What should I do with my paper share certificates?
10 March 2021
Question by Robert
I have many individual paper shares with various companies.
Is it better to change them to electronic ones and, if so, do I need to open an account with an Investment Platform that you would recommend.
Answered by Farida Hassanali
The logistics of holding shares can be a minefield. I would start by thinking about the end goal. Converting your paper shares to electronic ones will make it quicker and easier to sell them, possibly with lower charges too. It also gives you more oversight and control, such as switching between having dividends paid to you as cash or reinvesting them to buy more shares (without adding to your piles of paperwork!). The downside is you may have ongoing fees to pay with the platform provider.
It’s difficult to be able to suggest a platform without knowing more about which shares you hold. However, a Dealing Account with the AJ Bell YouInvest service might be a good place to start looking. The main thing to check before starting any transfers is that your selected provider can accept all of your shares.
Another thing to consider is speaking to the share administrators, such as Equiniti or Computershare. Their details can be found on any recent correspondence and may have some online account options available.
I hope that helps and good luck with all the forms if you do decide to transfer.
All the best.
I’ve always wanted to be a financial planner and pleased to say I’m one of those people that really loves their job. I graduated from Loughborough University with a degree in Maths with Economics in 2007 and have been in the financial planning profession ever since and am a volunteer member of the CISI Financial Planning forum.