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The life-changing magic of tidying up…your financial paperwork
Author: Holly Thomas

One of the key lessons from the book The life changing magic of tidying up, is to tackle categories not rooms.

The author, Marie Kondo, says that the most efficient way to declutter your home is to bring every single item of the same type into one room in order to truly see how much stuff you have. Her motto is – if it doesn’t spark joy, bin it.

This might not work in practice across the board when it comes to your finances as it’s important to keep records.
But there are lots of ways to work towards decluttering your money matters, whether it’s for a spring clean or if like many people during the summer months you’re moving house and need a big clear out.

A good way to start transforming and tidying your finances is to round up any paper share certificates.
Many investors have been given them by their employer to hold shares in the company they work for.
There are also those that have inherited them from older relatives or just prefer to have paper ownership.
Holding a paper certificate means your shareholder rights are more defined. You will receive company report and accounts, be invited to take part in their annual meetings and vote on company matters.

However, there are lots of extra perks to going paperless when it comes to share ownership.

For a start, if the certificate is lost, apart from the inconvenience, it can be pricey to get a replacement. Shares worth more than £50,000 require additional insurance cover.
As well as bits of paper being easy to lose, certificates can easily be damaged or worse, stolen.
They are also administration-heavy when it comes to trading, which means it can be a long process and therefore put shareholders at a disadvantage given current market uncertainty.

So what are the options? What would Marie Kondo do?

It might bring you joy to declutter and realise a windfall at the same time, so consider cashing in those shares.
It’s easily done with the help of a registrar or stockbroker.

There is another option for those who want to keep hold of the shares but want to go paperless. You can hold shares in an online account using a digital investing platform.
Holding shares digitally on a platform makes it far more cost-effective to buy, sell and hold. Even with the additional fees required to use a platform, this may work for you should you wish to start dealing more regularly to build a portfolio.
You have instant access to real time holdings - so how many shares you hold, and what they’re worth - by logging into your account.
Holding shares online also means you can also hold them in a tax-efficient ISA. Owning shares via paper certificates does not allow you to do this which means that any gains are subject to tax charges.

It’s expected that fewer people will hold certificates as time moves on. A deadline to remove share certificates for new companies as early as 2023 will add pressure on shareholders to hold shares online.

So if you are guilty of having share certificates gathering dust in drawers and attics, follow Marie Kondo and start tidying up - and cashing in.

Share Certificate Information 


Shareview does not provide investment advice. This article is the authors view and is not the view or opinion of Shareview and Shareview accepts no liability for any loss caused as a result of the use of this information. The opinions expressed are those of the author at the time of writing and should not be interpreted as investment advice

Equiniti Financial Services Limited (EFSL) does not provide advice on the suitability of investments. EFSL only offers execution only products. If you are unsure about the suitability of investments, seek independent advice. We do offer investment choices, education and tools for clients who are able to make their own investment decisions. All investments can fall in value as well as rise and you may get back less than you initially invested.