You can sell shares online, over the phone or by post, through a paper-based transaction. Which method is best may depend on the cost of each, how many shares you hold, how often you sell shares, and convenience. Selling shares for maximum profit involves selling them at the right time when the price is high and making sure that you pay the lowest possible commission charges, otherwise known as dealing costs.
Search the Internet using a term such as “selling shares” to find out about Web-based share services. These are run by a wide range of financial institutions and they process only share transactions. They don’t give advice. The advantage of these services is that the commission charged is quite a bit less than that of traditional interpersonal services.
Find out the best deals by looking at price comparison sites and then read the terms and conditions that each share-dealing organisation offers. Most will be “nominee brokers,” which means that the shares are held electronically. The company technically “owns” the shares, and you don’t receive share certificates. If you use such a service you will need to sell shares through the organisation you used to buy them or pay a fee if you want to switch to another service provider.
Investigate exactly what fees you will have to pay. Some organisations charge a percentage of each sale, others charge a flat fee regardless of the size of the sales transaction. There may be different rates for one-off sales or frequent selling. On top of this you may have to pay an annual subscription fee to use the company’s services. This may be based on the number of shares involved, or there may be a standard account fee that covers all your shares.
Clarify exactly when share sales take place once you have placed an instruction to sell. Some organisations operate real-time--ie, immediate--services, whereas others group together instructions and sell only at certain times of day. This may affect the eventual share price that you sell at.
Check whether you can transfer any paper share certificates you hold to the electronic system. This is not always possible but will greatly reduce your commission costs.
- "Shares Made Simple: A Beginner's Guide to the Stockmarket"; Rodney Hobson; 2007
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