Roger Wohlner is a financial advisor and writer with 20 years of experience in the industry. He specializes in financial planning, investing, and all earnings on the Internet. When used appropriately, these options can be worth a lot of money to you.
Employee Stock Option Basics With an employee stock option planyou are offered the right to buy a specific number of shares of company stock, at a specified price called the grant price also called the exercise price or strike pricewithin a specified number of years.
You cannot exercise your options before the vesting date option to employee to employee after the expiration date.
You can keep the 1, shares or sell them. Cashless exercise — You exercise your options and sell enough of the stock to cover the purchase price. The brokerage firm makes this happen simultaneously.
You are left with shares of Widget which you can either keep or sell. You are left owning a total of 1, shares of Widget which you can either keep or sell. This is not necessarily the case for incentive stock options.
With proper tax planning, you can minimize the tax impact of exercising your options. Your employee stock option option to employee will have a plan document that spells out the rules that apply to your options. Get a copy of this plan document and read it, or hire a financial planner that is familiar with these types of plans to assist you.
There are many factors to consider in deciding when to exercise your options. Investment risk, tax planning, and market volatility are a few of them, but the most important factor is your personal financial circumstances, which may be different than those of your co-worker.
Should You Keep the Stock? Keeping too much company stock is considered risky.
Corporate executives need to consider this in their planning and work to diversify out of company stock.