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.
The most commonly overlooked asset in financial planning may be surprising: it's compensation. And it's where your clients usually need the most guidance.
Financial Planning

Financial Planning

As frequently featured at Forbes.com and by Plansponsor, our Financial Planning section explores 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

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

Podcast included! 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

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

Podcast included! 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.
Strategies

Top 10 Financial-Planning Rules Everyone With Stock Options Needs To Know

Podcast included! If you've been granted stock options, congratulations. But now what? Maximizing the value of stock options is one of the most complex financial-planning challenges you may face. The 10 guidelines in this article will help you get the most out of your option grants: setting goals, stock option valuation, exercise timing, job-loss considerations, understanding the taxation, and much more. An interactive companion quiz lets you test yourself on what you've learned.
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Advanced Strategies

So Your Company Granted You RSUs. Now What? 3 Planning Tips From Top Financial Advisors

Getting a grant of restricted stock or restricted stock units (RSUs) is a reason to celebrate. But now comes the tricky part: financial and tax planning. In this article, three financial advisors with special expertise in this area provide practical guidance and insights.
Strategies

A Holistic Approach To Managing Equity Compensation And Setting Goals This is premium content

Podcast included! Planning for equity compensation begins with identifying the role stock grants will play in your life, whether for retirement, college funding, or other goals. This article offers points to consider for three different types of investors.
Advanced Strategies

How To Defer Or Pay No Capital Gains Tax On Company Stock Sales: 6 Ways Under The Tax Code This is premium content

The US tax code provides a few perfectly legal ways, depending on your income, financial goals, and even life expectancy, to defer or pay no capital gains tax, maximizing the benefits of your grants and letting you put away more toward your financial goals.
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

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 questions in this FAQ's checklist...
Strategies

UPDATES! My restricted stock/RSUs 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...
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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

Are there financial-planning strategies for NQSOs? This is premium content

There is no universal planning strategy for nonqualified stock options (NQSOs). It is important for your option strategy to be tailored to your personal goals. With that said, we present some general advice from experts...
Diversification

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...
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 questions in this FAQ's checklist...
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

UPDATES! I have vested stock options. What should I do: exercise and hold, exercise and immediately sell, or wait to exercise? This is premium content

This is a difficult question that only you can really answer, as your exercise timing depends on a number of personal factors unique to you...
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.
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