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This Web site contains a compilation of more than a thousand consumer finance  columns written by Tony Novak from the 1980s through 2006, updated and reformatted for maximum usefulness today.  New material was added after 2010.

Content is the opinion of the author and does not represent the position of any other person or entity. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.

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Procedure for selling stock

originally posted: 11/22/2006  reposted: 2/18/2011 This post has not been recently reviewed or revised by the author and may be out of date. If in doubt, please send a new question or ask for an update.

Q: I presently have 95 shares of Getty Realty Corporation stock which I would like to sell. Do I have to open an account with Ameritrade to sell it? I do not wish to purchase any additional stock, just sell what I presently own.

A: It is always necessary to have an investment account to buy or sell shares that you own. An account facilitates the legal issues such as verifying the identity of owner, providing full accounting of transactions, compliance with federal tax reporting and withholding requirements, as well as delivery of cash and securities. It may not be necessary to open a new account, especially if you intend to complete only one transaction. If you bought the shares through a brokerage firm, that company might still have an account open for you. If you bought them directly from the firm as part of a stock purchase plan, the shares can usually be sold the same way. Otherwise, you can open an account at Ameritrade or any other brokerage firm. Another important issue to consider is that if you are holding shares in “certificate form” in your own possession as opposed to “street name” (like most stock) then it will take longer to sell your shares because the certificate must be presented by the broker to the registrar who exchanges it for “street name” shares that the broker can easily sell and convert to cash. This is one of the reasons that certificate shares are not usually recommended. I use the large reputable discount brokerage firm TD Waterhouse for most stock transactions. See details on the "investment" page link below.


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