Award-winning planner's road to success

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If multiple award-winning financial adviser James Kenny could change one thing about the financial planning industry right now, it would be to have the government make financial advice more affordable and accessible for all Australians. 

“It would be great to see the government introduce legislation to make financial advice fees tax deductible and perhaps partially subsidise costs for low income earners,” says Kenny, who recently won the FPA Certified Financial Planner Best Practice Award.

Kenny – who works for Brisbane planning firm Tupicoffs – has more than 17 years’ experience within the banking and finance sector, but left the corporate banking world in 2006 to pursue his financial planning dream.

The path has not always been straight-forward.

In 2001, knowing corporate banking was not for him, Kenny enrolled in a bachelor degree in financial planning and investments, majoring in accounting.

Mid-way through his studies, he had completed enough units to satisfy PS146 requirements and moved into a paraplanning role within the bank’s retail financial planning division while still studying part-time.

“I discovered that it was quite difficult for an inexperienced person to get a foot into the profession. It took a long time for me to finally secure an entry level role in paraplanning. 

“Once I had gained a foot into the profession I also found that there were very limited opportunities available within local boutique practices,” says Kenny.

It took almost nine years of studying part-time for Kenny to complete his bachelor degree and CFP programme.

“Studying consumed most of my personal time over those years so I felt a real sense of achievement when I graduated.”

But it took Kenny nearly six years of searching before he got a position in a practice that was well-aligned to his personal ethos.

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