Are you a financially sound individual?

What the world needs now are financially sound individuals. People who are informed about how they may best serve themselves and those around them to create a living legacy that can be shared and paid-forward to make their world, and the world for those they care about, a better place.

This living legacy can begin simply enough and all it takes is committing to the DOT principle and ‘doing one thing’ that gets you started towards becoming a financially sound individual, better able to contribute to, and pursue, what really matters.

I admit when you’ve little time for yourself and those closest to you, it’s easy to put your personal financial matters on the back burner.  However, it always catches up with you. What you defer doing now, snowballs into a larger problem that’s more complex, more time consuming and often more expensive to fix later.

I’m certain those with Executive Share Schemes (ESS) who have missed or failed to act on a vesting can attest to this.

Speaking of ESS, checking your next vesting is the first of three things I recommend you do right now that could substantially improve your financial circumstances.

1: Executive Share Scheme vesting

The one thing you can do is make yourself aware of when your next grant of shares or options vest. This is important because, presumably, you want to make the most of your ESS wealth opportunity. However, in many cases a vesting is also a taxing point that impacts directly on your personal income tax which means missing a vesting usually results in paying more tax than is necessary.

2: Protect your livelihood

If you don’t have a personal protection strategy in place that insures you for 70% of your current income if you are unable to work, the one thing you can do is learn more about income protection insurance.

In particular, you should check the fine print relating to the duration of benefit payments. Policy definitions differ and some may indicate benefit payments for two to five years only, while others indicate for the remainder of your working life. This can have significant financial ramifications depending on your circumstances and you’ll need advice to ensure your income protection policy is right for you.

3: Pay attention to super

Business owners frequently reinvest profit in their businesses, which is often at the personal cost of not paying themselves superannuation. We have met many a successful business owner with very little to show for many years of hard work and commitment, in their super fund.

The one thing you can do is implement a superannuation contribution plan that starts with making regular contributions and takes advantage of catch-up contributions to make the most of unused contribution cap amounts. Contributing via salary sacrifice can also bring valuable tax efficiencies.

Next steps:

In my experience, taking a DOT approach and doing just one thing is the step-change that can create greatly improved financial outcomes.

The one thing you can do right now might be picking up the phone and calling a professional who can do the heavy lifting for you. This has certainly proved to be the solution for many of my clients.

As a financial planner and ESS strategist specialising in financial planning for high earning executives, professionals and business owners, I invite you to do just that – contact me and we can take it from there together.

Please call Executive Strategies on +61 7 3007 2080 or email

Executive Strategies is a specialised information hub for executives and senior managers who may have founded their own business or who work for growing private, ASX listed companies or government businesses. Its purpose is to provide access to specialist advisers and information that addresses the often-complex issues affecting their personal prosperity.

James Marshall is the 2021 ifa Holistic Financial Adviser of the Year

Stratus Financial Group and its advisers are Authorised Representatives of Fortnum Private Wealth Ltd ABN 54 139 889 535 AFSL 357306. This is general advice only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs, so you should consider whether the advice is relevant to your personal circumstances. You should also read the relevant Product Disclosure Statements (PDS) before making any financial decision.

Please note: Tax advice and other services not offered under the Fortnum Private Wealth AFSL are referred to appropriately qualified professionals.