Are you one of the 10 million U.S. employees of public companies who receives some portion of your pay in company stock? If you are, you may have wondered if your financial advisor, stockbroker or financial planner is trained to advise you on this important part of your income. The truth is that equity compensation is complex. Optimizing this benefit requires a sophisticated approach to financial planning. A relatively small fraction of advisors have the training and experience to advise executives and other employees about their incentive stock options, restricted shares performance shares or stock appreciation rights. Several industry studies have showed that the more employee stock plan participants used planning, advice and diversification, the more appreciative of their plan benefits and confident of achieving their financial goals they were. Do you think you understand your company’s equity compensation benefits and how they can help you achieve your long-term financial goals?
Do you have a plan in place to regularly review and make strategic adjustments to your employee retirement plan? A 401(k) can be a powerful wealth building tool but we’ve found that employees regularly make mistakes managing the money in their company plan that can lead to big, compounded shortfalls in their retirement wealth accumulation. Allowing your contributions to stay in plan default accounts, not regularly rebalancing the fund choices, under contributing…these mistakes can mean the difference between a comfortable (maybe early) retirement and a compromise that may not make everyone in your family happy.
The right financial advisor and the right financial plan can be valuable guides for you to use when you make decisions about your equity compensation and retirement plans. The right answers to common questions like, “What is the maximum tax advantage I can get by contributing to the retirement plan?”, “When should I exercise my employee stock options?”, “Which grant should I exercise first?” and “Are some of the funds in my retirement plan a better choice than others?” depends on how your financial plan is structured and your tolerance for risk. You owe it to yourself and your family to be actively optimizing these powerful benefits. Get started today!Get Started