terry, i purchased 100 shares of baxter in 1985. over the years i reinvested the dividends and bought more shares. a company called computershare is the transfer agent and held the account. in 2010 all shares were sold and turned over to the state they said i had abandoned the account. i was not aware of this till this year. so for 5 years i thought i had these shares when i checked they were missing from my account they even sold the original 100 shares which i held the certificate in a safe deposit box. so i missed 5 years of dividends and the baxalta spin off. how could this happen in this age and what recourse do i have. the state still has the 2010 payout. i believed baxter is a good company all these years i hope they make this right.

Terry Says:  Whoa — this is a terrible story, and hardly justified if mail sent to you was not returned.  Have you contacted the Shareholder Information department at Baxter?  I assume you tried that.  I think you are going to need a lawyer for this one — and it would be worth it if you can get the money repaid.  There could be additional damages if they liquidated the certificate they did not possess!  I would suggest contacting attorney Clint Krislov in Chicago at 312-606-0500.  His firm specializes in handling cases like this.  Tell him I sent you — and that I’m interested in doing a follow-up story about the results.  This would make a good column to warn others about the perils of long term accounts that do not require action.  (This almost happened to me once — so much for long-term investing!)