Q&A: Old Stock Certificates

This image is no longer available

A reader wants to know: What do you do when you find a 100-year-old stock certificate from a company you’ve never heard of?

Q – I have a number of old share certificates from my grandfather (Alert Oils, 175 shares, issued 1926; British American MFG & Power Co, 5 shares, issued 1913; Brooks Steam Motors Ltd., 10 shares, issued 1926; Bank of BC 4 shares, issued 1982). Can you advise me on the process for determining the value, if any, of these shares and how to redeem them? – Ross N.

A – I suggest you do a Google search for Old Stock Certificates. Here’s an article from the Wall Street Journal that may help. You can also try searching the names of the companies on the certificates. If you have a full-service broker, you can ask him/her for assistance. The company’s research department may be able to find some answers. – G.P.



Do you have a money question you’d like to ask Gordon? Find out how to submit it here and then check out our Money section regularly to see if it was chosen for a response. Sorry, we cannot send personal answers.