The Five Capitals – A Cheat Sheet

Five Eyes on the Fence is available on

Five Eyes on the Fence is available on

In my book Five Eyes on the Fence, I propose a way to look at what businesses, families and people really possess in terms of “capital.” The success or failure of a business lays in understanding the potential and actual consequences of more than financial capital. In fact, there are four other capitals that might be even more consequential than money. The interrelationship of these four capitals—sometimes coupled with financial capital—is what actually produces expansion or contraction of financial capital.

The financial consequences of a business owner’s decisions are driven by:

  • Human capital—Who are the owners? What are their intelligences, instincts, and values? This is important because every decision is knowingly or unknowingly a manifestation of the value set of the business, family, or individual.
  • Social capital—Who do the owners know and work with? When they are intentionally nurtured, these relationships can be leveraged for opportunity.
  • Intellectual capital—What do the owners and other members of the company know? Are their gaps in knowledge that could be closed to strengthen the product or service?
  • Structural capital—What processes do these people use to accomplish things?

In short, all the decisions surrounding these four capitals will either subtract from or enhance financial capital.

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    Tony Rose

    About the Author

    Tony Rose
    Tony is a founding partner of Rose, Snyder & Jacobs. His client responsibilities include tax and management consulting advice to closely-held corporations, family owned businesses, partnerships and the high net worth individuals that own them. Tony has spent considerable time resolving the complexities faced by families of wealth. Through counseling and leading multidisciplinary teams of professionals, he has provided valuable guidance at the point where life intersects wealth.                                                                  Never miss an update from Tony Rose. Use the button on the right to subscribe to our blogs!