Research papers on the stock market cover a wide variety of topics.
Paper Masters suggests you narrow your topic so that you can give an in-depth coverage of whatever market, economic indicator or aspect of the stock market you need studied.
Most large discount brokerages are able to help clients track down securities that have been defunct for over 10 years.
With the CUSIP number, the brokerage can uncover all splits, reorganizations, and name changes that have occurred throughout the company's history.
Happening upon old stock certificates is actually pretty common.
In the past, investors received physical certificates, referred to as in bearer form, when they bought stock.Look for the company name and location of incorporation, a CUSIP number, and the name of the person with whom the security is registered.All of these items are important and can likely be found on the certificate's face.Yahoo Finance has a good symbol lookup tool where you can search the name of the company for its ticker. Unless your company is a household name, like General Electric, chances are, at some point, the company either was bought out or changed its name due to a merger.This number provides a vital piece of information for searching out a security; it's like stock DNA.Each security has a unique number, and changes and splits are recorded accordingly.That is, every time a security changes its name, splits, or does anything affecting its stock certificate, a new number is assigned to it.Each stock is incorporated in a state, and the records are kept at a central location.Generally, incorporation goes through the Secretary of State, and the name of the business will be documented in those databases.The transfer agent will have a record of the person's name on the stock certificate; ownership can then be transferred to your name.This can be done in many different ways, so it's always best to contact the transfer agent and request instructions. If the company is no longer public, your search ends.