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I am planning to give shares to some close individuals. Some of these individuals are still minors (between the ages of 6 to 13). I strongly prefer gifting these shares in the form of physical stock certificates. How can I do it? Where can I obtain physical paper stock certificates for the shares I'm about give away? How will dividends be received?

I'm planning to gift shares in 5 companies:

  • Kikkoman Corporation (Japan)
  • The Walt Disney Company (USA)
  • Berkshire Hathaway (USA)
  • Nestlé S.A. (Switzerland)
  • Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (Greece, UK)

Note: most of the intended recipients live outside the USA, Canada, and Europe.

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I have previously written an answer to a similar question, but I am writing an answer here tailored to your situation.

There are several aspects to your question.

First, you should be aware that some corporations are no longer issuing new paper certificates. This includes Disney. Eventually, paper stock certificates will be a thing of the past.

Second, when you purchase stock in the normal way, through your stock broker, the shares are held in "street name," which means that the shares are titled to the stock broker, and the stock broker keeps track of the fact that you own some of the shares. You can ask the broker to put the shares in your name, and you can also request that a paper certificate be created and sent to you, but some brokers no longer do this, and those that do charge high fees for these services, as the brokers want to discourage this.

Third, there are additional considerations when you give shares to a minor. This is location-dependent. In the U.S., this is normally done using the UTMA (Uniform Transfer to Minors Act); an adult custodian is named (often a parent), who is in control of the shares until the minor reaches a certain age of majority, which varies by state. Other countries will have other rules.

If you want the easiest way to give 1 share of stock with a certificate for decoration, there are companies that specialize in this service. They take care of acquiring the stock, registering it to the recipient's name, obtaining the certificate, and even other services like framing and engraving. Two of the companies at the top of a Google search result are Give A Share and Unique Stock Gift. These each have a list of stocks that they sell. For stocks that are no longer issuing new certificates (such as Disney), these services create a replica stock certificate that they send along with a real electronic share of stock.

The two services I named sell both Disney and Berkshire Hathaway. As I mentioned, with a Disney share (DIS) you will get a replica stock certificate. Berkshire Hathaway does still issue paper certificates; these services sell Class B shares (BRK.B), which are a fraction of the cost of Class A shares (BRK.A).

The other three stocks you listed are not available from either of these services. They don't have much for international stocks. There may be similar services in other countries that have more international selection.

As for dividends, when the share of stock is registered to your recipient's name, the corporation will mail a paper check to your recipient every time a dividend is issued.

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It has been a verrry long time since I have owned stock certificates so I no longer know if they are issued. If they do then I'd suggest that you contact some brokers and inquire about this. Make sure to ask what fees they charge for obtaining a stock certificate as well as if you can do it in someone else's name.

Another possibility might be to open a dividend reinvestment plan in the name of each of these individuals. There are a number of web site services that deal with this process (google for details). Again, it has been a very long time since I did this. Back then there were two methods:

  • Purchase a single share, receive the certificate and then open the DRIP with the company

  • Purchase shares with some minimum amount and all shares are held by the DRIP

Subsequent purchases can be made. Back in the day there were a number that offered as much as a 5% discount on automatically reinvested dividends as well as some that offered a discount on new cash purchases.

Not all companies offer direct investing DRIPs but for those that do, some offer no-fee DRIPs.

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A direct stock purchase plan from a company that offers stock-transfer-agent services is sufficient for direct ownership of stocks. Also, a brokerage account minimum deposit is avoided. Here are two links:

https://www.shareowneronline.com/

https://www-us.computershare.com/Investor/#DirectStock

Now a brokerage account will offer a larger selection of investments.

But financial accounts of any kind require residency. That's what ADR's are for. Some financial company in an investor's home country will offer either ADR's or international trading as through the financial company's international offices.

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  • The U.S. direct stock purchase plans don't require U.S. residency but defer to the home country rules. – S Spring May 3 '20 at 19:29

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