Bruce Brumberg | Co-Founder of myStockOptions.com

Introduction

Success leaves clues.

Finance Strategists sat down with Bruce Brumberg, Co-Founder of myStockOptions.com. He shared his thoughts on the past, present, and future of the company, as well as insight gained from running the business.

Who is Bruce Brumberg?

Q: Who are you and what’s your background?

I’ve devoted most of my professional career to making complex legal and tax concepts understandable to people who do not enjoy reading the Internal Revenue Code or the US securities laws/SEC regulations. I’m the editor-in-chief and a co-founder of myStockOptions.com, the premier online resource of educational content and tools on stock compensation (stock options, restricted stock, and employee stock purchase plans/ESPPs) for plan participants, financial advisors, and companies. myNQDC.com is a sibling website I created on nonqualified deferred compensation. With the resources on these websites and my other writing and speaking, including a popular blog on Forbes.com, I try to help employees, financial advisors, and companies get more value out of these compensation plans and prevent mistakes.

While I have a law degree (University of Virginia, JD; University of Michigan, AB), for most of my working life I’ve created legal, tax, and financial-planning publications, websites, books, videos, webinars, and conferences. I also coach a high-school tennis team and co-wrote with my wife multiple editions of a popular travel book, Watch It Made in the USA: A Visitor’s Guide to the Best Factory Tours and Company.

Q: Who has been your biggest influence, and why did they have such a significant effect on you?

My father and grandfather had their own businesses. Both owned and managed bowling centers/alleys in the Philadelphia area, as my Mom still does. Growing up in a small-business family, you get constant and direct exposure to the joys, challenges, and lessons of running your own business. They also encouraged, or at least accepted, my interest in quickly moving from being a law-firm lawyer to starting my own publishing business using my legal/tax background and abilities to simplify complex topics.

Others that have had an influence include Jesse Brill. He is also someone with a law background who started and has grown a legal publishing company, now known as CCRCorp. Through the years I have contributed to his various ventures, including creating content for The Corporate Executive and National Association of Stock Plan Professionals/NASPP.

Q: Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your younger self?

These are some random thoughts on the business-side of my life:

When you get an idea and it stays in your head, trust your instincts to go with it, be patient that you’ll figure it out, and focus on priorities and what I value doing. Do still get input on ideas or do marketplace trials and remain flexible as the initial product/service will likely change. Become better and more comfortable at managing/delegating some of the responsibilities and activities that need to be done, whether those are day-to-day tasks or big roles in launching and running new ventures.

Whether you have a bigger business, where you’re more of a manager, or a smaller business, where you are more directly involved in the product/service, can be dependent on many factors. Accept how this evolves (and your decision on what size of business you want/have). Celebrate and feel grateful for its success and those that contribute to it. Your business goals (and volunteer activities) will change based on what you realize you enjoy most doing, where you can make a difference, and the stage you are in life. However, running your own business doesn’t really get much easier over the years unless you get better at giving up some of what you do and having confidence in your team.

Business

Q: What is myStockOptions.com?

myStockOptions.com is the main website of myStockPlan.com, Inc, a digital media company. It’s focus is educational content and tools on stock options, restricted stock, restricted stock units, performance shares, stock appreciation rights, and employee stock purchase plans. Its content includes exclusive articles, 800+ FAQs, Tax Center, Global Tax Guide, videos, podcasts, quizzes, an extensive glossary (also available as mobile phone app), self-study courses with CE credits in the Learning Center, patented interactive tools, and separate webinars. It has earned numerous awards, extensive media coverage, and strong brand identity.

myStockPlan.com, Inc. is run by leading experts in equity compensation. We have a long history of creating and producing successful websites, print or email newsletters, books, training videos, social media content, webinars, and conferences devoted to securities, legal, and tax topics.

Q: What makes myStockOptions.com different from its competitors?

We are entirely focused on equity and executive compensation content and tools. We have extensive, highly respected, and award-winning expertise in creating content on tax, legal, and SEC topics understanding, whether through written content, interactive content (quizzes and tools), or multi-media content (videos, podcasts, webinars, infographics)

Q: What led you to start myStockOptions.com?

The website went live in June of 2000. We are a survivor from the first dotcom wave of companies. Stock compensation, almost entirely stock options at that time (now it’s more restricted stock units), was very popular. While there were websites focused on 401(k)/retirement plan education and other financial-planning topics (college funding, house purchasing), no websites focused on equity compensation. We had expertise and extensive experience in this area and were skilled as educators on financial topics. Getting the idea for the site and the content and tools flowed from what else I was doing in my other publishing, writing, and speaking.

Q: What has the experience of building the business taught you?

What I am good at, what I’m not, what I need to improve, what I value. Accept what you cannot control and understand what really does (or does) not matter. Know and appreciate the important roles that others play in small and big ways.

Q: Where do you see things headed for you and the company in the next 5 years?

We continue to enhance and expand our website, including its content and tools. Develop more multimedia content, whether videos, podcasts, or interactive courses. Expand the number of webinars we do on our myStockOptions webinar channel, which is focused for now mostly on financial advisors, along with tax and employee-stock-plan professionals. Look at how to use new technologies and methods related to educating, learning, and training.

For more information, visit mystockoptions.com