Great News! You’ve Got Stock Awards. Now you need the right advisor.
It’s exciting to know you’re actually vested in some or all of your company’s restricted stock, options, or other stock-related compensation granted by your company. The question is: Now what? You may think that your stock compensation will pay off someday, but only when your company goes public with a splashy IPO. But here’s the thing: a lot of fast-growing private companies are choosing to stay private much longer. Other startups are putting their IPO plans on indefinite hold.
You might be asking, “Is there anything I can do today to help me better plan for converting some of my stock or options into cash?” The answer is YES.
If you don’t plan ahead, you could end up making decisions that could seriously reduce your windfall.
Your employer may be able to help you liquidate a portion of your equity awards. Some private companies allow employees to sell vested stock or exercised options either by buying back a certain number of shares themselves, or arranging a company-wide partial share sale in a company-sponsored transaction. There are also a number of online marketplaces where lenders and buyers work with individuals who wish to exercise some of their options and sell the underlying shares.
Whichever approach is available to you, selling your stock could suddenly generate a significant cash windfall. While cashing in right now sounds very tempting, it’s critical to understand that you’ll need a game plan before an exercise or sale triggers taxes.
A transaction of this magnitude may be a once in a lifetime opportunity that requires potentially game-changing decisions. You may need to make these decisions quickly. That’s why it’s important to plan ahead, with personal financial and tax guidance from an unbiased financial professional who specializes in tax and stock options planning.
Wealthramp is your financial advisor connection.
Your employer wants you to get the most out of your compensation, but your benefits director can’t give you personal financial advice. That’s why your company has partnered with Wealthramp to give you access to private, executive level fiduciary financial advice. You’ll choose your advisor from a network of hand-selected advisors who will be fully briefed on the details of your stock option plan. Every advisor on the Wealthramp platform has been personally vetted by me. That’s the Wealthramp promise.
Avoid Tax Shock
Suddenly becoming wealthy is great. But here’s the one thing you must know before you liquidate your private shares: You will have to pay taxes on the profits. And that tax bill could be either huge or manageable. It depends on how you handle some critical timing decisions.
What’s even more alarming is that a big windfall could suddenly push you into a higher tax bracket. In that case, surprise!
The solution is to avoid the planning mistakes you can’t ‘undo’ later and plan ahead for these tax consequences right now, before you’re even given the opportunity to cash in.
Here are a couple of things you’ll want to consider ahead of time:
You need to find out exactly which kinds of options you own
You must understand the tax consequences of your options before you exercise or sell them
Your employer knows this level of financial planning is complicated, and is offering you an easy way to get the tax advice you need, in advance, from vetted members of Wealthramp’s fiduciary financial advisor network.
The first step is to take our brief survey and choose an advisor. We’ll match you with up to 3 best-fit advisors, based on your unique needs and preferences. You can connect directly with one or more by email or phone to start a conversation. The advisor will ask you questions and learn a lot about you and your unique situation, including what you hope to accomplish financially. These are not group sessions. They are private, confidential conversations you’ll want to have outside the office. By the time you’re ready to have that first meeting with your advisor, he or she will already have an understanding of you, your plan, and its rules. From there your advisor can give you a clear path forward based on your personal financial situation, taking into consideration tax minimization strategies, investment risk, and other factors that could derail your chance at real financial success. Remember, these advisors don’t work for brokers or insurance companies. They work only and directly for you.
You’ve hit the jackpot.
Now, don’t gamble it away.
You are probably reading this because you aren’t a financial professional versed in all the intricacies of stock-based compensation, taxes, investing, and long-term planning strategies. You are here because you are great at what you do, which is why you have earned these options in the first place. Unless you have the time to study for a second career in wealth management, you are probably best off spending your time doing what you do best, and your excess time with those you love.
This money could give you the power to start building real wealth, if you consider taking the following steps:
Rent or buy a home
Pay off your mortgage or buy a second home
Build a truly diversified portfolio of other companies’ stock, ETF’s or real estate
Save in your kids' 529 college plan
Start saving as much as you can for your retirement
Create an emergency cushion to pay for unexpected expenses or to provide income in case you of our spouse or partner lose a job
Don’t bet all your money on one company even when you work there
Successful investors have a saying: When it comes to investing, diversification wins all battles. That doesn’t mean you have to get rid of all your company’s shares, especially if you believe it will eventually “go IPO.” This is where you’ll benefit from collaborating with an expert to help you build a more complete portfolio that addresses your concentrated stock ownership risk. That way, if one company (even yours!) runs into bad times, losses may be minimized and offset by other gains.
You can get a head start now to find a fully vetted fiduciary financial advisor who may already know the intricate details of your company’s stock plan and will help you invest wisely. Advisors on Wealthramp do not “sell” you investments like stocks, annuities, limited partnerships, and other products, often with hidden fees, pushed by commission or “fee-based” brokers and agents. As “fee-only” fiduciary advisors, they work only and directly for you, helping you manage your stock options as well as manage and grow your investment portfolio to reach your (many) money goals.
Here’s how to take your next step
Wealthramp is working with your company to give you access to our network of expertly vetted advisors who can view the details of your company’s stock compensation plans. They’re here to offer you the personal advice you need right now.
Take my 2 minute survey
- My questions help you prioritize your financial concerns
- Advisor matches are driven by your concerns and priorities
- My process makes it easy you to start a conversation
Review your advisor
- Your fiduciary advisor results fit your individual needs
- Advisors’ qualifications and SEC records are visible on each profile
- Advisors’ narratives on full profile pages give you details about how they work with you
- Go ahead and reach out to your advisor directly and engage on your own terms and with confidence when you are ready
- Advisors won’t contact you until you request an introduction or reply to the chat box
- You will never be bombarded by solicitations for financial products and services
Ramp up your wealth today! Get matched to the best-fit professional fiduciary advisors in just 2 minutes.
REMEMBER, YOU’RE IN CONTROL
OF THE PROCESS!
How Wealthramp protects your privacy
– Pam Krueger, CEO Wealthramp