I have some shares that I bought in the last century for which I have actual paper certificates. As the years passed, the companies split the shares a few times. Most recently, they’ve stopped sending new paper and instead sent a letter of confirmation of my holdings. The letter tells me that if I create an account at Computershare, I can use it to manage my shares and keep an eye on the activity of my holdings: so I finally did.
Why Would I Want to Be a User at Computershare?
Among other things which I hope to check into further, such as “optional cash purchases with pre-authorized debit,” investors with Computershare User IDs can
- view how many shares they own of a company or companies
- view the approximate value of those shares (based on a delayed price)
- access their statements online
- view documents issued by the companies in which they have invested online
What Do You Need to Join Computershare?
You must already own at least one share in a stock for which Computershare is the transfer agent.
From a dividend payment or other communication from the company about your share/s, you will need your Computershare Holder Account Number and the Company ID.
You will need your postal code. (The code to which they mail any correspondence about your shares.)
You need an email account you can access immediately to confirm the registration.
You will have to pick a colour and three words that you would like to combine to create a special symbol that is your Personal Site Seal.
What Is a Computershare Personal Site Seal?
In order to be sure you are logging in to Computershare and not a fake fraudulent site, Computershare uses a Personal Site Seal in addition to a User ID and password. The Seal is an image created from 3 words and a colour that you choose. When you are signing in, this Seal should be displayed. If it isn’t, don’t keep signing in!
How to Set Up an Account at Computershare
- Go to the Computershare website.
- Click on the Investor Centre box.
- If you’ve never set up an account at Computershare before you will need to create a User ID and a password.
- Under the heading New User, click on the Create Login button.
The Confirm Your Stock Page
- Click to select the appropriate radio button beside
- I am a Canadian Resident
- I am not a Canadian Resident
- From your Computershare correspondence, type your Holder Account Number.
- Type your postal code.
- To Select a company you own shares in, type the first few letters of the company’s name, then click to select it from the list.
For example, I typed Tel and got a list of hundreds of companies.
Then I typed Telu and could pick my company easily.
- Click on the link to read the Terms and Conditions.
- If they are acceptable, click to check the box beside
I agree to be bound by the Terms and Conditions.
NOTE you have to scroll down about 3/4 of the way through the terms to find the heading “Canadian Terms and Conditions.”
- If desired, click to check the box beside I would like to receive information about future online services.
- Type the security code in the text field.
- Click on the Next button.
They do have a Live Chat type of button for help, although I didn’t try it.
The User Registration Page
In the appropriate box, you will need to type in your
- First name
- Last name
- Email address
- User ID
- Password, twice
Create Your Personal Site Seal
- From the drop-down list, select a colour for your Personal Site Seal.
- Next, type three different words in the text boxes.
Computershare will combine this colour and these words to create a Personal Site Seal for you. It should be displayed anytime you try to sign in. If it is not displayed, do not type in your User ID and password! You may be on a false fraudulent site!
- From each of the three drop-down lists, select a personal question.
- In the corresponding field, type an answer to the question.
NOTE: There’s no law that says you have to be honest.
If it says “what’s your favourite colour?”
you can write BANANA as long as you will remember that.
Don’t be so cute with your answers that you lock yourself out of your own account though!
This is My Computer
Click to remove the check mark beside the This is my Computer heading.
Why would you want any computer to store your User ID or other information about your finances? It’s worth typing it in yourself to reduce the risk if your computer is stolen. (Even desktop computers can be stolen!)
Mobile / Cell Phone Number
If desired, you can add a cellular telephone number. The phone must be SMS-enabled, however.
If you don’t have a cell phone or don’t want to do this, no worries, it’s optional not mandatory.
Click on the Next button.
Confirm Your Email Page
- Computershare has now sent an email message to the address you provided.
Sign in to your email program and check your Inbox.
- Open the message and click on the link to confirm you want to open the new Computershare account.
- A Computershare acknowledgement window will open.
Spooky! They have found the other shares I own and are displaying each of the balances on a page entitled Portfolio!
- Click on the Continue button.
- Find the browser window called User Set-up and click on the I have Confirmed My Email button.
Now you can safely close that browser window and start using the one called Computershare – Shareholder.
- After you finish poking around inside your Computershare account, click on the Log out button, which may be in a bar on the upper right side of the screen.
- For added security, clear your browser’s cache and close your browser session.
UPDATE: For Increased Security Computershare Keeps In Touch!
A few days after I created my online User ID and password, I received a letter from Computershare advising me that my account had been created. As well as welcoming me the letter states “If you haven’t contacted us recently via our website or automated telephone system, or feel you have received this letter in error, please notify us immediately….”
In other words, if someone else created a User ID and account pretending to be you, this letter may help you fix the problem before anything goes terribly wrong. While no security measure is perfect, I think this is a good precaution and I was pleased to get the letter.
Do you have any shares of stock registered directly with a Transfer Agent like Computershare? Are you using a Dividend Re-Investment Plan for these non-registered stocks? Please share your stories with a comment.