Q I have some small parcels of shares, mostly inherited. I would like to sell some of the parcels but can’t work out the most cost effective way to do so. Fees with commercial brokers are high which almost negates the sale! How do I sell the shares with a decent return to me on them?

The most common way to sell shares is on the share market using a broker or online broking service.  A full service broker will provide you with advice on whether to sell or hold your shares.  Fees are usually based on a percentage of the value of the shares.  Typically a minimum fee will start from around $100 which can be expensive depending on how small the parcels are.

If you don’t require advice and are only looking to have the sale of shares executed, an online broking service may suit you.  The cost of selling the shares online starts from around $15 per trade.  Online comparison sites will provide a guide to features and costs of the various online broking services available.

From time to time listed companies may offer to buy back small parcels of shares direct from shareholders. The advantage is that there is typically no charge for brokerage.  The disadvantage is that there is no guarantee that a buy back will be offered for the shares you own.

An alternative to selling the shares via a broker or an online broking service is to donate the proceeds of small parcels of shares to charity.  Sharegift Australia is a not for profit organisation that provide shareholders with an easy and tax deductible way to sell and donate small parcels of shares.  There is no cost for the service, 100% of the market value of the shares is donated to the charity nominated by the shareholder provided the charity has Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status.  Donations of $2 or more are tax deductible to the shareholder. Sharegift can be contacted at 1300 731 632 or visit www.sharegiftaustralia.org.au

Follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewHeavenFP. This article was originally published in The Australian.