Words of Candor: Publix® Edition

The headlines have been buzzing in recent weeks with news of the Chinese currency, the Yuan or RMB, potentially threatening the US dollar's status as the top reserve currency. Moreover, the concerns over the US defaulting on its debt is adding fuel to the fire, causing anxiety in the markets. But before you start to panic, let's get the facts straight.
Over the coming weeks there will continue to be a stream of information coming out regarding the collapse of several banks in the US and in Europe. We will undoubtedly learn more about the failures that led to the banks collapsing, the cost of the collapse, and what changes need to be implemented to attempt to stop these sorts of things from occurring in the future. One thing we already know that this situation reminded us of is that diversification still matters in your financial life.
One of the most crucial pieces of a sound financial plan, and often the most overlooked piece, is the estate plan. Even though you may not realize, everyone has an estate plan, however some are more organized than others.
In the beginning of December I was able to visit Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure in Orlando, FL with a few friends for a VIP Experience tour. The tour includes breakfast, lunch, and a guided walk throughout the parks guaranteeing you to ride at least ten rides, skipping the lines and going straight to the front. As an annual passholder, it was not my first time at these parks and I eagerly put together a list of rides that were essential for us to ride. The list included multiple rollercoasters, several simulators that were in 3D, and other rides that spin you and move you around in a quick fashion. As the day ended, I realized what started with excitement ended with a sore neck, nausea, and a group discussion on if thirteen rides was really a good idea after all.  While that day is one of my favorite memories of 2022, the feeling getting off the last rollercoaster resonated with me as to what many investors probably felt in 2022: a period of excitement to begin the year, followed by the discomfort of what turned out to be a year full of ups and downs and unexpected nausea and fatigue. 
One of the main benefits of working for Publix for both part-time and full-time employees is the ability to participate in the ESPP, or the Employee Share Purchase Program. This program highlighted in our first blog post allows employees of Publix to purchase non-qualified shares of Publix Stock. The plan document for the ESPP highlights the mission of this plan is to allow long-term investing by employees into the company so that they too will be owners of the company. Many employees do take advantage of this and accumulate sizable amounts of stock over their careers at Publix, which does allow for some special financial planning. 
One of the main benefits at Publix is access to Publix stock and many employees or associates amass large amounts of stock through long careers at Publix. While this has literally and figuratively “paid dividends” over the years, it's often important to diversify assets in retirement. When working you may be able to take on the risk of a concentrated position of stock, but often in retirement, it is better to diversify your assets away from such high levels of concentration. One such way of doing so through a tax-advantaged way is a “Net Unrealized Appreciation '' Transaction.