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Restricted Stock

Restricted stock, RSUs, and performance shares have become prominent forms of stock grant. Browse an overview of this section below, or explore the subtopics to the left.

In addition to the main areas about basic and advanced topics in all these types of grants, see the special subsections that are exclusively about restricted stock units and performance shares.

Test Your Knowledge Test and improve your knowledge with our Restricted Stock & RSUs quiz and its study guide in the answer key.

Listen to our podcast on restricted stock/RSUs, or watch our new videos on key concepts and taxes.

  Articles   FAQs  

VIDEO! Restricted Stock & RSUs (Part 1): Key Aspects To Know

Bruce Brumberg
Presented by the editor-in-chief of, this engaging video covers the fundamentals of restricted stock, restricted stock units (RSUs), and performance shares to help you make the most of these grants. This video covers key concepts, such as vesting schedules and understanding your grant's value. Running time: 4:37

VIDEO! Restricted Stock & RSUs (Part 2): Taxes And Related Key Decisions

Bruce Brumberg
Presented by the editor-in-chief of, this engaging video covers the basic tax treatment of restricted stock and restricted stock units (RSUs), including the tax rates, the timing of taxation, and withholding. Running time: 3:57

Restricted Stock 101: Five Essentials Of Restricted Stock & RSUs This is premium content

myStockOptions Editorial Team
While restricted stock and RSUs are relatively straightforward, they have technical aspects you must understand to make the most of them. Learn the essential facts of restricted stock and RSUs, including basic concepts, vesting schedules, and tax treatment.

Restricted Stock Units Made Simple (Part 1): Understanding The Core Concepts

myStockOptions Editorial Team
Restricted stock units (RSUs) have become the most popular alternative to stock options. While RSUs share many of the same issues as restricted stock, there are differences, and it is important to understand the basics of RSUs in their own right.

Restricted Stock Units Made Simple (Part 2): Taxation This is premium content

myStockOptions Editorial Team
The taxation of RSUs generally resembles that of restricted stock but carries some important differences.

Restricted Stock: Tax, Financial, Estate, And Retirement Planning (Part 1) This is premium content

Richard Friedman
Podcast included! Understand financial planning for restricted stock and RSUs. Part 1 discusses the growing popularity of these grants, their special features, and the related tax planning.

Stockbrokers' Secrets: Restricted Stock And Performance Shares This is premium content

John P. Barringer
Many companies have turned away from stock options and begun to make outright stock grants that must vest before the shares can be issued. For employees, these grants have added a new layer of complexity to their equity compensation. This article presents six questions I get all the time from clients who have received restricted stock, restricted stock units, or performance shares.

How Tax Rate Changes Impact Your Stock Grant Strategies (Part 2): Restricted Stock This is premium content

Stanley Trotta with Robert Gordon
With tax increases in mind, now may be a good time to re-evaluate your current financial-planning strategy for equity compensation and company stock holdings to determine whether action is required. Part 2 looks at restricted stock and restricted stock units.

Restricted Stock: Tax, Financial, Estate, And Retirement Planning (Part 2) This is premium content

Richard Friedman
Podcast included! Careful planning can help you maximize the value of restricted stock and RSUs by preparing you for decisions you must make. Part 2 covers complex issues in financial, estate, and retirement planning.

Restricted Stock Versus Stock Options: Making A Rational Choice (Part 1) This is premium content

Alan B. Ungar
In a growing trend, your company may let you choose between stock options and restricted stock. Which is better for you? Learn techniques to analyze your financial situation and goals so that you can make the right choice.

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What are the top 10 questions I should ask about my grant of restricted stock or RSUs?

You should know the answers to the following questions. Understanding the topics involved will help you make the most of your restricted stock/RSU grant and prevent costly mistakes...

What is the difference between restricted stock and restricted stock units (RSUs)? This is premium content

While they are siblings, they have important differences, as explained below and as shown by the chart. The traits of restricted stock units include the following...

My restricted stock will vest soon. What must I do and decide? This is premium content

You have some decisions but fewer than you would with stock options, which prompt a decision about exercise timing and, if you hold the shares, require cash for the exercise and taxes. By contrast, restricted stock and restricted stock units...

What is restricted stock? Does it differ from restricted securities?

Don't confuse restricted securities and restricted stock. They are very different...

Does this website's content on restricted stock also apply to restricted stock units (RSUs)?

Generally, yes, with two exceptions. First, with RSUs you cannot...

Why do many companies grant restricted stock and RSUs instead of stock options? This is premium content

The compensation philosophies of companies are continually changing under the influence of many factors, from accounting rules to...

What advantages do restricted stock and RSUs have over stock options? How do the two grant types compare?

Restricted stock always has some value to you even when the stock price drops below the price on the date of grant...

Why do companies shift from granting stock options to granting restricted stock units, and then sometimes back again to granting at least some stock options?

Surveys indicate that many companies use a variety of grants, including both stock options and restricted stock units (RSUs) in tandem. There are many possible reasons why a company might switch from options to RSUs...

When I file an extension to complete my tax return after the IRS deadline, are there any mistakes I should avoid that involve stock grant income? This is premium content

Stock compensation income can raise your income tax and make your tax return complex. The IRS has a form that lets you apply for an automatic six-month extension for the due date of your tax return (until mid-October). Mistakes include not paying taxes owed with...

When and how is a grant of restricted stock or RSUs taxed?

The timing of taxation is different than that of stock options. You pay tax at the time the restrictions on the stock lapse. This occurs when...

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