Over the summer is a perfect time to reflect and improve upon long-term business practices. One way that I like to do this is by spending some time reading. The Checklist Manifesto by Dr. Atul Gawande has been out for almost 10 years, but the advice is timeless.
Dr. Gawande is a general surgeon that has also been interested in public health policy. The book discusses how the simple presence of a checklist can vastly improve the outcome of surgical and general hospital procedures. No matter how experienced a surgeon, there are often simple steps that can be skipped without written procedures.
Personally, I have always been a big checklist/to-do list/meeting agenda person, but after reading this book, I’m even more of an advocate. In financial planning and investment advice, the difference between an OK advisor and a great advisor is in the details. Checklists are a great way to capture the details and make sure all opportunities are captured and implemented. In addition, checklists facilitate proactive (vs. reactive) planning.
Bottom Line Financial planning can be complex and checklists are a simple and easy way to improve outcomes.