Forgotten Stock Makes Man Millionaire

Most of us would be better investors if we were like this guy:

A man who believed he had sold all his shares in a high-flying computer data storage company found himself nearly $4 million richer after discovering he still owned 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock.

The man, who asked that his name not be published, said he had no idea he still owned stock in Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC until he was contacted by the state treasurer’s office last month.

“I’m no accounting genius,” the 62-year-old salesman told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The man, who lives in Boston, said he purchased 3,000 shares of stock in 1987 on the advice of a cousin. Sometime during the 1990s he sold 2,000 shares of the stock to pay for his children’s college tuition and forgot about the remaining 1,000 shares.

Some 13 years later, the value of 1,000 shares had ballooned to nearly $4 million.

The forgotten shares were discovered by the treasury’s Abandoned Property Division. By law, brokerage firms must turn over to the state stocks which show no activity by their owners after three years.

This is an old story. EMC had a difficult time from 2000 to 2002, although it’s done pretty well over the last 10 years. During the 1990s, it gained 80,575%.

Posted by on April 17th, 2012 at 2:06 pm

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