Your Wealth Management Checklist

My book, Beyond the Basics: Maximizing, Allocating, and Protecting Your Capital shares a three-part plan to take the lessons great CEO’s have learned about increasing their company’s value and use them to improve your finances. This wealth management checklist based on the book focuses you on the right planning and investing steps to build wealth.

Debt Review

  • No credit card debt
  • Home Equity Line of Credit (or other line) to use for emergencies and short-term cash needs
  • Consumer and mortgage debt is at low rates with no reason to refinance to lower ones
  • Not taking on too much debt compared to your assets
  • Only borrowing for investment purposes to target higher returns
  • For more Using Debt Smartly to Build Wealth


  • Tracking spending to fix any problem areas
  • All monthly subscriptions are necessary

Minimizing Taxes

  • Avoiding short-term capital gains
  • Low portfolio turnover rate in your taxable accounts
  • Maximizing retirement plan contributions (employee)
  • Designed retirement plan to maximize contributions (employer/owner)
  • Maximizing IRA contributions
  • Maximizing contributions to a Health Savings Account if that is an option at work and the right fit for your health
  • Donating to charity more tax-efficiently than giving cash

Cash & Investments

  • Adequate rainy day fund
  • Money tied up only in profitable and productive uses
  • Right Asset Allocation for your situation
    • Short-term money (needed in next three years) is invested in cash
    • Long-term money (needed at least 10-15 years from now) is invested in stocks
    • Mid-term money (needed between 3 and 15 years) is in a mix taking into account when you’re going to need the funds and how much per year
  • No speculative investments
  • Investing only in illiquid investments that target higher returns
  • Diversified portfolio

Wealth Protection

  • Protecting your plan from disability through insurance (for more, Disability Insurance Overview and Tips) and having a Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy with alternates named
  • Protecting your plan against early death through life insurance and up-to-date wills and trusts (for more, You Need an Estate Plan)
  • Your beneficiary designations are up-to-date
  • Correct ownership of assets
  • Home, auto, and umbrella insurance coverage is up-to-date

Finding the Right Advisor for more help with these wealth management checklist items

  • Offer financial planning and portfolio management for a fee of 1% or less
  • Fiduciary
  • Independent
  • Clean compliance record (check here)
  • Financial planning work is done by a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and the investments are managed by a Chartered Financial Analyst® (or teams of both)
  • They build a financial plan for you before selecting an investment strategy