Stock just split, so what do I do with my paper certificates?
June 9, 2014 12:31 PM   Subscribe

A while ago I was gifted a few shares of AAPL stock. They were – and still are – on paper certificates. I don't have a brokerage or anything. Today that stock split 7-for-1. Do I need to do anything now? You can assume I know pretty much nothing about this stuff. Thank you!
posted by churl to Work & Money (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: from Apple's FAQ on the subject:
How will I receive the split shares?
If you hold shares in a brokerage account, the additional shares to reflect the split will be deposited into your account in the days following the Split Date (June 6, 2014). Contact your broker if you have any questions regarding timing. If you have a share certificate or hold your shares directly with Apple’s transfer agent, Computershare Investor Services, the post-split shares will be deposited in a book-entry position and Computershare will mail you a statement indicating the number of shares that you own following the split. We will not be issuing new share certificates. If you have a physical stock certificate, there is no need to return it. You will be credited the split number of shares in a book-entry position.

TL;DR you don't need to do anything. the stock transfer agent keeps records of such things for you.
posted by mullacc at 12:34 PM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I walked into a storefront brokerage (Charles Schwab) and I opened an account to deposit them, that way, when anything like that happened, I didn't have to do anything.

Find a discount broker you like, call them and find out how to make a deposit.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:34 PM on June 9, 2014

Best answer: how have you received your dividend checks ? How were the shares "gifted" to you ? Is your name on the stock certificate ?

I'm assuming someone like computershare, or bank of new york, or some other electronic trust holding company has you in their records as the holder of those shares. You do get statements, yes ? Checks, or reinvestment of the dividends ?

So odds are the stock certs you have are cancelled. The new shares are all electronically held in your name by computershare, BONY, Mellon, whomever.

You should get a mailing saying to mail the certs back (insured and all that) to complete the electronic registration, etc etc.
posted by k5.user at 12:36 PM on June 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Yeah, exactly; Computershare has me on file as the shareholder, and I receive statements/dividends in my name at my address.

It looks like things are pretty much taken care of then, and I'll receive more information by mail. Thanks so much!
posted by churl at 12:48 PM on June 9, 2014

Best answer: If your shares are held by Computershare, you should be able to set up an account online with them using the ID number on your statement and/or your SSN. The account will have your stock in it and you'll be able to actually take control of it with that account.

(I just had to do the same thing myself.)
posted by griphus at 12:57 PM on June 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Beware that Computershare's fees are ridiculously high compared to normal stock brokers. They're still charing $0.12/share for sales for many companies. They'll hold the stock reliably for you and probably not charge you for that service, but if you get dividends or make sales you may be surprised what they charge you. Vanguard and Schwab both offer brokerage services with good service and reasonable fees. It is quite easy to transfer shares from Computershare to them, their customer service can help arrange it.
posted by Nelson at 1:23 PM on June 9, 2014

Best answer: For what it's worth, Computershare Investor Services does this for tons of companies.

Book shares -- which are shares for which you never see a paper certificate -- are awesome. The company just has your holdings in its records. No paper to lose, no problem trying to figure out the price of shares when you go to sell them -- easy peasy! You can even send in your paper certificates and they will convert them to book shares, which I have done. One company even looked up shares for which I had the certificate number but not the physcal certificate, and "recovered" them into book shares.

P.S.: If you set up a DRIP or dividend-reinvestment plan (for companies, unlike Apple, who actually issue dividends), they will give you more fractional shares instead of cash dividends -- and then you watch the shares pile up!
posted by wenestvedt at 7:56 AM on June 10, 2014

Response by poster: AAPL does now generate dividends, so I will check out my reinvestment options. Thanks for the tip!
posted by churl at 7:54 PM on June 10, 2014

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