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Remember When Stocks Looked Like This?

by J. Money on Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Old school, baby! :) Was going through my desk drawers and forgot I had picked up a handful of these stock certificates over the years… Quite a difference compared to our internet age, eh?

Now you can by a stock (or 1,000 of them) by just moving your finger a few times and hitting some buttons online. No more calling up your broker and yelling “SELL SELL SELL!!!” in a panic, haha… Not that I’m old enough to recall the way it was anyways ;)

Here’s some of my favorite certificates from my collection:

new york central railroad company stock certificate
pan am world airways stock certificate
illinois traction company stock certificate
pennsylvania railroad company stock certificate

Recognize any of them? So neat, right? My favorites are Pan American World Airways, INC. and The Pennsylvania Railroad Company. Followed by The New York Central Railroad Company, and then The Illinois Traction one… Which is def. nice looking, I just have no idea who those guys are ;) I’d REALLY love to find some older, more famous, companies like Coca-Cola or Apple computers! How cool would that be?!

If you like this kinda stuff, these old stock certificates don’t cost that much to pick up – maybe $3 to $10 all depending on where you find them and what company is listed on ‘em. I once got a couple for $1.00 a piece – much cheaper at yard sales than, say, an antique shop.

Anyways, thought these were fun and wanted to share ‘em with you today… Anyone else collect old stock certs? Or better yet – have purchased them *originally* from back in the day?? With your name on them and all? I’d frame those bad boys and plop them right up in my Blogger Den ASAP, haha… Would make me more distinguished looking fo sho ;)


{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Shafi April 17, 2013 at 6:52 am

The first time I bought stock online was in 1999. I wasn’t seeing the $ sign. They all look no better than numbers on the screen. I was playing with numbers. And that’s a big problem online. Only numbers going from one place to another. Your stock certificates were something to look at and feel them.

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2 Lance @ Money Life and More April 17, 2013 at 7:13 am

You can still buy stock certificates, there are just a lot of fees with them. We considered buying a certificate of Harley Davidson for my fiancee’s dad for a present but I didn’t want to pay the fees AND the stock price. Would you still buy apple knowing you had to pay a few hundred for it?

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3 J. Money April 17, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Oh cool, I didn’t know you could still buy them! I’d totally want one as a present one day (hint hint, wife – if you’re reading this!)

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4 Greg@ClubThrifty April 17, 2013 at 7:18 am

Those are pretty swanky, J$. Love them. My buddy has a bunch of old railroad stocks that look pretty cool. Unfortunately, I just have a bunch of old T-Shirts with holes in them.

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5 J. Money April 17, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Haha… maybe your buddy can hook you up on your next birthday then ;)

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6 Mike April 17, 2013 at 7:19 am

Reminds me of the conversation I had with my brother in law this weekend. We were talking how cool albums were compared to iTunes or Spotify. You actually had something to hold on to. Lots of pictures on the record jackets and liner notes loaded with information. There is definitely a really cool aspect to these stock certificates as there is with records and books. Not that I’m about to give up the convenience of online money management or Spotify, lol.

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7 J. Money April 17, 2013 at 9:22 pm

Agreed! I actually have a few albums hanging on my walls :) They have great frames for them like for only $10 – they make great art. (And I sometimes take them down and throw ‘em on the ol’ record player too! Love the crackly noise!!)

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8 Money Beagle April 17, 2013 at 8:06 am

When I first started working in 1996, the company I worked for had a stock purchase plan and they issued paper certificates. I held on to them for about 10 years until the company was bought out and we had to surrender the certificates or delay receiving the proceeds. That was the first and last time I’ve personally had them :)

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9 J. Money April 17, 2013 at 9:23 pm

Haha I bet. It’s too bad they couldn’t just stamp them or whatever and then hand then back to y’all afterwards. I should have actually scanned in the BACKS of some of these guys – they’re stamped all over with signatures and tons of messiness – pretty neat.

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10 Brian April 17, 2013 at 8:16 am

My grandparent’s used to give us shares of stock in paper form for Christmas. I still have some of them in my safe deposit box. They are worth too much to be hanging on a wall…

I kind of think it is a bit of a hassle to have them, but they are also tracked in my online account so that is helpful too.

You can get pretty much any company you want at http://uniquestockgift.com/ but it is pretty pricey.

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11 J. Money April 17, 2013 at 9:26 pm

Oh nice, thx for the link man. I used to have a bunch of paper savings bonds from my grandparents too, but eventually just converted them and dropped ‘em into our Roth IRAs to give them a bit more juice… I kept getting worried I’d lose them or they wouldn’t be worth anything later or something, haha… which is funny because back when the internet came out everyone was too afraid to touch that!

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12 Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank April 17, 2013 at 8:32 am

I actually had no idea that was what it all looked like prior to the technology age. Really interesting, although I’m glad it is all on the computer now.

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13 J. Money April 17, 2013 at 9:27 pm

Most people don’t! Esp. the youngins ;)

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14 John S @ Frugal Rules April 17, 2013 at 8:43 am

Like Lance said, you can still buy them but are often bloated with fees. That said, I do think many of them are cool looking and a lot of older individuals still have quite a few of them. I had one from my grandfather for AT & T. I am still kicking myself for getting rid of it, though what did I know as a stupid teenager?! ;)

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15 J. Money April 17, 2013 at 9:28 pm

oh man – that was a good one!! maybe we can find you another at a yard sale or something – I’ll keep my eyes open for you :)

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16 Julie April 17, 2013 at 9:10 am

As others said, you can buy stock certs yet. The active companies (like CocaCola) typically are the cost of the shares of stock + $15-50 fee to produce the certificate (depending on the transfer agent used).

