My Personal Finance Journey

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Stock Award Shares Sold

Contributed by mm | August 31, 2004 6:52 PM PST

As pre-announced in this blog, I sold my Stock Award shares today at $27.07 apiece. I believe it is the right choice to make at this moment to reduce risk and improve financial stability.

It's probably useful to discuss how to manipulate this transaction in Microsoft Money. It is actually pretty complicated.

As a starter, the best way to keep track the Stock Award in Microsoft Money is to treat it as a stock option grant with striking price of $0. Otherwise, Microsoft Money does not provide a way to track the stock award grant and vesting schedule.

When Stock Award shares are vested, Microsoft immediately withholds a part to cover income tax, social security tax and medicare tax. Here is how I track all the transactions in Microsoft Money:

1. In the stock option account, add a transaction to "exercise and sell" the number of stock award shares vested.

2. Add three transactions in the stock option (cash) account to record the federal income tax, social security tax and medicare tax withheld.

3. Transfer the remaining proceeds to the brokerage account (Fidelity or Smith Barney) where the stock award shares are deposited.

4. Record a stock purchase transaction. The number of shares purchased is the number of shares after withholding.

5. Record a sell transacton that represents the actual price I received by selling the stock ($27.07 in my case) and the number of shares sold.

With the Stock Awards off by back (at least for another year), my next focus is on a batch of stock options granted in 1998. These options will expire in July 2005 and their strike price is $26.8125. Hopefully, MSFT can deliver another spike for me to cash out.

Is it wishful thinking?

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