Jim Flaherty is poised to announce his new budget and instead of the tradition of the finance minister buying a new set of shoes, instead he had his existing shoes re-soled, which I think is a message to say, “Tighten your belts folks, leaner times are ahead” (at least that would be my spin on it). Interesting that he can make that statement given the government is about to announce a $13Billion surplus, which will mostly be used to pay down the national debt (which I agree with as a tactic for using surplus spending, however, I am not happy with the enormity of the surplus itself).
Some new measures may be brought in but it is unlikely to effect (affect?) my wallet too much. The fact that this is the 3rd budget for Mr. Flaherty for a Minority government is quite the achievement.
I have worked in High Tech all of my career, but I think I am one of the few folks who never, ever had a chance to cash in a large amount of stock options for their company. I just never got options until very late in the game and then they became worthless quickly. I state this as a preface (and as a whine as well).
Yesterday I sat down with a couple of co-workers and this topic came up and I was shocked to have them both admit to me the amount of money they “left on the table” with their options. I am assuming they did make some money on options, but the amounts they both quoted me as potential profits they didn’t act on caused my head to spin (well over a million dollars combined).
Why would you leave that kind of money on the table? Here are some of the reasons I know of:
- The options had not fully vested. In this instance I don’t view that as lost money, since you were unable to do anything about this, and you shouldn’t beat yourself up about this “lost potential money”.
- I thought the stock would recover. I guess we can see that one, was not a good strategy, in hind sight we can see you should have taken the money and run.
- I was waiting for the Stock Options Tax changes. That one had me scratching my head, but I guess it’s a valid reason.
- I bought the stock with my options and then held it to live on dividends and capital gains. That one is the most lethal mistake that I have heard. These people really did lose money on this, because they spent the money on the options and then got nothing for that money. The previous three “mistakes” didn’t lose you real money, it just lost you potential money, this one lost real money.
- My options were never worth more than a $1000 ever . That is my excuse, I feel like the Eunuch at the orgy sometimes, never got anything out of this whole thing, oh well.
At the end of it all, lost potential money is much like Love Lost, not much you can do about it, so you might as well forget about it.
Any other High Tech Stock Option stories out there?