Read e-book If Id Only Known That: Common Mistakes in Equity Compensation and What to Do About Them

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Publication - Print. Description Donald Rumsfeld famously said of the Iraq war that "There are known knowns. Table of Contents Introduction: Not Knowing Excerpts From Chapter 6, "Tax and Law" It's one thing to fail to turn in something to your payroll department on its timeline. We have three failures in this example: Failure to coordinate. Once again, we have a plan administrator who has failed to plan ahead to take the payroll schedule into consideration.

Remember, even though you provide financial reports at month end, it is a good idea to review cash-based award payouts in coordination with the payroll schedule.


In this example, the September 2 payout would still have been made between payroll submission dates, but if the payout date had been on September 1 the administrator could have planned ahead to have it pay out and have the withholding deposited on the regular September 1 pay date.

Failure of communication. Some equity administration programs now have interfaces to integrate with payroll systems, but it has not yet become industry-wide practice. When these systems are not integrated, it is important to get regular downloads from the payroll system if the equity administration database will be involved in calculating the taxes on equity compensation transactions, especially if there is a chance that any executives will have substantial bonus income.

As in this example, even if the equity administration database was not used for calculating withholding taxes, if the administrator had received payroll downloads she would have noticed the supplemental income and been able to alert the payroll clerk instead of relying on a simple note in the system about average bonus amounts to this participant.

Failure of knowledge. You can typically open a brokerage account online in about 15 minutes, provided that you have all your information ready to enter online. In addition to your name, address, and other common information, a brokerage firm will usually ask you for all of the following when you sign up:. When you sign up for a brokerage account, you may be asked what type of brokerage account you want to open.

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Brokerage accounts come in three different forms: cash accounts, margin accounts, and discretionary accounts. Realistically, most beginning investors are likely to open a cash account and keep the same type of account forever.

If Id Only Known That: Common Mistakes in Equity Compensation and What to Do About Them

It offers all the utility most investors need, as it allows you to use your cash balance to buy investments and, when you sell, have the cash returned to your account for withdrawals or to make another investment. Here at The Ascent , our passion is providing expert reviews that highlight the things that actually matter when making decisions that affect your personal finances. But don't worry: you'll find that our reviews are all jargon-free and written in plain english. As investors who manage our own portfolios through online brokerage firms, we have personal experience with many of the most popular online brokers which informs our view on brokers, how they compare, and pitfalls to look out for.

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e-book If Id Only Known That: Common Mistakes in Equity Compensation and What to Do About Them

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Get our latest tips and uncover more of our top picks to help you conquer your money goals. What is a stock broker? Full-service brokerages -- This label is given to traditional brokerage firms, primarily those that operate out of brick-and-mortar offices. Their main selling point is service, meaning that they offer more than just the ability to place a trade. A full-service brokerage firm might offer retirement planning help, tax tips, and guidance on which investments to buy or sell. Online discount brokers -- This label is generally given to the companies you see on the list here.

How to buy stocks online. Brokers allow you to place two different types of orders when you buy stock: Market order -- This is an order that will be placed immediately at the prevailing market price. Thus, if you enter an order to buy 10 shares of Amazon, your trade will be filled by matching it with someone who wants to sell shares of Amazon, though not at a known price per share. In most cases, however, you'll end up paying the stock's "ask" price, or very close to it. Limit order -- A limit order differs from a market order in that the trade is only completed at a certain price.

Limit orders are a good way to buy and sell stocks that trade less frequently, since there may not be enough willing sellers to fill a market order at a reasonable price. How to avoid this mistake: Save enough money to make a down payment, pay for closing costs and moving expenses, and take care of repairs that may come up.

Lenders will give you estimates of closing costs, and you can call around to get estimates of moving expenses. One day, you apply for a mortgage. A few weeks later, you close, or finalize, the loan and get the keys to the house. The period between is critical: You want to leave your credit alone as much as possible.

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Wait until after closing to open new credit accounts or charge big expenses to your credit cards. Applying for credit can reduce your credit score a few points. Getting a new loan, or adding to your monthly debt payments, will increase your debt-to-income ratio.

Equity Or Cash Compensation? Deciding What’s More Valuable To An Employee

Within about a week of the closing, the lender will check your credit one last time. If your credit score has fallen, or if your debt-to-income ratio has gone up, the lender might change the interest rate or fees on the mortgage. How to avoid this mistake: Wait until after closing to open new credit accounts or to charge furniture, appliances or tools to your credit cards.

How to avoid this mistake: Talk to a mortgage professional about getting pre-qualified or even preapproved for a home loan before you start to seriously shop for a place. After you buy a home, the monthly bills keep stacking up.