By Richard Archer
Everyone wants to be happier. Just look at the books lining the shelves at your local bookstore. You’ll see everything from The Happiness Project to The How of Happiness to Hardwiring Happiness.
While many people believe that their happiness will increase when they have more money, few people connect their employee stock compensation to happiness.
Thanks to mystockoptions.com, we can see how stock compensation, if fully appreciated and understood, can improve your happiness.
1. Wealth Creation
When your company’s stock price goes up, your wealth increases, and increased wealth can improve your quality of life. But it’s about more than the number in your bank account, it’s about what you do with it.
If you use your increased wealth to fund your passions, pursue your dreams, and invest in others, it can improve your well-being and put you on the path toward greater happiness.
2. Anticipating The Future
Sometimes planning for a trip or a big event is half the fun, as the sense of anticipation builds excitement.
The money you accumulate from your company’s stock plan can give you that same sense of anticipation as you plan how you will use the money and the difference it will make in your future.
3. A Feeling Of Being Special
Not everyone receives company stock. If you receive regular stock grants, that’s a benefit that should make you feel special. You can further your happiness by increasing your gratitude, appreciation, and enthusiasm about this benefit.
4. Discounts And Deals
Getting something valuable at a discount often conjures up feelings of pride and euphoria. If you are part of an employee stock purchase plan (ESPP) and have access to a discounted purchase price, you can experience those same emotions with your stock.
5. Control Over Taxes
While taxes are a necessary evil, stock options can give you the opportunity to delay an increase in income taxes.
Whether you receive a grant of stock options or stock appreciation rights or you’ve enrolled in an ESPP, you may be able to decide when to receive the income and pay taxes on it. Having control over something that you normally can’t control can make you feel empowered.
6. Donations And Gifts Of Company Stock
Studies have shown that generosity increases happiness. (1) To capture some of that happiness, consider donating appreciated company stock that you’ve held long-term.
This type of gift can make a significant difference for the organizations you support. As an added benefit, stock donations can also meaningfully lower your expected taxes.
7. A Sense Of Ownership
When you own company stock, you essentially own a piece of your company. Your ownership can make you happier since you share in the success the company gains from your work. Ownership gives you a sense of pride and control and possibly even some influence and input into your company’s operations.
Since we spend so much of our lives working, the ensuing happiness you feel from ownership at work will play a big role in your happiness in other areas of your life.
8. Stronger Relationships
Strong relationships make us healthier and happier, (8) and while it may seem odd to link stock compensation with relationships, the conversations you have with your colleagues about how to handle stocks and how you’ll use the gains can improve your friendships.
But be sure to turn to a professional as well. Your coworkers might be knowledgeable and well-meaning, but their advice and enthusiasm could lead to unnecessary risks, such as overconcentration in stock. The results of risky behavior often cause more stress than happiness.
9. Financial Security
Imagine that you don’t have to worry about money anymore, that your finances are secure and the future is funded. That picture of financial security probably brings excitement and happiness.
Your stock compensation can help you on the journey to financial security by bridging the gap between your Social Security benefits and other retirement accounts, thereby minimizing your stress and worry and increasing your confidence.
10. Mindfulness And Meaningfulness
It’s all too easy to get caught up in the daily minutiae of work, but keep a mindful perspective by remembering that your hard work can make a difference in elevating your company’s stock price.
This attitude increases ownership, engagement, optimism, and happiness by making your job even more meaningful and motivating you to reach new levels of personal and professional success.
Is Your Stock Making You Happier?
If you have company stock and aren’t experiencing the added happiness it can bring, Archer Investment Management can help you optimize your finances so that your stock options bring you more joy.
About RichardRichard Archer is a financial advisor and the President of Archer Investment Management with more than twenty years of industry experience. He specializes in providing comprehensive financial planning and investment guidance and personalized care and attention to executives with complex compensation and families pursuing financial freedom. Along with holding a Wharton Bachelor of Science in Economics and a Texas MBA, he is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certificant and a Chartered Financial Analyst®. He combines his advanced industry education and knowledge with his genuine care for people to provide clients with an exceptional experience. To learn more about Richard, connect with him on LinkedIn or visit www.archerim.com.