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from: www.TradingExposed.com

Many companies, as a form of rewards or bonuses to executives who have contributed largely to the firm's growth and success, hand out stock options with executives' annual compensations.

Stock options are much like the stocks traded in the sharemarket, but differ in the sense that stock options may only be exercised under a predetermined price and within a specified time frame.

The definition of stock options

To make it simple, stock options are simply benefits or rights given to high-ranking executives (though some firms already award the same to rank and file staff) to purchase a specified number of stocks in the company at a specific time and rate.

Both private and public companies can offer stock options to well-performing employees. These are distributed for a variety of reasons, but most of them are according to the following:

- companies want their staff to feel accountable for the company's performance by making them feel as if they are partners or owners in the business

- companies want to retain their top performers and attract good candidates from outside with incentives

- companies want to hire workers who are skilled in their chosen fields by offering incentives and compensations that are attractive

Many of the companies that offer stock options are start-ups, because they are working to reel in the best talent without having to pay such an excessive monetary salary.

Trading stock options

Many find stock options trading attractive because it allows people to acquire stock at a discounted price. With this procedure, holders of stock options hope that the shares' value will increase within the period of time given so that they could sell at a higher price and generate a profit.

It is for this reason that most employees choose to accept a job or stay with a particular company -- because stock options are present opportunities for people to earn much more than the cash salary they are due.

It should be noted, however, that stock options have expiration dates. Thus, the holder is obliged to do something about his options before the final date to trade lapses, otherwise, his options will become void.

Some stock option holders choose to wait until the last minute to exercise their stock, in the hopes of seeing the value rise further, but experts against this technique, because you could end up profiting a lot less than what you could have gained had you done so earlier.

Stock options trading is not without its share of risks and it does not always follow that they are a lot better than cash salaries, because their sale value can eventually fluctuate over time, especially if the company is dwindling. Nevertheless, stock options present a viable alternative to companies that want to either get the best people on its team without the need to shell out too much cash for compensation.

Christine P. Gray is a recognized authority on the subject of online trading. Her website Trading Exposed provides a wealth of informative articles and resources on everything you will need to know about Options Trading. All rights reserved. Articles may be reprinted as long as the content and links remains intact and unchanged.

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