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That way you make even more money when you sell the share at today's prices.
The practice is not actually illegal in US law, as long as you tell the shareholders it is going on.
Backdating option grants to, for example, just before an announcement that had a positive share price effect would be equivalent to granting the option in a prohibited period.
Academics had long recognised an odd phenomenon of share prices appearing to rocket on the day after senior executives were given stock options.This disclosure must come no later than the end of the following trading day, effectively preventing any back-dating of option grants.Companies also have to have their own share dealing codes.US technology employees may live on their salaries, but whether they get truly rich or not depends on their share of the company.While lucky early employees might get actual shares, most workers will depend on stock options to cash in on the tech boom.
A stock option granted, for example, on the day you join the company allows you the right to buy that share at that day's price, but not until a fixed period – say a year – has elapsed.