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Redeeming Paper Stocks
Old 12-16-2013, 06:55 PM   #1
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Redeeming Paper Stocks

Don't laugh...
Being as I don't have or know a broker, what's the least expensive way to cash in my few paper stocks, and how do I determine profits... They go back to 1966, and over the years, company spin offs...
Sear stock... company spun off to Allstate, then Dean WitterDiscover, then Morgan Stanley.

A FA at a recent mall show told me an offhand number of 10%... is this reasonable?

Also read about a "transfer agent" in Hyberdad, India... Is it that involved?
Tempted to leave as a part of my estate, and let the administrator figure it out.

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Old 12-16-2013, 07:34 PM   #2
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I had some paper stocks from the 1980's stuffed in the back of my socks drawer where I had been ignoring them all that time, and a few years ago I took them down to Scott Trade since I had no broker either. They were glad to determine the value and cash them in for me. Hope this helps.

P.S. - - I had to return the money ScottTrade mistakenly gave me for one of them, a mutual fund that was caught up in the Enron mess I think, and anyway was out of business for some reason. I got the money for that from the State of Louisiana Unclaimed Property folks.

5/17/2018: Retired a second time, this time from my volunteer Admin duties. After 10 years of being on the team, and 40,000+ posts, the time just seemed right. It has been such fun to work with all of our Mods and Admins and I plan to stick around as a regular member.
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Old 12-16-2013, 08:49 PM   #3
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Basically you will to establish the cost basis, and go through all the splits, spinoffs etc to determine current worth. That can get very involved, depending the age and number splits.

Maybe best to start with the transfer agent. For Sears it is listed on their investor page

Sears Holdings Investor Information

Some SEC info

Stock and Bond Certificates, Old

There are also some companies that specialize in this for a fee.

And try a local brokers office, they might help also.
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Old 12-16-2013, 09:28 PM   #4
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Obtaining a precise cost basis from that long ago will be difficult. If you know the date of acquisition, you can get close by looking up the closing value in an old newspaper.

The splits add more complexity, and can be tougher to determine since typically they are poorly documented.

If it's a small number of shares, it may be simpler to treat the cost basis as $0, or leave the shares to an heir who will thereby get an automatic cost basis reset.
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:51 PM   #5
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Tracking the cost can be a problem, as suggested the TA is the correct place to start.
As far as the TA in Hydrobad, think it depends on what company/issue you're holding. Will you will care if the TA is in Hydrobad, Australia, or Boston?
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