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Old Stock and Bond Certificates

An old stock or bond certificate may still be valuable even if it no longer trades under the name printed on the certificate. The company may have merged with another company or simply changed its name. Keep in mind that due to corporate reorganizations (such as splits, mergers, or reverse mergers), the current share price may not be useful in determining the certificate's value, if any.  If the name of the transfer agent is printed on the certificate, contacting the transfer agent is the easiest way to learn about the certificate.  If the transfer agent whose name appears on the certificate is no longer in existence, contacting the state agency that handles incorporations in the state in which the company was incorporated may prove useful.  Certificate holders who have a brokerage account may want to ask their broker if they can assist in researching the certificate.

 

Open-end Company

The legal name for a mutual fund. An open-end company is a type of investment company.

Operating Expenses

The costs a fund incurs in running the fund, including management fees, distribution fees, and other expenses.

Options

Options are contracts giving the purchaser the right – but not the obligation -- to buy or sell a security at a fixed price within a specific period of time. Stock options are traded on a number of exchanges.

OTC Bulletin Board (OTCBB)

The OTC Bulletin Board (OTCBB) (link is external) is an electronic quotation system that displays real-time quotes, last-sale prices, and volume information for many over-the-counter securities that are not listed on a national securities exchange. Brokers who subscribe to the system can use the OTCBB to look up prices or enter quotes for OTC securities.