Your Wealth Management Checklist

Beyond the Basics source for wealth management checklist

My book, Beyond the Basics, shares a three-part plan to take your finances to the next level. This wealth management checklist based on the book is a good place to start a financial review.

Debt Checklist

  • Pay off your credit cards monthly
  • Home Equity Line of Credit available for emergencies and short-term cash needs
  • Debt is at low rates and it doesn’t make sense to refinance to lower ones
  • Not taking on too much debt compared to your assets
  • Only borrowing for investments that target strong returns
  • For more, please read Using Debt Smartly to Build Wealth

Spending Checklist

  • Tracking spending to fix any problem areas
  • Using all monthly subscriptions

Reducing Taxes

  • No short-term capital gains
  • Low turnover rate in your taxable accounts
  • Maximizing retirement plan contributions (employee)
  • Have a retirement plan to maximize contributions (owner)
  • Contributing the max to IRA accounts
  • Contributing the max to a Health Savings Account if that is an option at work and the right fit for your health
  • Gifting to charity with something other than cash

Cash & Investments Checklist

  • A rainy day fund
  • Money tied up only in productive uses
  • Right Asset Allocation for you
    • 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 based on when you’re going to need the funds and how much per year
  • No speculative investments
  • Investing only in illiquid things if it targets higher returns
  • Diversified portfolio
  • Using a 529 plan to save for college
  • For more, please read Investment Mistakes to Avoid

Wealth Management Protection

  • Protecting your plan from disability through insurance (for more, please read Disability Insurance Overview and Tips) and a Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy
  • Protecting your plan against early death with life insurance and up-to-date wills and trusts (for more, please read 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 investment 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 deciding on an investment plan