Online Share Trading

Difference Between Stock options and Restricted Stock.

There are many ways to invest in the stock exchange. Many of these involve making critical choices about the companies that you wish to invest in over the long-term. What if the company you work for gives you the opportunity to invest in them? This will give you a greater stake in the company's success over the years. Companies offer a variety of stock incentives, including stock options and restricted shares. Which one is better?

This article will help you make an informed decision about stock options and restricted stocks.

What is Restricted Stock Units?

Understanding the differences between options and restricted shares is the first step to understanding them. Let's start with the former.

Restricted stock units are a stock-based incentive that companies offer to their employees. This compensation comes in the form company shares, and gives employees a certain amount of equity ownership. You can have restricted shares in your company and enjoy many benefits, such as dividends, voting rights, privileges, and responsibilities.

These stock units are called "restricted" because they come with certain conditions that employees must be aware of. These conditions could include the employee having to spend a certain number of years at the company or the company reaching specific milestones. Restricted shares can be vested, meaning that employees must fulfill certain conditions in order to obtain actual shares.

What are stock options?

Let's now discuss restricted stock units and stock options.

Stock options, as their basic definition suggests, are contracts that allow the option holder to purchase or sell a certain number of shares of stock within a set period. Stock options, which are traded on the stock market often, can also be used to provide employee incentives or compensation.

Stock options are not granted to employees as ownership rights at the time they are issued. This agreement is merely that the employee will be able to purchase future company shares at the price set at the time they were issued. The employee is paid by the profit that he/she can make from the difference in stock option price and future stock market prices.

Difference between Stock Options and Restricted stock

We now have a better understanding of both these concepts. Let's take a closer look at what the differences are between stock options or restricted stock units.

First, it is important to note that stock options and restricted shares can be granted by companies for employee incentives or compensation. The difference between options and restricted shares is in what these incentives are in the long-term.

Restricted stock units allow employees to receive dividends and voting rights, as well as other privileges that come with being a shareowner. Stock options are different. The employee does not receive any of these benefits. They do not have ownership of the company, but the right to exercise their stock option. If the employee exercises this option, they can also receive the benefits mentioned above.

Another difference between stock options and restricted stock units is risk tolerance. Stock options may have more immediate value, but unlike restricted stock units, they can be withdrawn at any time. However, restricted stocks can't be sold immediately but have a longer-term value.


Noting that restricted stock units have a higher long-term value than regular stock units, it is important to remember that they are often granted by larger, more established companies. Stock options can be granted by startups and smaller businesses. The debate between stock options and restricted stock units is largely a matter of opinion. It's clear that you will be able to get more value from the stock options or stock options if your company offers incentives.

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