What are your old stocks and bonds worth?
So you found an old stock in your attic or a flea market -- is it worth a fortune or not?
Your main questions:
- Does the stock have any investment value?
- Is it redeemable?
- Is the company still around?
- How do I get money for it?
- What is the collectible value of the piece?
First, check if the company is still traded on any major financial site. Most sites have a company name to symbol search system. If you have no luck, check the links below.
If you have inherited or discovered old stock certificates, you may have found a fortune or maybe only a neat collectible. These links and companies will help you to research your stocks to see if they are obsolete or negotiable. Some links are free, while other links are for companies that charge research fees. Of course, we suggest starting with the free resources (transfer agents & state regulators) to see if your old stock is worth anything other than a collectible piece of paper. These are the places to start and only cost your time. Please note that OldStocks.com does not provide what a stock might be worth as an investment. Our business is collecting old stock certificates.
If the certificates are not cancelled (perforated, hole punches, stamped, or otherwise marked), you can research by yourself or, save time, and pay for the service. These services also may help with redemption questions and procedures (how to get your money if it is worth something as an investment).
You can also check for yourself to see if the company still exists or merged into another company. It may still have value! The following links may help in your research. We provide information on stock exchanges, transfer agents, and state security contacts. We leave it up to you to check the financial sites for company symbol or listing.
We highly recommend contacting the State Securities Regulators in your investigation of a company or stock certificate. The state of incorporation is normally stated on the face of the certificate. The second most important resource is the transfer agent. We have many links below to trace information from transfer agents (also indicated on most modern securities). Corporate archives are also a good source for old or merged companies.
List of Transfer Agents (check on your certificate)
Find the company's transfer agent.
More transfer agent information
|Please note transfer agents may have merged but are an excellent starting point
|Shareholder Services Association
Support corporate issuers for shareholder recordkeeping (not for stock owners) .
|SEC Transfer Agent Site
The government's page on the topic with many links to other reference pages
|Smaller Transfer Agent List
Some are single state agencies while others handle smaller and private companies
|American Stock Transfer
Covers Microsoft, Honeywell, Under Armour, RiteAid, eTrade, Yum, Dell, and more companies
|BNY Mellon Services
In 2011, Computershare acquired BNY Mellon's Shareowner Services.
|Colonial Stock Transfer
Covers lesser known and smaller companies and shareholder communications
Covers the most companies with over 7500 and counting, acquired many other agents
|Continental Stock Transfer
Covers Steinway Musical, Leap Frog, Peet's Coffee, and others
|JP Morgan (ADR.com)
Covering foreign (ADR) stocks noting all banks and agents that hold deposits
|LINK Shareholder Services
Smaller firm that helps trace assets after mergers and asset recovery.
|Wells Fargo Services
Covers companies such as Gap, Kraft, Merck, ConAgra, Kellogg, and others
Do a Google search with the certificate "company name" + "shareholder services"
Definition of Transfer Agent:
A financial institution appointed by a company to act as the stockholder record keeper and perform any transactions of the registered stock. Transfer agents issue and cancel stock certificates, disburse dividends, and shareholder tabulations.
Transfer agents perform three main functions:
1) Issue and cancel certificates to reflect ownership changes, keeping records of who owns a company's stocks and bonds.
2) Intermediary for the company. transfer agents act as paying agent, proxy agent, exchange agent, tender agent, and mailing agent.
3) Transfer agents help shareholders when a stock or bond certificate has been lost, destroyed, or stolen.
A number of the above links list books and offline contacts that might help in your search. We did not list them here in order to save space. Don't forget to use your local library! The Directory of Obsolete Securities (issued every year) covers hundreds of thousands of old securities and merger information. It is found in larger libraries.
Found something valuable?
Contact a licensed broker or authorized financial institution to redeem. Usually, an active company has investor information on their website (e.g. their transfer agent). Your broker or transfer agent can also help with merged company information and how securities are handled from previous company names.