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View Poll Results: How many after tax $ are your options worth if exercised today
< $250K 13 27.08%
$250K - $500K 5 10.42%
$500K - $1 Megabuck 2 4.17%
> 1 Megabuck 9 18.75%
Rats: I picked the wrong j*b or employer 19 39.58%
Voters: 48. You may not vote on this poll

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Stock Option Lottery
Old 01-28-2011, 09:58 PM   #1
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Stock Option Lottery

Just curious. For those of you who won the stock option lottery, what was your prize and where did you fit on the corporate ladder?
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Old 01-28-2011, 10:05 PM   #2
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I guess one more question may be, how many had stock options but did not exercise/ or excised but did not sell.
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Old 01-28-2011, 10:11 PM   #3
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I think we will miss a lot of granularity with lowest band being $250k.
A lot of people I know had options worth few thousand dollars at most.
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Old 01-29-2011, 12:09 AM   #4
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DW and I received stock options as part of our compensation at every single company we worked for. Most of the time the options ended up being worthless. But DW hit the jackpot a few years ago. She got promoted in early 2009 and received a large stock option grant just days after the market hit bottom. At the time she was granted the options, she was being promoted to senior management (right under the VP level).

If we were to exercise all of her options today we would clear a tidy sum after tax but it would still amounts to less than 10% of our lifetime earnings.
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Old 01-29-2011, 05:48 AM   #5
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Worker bee, lucky to be around in the days when worker bees got options.
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Old 01-29-2011, 05:53 AM   #6
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paid off the house and funded (mostly) the college fund with stock option proceeds......then there was the disastrous quarter horse breeding operation - seemed like such a great idea at the time...DOH! At least the local university's equine program got a wonderful influx of top horses and I got a decent tax break.
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Old 01-29-2011, 08:29 AM   #7
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Why is the question limited to "if exercised today"? I never got the big buck employee options (I don't even recall, I'd have to look it up, but tens-of-thousands career total would be the likely range). But I exercised them as soon as I could, and diversified the money. That generally worked well for me.

So I think a lifetime total of options worth (past and present) would be a better measure. In theory, I could have collected $99 million in employee options, and still checked the < $250,000 box because I would have no worth in options that I could "be exercised today".

-ERD50
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Old 01-29-2011, 08:33 AM   #8
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Got options for a few thousand dollars, but stock price dropped and I never exercised it.

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Old 01-29-2011, 08:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Why is the question limited to "if exercised today"? I never got the big buck employee options (I don't even recall, I'd have to look it up, but tens-of-thousands career total would be the likely range). But I exercised them as soon as I could, and diversified the money. That generally worked well for me.

So I think a lifetime total of options worth (past and present) would be a better measure. In theory, I could have collected $99 million in employee options, and still checked the < $250,000 box because I would have no worth in options that I could "be exercised today".

-ERD50
Maybe I should have phrased it as "what were they worth when they were exercised or today if not exercised". That was what I meant but writing isn't my forte.
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Old 01-29-2011, 09:27 AM   #10
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Received 600 options, during the height of the internet bubble. They all expired worthless, underwater so far that Jacque Cousteau couldn't find them...

Position: lower than a snake's belly in a wagon rut...
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Old 01-29-2011, 09:30 AM   #11
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I had no stock options until the last six years before retiring when the company started including all company officers in the plan. I was awarded options each year but all were solidly underwater and I expected no income from them since I would lose the options once I left the company.

Good fortune smiled on me as shortly before I pulled the plug the company was purchased. The plan required all options to be exercised at the time of the sale and I ended up with a surprise parting gift equal to ~90% of my annual salary.
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Old 01-29-2011, 09:43 AM   #12
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I received not stock options but actual stocks of private start-up corps that became worthless.
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Old 01-29-2011, 09:47 AM   #13
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I got my first options in my early 30's as part of a targeted retention program during a big downsizing campaign. Those netted nearly $200K during the late 90's bubble. Only one of the 4 subsequent option pkgs was above water when I ER'd in '06, netting ~12K.
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Old 01-29-2011, 11:39 AM   #14
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Had several employers who granted options, but usually trivial amounts. Even so they often exhorted us to work considerable overtime so our shares would become valuable. They never did become valuable, so it made for lots of uncompensated overtime. A couple employers gave substantial options and these expired worthless or were diluted to worthless by later rounds of financing. In one case we were all counseled to exercise early for a beneficial tax treatment, and all the cash we contributed was actually lost when the company failed a couple years later. Current employer offers no options and I'm okay with that, but many other employees are lobbying hard for them.

I do have one friend who netted several millions and I have acquaintances who earned substantial sums, but the vast majority of people I know have experience similar to mine. Probably because I know lots of people who were employed by the same companies as me. lol.
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Old 01-29-2011, 12:19 PM   #15
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First got options in 1993. Kept almost all until close to expiry. Always significantly in the money. Probably $5-$7 million after tax so far. Another $4million to go at todays price. I was in the inner circle of one of Canada's biggest companies. Retired 4years ago.
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Old 01-29-2011, 12:45 PM   #16
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While my situation 2 years ago may not technically be stock "options," I did have company stock (ESOP) in my 401(k) savings plan which I had the option of selling back to the company when I did my ER in late 2008. It was worth just under $300k and nearly all of it was NUA so it was taxable only at LTCG rates (15%). I was a low-level supervisor at my former company but had my highest earning years when the annual stock allocations were at their highest, thankfully. I always thought of this payout as winning a lottery which is what drew me to this thread and the poll.

I invested the proceeds in a high-yieldish bond fund and am living off the dividends.
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Old 01-29-2011, 12:59 PM   #17
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My options were all 10 year options. My last one will expire in 2017; so hopefully I've still got some growth potential. The last three years have expired underwater but I did have a couple of good years before that. (Total collected versus currently available about $350K.) My practice has been to not exercise until just before they expire (which cost me about $30K in 2009 due to the most recent crash).

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Old 01-29-2011, 03:10 PM   #18
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I interpreted the question the same way ERD50 suggested and answered a > million. Although it was not much over a million, and a large reason it was that high was because starting in 1997, I made a conscious effort (as did CFB) to diversify. Which culminated with me selling a lot of stock in Jan 2000, at prices in the 60-70 as opposed the recent Intel price of $20 ish.
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Old 01-29-2011, 09:53 PM   #19
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>$1M for a while, but less than that before I was allowed to exercise. So $500k to $1M for me. Had options on $750k worth ofter that that were never in the money. DW is probably in the $250k-$500k range. Both engineers, both with companies that were bought.
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Old 01-29-2011, 10:30 PM   #20
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Options not an option for me (public service) but I did get a $200 bonus in 1986. No pension either.

I'm very impressed to see 8 people (at time of writing) had options >$1m. Danmar probably takes the cake....
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