Options At Work

Stock options for all is the latest in pay. They're great--but don't try to get cute, or they'll bite

Don't you just get sick thinking about all those Silicon Valley optionaires who lost much of their fortune in the tech meltdown? Perhaps not. Poor little not-so-rich kids. We should all have such problems, right? Turns out many of us do. The number of people holding employee stock options is exploding, up 10-fold to 10 million since 1992. And most option holders are in non-tech industries, where the programs are so new that many recipients haven't a clue how to manage this asset.

How clueless are they? In a telling survey, Oppenheimer Funds found that 37% of holders felt they understood...

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