I get this question all the time ‘how do I register my shares’ or ‘how do I get paid my dividends’ but the question you should be asking is: what share registry does my stock use?
Welcome to Stock Aftercare.
So you’ve purchased a stock
Genuinely – I want to say congrats for taking what is unarguably the most significant step in your investing journey. All your milestones like getting to $1,000 or $10,000 or $100,000 have to come after this one.
This one is the most important.
I don’t want to harp on about this but I do think it warrants a little hype. Well done!
This one took the biggest leap of faith because subsequent milestones will become easier because you will have more research, more experience, more savvy.
All in all, you will become a more sophisticated investor.
But still, well done on becoming an investor at all.
What to do after you’ve purchased your first shares
Assuming you have purchased your shares through a chess-sponsored broker rather than a micro investing platform (Raiz, Spaceship) or a custodian arrangement (Spaceship), the first thing that happens after you press buy is the following.
- After you buy, you receive a Trade Confirmation
The trade confirmation sets out important details like how much of a particular stock you purchased, how much it cost, how much your brokerage fee was and the date and time.
DO NOT throw away any of your Trade Confirmations.
You’ll thank me if you ever go to sell them.
2. A few days or weeks later, you will receive a BUNCH of fanmail from the ASX, the Share Issuer and the Share Registry
For example, if you buy CBA shares, you’ll get some letters from CBA welcoming you to the family and some letters from the ASX letting you know how many shares you hold (essentially a receipt!)
Registering your shares with your share registry
This step is often overlooked in all the hype but is SUPER important.
You need to register your holdings. In that fan mail, you’ll receive a pin (usually) and some login details for the registry that looks after the particular chess-sponsored shares you’ve purchased.
If you’re like ‘WTF are you talking about lady’
Let me explain.
This is a very simplified version of the process but the point is: the share registry is an unloved and ignored intermediary that does a lot of the post-sale heavy lifting of managing your investment!
How to register your shares with a share registry?
The first question is not how, but who.
Every share listed on the ASX has a share registry. Unfortunately, (competition law is alive and well) there are three registries that run the show in Australia.
As a shareholder, you have a relationship with your broker and your share registry.
They will send you login details
How do I find out which share registry my stock uses?
This is information that can be found in the Product Disclosure Statement. Here is an example of the VAS (Vanguard ASX300 Australia ETF) PDS.
The registrar is Computershare. Betashares uses Link Market services (generally) and the rest you can find on their PDS’ now you know where to look.
Why do I need to register my shares?
Firstly, if your shares pay dividends, your registrar needs to know where to put that money as a lot of brokerages (like Pearler) cannot accept dividend payouts.
Secondly, your contact details for trade confirmations and other notices need to be up to date. Companies have Corporations Act responsibilities to send you – as a shareholder – information.
Finally, your registry is also where you sign up for dividend reinvestment plans if they are available with your stock.