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US brokers — 52 Comments

    • I called TD Direct Investments (Canada) …my online broker…. and the young man immediately said


      …just bring the certificate to the local Bank Branch (across the street from my office)

      and they will verify its authenticity , scan it into my account and notify me when the hold period is over .

      No questions asked even about the name of the stock !

      I told the young man ….THANKS !!!!!!

      I lucked out !

  1. I have not yet gotten my certificate delivered in the US–but understand that it may not come for a week.

    I have had a lot of experience trying to get US brokers to accept certificates in recent years. Brokerages vary, but in general they are difficult to impossible for certificates or DRS(!) with any of the following features: low market cap, low liquidity, lack of US symbol. Here you have all 3. They may even give you a hard time if you ask them to declare a certificate to be worthless for tax purposes even if has some small value. Don’t assume anything will go smoothly even for a big US company’s certificate. I have at times in recent years had Fidelity, which is much better than some competitors, accept certificates almost immediately, but I’ve had surprising problems from them too, including when they misinterpreted the printed material on some Altius shares so that they held up the shares for weeks under the mistaken impression that the shares were restricted. Personnel are simply so unaccustomed to certificates and DRS that they make mistakes or dawdle.

    I’ll give you a story–not just my own–from standing in line listening to someone in front of me at Fidelity. He and family members had shares of a company in their Fidelity accounts already. He brought in 1 or more certificates of the same company towards the end of the year to sell, I suspect for tax reasons. Fidelity would not accept the certificates since the company did not meet their criteria of shares to accept.

    TD Ameritrade is worse. UBS is worse. An Ameritrade branch manager, very nice, told me “If you think we’re bad, walk down the street and see what Schwab is like.”

    They will all cite FINRA rules if pressed, though they have their own criteria.

    For reasons given by Spock all other things being equal, if you don’t need the money soon–and you aren’t going to sell these soon–, certificates are preferable anyway in many ways.

    As for what you do if you have to sell something in the future and the brokerage refuses? I don’t know. As I told the guy ahead of me in Fidelity who was having trouble, I **guess** the next move is to call the transfer agent and try send the certificate back and ask them to push the shares into the brokerage account. I haven’t had to try this move yet.

  2. My TDA branch agent called me to confirm that TDA will accept the Canadian stock certificates even for less than dollar value.
    I missed the oppt in NXS but next one I am going to try the system for a dry run.

    Also I missed the ICG ASX PP. That one is closed also.

    Bankers hate US senator Elizabeth Warren. She knows all these tricks against the retail investors and trying to fix the leg.

    just today news on Well Fargo: Google it. only fine no one goes to jail…

  3. Thanks for the heads-up Spock,
    A good rant indeed.
    I received the share certificates, but my broker/ platform Saxo’Bank (Europe) won’t take them.
    Have been monitoring the conversation here, and am surprised to observe just how difficult this may prove.
    Am eagerly awaiting feedback from other Vulcans as to which brokers will accept these certificates, and trusting that Spock will collate all this into a report.
    One thought… I notice c. 60 Vulcans participating in Nexus PP, each with minimum USD 5.000. In effect, a USD 300K ++ situation with c.60 positions. Plus the likelihood of this situation multiplying through regular PPs in the future. Is that not an opportunity of interest to a broker ?? Could Spock negotiate an ‘en-masse’ solution ??

  4. I’ve been spending quite a bit of time working on this issue. Talked to many different brokers all mentioned above and more. Got conflicting answers many times.
    I’m curious to see if TD Canada is actually going to accept Fully’s certificates when he goes in? Though I did call them and confirm it. (I’m in the US.)

    One of the things that I have found is that when I asked different brokers about the stock is that it was always listed with them but they could not accept it for many reasons. Some of the reasons were in house, requiring $250K in non penny stock assets and more.

    When I talked to TD USA, a fellow there was very helpful, he suggested two things.
    The first was to try TD International. He said they might take them and then I’d be able to transfer my assets back to TD USA. Another recommendation was to call Nexus and ask them what to do.

