The term “wealth management” has a different definition for everyone I talk with. For some it means managing money. For others it might mean doing estate planning. For still others it might mean asset protection planning.
There are probably over fifteen or twenty discreet areas that you can call wealth management. If you’ve ever gone through a true financial planning process it’s likely that your planner provided all fifteen or more areas for you to consider. I also bet you had no idea where to start.
Begin with my favorite Dan Sullivan question:
If we were to get together five years from now what would have had to have happened in that time frame for you to feel that you were successful?
The answer to that question will be a great place to start. If you answer that you would be financially independent and retired that would have you go down one road. If instead you answered, my children would be started on successful careers and have great money skills you would go down a different path.
Both are parts of wealth management and in most cases neither would be done at the same time.
Do one thing at a time.
When I first started doing financial planning I made a huge mistake. I would give my clients a laundry list of twenty to fifty items that needed attention. There was only one thing this accomplished: total and complete paralysis on the part of my client.
I never prioritized or worked with the client to choose the really important things that had to be done first. I just gave them the list and expected that they would go down the list and get everything done.
Instead, the opposite happened. Nothing and I mean nothing got done. My clients would be paralyzed and I never asked enough questions to help them decide what was the most important thing for them to do first. Don’t make my mistake. Keep your list small and do one thing at a time.
It’s OK to scratch the itch first.
The first thing you decide to do might not be the most important or the one that makes the biggest impact. That’s OK. Most of the time you’re going to start working on total wealth management because there’s one thing that’s really bugging you.
If you don’t take the time to focus on what you are most concerned with you’re never going to get around to working on areas that might have a bigger impact. I call this scratching the itch and you should make sure the itch goes away before moving on to bigger and likely more important areas of your life.
Remember, it’s about getting the best bang for the buck with the least amount of effort.
After you scratch the itch move to the project that will give you the biggest result with the least amount of effort. This is probably a large project that will have several parts to it. Don’t try to get the whole project done at once. Prioritize what’s the most important, complete that part of the project, and then go to the next step. Narrowing your focus will help you accomplish your big project with much less effort than trying to do it all at once.
It’s your plan, stay in control.
If you decide comprehensive wealth management is for you it’s likely you’ll have at least one if not several outside advisors. Make sure you stay in charge of the plan. Advisors will often suggest what they would do in your situation. Here’s a clue: They’re not in your situation and they aren’t you. You have your own motivations and you need to own them.
If you know why you want to work on a particular project that’s all that counts. In most instances you want your advisors to help you figure out how you’re going to get an outcome, not help you figure out what and why you want to do something. It’s really very simple. The plan is yours, the management of your wealth is your wealth, and you need to stay in control.
One area of wealth management is retirement planning. We have a report on the basics of retirement planning you might be interested in. To get this report, click on the button below.