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.
- Since you are "registered" on the books of the company as the shareholder, you will receive annual and other reports, dividends, proxies, and other communications directly from the company.
- If you want to sell your securities through your broker, you can instruct your broker to electronically move your securities via DRS from the books of the company and then to sell your securities. Your broker should be able to do this quickly without the need for you filling out complicated and time-consuming forms.
- You do not have to worry about safekeeping or losing certificates, or having them stolen.
- If you choose to buy or sell registered securities through a company's direct investment plan, you usually will not be able to buy or sell at a specific market price or at a specific time. Instead, the company will purchase or sell shares for the plan at established times — for example, on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis — and at an average market price.
While it is solely your decision how to hold your securities, you should carefully review each of the alternative forms of security registration and should consult with your financial advisor or broker-dealer to determine which form is best for you.