As many of you know, we at myStockOptions.com specialize in making complex stock compensation topics understandable and relatable, in plain English and with an engaging style. At the core of our mission to provide the best in stock plan education are our clear, informative articles on every conceivable topic in equity compensation. Much of our daily website traffic is focused on these.
Now we have examined our traffic data to find out which of our articles are the most popular, and the results are in. Counting down to number one, the list below presents the 10 articles that you, our readers, viewed most frequently in 2015.
10. Restricted Stock & RSUs: What You Must Know To Avoid Tax-Return Mistakes
Restricted stock, restricted stock units (RSUs), and performance shares bring their own special issues to tax returns. Reflecting the growing popularity of RSUs in particular, this core part of our Tax Center has become crucial reading for many plan participants and/or their tax advisors.
9. Avoid Tax-Return Mistakes With Stock Options & ESPPs: What You Need To Know
Puzzled by what to do with your W-2, Form 1099-B, or Forms 3921 and 3922? Don't quite know how and where to report sales of company stock on Form 8949 and Schedule D? Even if you hire someone to handle your tax return (tax specialists are helpful), you can nevertheless benefit from reading this flagship article of Tax Center.
8. Ten Financial-Planning Rules You Should Know About Restricted Stock And RSUs
Planning for restricted stock and RSUs can be deceptively complex. Should you hold the shares? If so, for how long? Should you sell the shares and put them into an alternative investment? Or should you simply sell the shares and use the proceeds to meet an important life goal? Just published in 2015, this new article has proved to be a very popular addition to our content on financial planning.
7. How To Avoid Paying Too Much Tax: Understanding The Revised Form 1099-B And Form 8949 For Reporting Stock Sales On Your Tax Return
For sales of stock, the reporting of the cost basis on Form 1099-B and your tax return is now more complex, confusing, and vulnerable to errors than ever before. If you are not aware of the reporting rules, the resulting confusion will lead you to pay more taxes than you have to. This frequently read Tax Center article explains how to avoid overpaying on your tax return.
6. Restricted Stock 101: Five Essentials Of Restricted Stock & RSUs
Part of our highly praised 101 series on the basics of equity comp, this article presents the essential facts of restricted stock and RSUs, including the core concepts, the differences between the grant types, the workings of vesting schedules, and the tax treatment.
5. Stock Options 101: The Essentials
This article, another in our popular 101 series, presents the basic facts and concepts of stock options in a clear, concise, and accessible way. Someone who knows nothing about stock options will understand their basic workings by the time they have finished reading. That explains much of the popularity which this article has enjoyed.
4. Stomach Volatility In Your Company's Stock Without Losing Your Mind
Riding the rollercoaster of stock-market volatility has become a familiar collective experience in our society. No matter how many times you've been through the ups and downs, volatility in your company's stock price can still be unsettling. With an authoritative but reassuringly light touch, this article tries to put some perspective on stock-price oscillations for people with equity compensation—which is, after all, a long-term deal.
3. ESPPs 101: Key Dates And Terms You Must Know
Tax-qualified Section 423 ESPPs with meaningful discounts and lookbacks have shown remarkable resilience in spite of the mandatory corporate accounting expense for them that took effect 10 years ago. Yet another member of our 101 articles series, this piece can give any ESPP participant the basic knowledge they need to navigate the life-cycle of their plan participation.
2. Ten Financial-Planning Rules Everyone With Stock Options Needs To Know
When myStockOptions launched in 2000, this article was one of the pioneers that immediately made the website an important resource for optionholders in the dotcom boom. Although options are not as common now as they were in the first dotcom era, this article continues to be one of our most popular works. It remains relevant for anybody who has stock options and wants to make the most of the financial opportunity they represent.
1. Restricted Stock Units Made Simple (Part 1): Understanding The Core Concepts
Restricted stock units (RSUs) are now the most commonly granted form of equity compensation. That prevalence is reflected in the perennial popularity of this article on RSUs, or "Restricted Stock Lite," in the parlance of the authors. In a clear and engaging style, this article is a much-read educational guide to the essential facts and concepts of RSUs and the important ways in which they differ from grants of restricted stock.
Articles Are Just The Beginning
Alongside our articles, we have many other types of educational resources. Our 800+ FAQs provide concise, quick-to-read answers on all aspects of equity compensation. The videos and podcasts of myStockOptions have become popular too. Our glossary, whether used at our website or in our glossary app for mobile devices, is another frequently accessed resource. Users can test their knowledge in our quizzes, and CEPs and CFPs can earn continuing education credits the Learning Center.
We appreciate your use of myStockOptions.com and look forward to continuing our mission to be the best stock plan educational resource.