10b5-1 Plan Best Practices for any Market Climate

Now that StockOpter.com provides 10b5-1 trading plan tracking, this recent NASPP blog post caught my eye. StockOpter's functionality tracks individual 10b5-1 plans for company insiders. This article explains four best practices issuer companies should consider to make their 10b5-1 programs more effective. by Jenifer Namazi Rule 10b5-1 trading plans are one of the tools that employees and board members of issuer companies have as a resource in creating an affirmative defense against insider trading. Although Rule 10b5-1 has been around...

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COVID-19 and Equity Awards

The NASPP (National Association of Stock Plan Professionals) has published the results of a quick survey they conducted of how companies are responding to COVID-19 when it comes to their equity award programs. Here are the key findings detailed in the full report: Top Concerns: Restoring lost value to equity awards and adjusting performance targets to meet current expectations are the top two concerns for survey respondents. Reduced participation is the top concern participants have for ESPPs. Actions Under Consideration:...

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Press Release: StockOpter Adds 10b5-1 Trading Plan Tracking

Bend, OR, February 12, 2020 -  StockOpter.com, the industry leading application for equity compensation valuation and risk analysis has been enhanced to track client 10b5-1 trading plans. These trading plans established under SEC Rule 10b5-1 provide an affirmative defense against charges of insider trading because they are setup before the employee knows information that may affect the company's stock price. This allows trades to be executed when stock price targets are met even during black-out periods. Since 2008, StockOpter.com from...

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How to Choose From the Six Ways to Price Your Services

by Patrick Brewer, CPA, CFA How your firm prices its services is about more than just boosting profit margins. The right fee structure is vital to client satisfaction and your long-term success. Fees have always been a hot topic in this industry. However, with trading commissions getting slashed to zero, the rise of passive managers and price pressures across the board, many advisors are rethinking the way they price their services. Even if your firm’s current fee structure seems ideal,...

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Marketing More Effectively to Corporate Executives

By Jill Addison You’ve chosen to focus on corporate executive clients as a niche in your financial advisory practice. Great! But here’s the biggest mistake so many advisors make: they don’t put this niche focus and specialty front and center in their marketing. Having a niche is one of the biggest keys to growing a successful practice. But if no one knows about your niche, the power of it is lost. That’s where marketing comes in. You must platform your...

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The Do's and Don'ts for Engaging Executives with Equity Compensation

Financial advisors contact me regularly to ask for ideas on how to grow their practices by acquiring corporate executive clients.  Having been in the equity compensation guidance space for 20 years I've seen what works and what doesn't.  Here are some do's and don'ts for pursuing this market: Do have a few questions and an elevator pitch memorized for whenever you meet an executive that receives equity compensation (i.e. employee stock options and restricted stock/units).  Read this article on the Four Questions to Ask...

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4 Questions to Ask Clients with Equity Compensation

Employees with equity compensation represent a great opportunity for advisors to generate new and ongoing business.  This is because the market is largely under served and highly lucrative.  Of the approximately 8+ million employees who receive equity compensation awards, only a small percentage utilize professional assistance.  So when financial advisors cross paths with these prospects it's important to be prepared to seize the opportunity.  Here are 4 questions to ask after meeting someone who works for a company that provides equity compensation: "What type(s) of...

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Incentive Stock Option (ISO) Planning Guidelines

According to the NASPP, Incentive Stock Options (ISOs) are now rarely granted to employees of publicly traded companies, yet they are still popular with pre-IPO private companies. Consequently, advisors may encounter clients or prospects with ISOs that want to take advantage of the lower Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) tax rates on these grants and optimizing for tax efficiency. Financial advisors often turn to us for an easy way to deal with Incentive Stock Options. Unfortunately, there is no simple way...

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Setting Better Employee Stock Option Price Targets

If you’re a financial advisor with clients or prospects that receive stock options from their employers, it can be like falling into a well and finding a bag of money at the bottom.  These individuals represent a fantastic long-term business opportunity; but there’s a catch, you need to be able to help them determine “why” and “when” they should exercise, sell and diversify. Here's 3 quick lessons on what advisors need to explain to their clients to make timely and...

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Age, Gender, and Stock Plan Participant Attitudes

As one of the first surveys to report statistics by gender as well as age, the recently released biennial Fidelity Stock Plan Services Participant Survey highlights a unique opportunity for advisors to provide equity compensation guidance and education to not one, but two niche groups. Women While 66% of men reported understanding their stock plans “very well,” only 48% of women reported the same. When asked if they were aware of the tax implications of selling the stock in their...

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