Financial Planning

"The journey to your new landscape"

Independent financial planning is the story of your life's financial journey.

Independent Financial Advice

Imagine yourself at retirement age and tell me what you see around you. Where will your income be coming from? How much do you need to be able to live the life you want to live?

The all-important details of financial planning - pensions, investments, specialist tax planning - are the stepping stones on the route to your new landscape.

I have over 30 years of experience in helping people on this journey and I'm qualified to give independent advice and sell financial products from across the market.
How much can you afford to set aside for later and how much do you need in the coming years for your home, holidays and family? Together we can work out a plan that is affordable for you. I will help you define the financial goals that will make that new landscape a reality.

Doug Cowan - DIP PFS SMP (ER)

Financial Planner

Doug Cowan, Financial Planner, Reading, Skyblue Financial Planners, Oxford Road, Reading, Berkshire

Unbiased advice from an experienced professional

How Financial Planning Works

When facing a life-changing decision like setting up a pension, buying a home, or planning for retirement, getting financial advice is very important.

When we meet for the first time, whether in person or via video conferencing or telephone call, I will need to get a comprehensive overview of your current finances so that we can decide together whether and how I can help you.

I'm here as a friendly guide to your destination. But I can only guide you there if you share with me what you are trying to achieve. If I guess what I think you need and you think something different, then I have not done my job. But once I understand what your new landscape will look like, I can guide you on the path and keep steering you in the right direction as you travel along it.

You may not want to purchase an ISA or start a new pension and that's fine. If you do, I can help. But I am here to guide you, not sell to you. I'll work with you to make a clear and realistic financial plan for the coming years. Once the plan is in place, you can choose to manage your own investments, or leave it to us.

Financial Solutions

An accountant is invaluable when it comes to working out figures. But accountants cannot legally advise you on how to invest your money.

Your accountant will tell you the value of your assets and can inform you about the limits on your pension contributions or calculate how much inheritance tax your beneficiaries will have to pay after you die. But when it comes to solutions, only a licenced financial planner is legally permitted to advise you.

For example, if you run your own business, your accountant will tell you that you should start a pension, because it is tax-efficient to offset the cost of your contributions against the turnover of the business. But only a financial adviser can help you to choose the best pension plan for your company based on your needs and the circumstances of your business.


I see a lot of clients who don't know what their pension is worth or how much they can expect to live on when they retire. I can work with you to define your aims and advise you on how to reach them and work towards your goal. It doesn't all have to happen at once; this is a journey and I can support you on that journey for years to come.

At our first meeting, we will discuss your circumstances and your goals, and I'll ask some detailed questions to get a clear picture of your situation. I'll give you the advice you need to set your plans in motion, but the journey doesn't have to end there. I also meet with my clients every year to see if there have been significant changes and if what we've done is still appropriate, which is particularly important for owners of small businesses where circumstances can change very quickly.

Later Life Advice

The aim of getting financial advice is to make your money work for you and help you achieve your goals in life and in your legacy.

At our first meeting we'll have an in-depth discussion so I can get an overview of your situation and establish your goals. You might want to set aside money to pay for long term care of yourself or loved ones, or make preparations for inheritance tax, estate planning, equity release and investments.

I'll work with you to make a clear and realistic financial plan for the coming years. Once the plan is in place, you can choose to manage your own investments, or leave it to me.

My Fees

The first thing any new client wants to know is how much this will cost. My advice is fee-based and my fees can either be charged to you or they can come from fees or commissions on financial products. In either circumstance, I will always explain the fees to you. And you will know what the costs are before I start any work, so if I don't mention any fee, that means there is no charge.

Come to me for:


At a typical first financial review meeting we will need to talk to you for at least an hour to get a full picture of your financial situation before we can offer informed and educated Independent Financial Advice. So please contact us to make an appointment at a time to suit you. We may be able to visit you at home or at work or you can come to our offices in Reading's Oxford Road.

Visit our office in Central Reading, just a ten minute walk from the town centre and moments away from Reading West Railway Station

  • 0118 958 2425

  • Mon - Fri 9:00am - 5:00pm
    Out of hours by appointment

  • 180 Oxford Road, Reading, RG1 7PL

  • This site is only directed at persons within the UK

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Skyblue Planners Limited trading as Skyblue Financial Planners is an appointed representative on The On-Line Partnership Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered office address: Office 16, Devonshire House Aviary Court, Wade Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire, United Kingdom, RG24 8PE. in England and Wales. Reg No: 09522830

If you have any questions about our financial planning services, please let us know. Should you have a complaint, we welcome your feedback as it gives us the opportunity to improve our service for everybody. For further information on how we can put things right please download our complaints leaflet.