Why Financial Planning is Important to Today’s Chief Executives

November 5, 2019 | Bob Hapanowicz
meeting about finances

When you’re running your company, managing work, taking care of your family, and taking care of everything in between, it stands to reason that you might end up spending very little time on yourself. Maybe you can find a few hours on the golf course now and then, or perhaps you take a family vacation every once in a while. But taking care of yourself and your family goes beyond that. What about setting aside the time to plan for and manage your financial future? 

As an executive or CEO, you’re tasked with planning for your company’s financial future and the financial future of your employees. As a spouse or parent, you’re likely thinking about your family’s financial future. But, your own financial planning might come as an afterthought. Maybe you haven’t thought of it at all, or perhaps you don’t know where to start or how to find the time.

It’s essential to take the time to properly and thoroughly understand the risks and responsibilities that go along with your stock options, performance shares, equity shares, tax obligations, retirement, and other considerations of your assets. That’s why executive financial planning is so important–and it goes beyond benefiting just you alone. 

Here are some planning considerations, especially for CEOs and executives, when it comes to wealth management. 

A Diversified Portfolio

An incentive-based equity compensation package can leave you at risk of an undiversified portfolio. When your company is successful, you reap the rewards. However, a downturn in the market or your business affairs can leave your portfolio shattered in pieces. A diversified portfolio will help you to manage your risks and safeguard your wealth.

What You Need to Know About Restricted Stock Options

While stock options may have substantial power to increase your wealth dramatically, they often are governed by a set of complex rules. Consider asking the following questions about your stock options. 

  • Are they stock options or actual shares? 
  • Do you need to pay the stock option price? 
  • How is stock paid out? 
  • Is your stock vested over time? For instance, only so many shares every several months? 
  • Are they performance shares? How is the performance determined? 
  • What happens to your stock once received? 
  • What happens to your shares when you retire or if you decide to leave the company? 

Understanding SEC Rules and Regulations

Depending on the type of restricted equity stock you have, the SEC governs the sale of your stock. According to the Securities Exchange Act, you may be required to submit a declaration of how many shares you wish to sell and when, unless you meet certain exemptions. Likewise, as an executive or CEO, there are certain times you may not be able to trade, known as “blackout periods,” because of insider trading policies.

Know Your Tax Liabilities 

Your equity shares, and whether they are shares or options, will affect which part of your stock is considered income and subject to income tax, and which part of your stock is considered capital gains and subjected to a much lower tax rate.

Just as you surround yourself with trusted partners and knowledgeable staff members for your business, you need to surround yourself with the same in advisors who can guide you through executive-level financial planning and wealth management. 

At Hapanowicz & Associates, our team provides the guidance, knowledge, and experience you need to grow and manage your wealth and assets. Whether you’re a CEO in need of advice or guidance, or you have questions or need information about the financial planning or wealth management process, feel free to reach out to me directly at reh@hapanowicz-associates.com. I look forward to getting to know you. 

There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a nondiversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk. Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.


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