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Work with an advisor to build an investment strategy tailored to your personal timeline, goals, and risk tolerance.

Financial decisions should never be considered in isolation. Investments that might make sense for one individual may be a poor fit for your personal financial goals. That’s precisely why Wealthstream Advisors focuses on providing strategic insight that is aligned with an empathetic understanding of your long-term priorities.

The example below shows how we worked with one individual who held a highly concentrated position of equity earned through executive compensation, in addition to other illiquid investments. Our team of advisors helped identify a cost-effective path to a better-diversified portfolio and even helped this client achieve his personal goal of retiring by age 60.

Client Profile:

Equity Compensation: Stock Options and RSUs

Years with Company: 30+

Industry Type: Entertainment

End Result: A diversified portfolio supports an early, secure requirement.

After a thirty-year career with the same employer, this long-time executive had a substantial concentration of his portfolio in a single company, held in both RSUs and stock options—with more vesting every year. 

Equity compensation-related issues were compounded by a portfolio filled with relatively illiquid investments. A previous advisor had locked up a substantial portion of his family’s portfolio in annuities and private REITs, even at a time when they were young and seeking to buy a home. While these investments are appropriate for some individuals, this client’s previous financial advisor had never provided an adequate explanation of the associated risks, or why they may not be suitable for his personal financial goals and circumstances.

When he approached Wealthstream, he needed help identifying the best path forward in this complex scenario. How should he begin to think about diversifying his portfolio with the end of his career on the horizon? How quickly should he work to reduce his stock holdings with his current employer?

At Wealthstream, we always take time to understand every asset’s relationship with a client’s overall portfolio, career timeline, and appetite for risk. There is no substitute for an in-depth understanding of personal financial goals.

Wealthstream Advisors' priority was to clearly explain the nature of his annuity and REIT investments and create a plan for strategically divesting. We dug under the hood of various investments to understand the specifics of surrender penalties. With annuities, we determined that the optimal path would be to take the maximum allowed annual penalty-free withdrawals and diversify over time. With the REITs, deeper research was required to understand the tax implications and withdrawal rights. Ultimately, we were able to help exit from these positions without significant penalties.

Looking forward, we worked to educate the client on the benefits of diversification, transitioning a significant amount of his portfolio into low-cost, well-diversified mutual funds. This client was sold some very expensive variable life insurance policies; Wealthstream helped to educate him on the pros and cons of permanent versus term coverage, ultimately supporting his transition to a much lower-cost term coverage plan.

Wealthstream also assisted in working through equity compensation, tax, and retirement planning issues. We created a plan to draw down his concentrated holding of employer equity over time, taking into account tax implications versus his desire to diversify. Because of his wealth, we also coordinated with an estate attorney to make sure we minimized any future estate tax liabilities (a foundation that proved invaluable in navigating subsequent estate-related challenges). 

Most importantly, we crafted a plan that was tailored to reflect his own vision for retirement. He was able to achieve the elusive goal of retiring at age 60.

We are proud to have built a lasting relationship with this client, and Wealthstream Advisors has since become heavily involved with his three children, who are now young professionals, building families of their own, and have inherited a number of complex trust assets. We are proud to have provided the holistic financial life planning this individual needed to not only solve his immediate equity compensation issues but achieve his ultimate goal of taking an early retirement while providing for the long-term future of his children.

“I don’t choose to understand money, and I get confused very quickly when it comes to finances. I appreciate working directly with people who understand the ins and outs, take the time to understand my preferences for low-risk investments, and have come to feel like part of the family after our years-long working relationship.” — Retirement Portfolio Client*

*This statement may not be representative of the experience of other clients and does not guarantee future performance or success; no compensation was exchanged for this recognition. 

How can you diversify your investments while developing a financial plan that is tailored to your personal goals and circumstances? Work with our advisors to pinpoint the right approach for your needs. Contact our team of professionals today to get started.