Financial Planning
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Financial Planning

Financial Planning

As 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

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 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.
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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Advanced Strategies

UPDATES! Restricted Stock And Stock Options: Financial Planning After Your Tax Return Is Filed (Part 1) This is premium content

The time right after you have filed your tax return is ideal for big-picture financial planning—now more than ever with the changes under the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. Your 2018 tax return lets you fully understand the impact of the tax changes, and the amount of your total taxes was probably different than what you had projected. This recently updated article series discusses factors to consider in your income and tax projections, along with planning ideas.
Strategies

Six Ways Tax Reform Affects Your Stock Compensation And Financial Planning

Podcast included! The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act has provisions that affect stock compensation, whether in financial planning or in stock plan administration. This article details six with an impact on the taxation of stock compensation or holdings of company shares.
Advanced Strategies

UPDATES! Restricted Stock And Stock Options: Financial Planning After Your Tax Return Is Filed (Part 2) This is premium content

Your tax return can help you develop your tax-planning strategy for stock options, restricted stock/RSUs, and holdings of company stock. Now that you have filed your first tax return after all the changes under the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, you can make more accurate projections for the year ahead. Consider your future income, taxes, AMT risk, and use of capital-loss carry-forwards. Review the details of your stock plan documents to develop a program for option exercises and restricted stock/RSU vesting.
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 following 10 questions...
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...
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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...
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 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...
High Net Worth

How did 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...
Advanced Strategies

How did 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.