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Catch up on some of the latest posts with this week's roundup:
I Have Restricted Stock Units (RSUs). Now What?
It’s good to have Restricted Stock Units, even if you don’t know exactly how they work. But that lack of understanding can be intimidating and paralyzing, and we end up just floating along, letting the RSUs “happen” to us, instead of making sure we’re getting the most out of them. It’s a metaphor for life, really.
Maybe you received RSUs as part of your sign-on package, or you receive them regularly as part of your annual compensation review. Either way, you now have RSUs in your company, and probably some actual company stock, too. Perhaps more is coming each year. The “problem” isn’t going away…it might even be getting bigger.
Why You Shouldn't Try to Time the Market
Buying low and selling high is the aim of the entire financial services industry, right? Yes. But that doesn’t mean it’s consistently possible. It just means a lot of people work really hard and spend a lot of money to convince you to try.
Investors – you and me included – are subject to a lot of biases. We are affected by our emotional state, by quirks of personality, by the news of the day, and by various fallacies that can all lead to irrational decisions. If the market falls 2% in a day, should you buy? But what if it falls more tomorrow? If it reaches a new high, should you sell? What if it will keep going higher for another week? Shouldn’t you try to figure it out? Remember, to successfully time the market you have to time it correctly twice: when to buy, and when to sell. In fact, to successfully beat a benchmark over the long term, you need to accurately time the market 74% of the time.
What Should I Do with My Stock Options?
Your privately held company just gave you stock options, either in the initial offer or after you’ve been working there for a while. What do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO? (gratuitous 90’s movie reference for your entertainment)
First, a quick primer on what stock options are, to bring everyone up to speed. (Ha! “Speed”…get it? Okay, maybe you need to be at least 40.) howstuffworks.com provides the following, I think straightforward, explanation:
30-Somethings: Why are You Wasting Time Following the Stock Market?
You're young, you have a family... so why on earth are you wasting your time worrying about what the stock marketing is doing? After all, who KNOWS what it'll be doing 30 years out, when it's actually going to matter for you.
I see this all too often: investors get carried away watching Bloomberg TV or CNBC, riding the emotional ups and downs of monthly, weekly (and even daily) fluctuations in the stock market. If I don't know these people, I can only hope they're not risking their savings on short-term investments and hoping for fast payouts.