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Here is something that has come up for me that others may have seen. I have owned shares in a company for a long time -- since the 1970s for some of the shares. There have been a variety of splits, so what was a few shares is more than a few now. I was a kid when these were purchased. The paper stock certificates sat in my parents' safe deposit box for several decades, and eventually my dad brought them to me. I dutifully took them down to Fidelity, where I have an account, and asked that they be transferred to street name.

Well.... turns out that they were not. There is a note on the certificates that says that the company has to be notified any time there is a transfer, so rather than putting the shares in street name, Fidelity put the actual paper certificates in a vault in New Jersey. (I'd like to see that vault.)

I learned all of this a few weeks ago when I tried to transfer some of the shares to a charitable foundation. The capital gains on these shares are enormous, so rather than make cash donations when I want to donate to charity, I donate shares and then replace the money in my Fidelity account with cash. Took me a while to understand the benefits of doing it, but now that I understand them, boy, it's worth it (for me in my particular situation).

Anyway, the conversations I've had with the back office Fidelity staff who are trying to get this to actually happen are sort of amazing. Fidelity is a really big company that values doing things for their customers instantaneously. This is... not instantaneous. At least they call me once a week with updates.

Anyone else seen stuff like this?

ThyPeace, the first person who processed this wasn't even notified that it hadn't been completed until I called back to ask what happened. She was horrified. Yay.
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