Executives: Maximizing Equity Compensation
For those of us trying to get a grip on our equity, where’s a good place to start?
So, I think step number one is just education. Really understanding what it is you have.
There’s an entire alphabet soup of equity compensation types, and they all have their subtle nuances.
When do they vest? When do they expire? How are they taxed?
We want to think about the award types because they do matter.
Think about each award type as a tool that could be used for a different purpose.
Step number two understand what your goals are.
What are your other financial goals?
Will you need income? Are you going to be retiring soon?
How might a substantial donation to a charity affect the financial legacy you're going to leave behind?
So the different types of awards can play very different roles in how you actually want to use them to achieve those goals.
Next, you want to understand tax and understand exactly on different strategies - What are the tax implications?
You need to have a tax advisor or somebody who can really look at your situation and give you advice on how to start to mitigate and to manage your taxes.
To make effective decisions you really need to understand the mechanics of how the awards work as well as the tax impact.
By gaining this knowledge, you can help to create a holistic strategy.
Lots of clients will jump into charitable giving because a tax advisor has basically prompted them on their sort of tax return preparation.
But what we have to remember is that acting philanthropically is not equal to getting tax deductions.
What kind of impact do you actually want to make in the world around you? If we know what you want to do with your wealth, then we can work to get it done in the most tax efficient way.
A byproduct of having a very successful career is having a concentrated position in one stock.
What a 10b5-1 plan is it's a tool that can provide for an individual with that concentrated position, a very orderly and customized diversification strategy based upon original plan and the goals of the investor.
So really, when you're dealing with equity compensation, you need to surround yourself with a team of advisors, key advisors that can work together to really help you understand how to use your equity compensation to its fullest.
For executives, equity compensation can be an essential part of building overall wealth. Defining a strategy that efficiently navigates the complexities of equity awards can help Executives achieve their personal financial goals. Effectively managing equity awards begins with understanding the considerations. Watch Executive Tips: Making the Most of Equity Compensation for insights from Morgan Stanley subject matter experts