Do we have to pay cash to exercise non-qualified options?

November 29, 2004

Subject:   Need Help
Date:   Tue, 16 Nov 2004
From:   Matt

My wife has some non-qualified stock options from her publicly- traded employer company. Do we have to pay the cash for the option price to exercise the options?

Thanks for your help,


Date:   Wed, 24 Nov 2004

Hello Matt,

Your wife should talk to the people in her company who are responsible for administering the stock option plan. Usually companies have arrangements with securities brokerage firms for employees to simultaneously exercise and sell their shares. Then you don’t have to pay the cash purchase price yourself; it’s deducted from the sale proceeds. Alternatively, you can make a “cashless exercise” to sell just enough shares to pay the exercise price plus any employment taxes. Personally, I think it’s usually better to sell all non-qualified option shares received.

Good luck!

Mike Gray

For more information about non-qualified stock options, request our free report, “Executive Tax and Financial Planning For Non-Qualified Stock Options”.

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