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

10 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

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

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.
Advanced Strategies

NEW! 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.
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Strategies

10 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.
Advanced Strategies

When To Wait, Hold, Or Sell: A Wealth Manager Reveals His Wisdom On Stock Option Exercise Strategy (Part 1) This is premium content

Podcast included! When your stock options vest, you need a strategy to make the most of their wealth-building value. However, no single strategy fits everyone. This article discusses various approaches to planning your option exercises.
Strategies

NEW! Financial Planning With Restricted Stock Units: 3 Key Questions This is premium content

If you own restricted stock units (RSUs), you need to plan for what you will do when the shares vest. Whether you hold or sell, being prepared will help you be proactive instead of reactive and make the most of the opportunity RSU grants provide.
This is simply a selection of the many articles in this section.
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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?

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.
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