Notes on Direct Registration and Share Certificates

Posted at 11:04 AM (CST) by & filed under General Editorial.

My Dear Extended Family,

More misinformation from brokers which stems from either simple stupidity, their internal methods, or an attempt to dissuade you from taking your shares off the broker’s balance sheet. All street name stock keeps you in their system so you will sell through them.

I am amazed.

Your broker speaks and you immediately assume I am wrong in what I am telling you. Your broker is wrong in what they are telling you for any of the four above reasons.

You have to fight the system to be free of it. All cowards, dullards and sloths will end up broke in this multi- year experience we are in.

You want to be comfortable and non-confrontational like most CEOs in PM shares? Sit back and relax. I choose to fight with every asset I have.



Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Here is a CIGA whose broker cooperated with him and he promptly accomplished direct registration with ease. However, note he was directly involved in the process."


Scottrade got my fax August 3rd (last Friday) at noon. Today my account shows the shares have been transferred out. When I spoke to Computershare yesterday, they said it would probably take two days. He also told me Monday was a holiday in Canada or something like that.

Here it is Tuesday, and the shares are in Computershare and transferred already, including Sat/Sun. Scottrade in San Antonio, Texas has always been very efficient and has never given me any trouble or delay. Just felt you should know.


Dear Dave,

Good work and good involvement in the process. Yes, Monday was a holiday in Canada.




I hesitate to bother you, but you should know how well Computershare (and Fidelity) handled the recent DRS transaction I just referred to in an email – even better than Fidelity had predicted. But just thought you might want to know how Computerhare was doing since TRX uses it.

Friday afternoon, late: paperwork filled out at local Fidelity office to have DRS shares transferred from Computershare USA to my Fidelity account.

Just now: email from Fidelity that shares in my account, ready to sell: 3 (actually more like 2 1/2) business days later–not the 4 that the Fidelity guy had predicted.

And, again, Fidelity and UBS charge ZERO to move something to DRS.

CIGA Jerome

Dear Mr. Sinclair,

I would call you Jim, except I have such high regard for you that using your first name when we have not been introduced seems irreverent.

My experience with trying to go DRS is the same as CIGA William’s. Both TD Ameritrade and EverTrade (using Penson as agent) told me $500 to $600 to register each stock. I sold all my positions and opened an account with ScotTrade. ScotTrade does DRS for eligible stocks for $0.00.

I found that many companies and Canadian stocks do not use the DRS system. I sold all of those.

I have little exposure to trading platforms today and am concentrating on the physical.

Thank you for all your advice and counsel. I feel with your help, we will weather the storm and be ready on the other side to prosper.

Best wishes to you and your family.

CIGA SailorSeaman

Hey Jim,

I am a Canadian with some shares in an RRSP account at RBC Direct Investing.  In case you are not aware, RRSPs are a little like the 401K plans that you have in the US.

They are telling me that direct registration is impossible because sending me share certificates would require collapsing the RRSP (and thus paying taxes).  This sounds reasonable, but I think there must be some way to have the shares held in my name (if only as a book entry
on their end) or maybe send the certificates to some other firm that can act as a custodian but who has no interest in re-hypothication.

Any leads?

Thanks so much,

Dear Kenny,

Not if direct registration was in the name of your custodian and you as the account holder. This can be done but that does not mean you broker will.

Brokers are scum like the rest of the financial business. You guys that are so cheap you are dealing with internet brokers only get what you pay for in life only.

Look for a honest man if you can find one.


Hi Jim,

I found out something interesting when looking into the "custody" only banks (heavy hitters I know use them). The certificates are still electronic and held at DTC under the registration: "Custody Bank" as custodian FBO client.

I took this to mean that the certificates were not out of the system (is that correct?). Bottom line: I took core holding certificates out of system, and left trading positions in.


Dear Hal,

Unless you have done direct registration or taken certificates, you are completely and solidly in the system.

I am here to help you help yourself . Keep me updated with your progress as well as that which would stop you.




Fidelity currently charges zero for transfers to transfer agents; ditto for UBS. Fidelity charges $100 for certificates; in recent months UBS less than $100 (though of course they have other fees).

I also learned something you yourself might not be so familiar with when selling something in DRS. I wanted to sell something held by Computershare USA, but I wanted to time the sale, so I wanted a brokerage to sell, not Computershare. I went to Fidelity:

1. To get shares to the brokerage from a transfer agent one has to fill out a brokerage’s form which they submit to the transfer agent (you probably knew this a long time ago).

2. The transfer agents vary greatly in the time it takes them to deliver the shares (perhaps you did not know). The rather junior person told me that, according to his informal experience, the time could easily take up to two weeks (the max). Computershare is the best, usually delivering in about 4 days. I asked whether the median might be about 7-10 days, and he said he guessed that was right.

CIGA Jerome


1. This is usually not so if you already have an account you kept open with $0.

2. The transfer out of direct registration to the broker is a computer entry that takes no longer than hitting your enter key. If you need an immediate sale the Transfer Agent can arrange that for you.




I have some of my shares of TRX in direct registration and they reside in my safe deposit box. Can they be someplace else like with a brokerage firm?

The Bank of XYZ has my IRA and I believe after talking with their lawyer from Kansas or wherever that I am pretty safe there. Has something changed in the last 5 or 6 years? Some custodian must hold the IRA, right?

Thanks for all you do for us little fishes (CIGAs),


Shares in direct registration are evidenced by a statement from the transfer agent sent directly to you. Those companies that still issue certificates do so via the transfer agency, therefore informing the transfer agent where your DR shares are of your desire for certificate results in delivery to you of a certificate. What do you have in your safety deposit box? A statement from the transfer agent of DRS of certificates in your name?

Your question is "does the bank actually hold your IRA or do they hold your IRA via their broker and clearing arrangement in their name as custodian for you." You can be sure the answer is the latter because for a bank to fear a broker’s solvency would be quite unusual.



Goodday Jim,

As an investor and fund manager(small for private clients) from Europe I have read your site for many years and would like to say it has given me a lot of insight and guidance through the financial markets. Also I started a financial blog some 4 months ago to inform interested people in the workings of financial/political markets and how to protect oneself. I have recommended and applied stocks in different currencies, at least 2O % gold/silver related (including your Tanzanian Royalty Gold, and safe dividend paying stocks). The net returns for investors are above 25% because of sincere stock picking. Many thanks to you and your excellent work!!

Now to the issue of direct registration. I use a smallish Dutch broker for my stock transactions. On my request they informed me that my US and Canadian shares are held by Pershing Corp, a sub of BNY Mellon. The shares are held with Pershing in the name of my Dutch broker Binckbank NV. Binck informed me that individual registration is not possible because I am not a client of Pershing, but Binck is. Concluded with "best regards" and "hope this is helpful to you". Not very much so. What to do?

Best (sincere) regards,
CIGA Joseph

Dear Joseph,

Pershing is the clearing agent for your bank. Assuming the companies you have invested in participate in DRS, it is the owner of the shares that can obtain direct registration in their name at the transfer agent for the company.

The answer you have gotten is standard operating practice to get rid of you and your request. It can be done but neither your bank nor the clearing agent have any motivation to help you. You can go to the transfer agent of the company and request their assistance in getting DRS done.

In DRS the transfer agent is your friend while your bank and the clearing agent is your challenge. In direct registration neither your bank nor your clearing agent has any financial relationship with the individual owner or entity owner.