Investor services program

Computershare investment plan

Frequently asked questions about IBM, our stock, finances and investing in the company.

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Automated investment

Automatic investment enables you to pre-authorize Computershare to purchase additional shares each month by electronically debiting your check or savings account at a U.S. financial institution. This permits you to make regular investments, if you choose, in an amount and schedule that are comfortable for you, without the inconvenience of writing and mailing checks. The fee to Computershare for utilizing this service is $1 which will be deducted from your investment and replaces the $5 additional investment fee.

To initiate automatic investments, you must complete and sign an Authorization Form for Ongoing Automatic Deductions and return it to Computershare (see contact information). Once automatic deductions begin, funds will be withdrawn from your bank account on either the 1st or 15th of each month, or both (as specified by you on your Authorization Form, or the next business day if either the 1st or 15th is not a business day). These funds will normally be invested on the following Wednesday, or if that day is not a business day, the first business day after Wednesday.

Bank/Broker account numbers

You can contact Computershare and they will provide you with an Authorization Form to provide bank/broker information. The Form, properly completed with your bank/broker name, Depository Participant number and your bank/broker account number should be signed by you and any other stockholders named in the registration on your account and returned to Computershare. Your bank/broker will be able to assist you in completing the form. The authorizing signature(s) on the Form should be guaranteed by your Bank/Broker with a Medallion Guarantee.

When your bank/broker account information is on your account at Computershare, you may request Computershare to electronically transfer all or a portion of your book entry shares by calling Computershare at 888-IBM-6700 or 781-575-2727. Following the transfer, Computershare will provide you with a statement confirming the movement of your shares to your bank/broker and your share balance on the records of Computershare.

You may also call Computershare at 888-IBM-6700 or 781-575-2727 and request a stock certificate for all or a portion of your book entry shares. A stock certificate will be mailed to you by Computershare within forty-eight hours of their receipt of your request.

Depositing stock certificates

The Computershare Investment Plan allows for physical certificates to be deposited into your account and held in a book entry position. When you deposit your shares you no longer have to worry about safeguarding physical certificates. In addition, the deposited shares have all the benefits of investment plan shares. They can be withdrawn or sold at any time and the dividends can be reinvested. All stockholders can use the custodial service, regardless of whether or not they use any of the other optional services offered through the Computershare Investment Plan (sales, purchases, etc).

To deposit shares into your plan account, please send your certificates unendorsed (with a tear-off form from your statement or a brief letter of instruction) to Computershare (see contact information) via registered or certified mail, with return receipt requested, or some other form of traceable mail, and properly insured.

You will promptly receive a statement from Computershare confirming each deposit of your shares to your book entry account.

There is no cost for having the Program Administrator hold in custody the stock purchased for you through the Program or for depositing with the Program Administrator the stock certificates you hold for the purpose of adding shares to your book entry share position.

Direct stock purchase plan (open enrollment)

Computershare Investment Plan is available to current IBM stockholders in addition to new investors in IBM common stock. The program is designed to provide individuals with a simple and convenient method to purchase, hold and sell IBM common stock by offering a variety of flexible services to aid in managing your investment.

Key features of the Program include the following:

* All IBM common stockholders of record, including those who hold IBM stock certificates, are automatically eligible to participate in the Computershare Investment Plan. 

* New investors can become IBM stockholders with as little as $500.

* You can build your investment over time by making additional purchases periodically. The investment amount can be automatically deducted from your bank account, or you can send it in by mail.

* You may choose to receive any dividend payments electronically or by check or you may have a portion or all of your dividends reinvested towards the purchase of additional shares.

* All shares purchased through the Program will be held for you in book entry form by the Program Administrator and IBM stock certificates you are holding may be deposited with the Program Administrator for safekeeping.

* You can sell any book entry shares being held for you through the Program.

* You can transfer shares or make gifts of IBM common stock.

The Computershare Investment Plan is sponsored and administered by Computershare, not by IBM. Contact Computershare (see contact information) with any questions you may have on the Program.

