Book Review: Financial Planning

You know after four years of writing this blog you think I would be running out of firsts. Yet today is my first ebook review on Financial Planning: Helping You Sail Successfully into the Future by Frank Wiginton.

To start I should give a few disclaimers on this book: first it is really short to read ( just over 20 pages) and second Frank is a certified financial planner so yes there is a little sales pitch for his services at the back of the book.

So you might wonder why do a book review on such a short book?  Well in a nutshell I’ve always liked Frank’s comments on this site and I actually found the book useful since it answers a rather basic question: what is a financial plan?

The book starts out answer that question by defining what financial planning is not.  I agree with Frank that often an investment plan is often passed off as financial planning when that is only one small part of it.  What should a financial plan be then?  Basically a comprehensive look at where you want to go and then how to get there.

It’s not an easy thing to pull together if you end up looking at the pieces involved such as your estate,  insurance coverage, spending levels, investments, taxes paid and any businesses you own.  So in case your not familiar with how that works Frank then outlines the typical process of pulling together the full blown financial plan and an estimate of the time involved.

I liked this book since it really did get me thinking about my own situation and a few blind spots that I have yet to fill in for my plan.  For example, I’ve been so fixated at finishing my book I actually never considered the tax implications of the book doing anything other than breaking even. If I suddenly do well with it, then what? So if nothing else this short book is useful for the questions Frank points out that might get you thinking about what you are missing in your plan.

Also the price is right since the ebook is can be downloaded for free from here.  Perhaps the only downside I can give the ebook is I really wish it was a little longer and perhaps gave a few more stories of how financial planning has helped people.  I’m a sucker for a good story and I personally though the book would be a lot better with a few stories.

So do you have a financial plan?  If so, how long have you used it and do you think it is worth it?  If you don’t have a financial plan, just how were you planning to retire early anyway? *grin*