Clients come to us with a concentrated stock position in tech companies – sometimes publicly traded companies but more often equity in a private, venture backed company. We help clients understand what their concentrated position means within the context of their entire financial situation and how it influences their vision for the future.
Our planning process is education forward. We identify levers that clients have in their financial lives so they can make informed decisions about how their hard-earned resources can support the life they want to live. This includes all financial areas of their life like preparing for a liquidity event, buying a home, sending kids to school, preparing for a sabbatical, switching jobs, understanding and negotiating the equity portion of job offers, or moving to a different state. We also have relationships with estate planning and stock options attorneys, secondary market brokers to help get liquidity for private company stock, mortgage bankers, real estate agents, etc. to help get our clients what they need.
Most importantly, our planning process is iterative. Not only do we proactively address planning opportunities, we are accessible for ongoing brainstorming sessions as a client’s life unfolds. Holding the space for clients to explore their options with a strategic partner allows them to be more present for what matters most.
Setting expectations is an important aspect of the financial planning process. At least once per year we update tax projections to make sure clients are prepared for how changes in income influences their tax bill and whether estimated tax payments should be made.
Tax projections help clients understand how many ISOs they can exercise without incurring Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), the tax consequences of a looming IPO or acquisition, the implications of participating in a tender offer, and whether they should hold onto excess cash for taxes or if it makes sense to use that money towards other goals.
Client experience is huge for us. Our vision is to grow with our clients but not at the expense of our clients. To ensure clients have the best experience with Upstart we have a strict focus on maintaining a client-to-advisor ratio 50 to 1, so our team is more present for each clients’ ongoing planning needs.
Every client has a relationship with a financial planner but all clients get Upstart’s collective wisdom. As we take on more clients, we’ll continue hiring elite planners who we would trust to work with our parents so we can ensure every client gets the level of service they deserve.