Wednesday, October 18, 2017

When Stocks Keep Giving After You Have Sold Them

Over a year ago, I wrote this piece about how to go paperless. As a small aside in the post, I said:

(I have been involved in some class action lawsuits regarding stock purchases made years ago, so I felt I should keep all my old brokerage statements.) 
Class action lawsuits against companies are somewhat controversial. On the one hand, they do serve a valid purpose of holding companies accountable when they wrong a large number of people for damages that would be too small for any one individual to sue for. On the other hand, there are a lot of questionable lawyers that abuse the process and use class action suits as a way to generate income for their law firms.

No matter your position on them, they are here to stay and when one comes my way, I will take advantage of it.

Today, I reaped the benefits of my paperless lifestyle. I received notification of a class action lawsuit against THQ (who was actually an old employer of mine). To receive a claim from the lawsuit, you need to submit proof that you bought or sold THQ stock within a certain time period. That proof needed to be in the form of brokerage statements.

If I did not have electronic records, I wouldn't even bother tracking this information down. The time frame in question was between May, 2011 and February, 2012. I've got a lot of brokerage accounts. It probably would take me a couple of hours to go through paper copies looking for transactions involving THQ stock.

eStatements to the rescue!

Because I have gone paperless, all my statements are stored in .PDF files. Furthermore, Windows can read .PDF files and can index the contents. So I just navigated to my brokerage statements folder on my computer, typed "THQ" in the Search bar, and bam! I got a list of all my statements that contained THQ. Because I use a naming convention based on the date, I was able to easily find the three brokerage statements I needed for the class action suit.

I Was Just Paid $600 An Hour!

I printed them out, filled out the claim form, and mailed it in. Total time spent: about 30 minutes. Based on the claim form instructions, I should receive about $301 from the lawsuit. Not bad! And it's even better when you realize that I just made more money from stocks I sold over 5 years ago!

If you want to go all out with the class action lawsuits, you can visit for a list of hundreds of class actions lawsuits you might be a party to.

1 comment:

  1. I used to have all the statements and individual transactions going back to 1993. However, I recycled them all when I moved back to AZ two years ago. I've gone all electronic now.