I realized today in a moment of lucidity that I have outstanding shares from an employee share ownership plan from my previous company, Loblaws Canada.

The shares are on a site called "Computershare", however I am overwhelmed by the website. Since I entirely forgot about these shares where they are I would like to transfer them to... Somewhere, this is my first foray into stocks at all.

Where can I transfer them, and how? Is there any reason not to? Should I just liquidate them? If so... How?

I am told I have 29.9 "ESOP NON-REGISTERED" shares and 0.99 "GWL" shares.

I am very worried about this warning in particular, found on the "transactions" page right under a button labeled "Sell", I assume this is how I liquidate... But what does that entail?

You are permitted a combined total of two (2) withdrawals or sales of Shares in each calendar year. Your contributions to the Plan will be suspended for six months if you make more than 2 withdrawals or sales of Shares in the same calendar year.

  • 1
    Since you are no longer participating in the employee stock purchase plan, the warning that your contributions would be suspended has no teeth. However, it is unlikely to matter to you anyway, as you would probably withdraw all the shares in a single withdrawal.
    – prl
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 8:30
  • If you create an account with a discount broker and transfer the shares to your brokerage account (which should be free of charge), you may significantly reduce your transaction cost (possibly to 0, depending on the broker). This is especially true if you decide to sell in multiple separate transactions instead of all at once. However, you probably cannot transfer partial shares, so you would still need to sell the fractional shares directly through Computershare.
    – prl
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 8:35

1 Answer 1


Loblaws is a subsidiary of George Weston Ltd (hence the GWL).

You own 29.9 shares of Loblaws, which is currently CA$70.24/share, and 0.99 shares of George Weston Ltd US$80.10/share.

Added together, that's about CA$2200.

Hopefully somewhere on that Computershare page will be the "cost basis" of the shares, which is kind of like the "average" of what you paid for all the shares, and what's used to calculate "capital gains" (the increase in value of the shares).

If you need that money (for example, if you've got outstanding CC debt), it might behoove you to sell the stock. However, you'll have to pay transaction fees, and just as importantly sock away about 25% for capital gains taxes.

It would also behoove you to try and remember when you bought the shares, and find the share prices at the time. Watch out for stock splits that happened between when you bought the shares and now. (That would be a different question, though.)

You could also just hold on to the stock!!

  • I have all the paperwork that computershare sent me over time with when I bought the stocks, how much I contributed and how much Loblaws contributed, and it is spelled out on the site anyways. No issues there. I don't need the money, I just don't like having money tied to an account associated with an ex employer.
    – KeigaTide
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 12:38
  • Presumably the "sock away about 25% for capital gains taxes." only applies to the rise in value of the shares since acquired, not 25% of the actual sale price. (My guess is that the the value of the shares when they were acquired would have counted towards the OP's income and taxed appropriately at that time?)
    – TripeHound
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 13:37
  • @TripeHound better to put away more than needed, and discover you have extra, than miscompute and turnout to be short.
    – RonJohn
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 14:25

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