Failing to plan is planning to fail, according to the old cliche. But who can I trust and what do I actually need? What exactly is financial planning, or financial advice? How can it help me?

These are all valid questions, because the entire financial services industry has been under the spotlight recently, mainly for all the wrong reasons! Governments have instigated inquiries, introduced new legislation and threatened to wield a big stick. We have seen Storm Financial Group, Wickham Securities and many other supposedly ‘trusted advisers’ destroy the livelihoods and retirement lifestyles of thousands of hard working Australians. There is no doubt that certain rogue operators have tainted the reputation of all and that tighter regulation was needed, to force higher standards of professionalism and accountability. So what does this mean for the average investor?

It is still important to have a plan – have you thought about when you will retire, how much money you will need to live on and where that money will come from? Most of us aren’t lucky enough to have huge inheritances to rely on, so we have to spend most of our working lives building towards a comfortable lifestyle in retirement. This is a long term project, not a get rich quick scheme!

Once we have realized the need for a plan, how do we go about it? Who can help cut through the jargon, complicated product offerings and explain all of the paperwork involved? There are honest, professional advisers out there – people who will act in your best interests instead of their own, but you need to choose wisely. CNS Partners now provide this service because we believe that we can make a difference and our clients already know that we will do the right thing by them. Contact Alan with any queries about what Financial Planning is and how we can assist you.

Alan King can be contacted at