myStockOptions Updates: How Equity Comp Can Make You Happier (Apr. 25, 2017)
This alert presents a few noteworthy additions and updates in the award-winning content of myStockOptions. Click here to see the full list of additions and updates.
10 Ways Equity Compensation Can Make You Happier
If fully appreciated and understood, equity compensation can improve happiness. Based on our own observations, a new article at myStockOptions presents 10 ways in which options, RSUs, ESPPs, and other types of grants can improve your life both at and away from work.
Using Behavioral Finance To Shape Financial Planning For Equity Compensation
Emotions can have a powerful impact on financial decisionmaking, and irrational choices can lead to errors with equity compensation. Examples include inertia (i.e. doing nothing is the easiest course), short-term thinking, a disproportionate focus on averting losses rather than making gains, herd behavior, gamber's fallacy, and overreliance on one piece of information. Understanding how we make decisions can help you avoid costly mistakes with your grants. In a well-researched new article at myStockOptions, wealth manager Justin Goldstein explores the basics of behavioral finance and applies it to decisions about equity comp.
Valuable New Survey Data Enhances myStockOptions Content
The 2016 Domestic Stock Plan Design Survey by the National Association of Stock Plan Professionals (NASPP) contains a treasure trove of data that lets you compare equity awards at your company to those of grants at other companies. Throughout myStockOptions, we include equity comp survey data from many sources, and we have now fully updated our content with data from the NASPP's vast 2016 survey. Many of the NASPP's key findings are summarized in our two-part article series How Does Your Stock Plan Compare? and in our FAQs with survey data about prevalent practices with equity awards and ESPPs.
New Podcasts Feature Insightful Interviews With Equity Comp Experts
Expanding our library of engaging podcasts, we recently published several new audio interviews with some of our expert contributing authors. Along with their companion articles, these interviews cover a diverse range of important topics. New podcasts include the following:
- When To Wait, Hold, Or Sell: A Wealth Manager Reveals His Wisdom On Stock Option Exercise Strategy. Wealth manager Tim Kochis explains that no single strategy for timing option exercises or restricted stock/RSU sales fits everyone, and he discusses his approach to this idiosyncratic type of planning.
- RSUs After An Acquisition: Know What Could Happen. When a company is merging or being acquired, its employees wonder what will happen to their unvested RSUs. Wealth advisor Kristin McFarland explains the potential outcomes for holders of unvested RSUs and current equity holders in an M&A deal.
- Compliance Concerns That Executives Must Understand To Prevent SEC, IRS, And Corporate Problems. An often underestimated danger companies face is the risk that an executive or employee may violate corporate, tax, or securities laws. Compensation expert Richard Friedman outlines practices for executives to help them avoid compliance problems, and explains the possible penalties of noncompliance.
Additional Medicare Taxes Under Obamacare Remain In Place
Although President Donald Trump vehemently asserted throughout his election campaign that he would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (the "Obamacare" health-insurance law), the initial Republican replacement health-care bill ("Trumpcare") was withdrawn from Congress in March 2017 after failing to draw sufficient support. This failure left in place both Obamacare and the additional Medicare taxes, including the surtax on gains at sale, that help to fund it (see the related FAQ at myStockOptions). Although President Trump and Republicans are negotiating a new replacement bill, employees with equity comp whose income is high enough to trigger the additional Medicare taxes will continue to owe them, at least for now.
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