These things cost me rather a lot of money when the Credit Crunch hit. Shares tied up in them became worth 98% less than they had been. Options which were worth double the cash saved value became worth just the cash. Future opportunities were halted.
Not only had my employment hit “at serious risk of ending” as a result of the HBOS collapse my projected savings in company shares took a £40,000 hit. And that was small fry compared others I worked with.
As the newly formed Lloyds Banking Group saved my job (notwithstanding damaging my pension along the way) they gradually opened up a new set of share schemes for employees to benefit from.
Despite my earlier big hit I reasoned that it was a once in a lifetime loss event and the time to buy in is when prices are low. So I did.
Indeed I’ve already realised gains since 2009. Now redundancy, rather than resignation, means that I keep all the freebies that I’ve accrued since. Better still , I don’t have to wait for three to five years to access this money tax free. I can have my shares, the matching shares and the dividends accrued now and blow the lot on women and holidays and give HMRC nothing. The rest I’ll waste.
I can even throw more money at a Sharesave scheme to get bigger returns in six months time. So I’m expecting a cheque for £10k next week and another one for £5k before Christmas. Unless the firm dies again.
It’s not all gains, a fair bit of my own money has gone into that, but if I do live longer than average it will come in very handy.
And despite the big losses of the Credit Crunch I’m still a fair bit up on these schemes over the career.