I am a new hire at a large private company that is undergoing some rapid growth. I hope to stay with this company for at least the next few years. At my hire, I was offered stock options equivalent to one year's salary--fully vested after five years--and the first batch of those is now available for purchase.
Please forgive any incorrect vocabulary or lack of pertinent details, but that brings me to my question: I am fairly financially illiterate. I have looked up what "stock options" and "vesting" and so forth mean, and I more or less understand it, but I have no idea whether it's a good idea or not. I understand there are no guarantees with the stock market, but I'm wondering if anyone can tell me things I should consider when making this decision.
My company is growing and I believe the stock is currently increasing in value. Our company is very large and I believe in its business model, which seems poised to do very well. I suppose we're technically a startup, but we have 8000 employees and locations across the world.
Not sure which of this is pertinent but:
- I am married, and we have a combined income of approximately 200K.
- We live in the US
- We have the majority of our $450K mortgage outstanding (we've owned our home for just two years).
- We have approximately 35K in credit card debt which we are rapidly paying down.
- We have about 100K in student loan debt (mostly my husband's) which we know we will be paying down for quite a while.