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F WE PROVIDE YOU with a book or article on employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), you can get comprehensive information in a detailed, visual way. This is often very helpful; we hope you find the articles on this site useful!|
There's a downside to learning through the written word, however: there's no interaction (that's why teachers exist!). You're stuck with a one-size-fits-all document that isn't tailored to your situation. Perhaps, for example, you're in a public company and become confused by talk of the "put option" and "repurchase obligation," not knowing this applies only to closely held corporations. So, regardless of reference material that is available for beginners, we at the NCEO frequently have telephone conversations with people who pose the most preliminary questions about ESOPs. (As a membership organization, we provide advice and referrals only to NCEO members; however, we also provide initial consultations to non-members so as to orient them to the field.) By asking various questions, we can often cut through weeks or months' worth of confusion on the callers' part. However, these conversations often are followed with some brief written material (such as articles on our Web site). There's just no substitute for the written word.
But how about making the written word interactive? Welcome to my Interactive Introduction to ESOPs, which presents basic ESOP information in written form yet in a personalized, interactive way by asking you a series of questions and using the answers to shape the discussion. It is thus meant for someone with a particular company in mind rather than someone who wants to read about all the different rules applying to all situations. Of course, this presentation is not legal advice and necessarily describes only the basics of ESOPs, leaving out much detail. I will recommend other resources at the end of our discussion.
Please be assured that none of the information you provide in An Interactive Introduction to ESOPs is viewed by or even accessible to us or anyone else. When you enter information here, it is used by a "CGI script" (computer program interacting with the Web server) I wrote for this that takes the data, uses it to send you a customized Web page, and then discards the information.