Few brokers want their clients to take delivery of certificates representing the shares they have purchased. If you want the paper, you have to pay for it.
Brokers, especially so-called discount brokers, want you to have an account, not a certificate.
If you buy on margin, they want to be able to lend your shares to short-sellers, which they can’t do if you have physical possession of shares.
They want to capture the dividends or interest you receive into your brokerage account, not into your pocket. In the main, handling your certificate-based transactions is a big headache for brokers, and they’ll charge you for it.
Apparently, most investors prefer the convenience of not having to safeguard securities certificates or having to deliver certificates when they sell - a time-consuming process.
You may be able to arrange a third system with your broker - have the shares registered in your name, not in the name of the broker (known as street name), but skip the demand for a certificate.
Having the securities registered in your name may alleviate problems with late posting of dividends and timely receipt of company reports.
There may be a charge for this service as well.
Agency offers scam detection kits
Are you tempted by phone calls, radio and TV spots about investment opportunities that sound “too good to be true”? The Federal Trade Commission has published booklets to help detect “get-rich-quick” scams.
Titles include “Wealth-Building Scams,” “Work-At-Home Schemes” and “Multi-Level Marketing Plans.”
To order - and to get the FTC’s list of consumer and investment publications - call (202) 326-3650 or write Public Reference, Room 130, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, D.C. 20580.
Planners not disclosing incentives
Three out of five financial planners who claim to offer “fee-only” advice earn commissions or other financial incentives for the products they sell, according to a new survey by the Consumer Federation of America and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors.
To help educate consumers, the groups are offering a brochure called “Don’t Get Burned By The Financial Planner Name Game.”
For a free copy call NAPFA at (888) FEE-ONLY, or check the Web site at www.feeonly.org/.
Newsletter helps DRIPs
Direct stock purchase plans, also known as “No-Load Stocks,” allow investors to buy shares directly from the issuing company without using a broker.
For a free list of more than 200 companies offering no-load stocks, write to the DRIP Investor newsletter at 7412 Calumet Avenue, Suite 200, Hammond, Ind., 46324.
Dr. Tightwad teaches young
Children can also learn about money on line via Liberty Financial’s new Young Investor’s Web site, which features games, weekly advice from “Dr. Tightwad,” and information on everything from allowances to college costs. Check the site at www.younginvestor.com/.
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