Unless you are an investor and have a relationship with a stock brokerage company, the sale of shares of a stock can be daunting. But common stocks are sold every day, and the process of selling them is, in fact, quite easy to understand. It all starts by placing the stock certificate in the hands of someone who is licensed to sell securities. If you are unused to selling stocks, here is some advice.
Go to your bank and ask if it has an investment officer who can sell your stock for you. If it does, have him sign a receipt along with the back of the stock certificate, and turn it over to them. Ask him to sell the stock at the current price; and if the stock is sold the same day, you can expect the proceeds of the sale to be in your account in 4 to 5 business days.
Open an account with a traditional broker. There are many types of brokerage companies, from full-service to discount. Your choice of brokerage company depends on the service you will require or your level of sophistication. For example, a full-service brokerage company will provide a stockbroker who will help you every step of the way as you buy and sell securities. He will provide you with information based on the research he has available. However, you will usually pay a high commission when any stock is bought or sold.
Open an account with a brokerage house online if you feel comfortable doing most of the work yourself. Most of the online brokerage companies now provide you with an abundance of information that can help you make your investment decisions. And since most of them do not assign a broker to your account, you will pay only a fraction of the amount of commission for each trade. Finally, most online brokerage companies have tutorials about their websites and how to use them.
Deliver your stock certificates to the brokerage company with whom you have established your account. Once the brokerage house verifies your ownership of the stock, it will be placed in your new account and will be ready for your first trade.
Bill Herrfeldt specializes in finance, sports and the needs of retiring people, and has been published in the national edition of "Erickson Tribune," the "Washington Post" and the "Arizona Republic." He graduated from the University of Louisville.