Lost Shares – How Australians Are Letting Millions Slip Away

Most Australians would be familiar with the feeling of finding money. Whether it be loose change discovered down the back of a couch, or a $20 note you forgot was stashed in the pocket of your favourite jeans, there are few things more day-brightening than stumbling upon an unexpected windfall.

While it’s certainly common to misplace cash, what many fail to realise is that shares and investments can just as easily go astray. It happens so frequently, in fact, that many Aussie workers and retirees have their very own nest egg of lost shares just waiting to be recovered.

How Are Shares Lost in the First Place?

Lost Shares

There are a plethora of ways that people can lose track of their shares, but here are some of the more common examples:

Employee Share Schemes

Employee share schemes have been a favourite of Australian workers and business owners since at least the 1970s . It’s easy to see why this popularity came about; they’re a great way for corporations to align employee interests with their own, and for workers to enjoy a slice of their employers success.

While they indeed have their merits, these schemes often result in investments being lost, forgotten about, or otherwise thrown by the wayside. When companies fail, get suspended, are delisted, or merge with another organisation, employee shares can become buried amidst a labyrinth of obscure databases and difficult-to-access company registrars. This can leave their rightful owners disconnected from these finances entirely.

Change of Shareholder Details

Less-than-ideal business management isn’t the only way that shares become separated from their holders. Sometimes the owner simply forgets to update the company in question with new personal details, such as when they change their address, update their marital status, or move overseas.

Deceased Estate

When a relative passes away, they often leave behind a complicated web of seldom-discussed investments and inheritance clauses. Through a suitable claim it’s possible to uncover assets that you may have not otherwise known exist.

Forgotten Investments

Life moves fast, so it’s understandable that investments aren’t always front of mind. Shares acquired years ago may have blossomed without your knowledge, and rediscovering these old investments can be life-altering.

What Happens if I Don’t Reclaim My Old Shares?

While most of the time these shares continue to remain dormant, some notable businesses have become increasingly proactive when it comes to lost funds.

In late 2019, AMP – responsible for the third largest shareholder base in Australia – sought to reunite 43,000 people with their lost shares in the company. With the dividends from these stocks alone valued at around A$13 million, Australians jumped at the chance to check their eligibility for these riches via a dedicated AMP share finding website.

Unfortunately, this altruistic approach is far from the norm. Most companies have little interest in helping investors discover lost finances, with some even deciding to spend it for them.

The NIB Foundation, for instance, donated $1million in unclaimed shareholder dividends to Aboriginal health projects. While certainly a worthy cause, it’s important to note that such funds were deemed ‘unclaimed’ after only a five year period. This begs the question as to whether they had a moral right to spend their investor’s dividends in such a way after this relatively short span of time.

In any case, it’s clear that businesses cannot be relied upon to return your lost shares and dividends, and if you want to have any confidence of seeing these funds again, it’s important to contact Investafind as soon as possible.

How Can Investafind Help?

A queensland-based business, we work with everyday Aussies, businesses, and trusts to uncover lost assets and reunite them with their rightful owner.

Losing funds is hard enough, so we make the claim process as easy as possible. Our professional team reviews your case with unrivalled industry knowledge and technical expertise, so you can rest assured you’re getting all that you’re entitled to.

Starting your claim is as simple as giving the friendly team a call, and once underway, you’ll be kept updated about the status of your claim and any matches to unclaimed funds.

Reach out today to join the many Australians who are enjoying a better life thanks to their rediscovered finances.