The redemption of stock certificates is a process that is built around selling shares and receiving cash for the transaction rather than having the payment credited to your brokerage account and using the proceeds for the purchase of other stocks. It may become desirable to redeem stock certificates as a means of funding a college education or handling an unexpected expense such as a medical emergency. The actual process to redeem stock certificates is relatively straightforward and can usually be accomplished in a short period of time.
Identify the stock certificates you wish to redeem. If they are the only stocks in your possession, this will be an easy task. However, if you only wish to redeem specific stock certificates, it will be necessary to compile a list of the certificates you wish to sell, along with identifying characteristics, such as ID numbers, issue dates and other information that your broker can use to initiate the transaction.
Notify your broker that you have stock certificates you wish to redeem for cash. Your broker can assess the current status of the stock and advise you on any options you may have that will help you earn the most return from the sale.
Determine the minimum price that you are willing to accept for the stock certificates. While your desire is to sell them at the current market price, that is not always a possibility. There is the chance that the demand for the shares will not be particularly high. When this is the case, you may have to sell the certificates at a discounted price in order to attract potential buyers.
Finalize the details of the transaction. Once a buyer has been found and the purchase price agreed upon, authorize your broker to accept the offer and begin processing the transaction. Generally, it is possible to complete the transaction in one trading day, unless the purchase is made late in the day. When that is the case, it may be the following business day before the transaction is fully completed.
Designate the mode of payment. A quick and secure method is to have the payment for the stock certificates electronically transferred into the bank account of your choice. The seller can either forward the payment to your broker, who then arranges the transfer or send it directly upon receiving the hard copy or electronic copy of the stock certificates that were purchased.
While it is possible to redeem stock certificates without going through a broker, only seasoned investors should attempt to arrange the sale on their own. Brokers are likely to be aware of ways to identify potential buyers and command a higher sale price than an individual with little or no experience in the investment market.
Keep in mind that while it is often possible to redeem stock certificates the same day that you authorize a broker to sell them on your behalf, it may take longer. Current market conditions and the general demand for the stock in question will sometimes make it necessary to allow several days for the best offer to materialize. Don’t jump on the first offer you receive, unless it is a purchase at the current market price.