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By Edward Winslow

- Over forty percentage of families personal a few kind of universal stock

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Extra resources for Blind Faith: Our Misplaced Trust in the Stock Market and Smarter, Safer Ways to Invest

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Pretty bizarre! Today we have a situation in which some firms are admitting that, yes, there is a cost that should be recognized when giving stock options to employees and management. Yet many (mostly high-tech companies) are not conceding defeat on this issue. The Individual Investor Finishes Last From a corporate and employee standpoint, options are a winwin proposition. They don’t cost the corporation anything, and employees have a chance of making a huge profit on their stock without the risk of investing in the stock.

No one wishes to believe that this is fortuitous or undeserved; all wish to think that it is the result of their own superior insight or intuition. The very 38 steer clear of stocks increase in values thus captures the thoughts and minds of those being rewarded. • It is said that [those who express doubt] are unable, because of defective imagination or other mental inadequacy, to grasp the new and rewarding circumstances that sustain and secure the increase in values. 18 In the late 1990s, after these prophetic words were written, we experienced financial euphoria followed by a period of despair that laid many investment portfolios to waste.

Even though this is admittedly compensation to the employee, it isn’t shown as such on the corporate books and records. Therefore corporate profits are not reduced, as they logically should be. The corporation then receives a tax deduction for the profit made by employees when they exercise the option and sell the stock within a certain period of time. 1 The IRS views employee stock options as compensation expense, while it’s not an expense when reporting results to shareholders. How’s that for doubledealing?

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