As we’re entering the open enrollment period for certain benefits at the company where I work, there has been some talk amongst my coworkers about my company’s stock purchase plan.
My coworkers are concerned that they can’t take advantage of the plan to the maximum because their cash flow is tight. That’s actually my concern as well, but I think I have enough in savings to cover any shortfalls in cash flow and replace the savings with proceeds from the sale of the stock at the first available moment.
Part of the problem is that the employees in my department are considered “designated employees,” which doesn’t mean we get to bat for the pitcher. It means that there are certain times of the year — only a few — that we are allowed to trade company stock. The “open trading windows” usually don’t fall at the end of the quarters, the time when the company stock will be available to sell. My hope is that this doesn’t turn into a problem.
There was also some discussion about whether it’s better to hold onto the stock for a long time rather than sell right away. In my opinion, the stock in my 401(k) is meant to be held for a long time, but I’d rather sell the stocks from the SPP as soon as possible to limit risk due to being over-invested. Between the SPP, company stock in my 401(k), and my salary which is reliant on the health of my company, I feel that’s a little too much attachment to one company whose biggest period of growth is probably behind us all ready.