Odd lots of stocks
The odds and ends drawer — we all have one. Things you don’t know what to do with land here: keys that open who-knows-what; batteries that may or may not be charged; photos you’ll put in an album someday; things that are too valuable to just throw away.
Perhaps your stock portfolio has its own odds and ends drawer filled with “odd lots” of stock. Investment firms define odd lots as shares of stock numbering less than the standard unit of trading — less than 100 shares per security. No one benefits from odd lots. The companies don’t like them because, regardless of the number you own, you still are a shareholder. The company must send you proxies, annual reports and other information. Your broker doesn’t benefit because these shares add little value to your portfolio. You don’t benefit because the dividend payout is nominal. And if you sell the stock, which likely has appreciated in value, you will pay capital gains tax. This potential tax liability, coupled with the cost to either buy more stock or sell what you have, is enough of a deterrent to simply do nothing. So, like those odd keys, batteries and photos you hold onto, your odd lots of stock are cluttering up your stock portfolio.
Stocks for ScholarsOne option for those odd lots of stock is to give them to the UW-Eau Claire Foundation’s Stocks for Scholars Program. The Foundation will sell the stock and use the cash proceeds for scholarships to deserving students. Because the Foundation is a nonprofit entity, you will receive a charitable gift receipt for the stock when you transfer ownership to the Foundation. As a result, you avoid the capital gains tax and get a charitable deduction, potentially reducing your income tax bill. (Consult your tax adviser to determine your specific tax benefit.) Getting rid of those odd lots of stock helps everyone. You streamline your stock portfolio, avoid potential capital gains taxes and — best of all — help deserving students get a college education.
Find out how to make a gift of securities to the UW-Eau Claire Foundation.