Also, you may need to find out how many shares you own of a company, particularly if the firm has merged or changed its name. You can, however, sell a stock even if you don't have your original certificate.
How to replace it: Most stock and corporate bond records are kept at one of three transfer agent firms: ComputerShare (781-575-2000), Wells Fargo Investments (866-243-0931) or American Stock Transfer & Trust (800-937-5449).
Cost: 2 percent to 3 percent of the value of the stock or bond.
Last updated December 31 2007: 8:33 AM ET