Shares purchased through the Computershare Investment Plan will be held in book entry form at Computershare. The book entry form of ownership allows you to own shares without having physical stock certificates in your possession. A periodic statement of account is provided reflecting the number of book entry shares registered in your name and held by Computershare.

The benefits of book entry ownership are the elimination of problems associated with paper certificates, such as storage and safety of securities. Book entry shares also eliminate the requirement for physical movement of stock certificates at the time of sale or transfer of ownership.

The Computershare Investment Plan provides investors with a convenient and simple method of purchasing shares with minimal service fees. You will be able to reinvest all or part of your dividends, and you will be able to make additional voluntary cash purchases by check or by automatic withdrawal from your bank account.

Gift transfers

You may transfer/gift shares to others directly without requiring the issuance of stock certificates. You can transfer/gift some or all of your Program shares held in custody by sending the Program Administrator written and signed transfer instructions. Signatures must be Medallion Guaranteed by a financial institution participating in the Medallion Guarantee program. Call or write the Program Administrator (see contact information) for instructions. There is no charge for transferring shares. After the transfer is complete, the recipient will receive an account statement showing the transfer of those shares. At your request, Computershare will send you a non-negotiable gift certificate you can present to the recipient or you may request Computershare to issue an IBM stock certificate for the shares.

How does a stockholder reinvest dividends?

To participate in the IBM Dividend Reinvestment option, you must be a stockholder of record. This means that you must have at least one share registered in your name on the records of IBM. Stock held in "street" or "nominee name" with a broker, bank or other financial entity, is not eligible to participate in the IBM Dividend Reinvestment option. If you are not yet a registered owner and you wish to enroll in the IBM Dividend Reinvestment Plan, please contact your broker for your initial purchase, have them issue a stock certificate registered in your name and contact Computershare for an enrollment form (see contact information). An alternative would be to buy shares directly through the Computershare Investment Plan.  

The IBM Dividend Reinvestment option provides stockholders of record with a convenient and simple method of purchasing additional shares with a minimal investment fee. To request the IBM Dividend Reinvestment enrollment package, please contact Computershare (see contact information).

Selling shares

You may sell Computershare Investment Plan  shares held in book entry on the records of the Program Administrator by calling Computershare at 888-IBM-6700 or 781-575-2727, or by sending notification to Computershare. Notice may be sent via letter to Computershare, c/o Computershare Investment Plan, P.O. Box 505039, Louisville, KY 40233-5039. You may also send notice via fax to 201-222-4488.

Statements and additional  information for your registered stockholder account is available on-line through Computershare.  Go to  Depending on your holdings please log on to either Investor Center or the Employee Plan website. Some of the other things you can accomplish on-line:

  • View detailed share position
  • Access transaction history
  • Update your banking details
  • View, print and save plan documents
  • Download and print forms
  • Get current and historical stock prices
  • Research cost-basis information

You may instruct Computershare to sell any or all of the shares held in the Plan. The instructions to the Plan Administrator (Computershare) should include the number of shares that are to be sold. The Plan Administrator will make every effort to process your order on the day it is received, provided that instructions are received before 1:00 p.m. Eastern time on a business day during which Computershare and the relevant securities market are open. The proceeds of the sale, less a fee of $15 and a brokerage commission of 10 cents per share, will be sent to you on the settlement date which is three business days from the date of sale.

Voluntary additional investment

Additional share purchases may be made by sending a check or money order payable to "Computershare-IBM", for as little as $50, up to a yearly investment limit of $250,000, to Computershare, Investment Plan, P.O. Box 6006, Carol Stream, IL 60197-6006. A fee of $5 per investment will be deducted (prior to investment) from the check or money order of current stockholders of record. For non-stockholders of record, the first investment has a $500 minimum investment requirement. Contact Computershare for details (see contact information).

Withdrawing stock certificates

A certificate can be issued for any whole shares held by Computershare in your plan account. Certificates cannot be issued for fractional shares.

To request a certificate withdrawal, simply contact Computershare (see contact information).