How R are your SUs?

Find my gaming-inspired blog posts difficult to read? You can find a helpful breakdown of terms used in this blog post on housing in this term glossary. I explain there what terms like Players and Real Life mean to me, as well as other terms. Hint: I like to nerd out and get inspired by r/Outside.

Real Life has rules that aren’t always transparent when you first start your playthrough. One of the fastest paths to creating wealth in Real Life is accumulating a hoard of RSUs, at least on the current patch. There are a lot of prereqs that guilds put on their players before cashing in on their RSUs, so I made a guide to a lot of the common ones to help you in your grind.

RSUs are stock grants made by public and private guilds that come with strings attached. If you understand the Restrictions of your guild’s Stock Units, you’ll make much better decisions when it comes to your own playthrough.

Common Prerequisites:

Vesting:

“You will get your stock over time.”

Vesting is the most common restriction on RSUs. Vesting specifies a period of time you must work for the guild in order to receive the stock shares. A vesting period is a blessing and curse. The blessing is that is spreads the taxable income from receipt of the stock over multiple years. The curse is that it can play a psychological trick on you if you try to leave. You may ask yourself “Am I willing to give this up? I’m almost fully vested! Just think of the loot I could buy next year.” Ultimately, receiving RSUs with a vesting period on them makes them as good as cash at a public guild. It’s like seeing a future bonus before you receive it. A lot of players in finance guilds call this benefit “golden handcuffs.”

Blackout Periods:

“You can’t sell your stock at particular times of the year.”

Guilds that make public announcements about their profitability and also have a large portion of their company stock have Blackout Periods in which stock cannot be sold. This is to protect people working at the guild from acting on information that is not public to earn a profit (insider trading.) Often RSU vesting periods coincide with Blackout Periods, meaning that you may not be able to sell your stock upon receipt.

Liquidity Event Requirement:

“You only get your RSUs if the guild goes public or merges with another guild.”

This criteria is common among private guilds. Private guilds don’t usually want to be responsible for buying stock back from players if a player leaves the guild. As a result, you may work for a private guild and have a treasure chest full of RSUs that only matter if your guild merges with another one or goes public.

Lock-Up Periods:

“You cannot sell your stock immediately after an initial public offering or acquisition.”

This one-time blackout on stock sale is often put in place to keep the stock price of the guild from plummeting due to shares flooding the market. This criteria is very commonly paired with Liquidity Event Requirements.

Grant Duration:

“Your stock has an expiration date.”

If you work for a private guild, they may have your RSUs expire after a particular period of time. This often means that you will get a new offer of RSUs before the expiration date. The guild is incentivized to renegotiate your RSUs with you over time, for better or worse. This criteria is uncommon or nonexistent in the public guild space, as the stock you receive is traded common stock and does not expire.

Termination Upon Termination:

“If you leave, your stock disappears.”

Guilds may try to really handcuff you into staying with them. Your RSUs may disappear altogether if you leave. This is an interesting double-incentive. On the one hand, if you accumulate a lot of RSUs it will cause you to potentially stick around. On the other hand, if you’re a new player it may prevent you from wanting to stay too long for fear of becoming dependent on the success of the guild.

So how R are my SUs?

Exactly how Restricted your Stock Units are can be measured by how many of the above criteria (or other uncommon criteria) you need to meet in order to sell your stock. If your guild is public and only has a vesting criteria and blackout period stipulation, congratulations! Most of the time you’ll be treating your RSUs as cash that changes value before you can use it. If your guild is private and has all of the above criteria on its RSUs, then you are less certain. That lack of certainty (risk) does bring more potential for gain though. An IPO or acquisition can dramatically increase your gains from RSUs.

RSUs or Restricted Stock Units are an incredibly complex topic that other financial professionals write recurring blog posts about. Given that this is my first post on the subject you may have a desire to learn more. Please feel free to learn more about RSUs on Meg Bartelt’s website or on Mike Zung’s YouTube Channel. They are two experts in the finance stat I’ve come to trust.

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