Financial advisors provide asset, wealth, and financial management services, and our clients often ask, “what’s the difference?” While asset management vs. wealth management services are discrete areas of financial planning, there’s lots of crossover within a client’s portfolio.

Here’s a checklist that gives an overview of what we do as financial advisors when it comes to wealth and financial management.

Wealth and Financial Management in Context

Before we list the items that fall under asset management vs. wealth management under the umbrella of financial planning, we offer one caveat: every piece of your financial puzzle is dependent upon your current financial situation, future goals, and risk tolerance. With that in mind, our advisors work with you when assessing and managing assets (primarily, current investments and cash available for investing) and wealth (which includes a much broader look at maximizing net worth for the long term).

Asset and Financial Management Assessment Checklist

Your financial holdings make up your total assets. In a nutshell, assets are anything you own that has value and is expected to maintain or increase in value over time. That includes:

  • Current Assets. Cash is the primary current asset we assess, along with cash equivalents when it comes to business assets. Cash equivalents might include inventory and accounts receivable.
  • Fixed Assets. Real estate is included under this asset category, which is also called noncurrent assets. Fixed assets such as buildings and equipment may depreciate in value over time, so that’s something to consider when approaching asset management for the long-term life of these holdings.
  • Financial Assets. These include investments of all types: stocks, bonds, and securities.
  • Intangible Assets. Some resources don’t physically exist, yet still have value, such as trademarks, patents, and copyrights. Accounting for the value of intangible assets can be tricky, depending on many factors that impact their current and future viability. Still, they are assets, and should be included in your asset inventory.

A thorough assessment of your assets will result in a picture of what cash is available for investing. Though asset management starts with an assessment, the process is all about structuring investments for growth and liquidity when you plan to need it most.

Wealth Management Assessment Checklist

Once you and your advisor have taken inventory of assets and liabilities, you’ll step back and look at the bigger picture and begin formulating a long-term plan to protect wealth depending on your personal financial context. That’s what wealth management is all about, and it’s where asset, wealth and financial management intermingle.

Wealth managers typically assess future financial needs and goals, as well as the following categories that may need improvement:

  • Retirement planning and investing
  • Education fund investing
  • Charitable giving
  • Tax planning
  • Legacy and estate planning

While asset management is focused on the here and now and maximizing financial growth, wealth management is the practice of smart money moves to ensure long-term financial security.

Asset vs. Wealth Management? Ask Our Advisors

This quick overview just offers some clarification for our clients about what we look at when it comes to wealth and financial management. It’s not an exhaustive list, but it is a high-level overview and helpful checklist for our new clients.

Contact Good Life Asset Strategies today to schedule an initial consultation with our fee-only fiduciaries. As advisors with only your best interests in mind, we’ll help you assess your current holdings, evaluate your net worth, and help you plan to grow that worth and provide for your long-term goals. It all starts with a simple conversation about where you want to be in 5, 10, 15 years or longer.

Schedule a consultation today so you can live the Good Life for years to come.