    The bottom line though is this. With the restriction on until Dec 25th, most brokers are not going to get the green light no matter what when they look at the security. The TD USA guy confirmed this. But he said that if indeed TD Canada accepted it there was a good chance TD USA would after the restriction is lifted.

    Yes, Fidelity trades CA and AU stocks.

    But I repeat, the restriction is probably the biggest hindrance right now. We are going to have to wait and see after it is lifted if we get acceptance of the certificate.

    I’ve got a call into Nexus but no return yet. And I’m contacting TD Int. Monday.
    More to come…

    • If you Google “Brokerages that accept penny stock certificates” you come up with some interesting info.

      There are at least two, Glendale and one other. But then if you Google them you find there have been some illegal activity and fines. Also it looks like there might be some hefty costs. I’m not great at deciphering all that and I’d rather try a bigger broker but you can check it out.

  5. My question is why is anyone that interested in holding certificates? I think that creates an emotional attachment and they become something like religious relics. If the company flops or the stock fails to perform as expected, I wouldn’t want the hassle of offloading certificates that were a hassle to acquire in the first place. I thought we were meant to be rather mercenary about this. Get in, make a profit, get out, move on.

  6. I am in the USA and have not yet received certificates. But I have emailed Cassels Brock and Blackwell and received an immediate reply..expect receipt from transfer agent within couple of weeks.I have been impressed with their response to questions during this process. I use TD Ameritrade and Scottrade. Called Scottrade and they were very non-committal-said they would get back to me. Have called twice since.No reply yet. I’ve had accounts with them for many years, always had great service, but seem be on the ignore list now. I plan to go into their local branch this week and see if I can get answers. I have not tried Ameritrade yet. This push toward cashless scares the hell out of me.I like to use the funny paper stuff that cant be hacked. FINRA I could deal with-report and they don’t bother you.

  7. Shortly after committing to the PP but before completing the paperwork, I called my Fidelity international trading desk rep and they confirmed the CUSIP and the fact that they WOULD accept a certificate at an investor center. I’m going in on Monday to submit it, more to follow (I’m in the US).

    • LOL! Thanks YYZ…If you get that to happen I’ll be right after you. I’m at Fidelity Int. also and got nowhere. Twice I was told at the main office of a couple brokers I could do it but when I went to a local one I got the no.
      Please keep us informed! Thx

      • Ok just got the pre-clear to have a local Fid investor center to accept the certificat – they didn’t give me a definitive threshold for rules that may apply for the quantity of shares I could deposit but they did ask the quantity so ymmv (I had the minimum PP order amt)- I’ll be back in about an hour to report on that process.

  8. I am not the most loved guy here by a few people. But in paying my dues I feel I have the right to say what I want in this forum.

    I have benefited from Spocks picks and I feel the cash used to find those picks has been well worth the money. But I can’t stand the running commentary here that buy and hold these stocks is the best way forward.

    Just keep in mind these guys have a vested interest in you not selling these stocks in a highly illiquid market.

    When does Spock let you know of a new pick? Does that happen to be after he is already positioned? If you think he finds these rocks then puts you on the same level playing field as him trying to buy at suggested prices you are crazy.

    The same will happen when it’s time to exit. If you think he will tell you before he does, I’m sorry but your crazy. I wouldn’t, you wouldn’t.

    Do not go with this buy and hold strategy. Find your way of safely managing your portfolio and realize there is ALWAYS a time to sell. Even if that is not when you thought it might have been.

    We have a changing situation in regards to interest rates, which may or may not happen, but it is something to keep your finger on the pulse with. This could impact the PM markets greatly and is something different to what was on the mind when the market took off early this year.

    Do not be afraid to sell. Take Spocks picks and use them to your advantage. But do not hold them until he and his guys have offloaded at a much lower price than what you will get.

    Is Spock/Fully a member of your family? Do they have your best interest in mind? Have a think about that.

