If you're like the majority of the estimated 12 million employees in the U.S. who have stock options as a key component to their compensation packages, you have a vague notion, at best, of how options work and what they can mean to your financial well being. What's the vesting schedule for your shares and how will their strike price be set? What type of stock option grant will you receive, an ISO (incentive stock option) or an NQSO (non-qualified stock option)? What tax rules apply to your option program? Your financial future could depend on your knowing the answers to these and other questions regarding your company's stock option plan. Confused by all the brouhaha surrounding stock options? Let expert Alan Simon demystify this often-confusing investment vehicle for you. Featuring clear explanations of how your stock options might make you money-or not-this friendly guide fills you in on what you need to know to:* Understand different types of stock options* Read and find traps in your stock option agreement* Evaluate the pros and cons of company investment vehicles* Assess vesting schedules and tax laws* Tap Web resources Simon demystifies the jargon, rules, and tax consequences of stock options. He provides a realistic picture of what to expect from your options, and he helps you see past the hype to understand what your employer is really offering. Important topics covered include:* What you need to know before accepting a compensation package that includes options* Developing a stock option philosophy and clear-cut goals* Knowing whether you're being treated fairly by your company* Making sense of the language of stock options agreements* Getting a handle on key restrictions on how you exercise your options* Stock option valuation* Tax rules and how they apply to different types of options* How stock options can be affected by changes at your company Stock Options For Dummies is the only guide you'll need to get the most out of this important investment vehicle.