How to Read a Stock Certificate

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To read a stock certificate, locate the name of the issuing company, the specific number of the certificate and how many shares are owned. Find the owner's name on a stock certificate and where the owner can have the certificate notarized with help from a financial analyst in this free video on the stock market.

Part of the Video Series: Stock Market Tips & Facts
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Video Transcript

Are you fortunate enough to own stock in any public company? Or for that matter, a private company? And have they issued you a stock certificate to prove that you're a shareholder? Hi I'm Roger Groh at Groh Asset Management and today we're here to talk about stock certificates, what they are and how you can read them and last how you can use them. If you look at the stock certificate, typically it has the name of the company, you'll have the specific type of security that you own, might be common stock or preferred or convertible or whatever it might be, but it'll say it right on it. It'll have a number typically that identifies the specific stock certificate. It'll say the number of shares that you own and then it will be signed by a key officer of the company in which you own stock. Now most stock certificates will have your name on it also. But it wasn't always that way and in the old days stock certificates without names, called bare bonds were traded frequently. Today though, mostly they're not. If there's a certificate, it has your name on it. It's safer, you want it that way. Now how can you use them? On the reverse side of the stock certificate, there will be a place for you to sign. Once you've signed that, you then have it notarized. What that does is to say that they have looked at your identification and yes, you're the person who owns this stock certificate because the names match. So I hope that helps, I'm Roger Groh with Groh Asset and thank you for spending time with me.

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