You may have heard the mention about employee stock options quite a few times, but may have wondered what these are exactly and how you as a common employee can actually benefit from it. Let us learn in this article about the whole concept of employee stock options (ESO) and how they can be of great benefit to you.
What Is An Employee Stock Option?
Employee stock options (ESO) are contracts granted to specific employees of a certain company that give rights to trade shares in the company at a fixed price and within an indicated time period. Unlike a typical option traded in the exchange however, there is no put component included.
The basic goal for this type of concept is actually to boost business within an institution. By giving employees the benefit to buy option shares of the company that they work for, they would be motivated to strive harder and work for good business production. In theory, when stocks go up, and when employees perform at their best to ensure that their investments would pay off, then business would reach its peak of high performance.
Even if the theory mainly tries to align the incentives between the major shareholders of a company and the employees, many critics have pointed out however, that there is an enormous difference between owning an option and actually owning the underlying stock.
In cases wherein stocks go down, the owner of an option would lose the opportunity of a bonus gain, but would not necessarily experience the same loss of investment from an actual stockholder. But still, at the moment, this system has proven to be of very big help to a lot of major companies in the world.
How Do I Exercise My Employee Stock Option?
The thing that people have to know about exercising employee stock options is that in most companies, there are no brokerage firms available and so, you have to do most of the work on your own.
A stock needs to be purchased by a licensed representative. And so, you have to call a broker to inform them that you are interested in exercising your options. They can do all the needed paperwork for you and can even contact your company to speed up the ongoing transaction.
Most people would opt to exercise through a cashless method in which you can use margins to purchase stocks instead of cash. Margins are actually loans that are granted by departments because they guarantee quick repayments and take not that there are not interests assessed.
Once you have made the purchase and have sold your stock, you can pay for your loan as well as the taxes. Just make sure that the portion required for you to sell is small enough for you to be able to retain profit.
Employee stock options are great tools that benefit both the company and its employees. It is a great way to ensure productivity and fluidity within an institution’s financial market and this can provide many opportunities for gains to a lot of people.
If you are one of those that work for huge companies who offer ESOs, take the opportunity to invest. This may not always be as easy, but once you know how to smartly handle such trades, then this can surely give you much promise for a good and promising investment.