Welcome to ‘Follow My Footprints’ which conveys to you my views, thoughts and recommendations on what you should consider to successfully transition from one stage of life to the next.
My qualifications are a Fellow Chartered Financial Practitioner (FChFP), Chartered Accountant (CA) and a Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA).
Whilst I love now living near the beach in Perth, Western Australia, I am a country boy at heart,having grown up in the gold fields of Kalgoorlie/Boulder. As a child I relished the freedom of wide open spaces to explore, and the opportunity to play many different sports that a town like Kalgoorlie has to offer. However, my passion for sport did not match my ability, and upon finishing high school I enrolled at the WA School of Mines (Curtin University) to study Accounting. Three years later I graduated with a Bachelor of Business degree and began my career.
My first job was with international accounting firm KPMG; which provided me with a good grounding in Accounting and experience in working for a large business with good corporate culture. During my time at KPMG, I completed the professional year to qualify as a Chartered Accountant. This was the most rigorous study I have ever completed. However, it provided me with an excellent foundation of knowledge in Taxation, Accounting and Auditing.
Rite of Passage
With the professional year behind me, I did what many have done beforehand began a European adventure. My adventure lasted three years, and comprised working in London and travelling in Asia, Europe and Africa. This was a wonderful period of my life and there was never a dull moment. I developed a liking for soccer living only 100 meters from the home-ground of Arsenal, High bury Park, London.
Upon returning to Perth I had several roles as a company accountant in commerce. Whilst in each role I was acquired new skills, I still had not found my passion and was more interested in playing tennis. During this time I started to pursue surfing as a hobby- and loved it! I also was fortunate to meet my future wife Natasha while playing mixed doubles at a local tennis club.
After convincing my wife that it was a good career move to relocate to the beautiful seaside town of Busselton, we moved to the gateway of the wine and surfing region of Western Australia.
Here I worked for the large international accounting firm with a strong regional focus called RSM Bird Cameron. The role required me to use my initial training as a tax and business services accountant.
Working in Busselton was a good way to re-establish dealing directly again with clients, helping them with their taxation and business affairs. The clients were quite diverse in nature and included local wineries and dairy producers. I decided to continue with my professional development and began studying a Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning.
I also managed to go surfing, a lot!
At this time I also become a father when the first of our three boys was born. As with all parents this was a life changing event and added a new dimension to my life. My usual Saturday routine of going surfing and playing golf or tennis came to an abrupt end.
RSM Bird Cameron has an extensive network of regional offices. A few of us decided to get together and form an investing club. One of the members of the club had been reading about Warren Buffet, who is one of the richest people in the world having made the majority of his fortune from investing. We all had to increase our knowledge about Warren Buffet and his investment philosophies. I read several books including the famous book on value investing called ‘ The Intelligent Investor’ written by Benjamin Graham; Warren Buffet’s lecturer during his university days. The investing club has since disbanded. However, I have continued to follow the career of Warren Buffet and use some of his wisdom in my investment strategies.
Estate & Succession Planning
I found the financial planning studies were interesting and noticed how useful it was to have an accounting and taxation background. There were also several new areas of study of which I did not have experience. The most interesting of these subjects was Estate Planning; which is a logical process that requires good technical knowledge. When an opportunity came up within RSM Bird Cameron’s specialist estate and succession planning division in Perth, we transferred back to the city.
Working in the estate and succession planning division of RSM Bird Cameron was a career defining move. I found the work interesting and challenging and it enabled me to combine my different interests and expertise. Ironically, most of the work required trips to the country and I travelled north to Geraldton, east to Kalgoorlie and south to Esperance.
After leaving a RSM Bird Cameron I am now providing comprehensive financial planning advice, incorporating my broad range of experience and estate planning training.
I have continued to keep studying and have completed the Post Graduate Certificate in Self- Managed Superannuation (University of Adelaide) and I also recently became a Transition Planning Consultant with ‘Transition Planning Australia’.
Having worked in estate planning for more than 10 years, I noticed that once my clients had a completed estate plan, many did not have a personal succession or transition plan that enabled them to move smoothly from their business or full time work towards retirement. I came in contact with a Solicitor who also shared this experience and who was starting a new business called Transition Planning Australia. Transition Planning Australia had access to research and material from the Successful Transition Planning Institute (STPI). The STPI material was an approach to planning transition that used a whole of person strategy, where equal weighting was given to emotional, financial and personal considerations.
Comprehensive Financial Planning
I am now able to offer a comprehensive retirement and transition planning service, build on the solid foundation of estate planning and taxation knowledge.
I enjoy working in collaboration with experts in their fields and other trusted advisers such as Solicitors, Tax Specialists and Accountants. When their expertise is coordinated with each other it results in the best outcomes for you.
Having your own business is very time consuming and many weekends are spent completing tasks that cannot be completed during normal office hours. However, one of the benefits of having your own business is flexible working hours; which I use to spend time helping my three young boys and their varied interests, including soccer, swimming and surf life- saving. I also recently completed my bronze medal and am now an active member of the Scarboro Surf Live Saving Club patrolling regularly on the weekends and competing in masters events. As my boys are now older, I have recently rekindled my interest in surfing and enjoy riding my long board with them on the weekends.
Staying Up To Date Blogging
With modern technology I am able to incorporate keeping up to date professionally into my daily fitness routine. After exercising in the morning, I sit down at a local cafe with a long macchiato and my Ipad, and research what is going on in the financial world and what changes are taking place.
I hope you enjoy reading my blog and that it helps you to plan your transition from one life stage to the next so that you can live a rewarding and fulfilling life.
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