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How do you deal with a customer who is REALLY ignorant of the record keeping needed when you sell stocks, and has none of it, AND is having difficulty explaining what she needs to the Broker.

She sold some stock (2 transactions) in 2005 that her husband had bought back in 1999. They kept NO records, no statements, no nothing. I was presented with a 1099-B and no way to know the date purchased or the cost of those shares when bought. Over the phone her broker gave her a $2000 figure for basis(one number for 2 transactions, and a year 1999 for the date purchased. $2000 even sounds like a guess to me, or even just a number thrown at this poor lady just to get rid of her.

Trying to help her out I did some research on line and found that the numbers that the broker gave her just don't make sense. I think I know what happened, and can make an educated guess as to the correct basis, or at least close to it. She just left here almost in tears because this whole situation is overwhelming to her and she's afraid of getting trouble with the government. I did tell her that the worst that can happen is she will owe some tax, but she won't get in any trouble. She's a nice old lady and I'd like to help her....hows the best way for me to do that?

Am I investing too much in this?

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