By |Published On: Apr 10, 2023|Categories: Entrepreneurship, Financial Planning, ISOs, NSOs|

Startup stock options can be a fantastic way to build wealth. There have been many success stories from friends and clients who were able to take advantage of stock options to buy a lovely home, make work optional, and leave as much money as possible to their heirs.

Sorrowful Stock Option Stories

However, there are stories that don’t have happy endings. Sometimes people lose life changing money. A few weeks ago I spoke with my friend Dave about his startup stock options saga. Dave works at a startup and 5 years ago was granted 30,000 options at a $0.50 strike price. At the time, the company was doing very well!

Several years after the stock option grant, he had an opportunity to sell his options at $40 and rake in $1.2 million! At the time he was unsure what to do. He talked to some co-workers and friends about his situation, but never sought out the advice of a seasoned financial expert. He thought that the company would continue to do amazingly well and his options would be worth a whole lot more. In the end, he decided not to sell.

Fast forward to the present and it’s not looking so good for the company. The business that was doing so well may now go bankrupt! He lamented that at the time he needed to make the decision about the options, “I didn’t need the money then.” He’s been really down on himself and very angry about missing out on $1.2 million dollars.

Learning from Mistakes

Hindsight is tricky and we’ll tell ourselves many things. So what can Dave do now? What happened, happened. He can’t saw the sawdust. What can he do to move forward? He decided to start working with me on his finances. We will make the best of his options and create other opportunities for him now and in the future.

Many people get stuck around speaking about their financial mistakes. You don’t have to feel bad about talking about them. It’s a lot worse making a similar blunder again.

When you work with a financial expert and talk through your worries, fears, and mistakes around money, you will be better off – both in finances and frame of mind. Even better, when working with a Certified Financial Planner, you won’t make these mistakes again.

After spending a lot of time working together, Dave is in a much better position – with his mindset and with his finances.

So if you have startup stock options or other worries, please feel free to set up a free consultation.