Create a Checklist for Investing in Yourself in 2018

Money Matters: December 2017

By Chuck Dudley

December is Planning Time

Create a Checklist for Investing in Yourself in 20182017 is just about done. Generally, most people take time in December to look back at accomplishments and take stock of where they find themselves. It’s also time to start looking forward to 2018 and all that might happen.

In ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus is the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways, passages, and endings. He is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks to the future and to the past.

And now you know, if you didn’t already, how the month of January came to be!

Janus’s responsibilities are a pretty good list of things with which we should concern ourselves.

In reality, if we are good planners, we all have a bit of Janus in us this month.

2018 Checklist Suggestions

While this list is probably much broader for you, here is a place to start and to get you thinking.

  • •I need more retirement income
  • •Wills/trusts…….I need to update them
  • •What risk will Long Term Care expenses pose to my estate
  • •My 401k may not provide enough, what else can I do
  • •My company/business needs to address and discuss management succession
  • •This is the year we need to find a way to reward and retain our best performing people
  • •If I become disabled, will I still have income and a retirement plan
  • •How can I achieve financial independence
  • •Haven’t looked at my life insurance needs, this is the year to do it
  • •Review my property and casualty insurance, get bids this year
  • •Am I diversified enough
  • •Do I need to diversify my diversification
  • •Social Security and Medicare if close to the age
  • •And many others…….

Let’s Get Organized

Sometimes this is the hardest part.

Of course you have to be deliberate about getting organized, it won’t do it by itself.

Gather statements from the 401k, IRA, investments, real estate, business, banking and all things financial. If you don’t get them in one place, you are just using a shotgun approach to planning. One thing is certain, no one decision is made in a vacuum. Each decision affects other things you may do. Decisions you make about your Property and Casualty insurance will affect money you might spend/invest in other things. That’s just one example.

It should be organized into these 3 categories: Protection, Savings and Growth. It makes a lot of sense.

Finally, be willing to have a second set of eyes look at your now organized filing system. That’s where a seasoned financial services professional will be of great service to you. Don’t get your financial planning assistance from your relatives or TV hucksters. You are unique, and a plan should be tailored to your needs, not the masses.

Janus Shows Us the Way

It’s time to walk through the doorways and arches separating 2017 and 2018. It’s time for transitions and new beginnings.

Look at the past for what it was, learn from it.

Embrace the future, be excited about the possibilities and opportunities.

The future is unknown, but that doesn’t mean you can’t anticipate and get ready for it.

To quote the old Chinese proverb again: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The 2nd best time is now.”

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year friends and colleagues! May all your dreams and wishes become reality in 2018.


If you really want to make sure you have right ideas for moving forward in a positive manner, we will listen. We’ve been able to help families and businesses learn to use money wisely, and we’d like to help you too. We would be honored to visit with you about how to help you and your business. My number is 501-318-0010, or you can send me an email at

An hour of your time spent analyzing your situation might make a lifetime of difference

Arkansas Insurance Producer # 1005698

That’s all for this month! If you’ve enjoyed what you read, please share Money Matters with a friend, family member or loved one.


Chuck Dudley



Contact Chuck Dudley at (501) 318-0010 or


Argent Financial Group

Argent Financial Group (Argent) is a leading, independent, fiduciary wealth management firm. Responsible for more than $30 billion in client assets, Argent provides individuals, families, businesses and institutions with a broad range of wealth management services, including trust and estate administration, investment management, ESOPs, retirement plan consulting, funeral and cemetery trusts, charitable organization administration, oil and gas (mineral) management and other unique financial services. Headquartered in Ruston, Louisiana, Argent was formed in 1990 and traces its roots back to 1930.

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