Start by looking at a few things on the certificate.
Look for the company name and location of incorporation, a CUSIP number, and the name of the person with whom the security is registered.
In the past, investors received physical certificates, referred to as in bearer form, when they bought stock.
The problem of old stock certificates doesn't arise very often anymore because most stocks are kept in electronic form in your broker's computer system, which is known as in street name.
With the CUSIP number, the brokerage can uncover all splits, reorganizations, and name changes that have occurred throughout the company's history.
It can also tell you whether the company is still trading or out of business.
Have you ever found or inherited a stock certificate for a company? We'll go over how you can find out whether you were left a fortune waiting to be claimed, or just a piece of paper ready for the recycling bin.
Happening upon old stock certificates is actually pretty common.
Yet, assuming that the key function of the stock market is cash, economists known as agency theorists see this separation of control from ownership as the “original sin” of American capitalism, and argue that the evils of managerial control can be overcome by compelling corporate managers as “agents” to maximize the value of corporate shareholders as “principals.” What is missing from the agency-theory argument is a theory of the value-creating firm, or what I call a “theory of innovative enterprise.” The value-creation process requires three social conditions of innovative enterprise: strategic control, organizational integration, and financial commitment.
The functions of the stock market may support the types of strategic control, organizational integration, and financial commitment that can result in the generation of high-quality products at low unit costs—the economic definition of innovative enterprise.