Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Caroline_a
    • By Caroline_a 19th Apr 17, 1:43 PM
    • 3,855Posts
    • 10,634Thanks
    Caroline_a
    US Shares Warning
    • #1
    • 19th Apr 17, 1:43 PM
    US Shares Warning 19th Apr 17 at 1:43 PM
    About 10 years ago I worked for a US company who were privately owned. They were going to float on the New York stock exchange and so we were offered shares at a cheap rate. I bought some, the company went public and I just left the shares to do whatever shares do!

    I check every so often on what they are priced at, and noticed the other week that they'd gone up a bit. So that, combined with the level of the dollar against the pound made me think about selling them. Long story short, I eventually discovered that my shares had gone into something called 'escheatment'. What this meant was that one of the US states had grabbed my shares! Now, you can get them back, but it involves lots of hoops to jump through. I have no idea how long it will take, but it's definitely annoying that they can just grab your assets without so much as a by your leave!

    I will keep you updated on what happens - I've now sent in all documentation required, but a warning for anyone in the UK who happens to have some US shares!
Page 1
    • Le_Kirk
    • By Le_Kirk 19th Apr 17, 1:47 PM
    • 1,986 Posts
    • 1,003 Thanks
    Le_Kirk
    • #2
    • 19th Apr 17, 1:47 PM
    • #2
    • 19th Apr 17, 1:47 PM
    This should only happen when someone dies intestate and is to prevent assets sitting there unused and untouchable. Have you died and not informed the proper authorities? More likely as you did not make contact for such a long time, they have decided that such is the case. Hope you recover your shares.
    • meer53
    • By meer53 19th Apr 17, 1:49 PM
    • 8,785 Posts
    • 12,758 Thanks
    meer53
    • #3
    • 19th Apr 17, 1:49 PM
    • #3
    • 19th Apr 17, 1:49 PM
    Letting shares "do whatever shares do" is never a good idea.
    • Caroline_a
    • By Caroline_a 19th Apr 17, 2:07 PM
    • 3,855 Posts
    • 10,634 Thanks
    Caroline_a
    • #4
    • 19th Apr 17, 2:07 PM
    • #4
    • 19th Apr 17, 2:07 PM
    Letting shares "do whatever shares do" is never a good idea.
    Originally posted by meer53
    No, probably not, but for most of last year I was going through cancer treatment, so can't say I was really very interested in doing anything with them!

    And no, I'm pretty sure I'm not dead....
    • ThumbRemote
    • By ThumbRemote 19th Apr 17, 2:26 PM
    • 3,774 Posts
    • 4,807 Thanks
    ThumbRemote
    • #5
    • 19th Apr 17, 2:26 PM
    • #5
    • 19th Apr 17, 2:26 PM
    Letting shares "do whatever shares do" is never a good idea.
    Originally posted by meer53
    Given that shares are a long-term investment, it can be a perfectly sensible idea.
    • RuthnJasper
    • By RuthnJasper 19th Apr 17, 2:39 PM
    • 3,607 Posts
    • 8,623 Thanks
    RuthnJasper
    • #6
    • 19th Apr 17, 2:39 PM
    • #6
    • 19th Apr 17, 2:39 PM
    Have you died and not informed the proper authorities?
    Originally posted by Le_Kirk

    I had no idea that the mystical East of England was that mystical!
    x
    • meer53
    • By meer53 19th Apr 17, 6:57 PM
    • 8,785 Posts
    • 12,758 Thanks
    meer53
    • #7
    • 19th Apr 17, 6:57 PM
    • #7
    • 19th Apr 17, 6:57 PM
    Given that shares are a long-term investment, it can be a perfectly sensible idea.
    Originally posted by ThumbRemote
    I think the OP's post proves otherwise. If i tied my money up in shares in a foreign company i'd check on them pretty regularly. Or is that just me ?
    • shaun from Africa
    • By shaun from Africa 19th Apr 17, 7:34 PM
    • 9,343 Posts
    • 10,516 Thanks
    shaun from Africa
    • #8
    • 19th Apr 17, 7:34 PM
    • #8
    • 19th Apr 17, 7:34 PM
    Given that shares are a long-term investment, it can be a perfectly sensible idea.
    Originally posted by ThumbRemote
    If you buy shares and then simply forget about them and let them "do whatever shares do", it means that you could miss a company being bought out or them buying out another company, a company going into liquidation or a company whose share price suddenly rockets up or down for one reason or another.

    Yes, shares are often (but not always) a long term investment and any investment where the value can fluctuate massively should always have an eye kept on it.

