1. Common stock
2. Preferred stock
3. Debt securities
4. Corporate debt
5. Municipal debt
6. US government debt
7. Investment companies
8. Alternative pooled investments
9. Options
10. Taxes
11. The primary market
12. The secondary market
13. Brokerage accounts
13.1 Fundamentals
13.1.1 Statements
13.1.2 Trade confirmations
13.1.3 Customer complaints
13.2 New accounts
13.3 Account registrations
13.4 Margin accounts
13.5 Options accounts
13.6 Other account specifications
14. Retirement & education plans
15. Rules & ethics
16. Wrapping up
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13.1.1 Statements
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13. Brokerage accounts
13.1. Fundamentals


Every product we’ve discussed so far is bought and sold in brokerage accounts. Maintained by broker-dealers, investors utilize these accounts to buy and sell securities. In this unit, we’ll learn about different types of brokerage accounts, plus their rules and regulations.

Account statements provide a historical view of account activity, security values, and overall balances. Broker-dealers are obligated to provide customers a transparent view of their assets. At a minimum, firms must send account statements to customers quarterly (every three months). However, monthly statements must be sent if a customer holds penny stocks in their account. Additionally, statements may be sent electronically (by email) if the customer requests.

Penny stock
An unlisted stock (one that does not trade on a stock exchange) trading below $5 per share

Although the firm must send consistent statements by mail (unless the investor elects for email delivery), customers may request their mail be held for short periods. For up to three months, customers may request that statements be held for any reason. For the mail to be held longer than three months, the customer must submit a request in writing and demonstrate a legitimate reason for the request (e.g., military deployment, safety, and security-related issues).

FINRA’s rule on holding mail does not explicitly state how often mail can be held. For example, there is no rule against a customer requesting mail be held for three months, then taking a month break, then requesting another hold for three months. All that is required is for the firm to determine “reasonable intervals” for the mail hold instructions to apply. Additionally, firms must educate their customers on other ways to obtain their mail securely (e.g., by email).

Key points

Quarterly statements

  • Sent if there is no investment activity
  • Can be sent by mail or electronically

Monthly statements

  • Sent if penny stocks held in account
  • Can be sent by mail or electronically

Holding mail

  • Can hold customer mail for up to 3 months
  • May be held indefinitely for legitimate reason (e.g., safety, security)

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