Have you ever wondered how a professional financial planner goes about developing a financial plan? Or, if you already work with a planner, do you wonder if she is doing a competent job? If you do, you might want to check out, You Can’t Eat Your Furniture by Robert Chown, a financial planner and investment advisor at one of Canada’s leading investment firms. This slim book (just 139 pages) boils down financial planning to just two variables: the rate of savings and the rate of return on those savings.
Planning for their retirement is the biggest piece of the financial plan for most people. And when it comes to a retirement plan, it is important get a handle on a household’s spending patterns and their savings rate. But most people find it tedious to track their spending diligently and don’t have a clue on whether they are saving enough for their retirement. In the first three Chapters, Mr. Chown outlines a simple method to track household spending and calculate the savings rate. The next three Chapters would be familiar content for anyone who has read any number of investment books — asset allocation, risk control etc. In the final Chapters, Mr. Chown shows how to put it all together: how much to save for retirement, monitoring progress and calculating insurance needs. The book ends with a sample financial plan for a fictional client.
This is an easy-to-read book and perhaps, more importantly, contains easy-to-follow techniques that will help with your own planning. As a bonus, the book is peppered with real-life client situations that Mr. Chown and his associate Mark Smith encountered in their own financial planning practice. The book is published by Trafford Publishing and is available from Amazon.ca for around $15. You can find out more, including an excerpt, on the book’s website.