    • Spock gets the Best Prices and whats wrong with that ?

      He is the one doing the research

      However to insinuate Audept and I also get the best prices is perhaps a reflection on what you would expect if YOU were a member of management of this site Eastmon


      Todd and I do NOT get a heads up on any buys or sells made by Spock

      He never offered and we never asked !

      Now how about That ?

      • I have no idea if Eastmon has an axe to grind with Spock et al but I do think it is important for investment newbies to realise that at the end of the day, everyone is looking after number one (including Spock). There’s nothing wrong with that, but you have got to do what is right for you and your family, based on current circumstances and only YOU know what they are. Blindly following another person, with a totally different set of issues and circumstances, is not a clever way to live:

        “He truly lives dangerously who trusts his health to a doctor, his rights to a lawyer, his money to a banker (or stock picker) or his soul to a preacher”

        Never forget this truth.

    • There is a saying : Penny wise and pound foolish.
      I will explain below.

      I have been trading since 2003 in Juniors. I had try to get the best price and missed the trade every time. Some times by 2 pennies. The stock continued to go higher and many times 200%.

      What does it matter when Spock gives you a trade which will perform 200 to 400% in short time less than a year.
      No one should have complain on timing. I am here to know the companies to trade.

      When PM sector is in bull trend the max performing sector within PM is juniors but the right one.

      no one out side of here will tell you. I have been there. Had close to seven different services. None made me the money during the last bull market 2009 to 2011.

      Sorry I can go on but it is enough to make the point.

      Your at right place. enjoy!!!!

    • Partial agreement with you Dude !
      Yes you are right, sit tight is not a winning strategy!
      Especially not in CDN Venture market!
      As I said at least twice on this forums, normally one should sell
      Half of his holdings, when je makes 200% return on his investments.
      Take your money off-the table , and hold your profits until the end of the Bull run.
      Spock never mentioned this “winning” strategy to his subscribers, to my surprise.

      • I have been slaughtered in Venture markets 3 times isince 1980 s ,
        Making always huge profits in PMs, but at the end it always ended up like
        In january 2016, at the end of recent bear market.
        My question remains today, are we really in a Bull market, or what we see now is a short cyclical bull,
        Inside of massive secular Bear ? This is million $ question, and no one here knows the answer!
        Next time you call someone Troll, better look in your trading records !

        • What do you know about my trading record?? Nothing. Maybe your time horizon is too short term for this site? Reread the Vision statement. If your looking for Spock to give you quick flipping trade ideas you won’t find that here. If you are questioning the gold market at this juncture then perhaps you should exit to sidelines and wait, of course I base that on your “trading record”.

  9. We’ve been listing disadvantages of certificates, which are particularly bad now for this company in the US (non-US, no US listing, small cap, illiquid).

    There are advantages in certificates. If there is financial meltdown, causing your brokerage to close even if it’s merely caught up in a government decree or having unexpected problems with counterparties, the certificate is evidence you own your shares. A court is less likely to whittle away your shares to pay for some bailout if your shares are outside the brokerage system–perhaps. If there’s a brokerage that’s still open, and your company is pretty large, you may be able to sell. With a certificate you’re doing your part to make short selling difficult.

    FWIW, there’s an advantage over DRS (though I prefer DRS) if you want shares outside the brokerage. For us in the US my informal research–I got the runaround from accountants and lawyers a couple of years ago–indicates that certificates are free from some reporting requirements. If a company uses a transfer agent listing outside the US for DRS, then it counts as a foreign account, which you’re supposed to report to the US Treasury annually at least above a certain threshold. You don’t have to report foreign certificates. At least that’s what a US Treasury rep told me on the phone.

    Although I have told bad stories about certificates, I’ve had no problem with many, especially at Fidelity. I sold lots of PM stocks during the decline, including early 2015. Fidelity allowed me to sell within hours(!!!!) of my bringing in the certificate not just substantial amounts of Royal Gold, but also Romarco and Timmins–even apologized that I couldn’t sell instantly. (Perhaps they had some large clients eager to borrow any and all shares to short????) They would not accept other certificates though such as PZG (even though US-listed, US headquartered) because market cap was too low.

    So if things stand as they are with regs and Fidelity, if this company turns out to be the proverbial 10 or 100 bagger, you bring the certificate in to Fidelity and sell it 15-180 minutes later.

    • Avoid counterparty risk (if broker fails), avoid short selling (that can turn against your position. These two reasons pushed me to ask for phisical certificates of my shares. One day mining shares could become extreemely valuable. It could get important to have some legal proof of you ownership. I have made this procedure on 3 stocks that I want to hold for the long term. It costed me 250$ for each position, no matter the size of it. I live in Europe.

    • I do not have a definitive answer, but from my current knowledge 3 answers:

      1) Contact the transfer agent. See if you submit the certificates to them they can and will push the shares to the brokerage. This was going to be my next step, and I think it could work w/o the brokerages being unhappy. Don’t know–you can check.

      2) If you’re desperate to sell after restricted period is over, submit certificates to transfer agent and ask them to sell. You may not get an ideal price, but I think they’ll sell for you. My impression is that they don’t necessarily sell in dribs and drabs–they may wait until they have a moderate sized sell order, perhaps from several customers to submit before they sell. Don’t know–you can check.

      3) Hold until policies and procedures improve, or we learn some more tricks on how to deal with these problems, or until it becomes a 10-bagger. If it’s a 10-bagger, take to Fidelity at least, and if things haven’t changed since 2015, they’ll look at you as if you had 17.36 heads for having a certificate, and they may barely know what a certificate is, but once they figure things out, they’ll be very nice and allow you to sell rather soon–possibly even within minutes. In other words, sit. (Or lounge.)

  10. On restricted shares in account, at least with Fidelity in 2015:

    As noted above, I took an Altius certificate to Fidelity in 2015, where the personnel were naive with certificates. To me it was obvious that it was a normal certificate. Somehow–and I know where their misunderstanding came from–it was something like nothing filled out underneath “other restrictions”–they thought the shares might be restricted. Therefore they put the shares into the account as restricted shares for weeks pending investigation, or something to that effect, while fending off nasty email from me.

    I’ve previously noted from this anecdote the conclusion that personnel are poorly trained and poorly experienced with certificates (and DRS) these days.

    The other lesson however is that at least in 2015 Fidelity was probably happy to accept restricted certificates of non-US companies not with US listings but over certain market cap, and liquidity thresholds. (Also price-per-share threshhold–I did not mention that threshhold in my comments way above, but that is one the brokerages have as well.)

    BTW there is one case that ended up indicrectly costing me a lot of money where a clerical error over certificates played a key role. It is so complicated that I won’t describe it, but included in the errors was that the forms when they and I submitted them contained a tiny clerical error causing a multi-week delay with major consequences. I make all sorts of silly errors (in this case a blank space), as anyone who makes it through my comments can tell. They would have probably noted the error except that they were obviously unaccustomed to the forms themselves, since being presented with a certificate or a DRS form for them is apparently only somewhat more common than having an aardvark handed over.

  11. OK here’s the scoop at least from Fidelity.

    1) There is a trading restriction on the certificates that expires 12/25/16 – because of this restriction the certificate cannot be accepted until
    A) restriction expires AND NXS’s Transfer Agent accepts the certificate or
    B) if the TA will not accept ANY restrictions on cert’s they may require a new ‘clean’ unrestricted certificate be re-issued by the company and submitted.

    Bottom line is Fidelity’s international trading desk WILL accept unrestricted certificates no problem but depending on the TA, there may still be issues with acceptance. I’m fine waiting until after 12/25/16 to submit for deposit (restriction language in in fine BOLD print on the back). I’m going to send a note to the NXS TA to find out if they will accept cert’s with (expired) restriction text of if they’ll require a clean reissued certificate.

