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Financial Planning

Annotated diagram of Schedule DTax errors can be costly! Don't draw unwanted attention from the IRS. Our Tax Center explains and illustrates the tax rules for sales of company stock, W-2s, withholding, estimated taxes, AMT, and more.

Financial Planning

Financial Planning explores various approaches to making the most of stock grant gains while minimizing taxes. The coverage includes the role of stock grants in gifts, estates and trusts, dividends, hedging, and more.

Selected Articles

Strategies

Ten Financial-Planning Rules For Restricted Stock And RSUs This is premium content

While grants of restricted stock and RSUs are conceptually simple, financial planning for them can be complex. This article presents the essential financial-planning points that you should consider before your restricted stock or RSU grant vests.
Strategies

Ten Financial-Planning Rules Everyone With Stock Options Needs To Know

Managing stock options is one of the most complex financial-planning challenges an employee may face. These 10 guidelines will help you get the most out of your option grants.
Strategies

Ten Financial-Planning Rules Every ESPP Participant Should Know This is premium content

Employee stock purchase plans (ESPPs) are a super deal. However, the related taxation and financial planning can be deceptively complex. This article presents the essential points that you should understand before you participate in your company's ESPP.
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High Net Worth

The Equity Compensation Planning Dilemma For Corporate Executives This is premium content

Podcast included! Executives must carefully balance the demands of many constituencies interested in their company's stock. Explores ways to manage these pressures while achieving financial goals.
Advanced Strategies

A Least-Regret Analysis For Equity Compensation: Maximizing Value While Minimizing Risk This is premium content

Podcast included! For some employees, the value of their equity compensation plans represents their largest investment. With so much at stake, making the right decisions is critical. Intelligent planning can maximize value while minimizing risk.
Strategies

NEW! Using Behavioral Finance To Shape Planning For Stock Compensation This is premium content

Emotions can have a powerful impact on financial decisionmaking. The study of behavioral finance, i.e. how people make decisions about investments and other financial matters, can help you to develop a sensible approach to stock compensation and holdings of company stock.
This is simply a selection of the many articles in this section.
Use the navigation to the left to explore all of the categories in this section.

Selected FAQs

Strategies

NEW! What are the top 10 questions that I should answer before making a financial plan with my stock compensation?

You need a financial plan that considers your goals for the income, identifies decisions you must make with your grants and acquired shares, and factors in the related tax consequences. Start by knowing the answers to the following 10 questions...
High Net Worth

What is a concentrated stock position, and what can I do to protect myself and get cash for other purposes? This is premium content

A concentrated stock position occurs when a significant chunk of your net worth is tied up in a single stock. Strategies for hedging, diversification, and liquidity include...
High Net Worth

NEW! How does tax reform affect stock compensation?

In effect from the start of 2018, the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act has provisions that directly and indirectly affect stock compensation...
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Strategies

My restricted stock will vest soon. Should I sell the shares at vesting or hold them?

When restricted stock, restricted stock units, or performance shares vest, whether you sell or hold the shares depends on various factors. Some of them are under your control...
Strategies

I have various stock option grants with vested options. Do I need to exercise first my oldest grants or my oldest vested options?

There's no requirement for which vested options you must exercise first. The decision of which options to exercise first is part of your...
Strategies

What are the 10 most important financial-planning rules for employee stock purchase plans?

Before you participate in your company's employee stock purchase plan (ESPP), understand the following essential points for financial planning with ESPPs...
Strategies

What are the top 10 questions related to retirement planning that I should ask about my stock options, restricted stock/RSUs, or ESPP participation?

Retirement savings can be significantly boosted by equity compensation. When factoring stock options, restricted stock/RSUs, or ESPPs into your retirement planning, you should know the answers to the following questions...
Advanced Strategies

My company is granting restricted stock, and the share price is lower than I think it will be in a few years. Any tax-planning ideas? This is premium content

For restricted stock, you can make what the tax code calls a Section 83(b) election to be taxed immediately at grant instead of later at vesting, when your stock price, and thus your tax rate, may be much higher. However, before you make your decision, realize that...
Diversification

How do I diversify my company-stock holdings? This is premium content

Diversification is a sound practice in building and preserving personal wealth. If, along with stock options, you also own your company stock outright, settle on a comfortable ownership percentage...
Advanced Strategies

NEW! How does tax reform affect restricted stock and RSUs? This is premium content

While the core tax treatment of restricted stock and RSUs has not changed, the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act has provisions that directly and indirectly affect restricted stock/RSUs...
High Net Worth

Can my company set ownership guidelines for company stock? Any survey data about their use? This is premium content

Stock ownership guidelines specify how much company stock you must own in total or as a multiple of salary. Most companies count in the calculation the...
This is simply a selection of the many FAQs in this section.
Use the navigation to the left to explore all of the categories in this section.