Friday, September 21, 2007

ESPP bloodbath

My company has a stock purchase plan whereas employees can use a certain percentage of their paycheck to buy company stock at a 15% discount. There is a one year holding period. I have been participating since late 2004 and have amassed a sizable amount of stock. Alot of my coworkers that have been with the company for a while have also amassed alot of stock. This has been great as the stock has greatly appreciated since 2004.

That is until roughly 90 days ago. Since then, it has gone from a 52 week high to a 52 week low. This constitutes roughly a 50% haircut. This has not been a good ride for my participating coworkers (myself included). Today in a product training meeting, one of the product trainers said he lost $7k last month. Most of the room nodded their heads in agreement. I know this trainer owns many more shares then I do. He is not especially financially savvy either.

The scary thing is that I am not sure when the bleeding will stop. I am not going to sell now and have continued to purchase shares (dollar cost averaging). Its tough, though, when you check the market in the morning and realize you have already lost $500-$1000 before you even start your day!

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