Market volatility and stock-price declines rattle even the most experienced holders of stock compensation (and their financial advisors). Sooner or later, volatility or downturns may force you to make decisions that affect your financial future and long-term wealth. This article presents topics that I find myself discussing over and over again with my best clients.
Stock options, restricted stock units, and other types of equity compensation are valuable benefits. However, when the company's stock price becomes a rollercoaster, remember that equity compensation is a long-term deal. This article offers expert advice for coping with stock-price volatility.
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Stock prices have been on a wild ride in 2020. Market volatility can rattle anyone's financial plan for stock compensation and company shares. What should you do with shares acquired from equity awards now? Sell them immediately? Hold them in the hope that the stock price will recover? Should you change the strategy you've been following? This article provides a financial planner's insights on how to consider these questions.
For reasons beyond your control, you may find yourself in a position where you suddenly need to sell stock for cash to meet urgent living expenses. When selling stock you must always proceed with caution. Review this checklist of topics to understand on tax, company, brokerage firm, and SEC rules.
One good thing about employee stock purchase plans (ESPPs) is they can't be "underwater" like stock options. In fact, an ESPP with a discount and a lookback can be a good deal even in down markets. This article explains the unique shelter from volatile and falling stock prices that ESPPs offer.
Whether you are a novice or advanced investor, it can be hard to decide what to do with your company's stock grants. Should you exercise options now or wait? Should you hold company stock at vesting or sell it and reinvest? Behavioral economics and investor psychology offer insights that can help you develop a personally acceptable approach.
You may feel let down by your stock options if your company's stock price has dropped, leaving your options underwater. Getting less than you expected is something that inevitably occurs in a free market, and it is helpful to be prepared for losses as well as gains.
When stock markets rise, question the urge to exercise your options for quick profits as soon as possible. Exercising too early can be a big mistake.
Your option grant terms and the behavior of your company's stock price are only part of your financial-planning story in volatile markets. Equally important is the price movement of what you will buy with the proceeds from an option exercise and stock sale. As this article explains, relative changes in price, not absolute changes, are what matter.
Even when stock prices are volatile, there are still opportunities to achieve gains from stock compensation. This article presents a range of ideas to consider: buying stock now to swap later, exercising and holding ISOs, or making a Section 83(b) election for restricted stock.