If you're new to the world of stocks, you may have heard the term "vesting" thrown around a lot. But what does it mean? And more importantly, why should you care? In this blog post, we will explain stock vesting and how it works, and what are vested stocks. 

We'll also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of vested stocks.

What are vested stocks?

Vested stocks are when a company has set aside shares for a specific employee or group. The term "vesting" comes from the fact that these stocks are not immediately available to the recipient - they vest or become available over time. 

Vested stock involves a commitment to work for a certain amount of time, but with the option to leave earlier if desired. Vested stocks typically involve smaller payouts at the start and larger payouts towards the end of the contract period. 

These arrangements benefit both parties, enabling an employee to have a significant financial asset immediately while still receiving compensation if they leave after a short time.

Why is it called vesting? 

The term "vesting" comes from the fact that these stocks are not immediately available to the recipient - they vest or become available over time. This is done to incentivize employees to stay with a company for a particular time, as they will not be able to cash in on their vested stocks until they have met the vesting requirements. 

Vested stocks are a popular form of equity among startups and growing companies. They offer new hires a chance to slowly earn ownership in their company, meaning that as time goes by, they'll own more and more of the startup. 

This is in contrast to a straight-up bonus or grant of stock, which can result in more stock than employees own after an acquisition or collapse.

How vested stocks work

Vested stocks typically vest for several years. For example, an employee may be given 100 vested shares that will vest for five years. This means the employee will receive 20 shares per year for five years, at which point they will own all 100 shares. 

Vested stocks are employee compensations, also known as stock options. Vested stocks typically have a lock-up period. This helps to ensure that the employee stays with the company for a specific amount of time. 

If the employee leaves before the lockup period is up, they may forfeit their vested stocks. Some early-stage start-ups may include a "one-year cliff". This is when employees won't receive any vested stocks until they've been with the company for one year. 

After that, they will receive a certain number of vested stocks each month or quarter. This is a popular option among startups because cash may be low and owners may want to keep as much equity as possible.

Advantages of vested stocks

Vested stocks have several advantages, both for employees and companies. For employees, vested stocks can provide a sense of security and ownership in the company. They also give employees an incentive to stay with the company for the long term, as they will not be able to cash in on their investment until the vesting period is up. 

The advantage for companies is that vested stocks can help to attract and retain top talent. They also give companies a way to reward employees for their loyalty and long-term commitment. Vested stocks are beneficial to both employers and employees. 

It is a stock option program designed to give workers a financial stake in the company they work for. While vesting has been in place for years, it has grown in popularity among small businesses as part of a retention strategy

Disadvantages of vested stocks

There are also some disadvantages of vested stocks. The disadvantage for employees is that they may not be able to cash in on their investment until the vesting period is up. This can be a long time to wait, especially if the company is struggling financially or goes out of business before the vesting period is up. 

For companies, vested stocks can be a financial burden if the company is not doing well. This is because the company will still be required to pay out the vested shares even if it cannot afford to do so. It would also mean less equity for the owners to enjoy themselves or to sell to raise capital. 

Vested stocks have their advantages as well as disadvantages. It is best to pick a stock that suits your circumstances. The most important thing to remember is that equity ownership is the key to wealth building, as long as the efforts are made to ensure the firm's success. 

Vesting vs. non-vesting

There are two main types of stock: vested and non-unvested Non-vesting stocks are the traditional form of employee compensation. They are typically given as a bonus or grant of stock and do not have any restrictions on when they can be cashed in. 

Vesting stocks, on the other hand, have restrictions on when they can be cashed in. Typically, vesting stocks will vest over a period of time, such as four years. This means that the employee will only be able to cash in on their investment after they have been with the company for four years. 

Vested stocks are more common in start-ups and small businesses. This is because they give the company more control over when and how much equity is given to employees. It also helps to ensure that employees are committed to the company for the long term. 

Non-vested stock options are more commonly found in established companies.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of stock. Vested stocks typically give employees more skin in the game and align their interests with the company’s long-term success. Non-vested stock options are less risky for the company, but they can also be cashed in and sold at any time.

So, which is better? It depends on your situation. If you are looking for a sense of security and ownership in the company, then vested stocks may be the right choice. However, non-vested stocks may be a better option if you want immediate access to your investment.

The main benefit of vesting stocks is that it gives you a sense of time regarding when you will own them. If you're a shorter-term investor who doesn't plan to hold onto the stock in the long run, then non-vested stocks are likely the best option. 

But if you're an investor looking to buy the stock and hold onto it, then choosing the vested stocks offers some sense of guarantee and security. If you believe the firm is undervalued and you don't plan on switching careers anytime soon, then fully vested stocks are likely the best option. 

This can help you stay committed to the firm and work to find a solution rather than quitting and selling your stock options. On the other hand, if you're looking for more liquidity or want to cash out sooner, then non-vested options may be the route you want to take. It depends on the company itself and what you think the future holds.


The vesting period is an essential variable to consider when accepting vested stocks. This is when you need to wait until you can own an equity stake in the company. Vesting periods are usually at least six months or longer. 

You typically won't know the full scope of your vesting period until you're about to sign the contract with your employer as they lay out the terms of employment.

Overall, the vesting period is a way to get employees to stay longer at the company instead of leaving. It also helps with recruiting experienced and talented employees. Vesting gives companies a chance to hire and keep good employees. 

The downside, however, is that an employee may leave before fully earning their shares. This happens when the employee leaves employment before their agreed-upon vested period.

A company with low cash flows can acquire top-level talent in exchange for lower pay and equity stake. But like any other benefit, there's a trade-off: giving away equity to get more loyalty from employees can be costly in the long run as the company grows in market cap. And as we've seen with numerous IPOs and skyrocketing stocks of late, this can quickly become a good offer for employees and a bad one for the company.