Press Releases

Market Downturn, Stock Price Volatility, And Tax Law Changes Make Financial Education More Important Than Ever

Educational content and tools at help readers understand the effects of bear markets and tax law changes on stock compensation and company stock, and help them move forward with related financial planning amid the economic downturn and in the upturn beyond.

Brookline, MA, October 16, 2008 - While the economic downturn of 2008 has caused stock prices to fall, the long-term value of stock compensation remains. (, the leading online resource on stock compensation, has expanded its articles, FAQs, and interactive tools to help users of the site understand market volatility, appreciate the potential of equity grants, and move forward with related financial planning for equity grants and company stock in both down markets and up markets ahead.

In addition, the major "bailout" bill to rescue distressed banks in the credit crisis included tax law provisions that directly affect many optionholders. The swiftly updated content at tells them what they need to know now.

Keep Your Head Above Water, Even If Your Stock Options Aren't has an entire section on the issues surrounding underwater stock options: options whose exercise price is higher than the current market price of the issuing company's stock. Articles and FAQs

  • help readers to understand this situation
  • discuss the moves companies sometimes make to help employees with underwater options
  • warn about tax mistakes employees sometimes make with underwater options
  • explore the related financial planning for when stock prices rise again
The questions answered include:
  • What are underwater stock options?
  • Can restricted stock go underwater?
  • What approaches do companies apply to underwater stock options?
  • I have underwater options; will I get a tax loss when I exercise them?
  • Can the exercise price of outstanding stock options ever be raised or lowered? Can the options be repriced?
  • What is an options exchange?
  • If my company offers me an options exchange or reprices my underwater options, will there be any tax impact on me?
  • If my company or a third party buys my employee stock options for cash, how is this taxed?
  • In an acquisition, can the buyer assume just my in-the-money options and not my underwater options?
  • My company will let me exchange my underwater options for restricted stock. What is the tax impact?
  • In a divorce case, how do you argue that underwater stock options have value?
All of these questions and more are answered in the section Basics: Underwater Options at

Stay Calm In Volatile Times

Ecstasy can turn to anxiety when stock markets go up and down like a roller-coaster. In 2008, many stock prices that had reached new highs a year earlier quickly dropped to new lows. However, while you should not expect an instant fix for volatility, equity compensation continues to have long-term value, and you shouldn't give up on it. In a vividly titled article on (Stomach Volatility In Your Company's Stock Without Losing Your Mind), experts help you cope with market madness by offering lessons from past downturns and giving a few healthy hints for staying optimistic.

Companies Can Distribute Selected Content On Market Volatility

Through the end of 2008, is making a special offer to Premium Members who work in corporate stock plan administration, HR, compensation, finance, and legal departments. During this limited time, they may distribute to employees selected articles and FAQs about underwater stock options, stock price volatility, and financial planning in down markets. This content will help employees understand the continued value of their stock grants, including restricted stock and employee stock purchase plans, even amid current market turbulence. This content is normally available for distribution only by companies and stock plan providers that license the Knowledge Center of educational content and/or tools.

Bailout Bill Brings Changes To AMT Income Exemptions, Long-Term AMT Credits

Signed into law on October 3, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, containing the famous $700 billion rescue package for troubled banks caught in the credit crisis, also introduced two sets of provisions affecting the alternative minimum tax (AMT), which can affect people who exercise and hold incentive stock options (ISOs). After the bill was passed, moved quickly to update its content on ISOs and AMT for the new provisions. Related articles and FAQs report the new AMT income exemption amounts and explain their role in the AMT calculation for those who may have to face AMT on their 2008 tax returns. For people who have paid AMT in past years, other freshly updated content demystifies the new provisions for the complex task of using long-term AMT credits to get a tax refund.

Corporate Licensing Available

All the content on is ideally suited for licensing by companies and stock plan providers for their stock plan participants. A customized version of the website's award-winning content can be seamlessly woven into companies' HR, benefits, and/or compensation portals. Accessible through any internet browser, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, licensed content from lets stock plan participants answer their own questions about their stock grants whenever they need to learn more—saving time for the stock plan staff and costs for the company. For more information, visit, email, or call 617-734-1979.


With exclusive articles, 740 FAQs, the Tax Center, Global Tax Guide, an extensive glossary, and interactive tools, is the premier online resource of educational content and tools on stock options, restricted stock, restricted stock units, performance shares, stock appreciation rights, and employee stock purchase plans. is written and managed by leading experts in equity compensation, and is produced by a company with a long history of successful publications explaining complex legal and financial subjects in plain English.

The influential consumer magazine PC World ranks among "the most useful sites ever" that "deliver top-notch information, support, and services." The accounting journal CPA Wealth Provider selected among companies "that have taken the lead through innovation, efficiency, initiative, or growth in the financial-planning area." The Specialized Information Publishers' Foundation honored MSO Pro with one of its Editorial Excellence Awards in the category of Best Interactive Content among niche publishers. has also received extensive favorable coverage in major publications, including BusinessWeek, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Boston Globe, and on CNN/fn, National Public Radio, PBS,, and

For more information, please contact Bruce Brumberg and Matt Simon at or 617-734-1979.

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