Back in the day before the modern innovation of modern banking and the Internet came up with online brokers and personally directed accounts, having stock certificates on hand was the only way to authenticate and prove stock ownership. Those days are gone seeing as a lot of banks and brokerage firms have set up accounts that are easily accessible with appropriate passwords and codes to certify ownership and authenticity.
While it is no longer necessary to physically own the stocks in your name, you can actually request one. Corporations you hold stock in can issue these stock certificates so you can get your certificate either from the corporations themselves or through your broker who’ll get the certificate for you.
Here are a few things to remember when asking for a physical copy of your stock certificate:
- SEC rules. The Securities and Exchange Commission mandates that the owner or purchaser of a stock has the option of owning said stock certificate if they choose it.
- What’s it worth. Your stock certificate is worth a certain amount. You don’t really need the certificate itself seeing as all of the buying and selling is usually done online or in the stock market. So having the physical stock certificate isn’t worth much more than the paper it’s printed on because the real money is done trading online and in the stock market. The physical stock, if unsold and still under your ownership can be used as collateral for investments or loans and is worth how much it was sold at the end of the trading day.
- Keeping track of stock holders. Corporations are required by law to keep a record of all persons holding stocks in their company at the end of the trading day whether in their computer systems or in their company ledgers. Normally this information is kept in all brokerage houses most corporations keep track of the list to double check the information.
- Where you can get your stocks from. The stocks you own can be issued by the corporation you bought them from or the brokerage houses that you deal with. Brokerage houses are authorized by the corporations to issue the stocks in their stead.
- Storing the stock. Once you receive your stock certificate, you can either keep them in a bank safety deposit box for safekeeping or frame them in your house.
In this economy, a lot of people and companies are being conservative in
their cash and assets. Buying and selling stocks is kind of a gamble
given the risky economic environment but when you buy into a
corporation’s stocks, what you do with that piece of the company is
entirely up to you. Getting a physical copy of the stock can be written
proof of ownership that you can use as collateral for loans and
investments or you can just use it to decorate your home office. But for
whatever reason you choose to ask for that stock certificate, you can
request for it from your brokerage house or form the corporation itself.