What do you do with it? I tend to put it aside and drop it in a charity box when I next see one.
But what about when you spring clean your investment portfolio? What are you to do with that?
After you have been investing for some time it seems almost obligatory that you end up with small shareholdings. For instance, in the last couple of weeks I added tiny holdings in XL Group and South32 thanks to corporate actions. However, there are many reasons why you may have these small holdings around.
Maybe you sold a holding before you received a dividend payment and it was reinvested in a share or two afterwards? Maybe a previous holdings was acquired with some of the payment in shares in the buying company?
Whatever, many people have these micro-holdings. However, being micro-holdings they are often uneconomical to sell. After all, including brokerage fees it may even be that you make a loss on it.
So what to do with it? You could just hold onto the shares. Simple. After all, you may well invest in the company again in the future making it a non-issue.
But what about doing something good with them? How about--like that small change--donating them to charity?
Enter ShareGift!Since I found out that it is likely I will end up with a couple of small holdings like those above I had a little root around to see whether there was anything in place to help do this.
Luckily, there was.
And here enters ShareGift. They were founded in 1996 and since then have received nearly 6,000 donations and given nearly £19.5 million to nearly 2,200 charities.
This is what they do in their own words:
People have small value holdings of shares and other investments for many different reasons, and such small amounts of shares are often difficult or even impossible to dispose of because of the costs involved. ShareGift provides a solution. Even if you have just one or two shares ShareGift can help you deal with the problem, and in a charitable way. We can also help shareholders with larger, tax-efficient donations of shares.
We exist to realise as much value as possible from unwanted shares by aggregating them, selling them and using the proceeds to make donations to a wide range of other UK registered charities, based on the suggestions of our donors and supporters.
When you donate shares, we arrange to transfer them into the name of our charity and they are placed within our portfolio of shares. Shares are aggregated within the portfolio until we have enough of any one holding to sell. In the meantime shareholdings may attract dividends or capital payments, and all of this helps create our pool of funds.What is more, it is very, very efficient as they have partnered with brokers. In so doing, they do not get charged at all for selling or holding the shares. So more goes to charity.
It also, costs you nothing whatsoever to donate to them. When you donate you are also given the opportunity to suggest a charity--whether your donation if worth £1 or £1 million. This is a nice touch and, as they point out: "Our aim has always been to support every charity which is suggested to us." The more votes a charity receives the larger the proportion of the grant they are distributing they receive.
Rather nicely some companies already include a link to ShareGift on their investor relations pages (for instance, a Dividend Drive favourite Interserve).
Exit XL and South32 from Chez DD?So, time to send my new micro additions in XL Group and South32 to ShareGift? Maybe. But not at the moment.
At the moment I am quite happy to hold onto my new little holdings. With a portfolio the size of mine even these little holdings represent a small but important element in its growth.
However, over time if my mind changes at least I know that there seems to be a safe, convenient and charitable method by which to pass them on. Chiefly this is a post to find out more about this process.
Of course, if you're sitting on South32 shares or anything else of the like and about to pull the trigger on an unprofitable sale just to keep your portfolio tidy or any other reason. Why not consider ShareGift?
Anybody know of other similar charity organisations in the UK or further afield? Or indeed, any other way in which you can directly link your investing activities with charitable giving?
Have you used ShareGift? How did you find the process? I would be fascinated to hear more.
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[Creative Commons image reproduced from Flickr user Bryan Jones]