The company I work for granted us stock option years ago. They were good for 10 years. Way back then, our company was doing very well. Our stock went up and we split every year, for like 9 or 10 years in a row. The gave us these stock options. But then our company joined the S&P 500 and then the stock price stablized. It stopped going up, and just sort of stagnated. I already exercised the first round of stock options a few years ago. They were actually worth a bit of money, though nowhere near what we we hoping they would be worth after 10 years.
The next round of stock options was due to expire in July. I had to decide whether I wanted to wait to see if the stock went up, or cash them now. The market could go down again. Ack! I was originally granted 250 shares I think, and I had 375 after the last 3/2 stock split.
I decided to go ahead and exercise the stock options. I had to set up an account with Merrill Lynch. After a couple days I was set. I went ahead and did a cashless exercise. This means that I don’t have to use any of my own money. The brokerage buys the stock at the grant price, and turns around and sells it right away at the market price, and I get the difference.
After the cashless exercise, I am getting about $2200. Not alot considering I have held these things for 10 years. But then, I got them for free. I don’t think they quite turned out like the company had intended, or like the employees had hoped. Oh well.
I plan to apply the money towards paying down my credit card. I had my credit card at a zero balance at one point. I hope to get back there again! I am making very good progress.