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Wealth Management Insights for Business Owners, Entrepreneurs and Startup Founders

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Wealth Management Insights for Business Owners, Entrepreneurs and Startup Founders

Savings, insurance, investments and retirement planning are essential elements of wealth management for many high-performing people. Yet business owners, entrepreneurs and startup founders may have special considerations.

People meeting and shaking hands

That’s because workers who are employed by others often receive retirement planning resources and support through their employers. After all, by definition, business owners work more independently than other professionals. 

Consequently, they may need to put forth more effort into planning for retirement, managing wealth and even putting measures in place to protect their personal financial wealth from professional ups-and-downs.

Of course, as leaders, they may be so focused on the day-to-day happenings within their business that they struggle to find time and energy to streamline their investment portfolios, manage taxes better and plan their estates.

Sound familiar?

If so, we have a few strategies and insights that may help you prepare for your future with greater confidence.


Protecting assets is a standard element of a typical wealth management strategy. However, business owners and founders may need more coverage — and more types of coverage1 — than someone whose personal income and assets aren’t tied to their business holdings.

Alas, as one’s personal net worth increases, so might one’s risks and liabilities. To help safeguard your assets in such a situation, consider adjusting your insurance coverage. Umbrella coverage, health care, disability and auto coverage are standard tools in the asset protection toolkit.

But there are others that may be relevant to your line of work, too.

For instance, if you’re a service provider — such as a consultant in the petrochemical industry, you may want to consider professional liability insurance to protect your assets in case of an error or omission in your work.

Does your business have a physical location open to the public? If so, you may want to consider purchasing a business owners insurance policy that combines several types of coverage. And don’t forget to consider whether you need to increase the coverage amount as your company or property grows in value.

Contingency planning can be mission-critical for some companies, and there are insurance products that can be useful. For example, if your business is forced to shut down due to a disaster or crisis, business interruption insurance can help cover payroll and business expenses.

» Insight: Have you ever wondered what might happen to your family financially if you were no longer able to provide for them? Life and long-term care insurance are types of personal coverage that can protect you and your loved ones should you be unable to provide for them. Yet, many people still put off buying these types of insurance until it’s too late. A financial advisor can help you explore your options.

Money and asset management

Entrepreneurs and business owners often pour a significant portion of their own money into their businesses. It’s an understandable impulse, especially for bootstrapping startups who are working without external capital or loans. With a dream and a killer product or service idea, the temptation to throw caution to the wind along with your savings can prove irresistible.

This funding strategy has the potential, however, to create a couple of potential issues. The first involves the risks associated with commingling personal and business assets.2 This can create bookkeeping headaches as well as liability and tax issues. The second potential one is that, in their enthusiasm to grow their business, owners and founders may find themselves without a personal emergency fund.

Having available cash reserves in a liquid emergency fund — ample enough to cover the recommended 3 to 6 months3 of personal expenses — can be a proverbial lifesaver. At the bare minimum, it can provide greater peace of mind.

Ultimately, establishing separate asset management strategies for yourself and your business may help lessen your risks. Business owners willing to move away from bootstrapping might want to work with a lender to establish a reserve line of credit4 to help with working capital.

» Insight: Do you dream of either selling your business or passing it along to family members? And what startup founder wouldn’t love to experience a hefty windfall after a company goes public? Yes, exit strategies come in all shapes and sizes, some larger than others. Although one can never know for sure what the future holds for your company, it may prove wise to build a sound personal wealth management strategy alongside one’s business prowess.

Asset diversification

For many business owners, founders and entrepreneurs, their business holdings represent the bulk of their wealth and retirement strategy.

Yet, just as it’s risky to invest in a single stock or industry, having most of your wealth solely tied to the performance of your business exposes you to financial woes in the event of an industry downturn, business interruption or other unforeseen problem.

Thus, business owners and founders might want to take extra considerations to help lessen risk of overexposure. Diversification may help. By working with a financial advisor, you can create a diversified asset portfolio. This can help lessen your risk exposure and possibly reduce the potential impact of future business obstacles.

