Three steps to sell your stocks or bonds
1. Decide which stocks or bonds you want to sell. For bonds, you just need to tell your stockbroker the name and amount of the bonds you want to sell. You will get the current price. For stocks, your stockbroker will need to know:
- The name of the stock
- How much you want to sell
- The price you hope to get
- If you're willing to sell fewer shares if the stockbroker can't sell all of them at the price you want
- How long you are willing to let your order stand if it can't be filled right away. On that date, if your broker has not sold your stock, your order will expire.
2. Place the sell order. You can choose to sell at any price (a market order), or set a limit on the lowest price you will accept (a limit order). Your stockbroker will enter your order and let you know when it is complete.
Tip: Your stockbroker will let you know if the order can't be processed for any reason. You may put in a new order if you still want to sell.
3. Process your order. Once the sale is completed, the firm will send you a record of your order. This record will confirm:
- What you sold
- The price you were paid
- The commission fee you paid to sell a stock. For a bond, the commission is included in the price.
- The money from the sale, less the commission fee if there is one, will be put into your account.
Tip: It's up to you to report any errors in your sales record. Read these records carefully!
What if I have old stock that I bought years ago?
It may still be worth something even if the stock no longer trades under the same name. For example, the company may have merged with another company or simply changed its name. Learn more now .
Remember: It's not always easy to know when to sell
Many people panic when the stock market drops. They take big losses selling good investments that will likely bounce back over time. Before you sell, you may want to get professional advice to help you decide.
To learn more about investment dealer and adviser registration, read
To check whether an adviser is registered, see the at the Ontario Securities Commission's website.
Content in this section is provided in partnership with the Investor Education Fund, a non-profit organization promoting financial literacy to Canadians. To find out more go to GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca.