Investing Assets & Markets Stocks What It Means to Own Shares of Stock in a Street Name Technically, your brokerage firm owns the shares By Joshua Kennon Joshua Kennon Twitter Website Joshua Kennon is an expert on investing, assets and markets, and retirement planning. He is the managing director and co-founder of Kennon-Green & Co., an asset management firm. learn about our editorial policies Updated on May 17, 2022 Reviewed by Chip Stapleton Reviewed by Chip Stapleton Chip Stapleton is a Series 7 and Series 66 license holder, passed the CFA Level 1 exam, and is a CFA Level 2 candidate. He, and holds a life, accident, and health insurance license in Indiana. He has eights years' experience in finance, from financial planning and wealth management to corporate finance and FP&A. learn about our financial review board Fact checked by Hans Jasperson Fact checked by Hans Jasperson Hans Jasperson has over a decade of experience in public policy research, with an emphasis on workforce development, education, and economic justice. His research has been shared with members of the U.S. Congress, federal agencies, and policymakers in several states. learn about our editorial policies Photo: Matteo Colombo / Getty Images Holding shares in a street name is when investments are held in the name of a broker, not yours. Some investors hold paper stock certificates bearing their name. These are proof they own shares in a corporation. Other investors are invested in a dividend reinvestment program (DRIP) and their shares are noted by the company’s registrar in an electronic journal. This journal entry is known as a “book entry.” In both cases, the company can quickly and easily access the total number of shares you own or contact you directly. Key Takeaways Holding stock and other investments in a street name means that rather than the asset being held in your name, it is held in the name of the brokerage firm.If you own all of your investments under your brokerage's name, consider asking your broker to invest some assets in your name.You can also use a direct registration system to register stocks in your own name. Most Popular Holding Form The most popular holding form for most investors is through a brokerage account or asset management account. When you buy shares of Coca-Cola (KO) or General Electric (GE) through your broker, they don't sit in a vault with your name on them. Instead, the broker registers them in its name. So Coke won’t know that you own the shares. It sees only that Charles Schwab or Fidelity—or any other broker—owns X number of shares. The stockbrokers, in turn, keep records to track who owns what within their accounts. Risks of Holding All Your Stocks in Street Name Holding stock in a street name is an accepted practice. It's better, though, not to keep a huge portion of your net worth in a brokerage account using this method. That's even more the case if your account value exceeds the SIPC insurance limits. You can avail yourself of the direct registration system if inclined. At the very least, if you are concerned about this, refuse to open a margin account and ask your broker to register your securities in your name. It's been said that it might cost a little extra, but it can be worth the peace of mind when and if the world falls apart. The stocks are in your name. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. "Direct Investment Plans: Buying Stock Directly from the Company." Accessed March 12, 2021. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. "Holding Your Securities: Get the Facts." Accessed March 12, 2021.