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Do You Own The Stocks You Buy Through Interactive Brokers?

Do You Own The Stocks You Buy Through Interactive Brokers?

The need to patronize trustworthy brokers is crucial these days if you are a retail investor like me. Due to the fact that we have lots of brokers today and most of their activities are online, you need to know if you would own the stocks you purchase via a brokerage firm. Talking about Interactive Brokers, do investors own their stocks there?

You own the stock you buy through Interactive Brokers as soon as you execute your order, although the name on the stock certificate wouldn’t be in your name. The name that appears on the certificate is that of Interactive Brokers; this is referred to as being held “in street name.”

In this article, we will consider the following: what “in street name” means, what broker-dealer transaction, what contract of difference is, and whether you can transfer stocks in and out of Interactive Broker.

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What does “In Street Name” mean?

 “In Street Name” is slang for when a broker holds a customer’s stocks in their name, rather than the customer’s name, who is the legal owner of those stocks. Even though the name of the stocks certificate isn’t in the customer’s name, they are listed as the actual and sole owner of the stocks.

For example, if a customer buys 200 shares of stock from Interactive Brokers. Instead of transferring the customer’s legal name to the stock certificates, the stocks will be held in “street name.”

Today, it is more convenient for brokers to hold stocks in street names due to how complex it is to monitor customer stock certificates. Almost every broker holds stocks or assets electronically, and these stocks make up their inventory. As a result, the broker can efficiently allocate a portion of their inventory whenever a customer wants to purchase stocks.

If brokers use inventories of paper securities, it will take more time to actualize securities transactions. For instance, if a customer wants to sell their stock, the broker would have to get the stock certificate owned by the customer and send those stocks back to the issuing company, which then changes the name of the stock to that of a new owner.

Since stocks change hands every day, in street name reduces transaction cost and boosts returns on investments.

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What does a broker-dealer transaction entail?

A broker-dealer firm is a firm that buys and sells securities for itself and on behalf of its customers. Furthermore, a broker-dealer performs orders for their clients and is constantly paid for doing so.

Interactive Broker is a broker-dealer firm that doesn’t take ownership of clients’ stocks. Instead, every customer owns their own stocks when they purchase them on the platform. It is also essential to know that Interactive Brokers can only choose what they will do with stocks when operating from their account as a principal. When trading stocks on behalf of clients, they act mainly as agents, meaning they don’t co-own clients’ stocks.

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Do Interactive Brokers accept, hold, or issue physical stock certificates?

Interactive Brokers doesn’t accept, hold, issue physical stock certificates. They hold all the securities in street names. As stated earlier, Interactive Broker proves the ownership of securities through electronic records.

If you would like to keep tabs on things, Interactive Brokers usually updates its customers through emails on account information and other important information. Also, these updates include monthly account statements, changes in portfolio value, etc.

Through the Interactive Brokers app, you can also view your monthly statements of accounts, annual tax form, and all trade confirmations.

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Can you transfer stocks in and out of Interactive Brokers?

You can transfer stocks in and out of Interactive Brokers through the National Securities Clearing Corporation’s (NSCC) and Automated Customer Account Transfer Service (ACATS). However, requests for ACATs are made through Account Management.

It is essential to also know that Interactive Brokers only allows products that can be traded. You can not hold products such as Limited Partnership units in your Interactive Brokers account. Before you can make any transfer on Interactive Brokers as a new customer, it has to fulfill the Minimum Initial Deposit.

Normally, the stock transfer takes between four and eight business days, and you will not be able to withdraw any funds or transfer any assets to another broker for ten days after you have received your account transfer.

Nonetheless, the ability to transfer stocks in and out of Interactive Brokers shows that you have the absolute ownership of your stocks.

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What is a CFD? How does it work?

A contract of difference (CFD) is an agreement between a buyer and seller, where the buyer pays the seller the difference between the current value of an asset and its value at contract time. CFDs allow traders and investors to profit from recent price action without actually owning the underlying asset.

Companies that allow CFDs permit users to predict whether the price will go up or go down. If the company notices that the cost of security skyrockets, they sell such security to make profits. They purchase such security at a low price and sell it at a high price.

Contract for difference is risky because you can make profits and also experience significant losses as well. In addition to this, you don’t own CFD stocks.

Nonetheless, Interactive Brokers doesn’t perform the contract of difference trading because it is not allowed for brokerages in the United States to engage in it. You own the securities you purchase on Interactive Brokers.


As I have stated earlier in this article, you own the stocks you purchase on Interactive Brokers. However, the name on the stock certificate wouldn’t be in your name. The name that appears on the certificate is that of Interactive Brokers; this is referred to as being held “in street name.” Interactive Brokers doesn’t also have a stake in the value of customers’ stocks.

If you have further questions, please let me know in the comments section.

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