    • Update – There are 2 restrictions on the back of the cert’s. First one is easy to address (date). The second one (big paragraph that deals with US securities law), an ‘application to remove’ form request must accompany submission of the cert. to Fidelity (physical form). I am in the process of determining if the Transfer Agent (contact info below) has their own form they will only accept OR if they will use Fidelity’s template. More to follow on that. Also Fidelity suggested that when I show up at the investor center after 12/25, I should have documentation (email in my case) of the Transfer Agent name and contact information – included below.

      Tom Liu
      T 604 661 9457
      F 604 661 9401
      510 Burrard Street, 3rd Floor
      Vancouver BC V6C 3B9

      Hope this helps somebody.

      • The TA will review/accept Fidelity’s template form for ‘application to remove’. I think I have all ducks in row to submit after Christmas wohoo! I have to mention, Sam Cole has been extremely patient and helpful – hopefully some of the information I’ve posted here will save he and others some time.

      • Problem with the late-Dec timing:

        Three Fidelity centers have told me that the last week in Dec is the 2nd busiest of the year for them–lines can be long even though usually absent. In my experience (also including overheard conversations) they are not as good as usual with certificates, DRS, or anything slightly unusual that week, and may be more likely to botch things or try to punt. At one office I was told that as an exception to their usual procedure, at this particular time, for anything having to do with certificates or DRS–and what I wanted to do was much more routine than our matter–I needed to make an appointment first. So with Fidelity, I’d say Good Luck, unless you wait until Jan 2017, and even then be prepared to be patient. Even if it seems to get done in Dec, it might be more likely to get done properly in Jan.

        But I may just have hit some bad luck.

    Got an email today from the Nexus legal council, Sam Cole. As has been suspected, it will not be easy or maybe even possible to turn in certificates until the restriction is off. The same as YYZ has been told, we should at least find it way easier once it is off
    I’d copy the email but we can’t cut and past, but Spock and Fully have it. Thx

  13. >>>John
    Please see below.

    From: Cole, Sam [mailto:scole@casselsbrock.com]
    Sent: Monday, September 12, 2016 7:52 AM
    To: Alex Klenman
    Subject: RE: US securities question

    Thanks Alex.
    I would imagine the issue with deposit relates to the Canadian and US restrictive legends placed on the certificates.

    Generally he would need to wait until the expiry of the Canadian hold period (4 months), and then make application to Computershare through his brokerage to have the US legend removed.
    Has he confirmed specifically what the issue is?

    Sam Cole
    Direct: +1 604 283 1485 • Fax: +1 604 691 6120 • scole@casselsbrock.com
    2200 HSBC Building, 885 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6C 3E8

    From: Alex Klenman [mailto:aklenman@nexusgoldcorp.com]
    Sent: Monday, September 12, 2016 7:45 AM
    To: Cole, Sam
    Subject: US securities question

    Just spoke to a US shareholder, and he’s having trouble depositing his NXS certificate from the recent placement.
    Do you have a suggestion as to who we can point this and other calls to that might help navigate the issue?


    Alex Klenman
    Chairman & Chief Operating Officer
    Nexus Gold Corp TSX.V: NXS
    Suite 720 – 700 West Pender St
    Vancouver, BC V6C 1G8

  14. Just got this from Commsec (AUSTRALIA)

    So would this mean i have to wait the 4months and then convert to DRS through Computershare?

    Hi James,

    Please be advised Commsec cannot facilitate the transfer or sale of share certificates. Your certificated holdings would need to be converted to electronic form first – this is called DRS (Direct Registration System) in Canada and US. You would need to contact the relevant share registry in Canada and request that your share certificate be converted to DRS. Once done, your shares can then be transferred to your Commsec International Trading account.

    If you have any further questions, please reply to this email, or for immediate assistance, call us on 1300 361 170 (24 hours a day on US market trading days) or from outside Australia on +612 9115 1531.

    Kind regards,
    Kevin S.
    Commsec International Desk

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