My favorite stock certificate is the Disney Company. I still want to get one of those for myself to start a collection (much like your coin collection).

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17 J. Money April 17, 2013 at 9:29 pm

I’m gonna have to google that one and see what it looks like :) I bet it’s all purple with sparkly stars everywhere, haha…

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18 My Financial Independence Journey April 17, 2013 at 9:16 am

I could see a little panel of those as wall hangings for an office. Really neat looking.

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19 J. Money April 17, 2013 at 9:31 pm

That’s my eventual goal for them actually – a nice assortment of them hanging in my Blogger Den :)

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20 Mom April 17, 2013 at 10:56 am

My grandfather worked for US Steel and got stock certificates as either payment or he just bought them (no one remembers). When my grandmother passed away, she had a small safe deposit box of them that my mother had to find a broker willing to take them to sell!

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21 J. Money April 17, 2013 at 9:30 pm

Neat!!! I hope she was able to and you guys are sitting on a gold mine now! :)

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22 Shane @ Beating Broke April 17, 2013 at 10:57 am

I had an account at an online shop that I closed. When I closed it, I requested certificates rather than have them moved to another broker. So, I have several paper certificates that I’ve got in my safe. It’s kinda cool!

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23 J. Money April 17, 2013 at 9:32 pm

Nice! You should scan one of them in and then blog about it too so we can all see :)

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24 Janine April 17, 2013 at 11:26 am

I’m in love with these, I want to get some and frame them to put on the walls! Where did you say you picked them up from??? (Bond certificates are kinda neat as well)

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25 J. Money April 17, 2013 at 9:33 pm

At yard sales and antique shops! Sometimes you can get lucky and find them super cheap for just a few bucks each, and other times – especially if they’re a more famous company or you’re at an antique shop – they go for $10-$20 a pop.

But you’re right – they’re def. worthy of wall hangings!

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26 Jacob @ iHeartBudgets April 17, 2013 at 1:16 pm

I’ve never gotten my hands on one of these, but that would be sweet! The railroad one looks epic. Owning a piece of history is a very cool thing. I can see how you’ve developed an addict…..ummmm….a LOVE for antiques ;)

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27 J. Money April 17, 2013 at 9:34 pm

Haha… it’s okay, I’m not afraid to admit it – I am an addict :)

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28 Jake Erickson April 17, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Those are awesome. I can honestly say that I don’t remember when these were actually in use nor have I ever seen one in person. I would love to get a few of these to hang up in the “man cave”. That being said, I’m really glad that we don’t still use these certificates. It’s so nice how easy it is to buy and sell stocks nowadays.

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29 J. Money April 17, 2013 at 9:35 pm

Yeah, totally. You can do it pretty much 24/7 now without any hassle – it’s great… And for those who miss the certificates we can just go buy some oldies :)

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30 Karen @MSEnthusiast April 17, 2013 at 8:17 pm

Those are pretty cool. I can’t say I have any of those. Are you going to frame them? I would.

I have a weird thing for checks. I saved my grandmother’s old ones. I have my grandfather’s charge card too. It was made of paper. I’ll have to find it. : )

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31 J. Money April 17, 2013 at 9:36 pm

COOL!!!! YES! Find it and then scan them in and blog about them so I can see :) I love old stuff like that – they just tell such an interesting story. I’m glad you kept them.

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32 Fleamarket monger April 17, 2013 at 10:11 pm

Search on ebay stock certificate lot and they run about 50 cents apiece on larger lots!

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33 J. Money April 19, 2013 at 1:36 pm

What? Really?? Well that’s awesome!

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34 stephanie April 17, 2013 at 10:50 pm

Awesome posts today! I bought my daughter savings bonds when she was first born, for her first birthdays, etc. She’s now 32, and still has them; won’t let them go for anything! I was surprised when she told me some of her friends had never seen such a thing…so the next time I hit a garage sale I’m definitely going to be looking for these. Also, thanks to all who shared ideas & links. Very cool. Also love the old album covers as wall art but most of all-is there anything as sweet as that crackly sound when you put the needle on the vinyl????

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35 J. Money April 19, 2013 at 1:37 pm

Wowwwwww I bet your daughter growing up was FAST too, huh? I swear I feel like our baby was just born the other day and it’s already 9 months.

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36 debtgirl April 17, 2013 at 11:15 pm

Very cool images!

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37 Evan April 29, 2013 at 10:16 pm

We just rediscovered 50 shares of Disney that The Wife owns…pain in the ass to get them into our account lol.

Ignoring that I would love to do an office one day with framed shares on the walls.

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38 J. Money May 1, 2013 at 10:54 am

A great problem to have!! :) Maybe they’ll let you keep them after you convert ‘em? Just put a bunch of holes all over and stamps showing they’re redeemed or something – that’s what mine look like. Or turn around and sell them for $5 a piece and re-invest THAT money back into more stock! haha…. YES!

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