something ... a genuine review rather than a biased attack (the same applies to overly positive ramping!). In many cases, opinion is expressed in such a way that can sometimes be misinterpreted as advice. Nobody is permitted to give specific advice about financial products on this site. Even if a post wasn't intended as such, it can sometimes be interpreted that way by other readers. You should always try and offer a balanced view on a subject by considering that other people will be reading what is written who may have entirely different circumstances to that of the original poster. For example, suggesting that buying when the sharemarket drops might be a good strategy for someone aiming to hold their investment for the long term, but it may be entirely inappropriate for someone nearing retirement or planning on using their invested capital for other purposes in a shorter time frame (eg house deposit). You can't be expected to know everyone's circumstances - but you should at least acknowledge that your suggested course of action may not be appropriate in every situation. I find that outlining a range of possible strategies that might work in a variety of situations adds a lot of value to a discussion. As a general suggestion when writing about something - think of it like you are reviewing a car. You may not like the design or the handling, but you need to acknowledge that this is just your opinion. It doesn't mean that the car won't work or that other people may indeed find it attractive even if you don't. Just because you bought a Ford that was a dud, doesn't mean all Ford cars are duds or that Holdens are always better. You need to acknowledge your bias and deal with things in a balanced way. You also need to consider the reason the car was made - who is the target market. An expensive two-seat sports car isn't generally an appropriate choice for a person looking to transport young children (no ability to install booster seats or capsules etc). Similarly, accusing a people-mover as being unable to perform because it can't do 0-100kph in under 5 seconds is also inappropriate. Discussion about financial products should be treated in a similar manner - acknowledging your biases, considering the target market, basing your analysis on fact, and making it clear which statements are only your personal opinions. These issues are rarely black-and-white, and so a degree of judgement is required. I'm just trying to let you all know the kinds of things I expect from people posting on this site for all of our protection. Making defamatory remarks about an individual, company or product is something that will cause everyone grief - so please try and understand why we need to be pretty strict about these things. If there are posts which you think step over the line of what is appropriate, please use the "report this post" feature to let us know so that we can consider what action should be taken (if any).