Old stock certificates can reach major league prices

Sitting in the back of many dusty filing cabinets and dressers can be a little treasure for unsuspecting people. While your portfolio may have shrunk during the last bear market, your old stock certificates may be worth more than the original stock they once represented.

The old share certificates have become very valuable. Electronic record keeping has made the issuance of share certificates by most companies quite rare. And as investors exchange their paper certificates for electronic stocks, they are more often than not destroyed by the transfer agent, further reducing their numbers.

Older share certificates can be works of art, often done with colorful artwork, making them unusual and interesting pieces of art in any business or home. Like many antiques, many ancient stock certificates also tell a unique story that cannot be captured in electronic stocks issued today. As such, they have become sought after by enthusiasts, Wall Street collectors, and people looking for unique gifts.

Most Popular Sports Team Certificates

Some of the most sought after and hard to find stock certificates on the market today are those from professional sports teams. Very few American professional sports teams have ever “gone public” or issued stock certificates. Most sports organizations in the United States are operated as franchises with strict ownership rules.

Major professional sports leagues, including the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, and National Football League, each have strict rules and regulations that determine whether a team can be made public. Needless to say, this is a small club and they keep access vigilantly.

The Green Bay Packers are the only public NFL team to issue stock. The Packers property group has been vested in the current policy which restricts public property except. The Green Bay Packers issued shares in 1923, 1935, 1950 and 1997. There are approximately 112,000 shareholders, who do not have voting rights and cannot redeem shares for cash. Basically, each of these shareholders bought a historical piece of memorabilia. Even though these stocks had no intrinsic value, they became very valuable as a collector’s item. A 1997 issue can sell for up to $ 1,000 in today’s market. Older issues are very difficult to find and rarely offered for sale.

Other major league sports teams that have issued stock over the years are:

Florida Panthers (NHL): Listed on the stock exchange (NASDAQ) in 1996 and then sold to private investors in 2001. (A certificate sells for between $ 300 and $ 500)

Boston Celtics (NBA): Became the first major sports franchise to go public (NYSE) in 1986 to go private in 2003. (A certificate sells for between $ 150 and $ 175)

Cleveland Indians (MLB): Became the first Major League Baseball team to go public in 1998. They were quickly purchased and went private in 2000. (A certificate sells for between $ 200 and $ 250)

Many sport-related share certificates are also valuable

Although pure play sports share certificates are rare, other issues that may be of interest to collectors in this category include the World Wrestling Federation, Madison Square Garden, Broadway Joe’s (former restaurant owned by Joe Namath) and the ephemeral XFL. Also be sure to look for minor league franchises and foreign sports stock certificates. Other countries, such as Canada, have many sports companies owned by major leagues.

Sure, many major league franchises are owned by big companies, but they’re just a small blot on their balance sheet. Which stock certificate would you rather have the Dodgers or Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp? So check your filing cabinets and storage units. Those old share certificates might be worth more than you think.

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