Case Studies

Private Wealth Management

Ron was a manager with a Seattle-based technology company who had stayed focused, worked hard and thought he would figure out the right investment approach down the road. With a large portion of his annual income in the form of stock options and restricted stock, Ron was comfortable keeping most of his net-worth connected to his company. He knew their products, believed in management and the stock had consistently done well. Plus, he didn’t know who to turn to for advice.

But while that had worked well enough, Ron was recognizing that he didn’t want to work forever. The long work weeks and stresses of the job were taking a toll. He couldn’t spend the kind of time with his family he wanted to, and his eldest son was preparing for college. He also realized he shouldn’t really have all his eggs in one basket.

He and his wife decided it was time to get a better plan in place. In short, they wanted financial security for the family. And the wanted to make work optional.

The Process

Ron and Susan were referred to Garde Capital by their CPA. We began with a complete discovery meeting, learning all we could about their values, their goals, and the relationships that were most important to them. They had an interest in philanthropy, and of course wanted to educate their children and minimize taxes. As part of our discovery process, we evaluated their company 401(k) and undertook a thorough analysis of their stock vesting schedules and trust and estate plan, which was out of date. As advisors, we considered all aspects of the five most important concerns of high-net-worth families: Investment Consulting, Tax Efficiency, Estate Planning, Risk Management and Charitable Giving.

The Outcome

We discussed our findings in a follow-up Investment Plan Meeting, where we presented them with a comprehensive Wealth Management Plan. This included an exercise plan to tax-efficiently diversify their restricted stock into a more balanced portfolio. We introduced them to members of our Professional Network to assist them with reviewing their Trust and Estate Documents and evaluate their insurance coverages. We established a Donor Advised Fund to maximize the amount they would evolve as their needs changed. They understood it as far more efficient to plan for retirement and educational funding proactively and not at the last minute.