» Insight: Of course, with greater wealth accumulation may come issues related to cash flow, tracking income flow and more complex legacy planning strategies — including succession planning. (More on that in a moment.)

Retirement planning

Unlike the average employee who has an employer-sponsored 401(k) plan and matching contributions, business owners and entrepreneurs may find it useful to take a more direct, hands-on role in their retirement planning.

While your business may be the biggest source of capital for retirement, relying on that as your retirement plan is potentially problematic. No matter how airtight or lucrative your succession plan may be, changing economic winds, rising interest rates and other factors may present unforeseen challenges.

Are you someone who values taking care of your hard-working staff? If so, you may find it valuable to explore how you can build retirement solutions into your business for all employees.

To that end, there are options available5 to set up IRA-based, defined contribution plans, or defined-benefit plans for yourself and your employees. Understanding the pros and cons of each type of plan — including required contributions, tax rules, fees and administrative requirements — can help you determine the retirement plan structure6 that best meets your needs.

Succession as an exit strategy

To help increase the value you may receive when you sell the business — or to ensure that the next generation or owner can continue generating revenue — succession planning can be key.

Rather than wait until you’re on the cusp of retirement to think about succession, however, it’s wise to start those conversations — and planning — much earlier. That can help you factor succession goals into your long-term strategies.

For example, a founder who plans to sell the business at retirement may be able to sell it for more if the business has implemented standardized processes that make it easy to maintain continuity even when ownership changes.

Successful succession planning may also require a business valuation, which may help with insurance coverage selection and retirement income planning. Regularly reviewing and updating this valuation and other elements of the succession plan can help you stay on track toward your wealth management goals.

The takeaway

Simply put, careful planning and sound asset management practices can help affluent business owners achieve their personal and professional goals with more confidence.

To that end, a financial advisor experienced at working with the intricate needs of business owners, entrepreneurs and startup founders may help simplify some of the complexity by working alongside you and other professionals, such as your existing insurance agent, tax preparer, plan administrator and business attorney.

Ready to explore wealth management strategies and solutions that meet your unique needs? The team at RBFCU Wealth Management, The Garner Davis Group can help you work toward refining your financial planning to support personal and professional goals.

This article was last updated May 2024.


Information in this article is general in nature and for your consideration, not as financial advice. Please contact your own financial professionals regarding your specific needs before taking any action based upon this information.

Investment products are not insured by the FDIC, NCUA or any federal agency, are not deposits or obligations of, or guaranteed by any financial institution, and involve investment risks including possible loss of principal and fluctuation in value.

Ameriprise Financial Services has a partnership with this financial institution to provide financial planning services and solutions to clients. The financial institution is not an investment client of Ameriprise but has a revenue sharing relationship with us that creates a conflict of interest. Details on how we work together can be found on

This information is being provided only as a general source of information and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any securities, accounts or strategies mentioned. The information is not intended to be used as the primary basis for investment decisions, nor should it be construed as a recommendation or advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual investor. Please seek the advice of a financial advisor regarding your particular financial situation.

Diversification does not assure a profit or protect against loss.

Ameriprise Financial cannot guarantee future financial results.

Ameriprise Financial is not affiliated with the financial institution.

RBFCU Wealth Management, The Garner Davis Group is a financial advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC.

RBFCU Wealth Management is a division of RBFCU Investments Group LLC.

Ameriprise Financial, Inc. and its affiliates do not offer tax or legal advice. Consumers should consult with their tax advisor or attorney regarding their specific situation.

Investment advisory products and services are made available through Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC, a registered investment adviser.

Securities offered by Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC. Member FINRA and SIPC.


The following sources were last accessed in May 2024.

1,6“Financial Planning for Business Owners.”,

2Carbajo, Marco. “5 Ways to Separate Your Personal and Business Finances.”,

3“Start an Emergency Fund.”,

4“Why a Business Line of Credit May Be a Smart Choice for Your Business.”,

5“Choosing a Retirement Solution for Your Small Business.”,

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