A question to the community

Welcome to those who have linked here through Fabulously Broke!

I’m going with the assumption that I’ll probably retain one or two of the people who have linked here (bringing my total known number of regular readers up to two!  Or possibly three!), and I would like to ask you both a question.

Every two years, my company gives out shares of stock as part of an incentive program.  This year it looks like the payout will be about $2000 for me (I haven’t worked here for the full time required), and this is given to us as stock.  I have 7 shares from the previous payout (again, this is lower than what others received); they are worth between $500 and $600.

When we receive the stocks, we’re given the option to sell them or keep them.  My question: what should I do?

I originally kept the 7 shares because I figured the money wasn’t worth the hassle of finding all the documentation required to sell them.  Also, owning shares of stock seemed terribly grown-up and sorta neat.  I dicovered a few months later that they also paid dividends – I get a check for about $3 every quarter.  This seems to be a fair trade, especially since I’d never missed the money from the stocks.

$2000 might be worth finding out the process of selling the stocks.  I don’t have any particular need for the money right now(my emergency fun is fine as it stands).  The stock isn’t performing all that well (down about 30 points from this time last year).  The rest of my money (mostly retirement accounts) isn’t overly exposed to the company – I only have 2.5% of my 401K in company stock right now.

Essentially, I don’t need the money.  Should I keep the shares?  The dividend checks might climb to $7 or $8 per quarter!  The stock could climb to ever higher values!  I could be set for life!

Or I could have one heck of a shopping spree…

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8 Responses

  1. My first instinct would be to check the tax implications. Check to see what you’re going to be liable to pay before making the decision to cash out. Also, I’d take a close look at the company’s financials; if you don’t need the money, there’s no harm in holding on to the stocks and waiting for them to go up some more.

  2. In this economy, nothing is really going UP for long periods of time — so either sell right away and invest in some other way or keep it for the long haul.

  3. (that’s just my $.02)

  4. @ Msminiducky: That’s a good point, I hadn’t thought of it!

    @ Penny: Yeah, I will not be attempting to speculate with these. If I keep them it will be for a long time (or until they’re needed). Your $0.02 was definitely worth hearing!

  5. You already to have the basics covered–fully funding ret accounts, enough cash savings for whatever goals you have. Thus, give them to me and I’ll send you $7 a quarter…

    No, seriously. I think either way is fine. Personally, I’d sell (pending tax implications) and invest them how I chose (more diversified). But I don’t see much wrong with keeping them either. They’ll probably go up in the long run.

  6. If you need the cash, sell them… or alternatively, you could be the next APPLE so why not keep them if you don’t need the cash?

    It all depends on priorities – if debt is #1, then.. debt 🙂

    😀

  7. @ StackingPennies: I’m not sure what the date cutoffs are, but you might get a share or two! (Don’t quote me on that!)

    @FB: If I was smart, I would have sold my other shares when they were fetching about $30 more than they are now. I confess, I hope (assuming I keep them) they get back up there. We’re in a spot of bad luck at the moment, but things can’t stay bad forever!

  8. Hehe, I looked it up and I should get some tiny amount. Less than $500 probably. But hey, can’t complain about money I didn’t know I was supposed to get

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