Facts


As an individual investor, you have up to three choices when it comes to holding your securities:

  • Physical Certificate — The security is registered in your name on the issuer's books, and you receive an actual, hard copy stock or bond certificate representing your ownership of the security.
  • "Street Name" Registration — The security is registered in the name of your brokerage firm on the issuer's books, and your brokerage firm holds the security for you in "book-entry" form. "Book-entry" simply means that you do not receive a certificate. Instead, your broker keeps a record in its books that you own that particular security.
  • "Direct" Registration — The security is registered in your name on the issuer's books, and either the company or its transfer agent holds the security for you in book-entry form. The "Direct Registration System" (also known as "DRS") allows investors to transfer securities held this way.

Physical Certificate

When you buy a security, whether through your broker or from the company itself, you can ask to have the actual stock or bond certificates sent to you. You may have to pay a nominal fee for the added expense of issuing a paper certificate. It's important that you safeguard your certificates until you sell or transfer your securities. It can be difficult to prove that you once owned a certificate that has been lost, stolen, or destroyed. Your broker — or the company or its transfer agent — will generally charge a fee to replace a lost or stolen stock certificate.

Street Name Registration

You may have your security registered in street name and held in your account at your broker-dealer. Many brokerage firms will automatically put your securities into street name unless you give them specific instructions to the contrary. Under street name registration, your firm will keep records showing you as the real or "beneficial" owner, but you will not be listed directly on the issuer's books. Instead, your brokerage firm (or some other nominee) will appear as the owner on the issuer's books.

Direct Registration

If a company offers direct registration for its securities, you can choose to be registered directly on the books of the company regardless of whether you bought your securities through your broker or directly from the company or its transfer agent through a direct investment plan. Direct registration allows you to have your security registered in your name on the books of the issuer without the need for a physical certificate to serve as evidence of your ownership. While you will not receive a certificate, you will receive a statement of ownership and periodic account statements, dividends, annual reports, proxies, and other mailings directly from the issuer.

NOLODRUPAL-web1:DRU1.6.12.2.20161011.41205