    The OP's case is a perfect example of why it doesn't make sense to follow your recommendation.
    • bairn7
    • By bairn7 20th Apr 17, 12:31 PM
    • 429 Posts
    • 141 Thanks
    bairn7
    • #9
    • 20th Apr 17, 12:31 PM
    • #9
    • 20th Apr 17, 12:31 PM
    If you buy shares and then simply forget about them and let them "do whatever shares do", it means that you could miss a company being bought out or them buying out another company, a company going into liquidation or a company whose share price suddenly rockets up or down for one reason or another.

    Yes, shares are often (but not always) a long term investment and any investment where the value can fluctuate massively should always have an eye kept on it.

    The OP's case is a perfect example of why it doesn't make sense to follow your recommendation.
    Originally posted by shaun from Africa
    Wouldn't most of the situations you mention involve some form of investor communication and/or voting notification? In which case, the OP should have received communications keeping her updated on the performance of the shares and any large events which could affect her holding.

    I suspect the OP did not keep a correspondence address up to date or something to that effect.
    • Caroline_a
    • By Caroline_a 20th Apr 17, 12:47 PM
    • 3,855 Posts
    • 10,634 Thanks
    Caroline_a
    Ok - I did keep an eye on the shares - I still have a few friends who work there, plus I kept an eye on what they were trading at. Also, my address/contact details haven't changed during this time. I just didn't do anything with them, ie sell them! The shares had dropped to a couple of dollars above what they floated at, so I was waiting for them to rise - which they have now!

    I've had no correspondence from the company apart from invitations to attend AGMs - which, given they are across the Pond I tended to ignore! I certainly had no indication that the shares had been seized!

    My point about making this post was that I thought I could treat them like UK shares and happily sit back and watch them go up and down.... apparently not!
    • meer53
    • By meer53 20th Apr 17, 7:51 PM
    • 8,785 Posts
    • 12,758 Thanks
    meer53
    Ok - I did keep an eye on the shares - I still have a few friends who work there, plus I kept an eye on what they were trading at. Also, my address/contact details haven't changed during this time. I just didn't do anything with them, ie sell them! The shares had dropped to a couple of dollars above what they floated at, so I was waiting for them to rise - which they have now!

    I've had no correspondence from the company apart from invitations to attend AGMs - which, given they are across the Pond I tended to ignore! I certainly had no indication that the shares had been seized!

    My point about making this post was that I thought I could treat them like UK shares and happily sit back and watch them go up and down.... apparently not!
    Originally posted by Caroline_a
    This could happen to any shares, UK or US.
    • Caroline_a
    • By Caroline_a 20th Apr 17, 8:24 PM
    • 3,855 Posts
    • 10,634 Thanks
    Caroline_a
    This could happen to any shares, UK or US.
    Originally posted by meer53
    Really? So if you just left your UK shares without selling them (but watched their price, etc) then the state would grab them?
    • firefox1956
    • By firefox1956 21st Apr 17, 9:11 AM
    • 1,184 Posts
    • 643 Thanks
    firefox1956
    I wonder if the OP is getting a bit confused with the term 'escheatment' ??
    A Google search brings up quite a few explanations of the term is one & its associated articles may help............
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/investing/shares/10560431/Escheatment-what-it-means-and-how-it-affects-UK-shareholders.html
    • Caroline_a
    • By Caroline_a 21st Apr 17, 10:00 AM
    • 3,855 Posts
    • 10,634 Thanks
    Caroline_a
    Not quite sure why you think I don't understand the term. I too had Googled extensively and found out about it. However - if you look back, you'll see that I'd had no warning or correspondence from either the holding agents or the state. This was my point! The shares as far as I was aware were sat with the holding agent, awaiting a time when I would sell them!

    As an update, I have now applied to the state to have them returned to me, and have sent off all required documentation for my claim. There is no indication how long this may take, but in the meantime, the shares have gone up another dollar!
    • meer53
    • By meer53 21st Apr 17, 9:14 PM
    • 8,785 Posts
    • 12,758 Thanks
    meer53
    Really? So if you just left your UK shares without selling them (but watched their price, etc) then the state would grab them?
    Originally posted by Caroline_a
    Depends on what happens to the company, you can still lose your shares.
    • Caroline_a
    • By Caroline_a 25th Apr 17, 6:54 PM
    • 3,855 Posts
    • 10,634 Thanks
    Caroline_a
    Update time! I had an email today to say that my shares are being returned to me!! They haven't been sold, so are all still intact, and to make things even better they have gone up in value whilst this was going on! Happy days! It's happened a lot quicker than I thought as the articles in the Telegraph indicated that it would be many weeks!
    • Le_Kirk
    • By Le_Kirk 26th Apr 17, 9:57 AM
    • 1,986 Posts
    • 1,003 Thanks
    Le_Kirk
    That's great news! Thanks for updating the thread.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

4,275Posts Today

10,701Users online

Martin's Twitter