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Videos, Articles, Glossary App: What's New At myStockOptions.com
(Apr. 28, 2015)

This alert summarizes recent noteworthy additions and updates at myStockOptions.com. You can also see a full list of the additions and updates made in the first quarter of 2015.

Engaging New Video On Employee Stock Purchase Plans

Several lively videos at myStockOptions.com serve as gateways into our educational resources. Our newest addition is the third installment of our video series on employee stock purchase plans:

  • Employee Stock Purchase Plans (ESPPs): Taxes (4:24) clearly explains the five key tax rules you must know when you participate in an employee stock purchase plan (ESPP). Illustrated by animated examples, the covered concepts include the special rules that depend on how long you hold the shares.

Two previously published ESPP videos at myStockOptions.com cover other basic topics: Employee Stock Purchase Plans: Core Concepts & Benefits (3:35) and Employee Stock Purchase Plans (ESPPs): Key Rules And Decisions (2:53). Meanwhile, we also have two videos on restricted stock and RSUs:

As with all of our educational content and tools, the videos can be licensed and customized by your company.

Using Equity Compensation For College Funding 

The estimated average overall cost of a four-year public college in the United States for the 2014–2015 academic year is $28,000 per year; four-year private colleges in the US average $58,000 per year. Stock options, restricted stock/RSUs, ESPPs, and other forms of equity compensation can provide a crucial way to pay the sizeable expense of your children's higher education and help them avoid burdensome student-loan debt. Our exclusive three-part article series on college funding has been fully updated for 2015: Funding Your Child's College Education With Stock Options And Other Stock Grants, available in the section Life Events: College Funding. The article series includes a podcast interview with the author, Troy Onink, a noted college-funding advisor and Forbes blogger.

How To Avoid Mistakes And Create Wealth With Your Stock Options 

Stock options can be very lucrative if handled properly, but there are situations in which people can easily make mistakes with them. In a new exclusive article, CFP Paul Palazzo discusses the most common financial-planning errors that he sees involving stock options—and how to avoid those pitfalls. Common mistakes include exercising early without a good reason, allowing tax treatment to drive decisions, and ignoring the very real risks of having too much wealth concentrated in just one company's stock.

Concise New Article On Fundamental Topics: Stock Options 101

At myStockOptions.com, we have comprehensive resources on equity compensation for all levels of experience. Among our excellent content on fundamental topics are articles on the basics of restricted stock and RSUs (Restricted Stock 101) and employee stock purchase plans (ESPPs 101). To these, we have added an article on the basics of stock options, Stock Options 101: The Essentials. In clear, non-technical language, it presents the core concepts, facts, and terms that you must know to make the most of stock options, whether nonqualified stock options or incentive stock options. As with all of our educational content and tools, our 101 series of articles can be licensed and customized by your company for its stock plan participants.

Stock Compensation Glossary App For iPhones, iPads, And Androids

Now you can take a piece of our expertise wherever you go with our new free app for iPhones, iPads, and Androids: Stock Compensation Glossary, available from the following sources.

This is the first app of its kind to be devoted to equity compensation and executive compensation. Based on the popular glossary at myStockOptions.com, this handy, searchable reference guide defines almost 1,000 terms in the areas of equity and executive comp, including terms used in the related taxation, corporate accounting, and securities law. Stock Compensation Glossary covers words and phrases relating to all types of equity awards, including stock options, restricted stock, RSUs, and ESPPs. A fun interactive quiz game lets users test their knowledge of stock compensation. The "Term Of The Day" helps users improve their technical vocabulary. Recent searches can be quickly recalled. The simple navigation is easy to use.

Will Your ISO Exercise Trigger The Alternative Minimum Tax? 

People who exercise incentive stock options and hold the shares beyond the calendar year of exercise can easily trigger the dreaded alternative minimum tax (AMT). This danger is especially high for people holding ISO shares who live in high-tax states and itemize tax deductions or who have significant personal exemptions. To help you predict your exposure to the alternative minimum tax, a fully updated FAQ at myStockOptions.com calculates the adjustments to income that will trigger the AMT in 2015. Using data provided by BNA Income Tax Planner, a table and graph estimate the tipping point for positive adjustments (e.g. ISO exercises) that, when added back to your taxable income, can trigger the AMT.

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