Turning Financial dreams into actionable plans

SMART goals

At the beginning of the New Year it is a tradition to set out a list of New Year’s resolutions that although well intentioned are normally forgotten by February, amongst these resolutions many people include quite a few financial goals.

My experience is that many of these financial aspirations fall over as they remain abstract and vague. The amount of times I’ve heard people say things like I’m going to be better with my money or get ahead financially.  Although these goals make sense, they amount too not much more than rhetoric, they don’t aim to achieve anything specific, nor do they have an end point.

Many of you may have heard of SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely), and these SMART goals are also the most effective blueprint to financial success.

The core of Financial Planning is assisting a client develop these goals and set an action plan to achieve these goals, all the technical and strategic tools we use are nothing more than tools to assist in the client efficiently achieving these goals.

The identifying of goals is any many ways the most interesting part of the job, and achieving a client’s goal is the most rewarding. We normally breakdown the goals into short and long term, as well as broad and specific, creating 4 quadrants for the goals to sit.  A specific goal might be something like save $40,000 for a deposit for a house over the next 5 years, or a more immediate goal of pay off my credit card over the next 6 months.  A broad goal might be something like save $5000 a year to build wealth for the long term.

These more specific goals with time frames are far easier to develop and action plans that are designed to bring these goals into fruition. The example above saving for the house deposit, forgetting investment returns, if we save $8000 a year for the next 5 years we have sufficient funds to achieve this goal. This equates to $160 a week, if we are able to identify where this money can be saved or redirected, and instead allocate this money to the specific goal. Once put this savings plan into place, we can then track the progress and work towards achieving this goal.

In the case above the strategy is simple, but the success is driven by identifying what the client wants to achieve and putting steps in place to achieve it.


The next step is to look at those New Year resolutions and turn them into SMART goals and put a plan in place to achieve them!

Author; Alex McKenzie Categories: Future Financial Services Blog

About the Author

Alex McKenzie

Alex McKenzie

Owner at Future Financial Services


  • Paraplanner at Zammit Partners Investments
  • Unit Trust Administrator at Colonial First State


  • University of Western Sydney
  • Penrith High


As a Financial Planner I help people to achieve what they would like in life. This involves helping you to identify the things in life they would like , developing plans to help achieve them and strategies to protect what you already have. We do this by providing Financial Advice to guide you through your life stages.

The financial planning process involves determining a clients current situation and financial objectives and tailoring strategies to assist in best achieving those objectives.

I am an expert in superannuation, investments and insurance, these are tools we use to help you achieve your goals.

I aim to use my knowledge of superannuation, taxation and Centrelink to efficiently use your assets and income to achieve your financial goals.

Retirement and pre-retirement planning, wealth creation, asset protection, insurance planning and estate planning are all areas of advice that I provide.

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