Perhaps you’ve heard about the Google millionaires: 1,000 of the company’s early employees (including the company masseuse) who earned their wealth through company stock options. A terrific story, but unfortunately, not all stock options have as happy an ending. Pets.com and Webvan, for example, went bankrupt after high-profile Initial Public Offerings, leaving stock grants worthless.
Stock options can be a nice benefit, but the value behind the offer can vary significantly. There are simply no guarantees. So, whether you’re considering a job offer that includes a stock grant, or you hold stock as part of your current compensation, it’s crucial to understand the basics.