[thechat] Employee Share Purchase - opinions..?

David Wagner dave at worlddomination.net
Wed Dec 11 00:31:00 CST 2002

Martin wrote:

> So now I'm an employee of a company which doesn't have egregious share
> ownership rules, and I'm being offered discounted IBM shares.
> Anyone got any opinions on whether this is worthwhile?

Okay, now that everyone else has given good advice, let me give you the
slacker's perspective. I know you're probably dealing with significantly
larger sums than I was when I bought into the ESPP at my company, but the
principles still apply.

1) I hate thinking about money in practical terms, and I don't like doing
math that involves interest.
2) I don't pay off my credit cards quickly anyway, so I didn't even take the
investment-vs-debt argument into account.
3) 5% or so of my income, skimmed automatically off of my paycheck every
month, was easy to ignore.
4) At the end of the purchase period, we happened to be having a good week,
so I held on to the shares for a few days, and made a few extra bucks beyond
the discount. I could have sold same-day, and it still would've been OK.
5) I ended up with a small but still significant check waiting for me, and I
lived off of it for a month after I quit that godawful job.

Of course, I'm the kind of guy who will hide a few extra bucks in the bottom
of my penny jar, so that when I'm flat broke and I'm scrounging up change to
go out to lunch, I get a happy surprise.

Once again proving my point that the key to happiness is lowering your
expectations of everything, including yourself.

Good luck!


David Wagner
dave at worlddomination.net

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