Not too long ago, a client found themselves in a bit of a pickle. They had long awaited the time when they could buy a house. And now that their children were leaving the nest and their employers were allowing them to work virtually, they could finally relocate to Florida and be closer to friends and family.
They knew they wanted to buy a newly constructed house because they’d get more bang for their buck. The construction would finish in about nine months, which meant they’d contract for the house now, but wouldn’t actually buy it until it was ready for moving in. However, they faced uncertainty in deciding when to sell their employer’s stock for the rest of the down payment.
Over the course of two months, the client saw their employer’s stock fall over 26%. And since this was a main source of funding for their new home, they felt a bit insecure about next steps. Questions started sprouting up like:
- Will the stock rebound to the price it was just recently?
- Should we wait longer to sell, and hold out for further gains?
- If we sell, where should the money go until we buy the house?
It’s also worth noting that the client’s stock consisted of restricted stock units, vested stock options, and an employer stock purchase program. This means that they needed to decide which type of shares to sell too. Some of their selling options came just recently after the end of a lock up period.
Crafted Finance’s Solution
Whenever a client calls us the first thing we do is actually listen to them. That’s because it’s vital to understand what the problem really is, and how it’s being perceived. From there, we’re able to take a deeper dive into what actions the client can take.
In this case, we had to clarify both the problem and its perception. Questions regarding “market timing,” can be dangerous. The truth is we cannot time the market without getting lucky. That is, we cannot know for certain how future markets will look.
While we can analyze present data, and review long-term trends, forecasts will still only be educated guesses in the end. And in the advisor’s chair, our job is to help clients measure uncertainty, and make decisions that align with their priorities. Nevertheless, it’s easy for emotions to take over and create dissonance when the future is uncertain. That’s why we help clients get crystal clear on their values, ensure they’re rooted in truth, and then take action.
After our conversation, it was clear that a new home was a top value for the client. They felt it was essential to realizing what they truly wanted for their next chapter. The other perspective we uncovered was that even though they were selling some stock to sit in a stable cash equivalent for the time being – the actual exchange being made here is a transition from a small company stock to a parcel of real estate (we like to call it an “asset-shift”).
This perspective helped the client realize that perhaps this isn’t some grand opportunity lost – rather it was and exchange of assets – each with great long-term value. After understanding this, they felt the desire to move forward. This home was intended to be a very long-term investment, and they felt secure in their income, career, and finances to weather a future storm. So we strategized to sell some of their stock for the down payment, and give the rest time to rebound.
Getting You Help
It can be tempting to try and “time the market,” especially when you’re facing a major decision like buying a home. If you need help figuring out your priorities, whether or not you should sell stock, or developing a financial roadmap to get you where you want, reach out to us.
You can reach us directly at (650) 336-0598 with any questions, or fill out a contact card here, and we’ll reach out to you.