I found an old certificate and would like to find out if it is valuable. What should I do?

First, you will need to find out whether the security is still active or is obsolete. To do this, you can begin by either searching for the company name and/or trading symbol on a financial website or asking your broker to find out for you. If you would like to do the legwork yourself, you can call the state securities regulator's office in the state of the company's incorporation (which you'll find printed on the certificate) to find out the history of the company, including stock splits, mergers, acquisitions, etc. Or you can use the following resources -- found in most libraries -- to determine this information:

Financial Information, Inc.
30 Montgomery Street
P.O. Box 473
Jersey City, NJ 07303

Moody's Industrial Manual
Moody's OTC Industrial Manual
Moody's Investor Service, Inc.
99 Church Street
New York, NY 10007

National Stock Summary
National Quotation Bureau, Inc.
An Infobase Holdings Company
150 Commerce Road
Cedar Grove, NJ 07009-1208

OldCompany.com / Scripophily.com
Publishers of the Robert D.Fisher and Marvin Scudders Manuals of Valuable and Worthless Securities
P.O. Box 223795
Chantilly, Virginia 20153
Phone Toll Free 1-888-STOCKS6
Direct 1.703.787.3552
Fax 1.703.995.4422

Security Owner's Stock Guide
Standard & Poor's Corp.
25 Broadway
New York, NY 10004

If the stock is still paying dividends, you can call the company or your broker to determine the value of your stock. However, even if the company is no longer in business and the stock is worthless, the certificate itself might have value as a collectible. Please e-mail our curator to request a list of antique securities dealers, or search online for dealers specializing in scripophily (collecting antique financial documents) to learn the value of your certificate.