When you work at a private company, you might dream about your company going IPO one day, and all your company stock turning into riches. If you’re reading this post, I imagine you are now contending with one of the other ways to turn private-company stock into grocery money: a tender offer.
Over many blog posts and over many conversations with clients and colleagues, I’ve trotted out a few different ways of framing and understanding RSUs. I never know what framing is going to hit home, so I thought I’d gather them all into one post. Maybe one thing I write below will finally make you go, “Oooooohhhhh! That’s how they work.” A gal can hope.
Have you been waiting a Very Long Time for Airbnb to go public? Did you get all excited back in September of last year when Airbnb announced that it would go public in 2020? Are you beginning to wonder if it will ever happen? All that lovely stock, all those beautiful RSUs, all those tempting stock options…when will they turn into MONEY?!
You work for a public company. Your RSUs are continuing to vest. The stock market and, more importantly, your company stock have dropped a lot in price. Even if you’ve been comfortably following a strategy with your RSUs, are you feeling a wee bit less certain about the strategy right now?
Presumably you have been consuming a lot of media about the coronavirus and the recent stock-market drop. Over the last two weeks, the financial media has been bleeding and leading, so I thought a less hysterical commentary on at least the stock-market part might be helpful.
You’ve got gobs of stock or options in Airbnb. Or Palantir. Or some other valuable but private company. The money is So Close. You can almost feel it. And yet, you can’t. ‘Cause your company is private. Oh, the torture.
Should I exercise my options? When should I exercise my options?
If you work in a private company, I’m betting these questions go through your head with annoying frequency. And they’re hard questions to answer! Will the company succeed? Will the stock be worth anything? A lot? It’s all crystal-ball territory and therefore there are very few obvious or knowable answers.
- Maybe want to have kids some day? Start thinking about your fertility now. No, it’s not too early.
- Your Company Is Going Public. The Power of a Good Question. Or 5.
- Have NSOs in a public company? How “leverage” helps you decide when to exercise them.
- This time with feeling: Keep your investing simple to get better returns.
- Is your take-home pay too tiny to live on? That’s okay! We can make it work.