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FAQs

Questions fréquemment posées sur l'enregistrement direct

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  • What is Computershare?
    Computershare, based in Australia, is the largest transfer agent in the world by market share. Some companies who have contracts with Computershare include: Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Disney and GameStop. Transfer agents are hired by corporations to maintain any investor's financial records, and track said investor's holdings. Basically, they maintain an up to date ledger of the direct owners of share certificates. They also record transactions, cancel and issue certificates, process investor mail, and handle a variety of other issues to maintain a quality experience for investors. Computershare also hosts a helpful FAQ available here: https://www.computershare.com/corporate/investor-relations/i-am-a-computershare-shareholder/faqs
  • What are the different types of share ownership?
    There are two main versions of share ownership available to investors - registered shareholders and beneficial (or street name) shareholders. Registered Shareholders People or entities can hold shares directly in their own name on the company register - a share ledger maintained by a transfer agent such as ComputerShare, in the case of GameStop. The transfer agent keeps the records of ownership for the registered shareholders and provides services such as transferring shares, paying dividends, coordinating shareholder communications from/to the company, and more. The issuing company has full visibility over this registry and who the registered shareholders are. Registered shareholders are also able to vote directly on the proposals set forth by the company that they are invested with. Beneficial Shareholders People or entities can also hold shares with an intermediary, such as a broker. When shares are kept in this manner, it is often referred to as keeping the shares in "street name", or beneficial ownership. Investors with beneficial ownership access their investments, account balances, and other information through their broker/intermediary's online platform. All beneficial shares are generally held through the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation, also known as the DTCC, (which is the DTC+ Cede & Co.). In certain circumstances, shares may be 'lent' by the brokerage firm to cover other trading activity, such as short sells. The company has little to no visibility of the beneficial investors, whose shares are held in "street name", and communications from the company are routed through the broker, usually by an agent acting for the broker. Similarly, communications from the beneficial shareholder, such as voting on proposals for the company, are routed through the broker to the transfer agent using a proxy system. Shareholders who maintain investments in "street name" are partially covered automatically by SIPC insurance. This insurance coverage is to cover investors if the broker they work through is found to be insolvent due to unsafe lending or operating practice. This type of coverage does not exist for directly registered shareholders, as transfer agents do not engage with any derivative activities regarding shares held directly by investors, and hold no money on their books (only record of shares).
  • How long does it take to transfer shares between the 2 types of ownership?
    Transfers between brokers or other custodians for shares in beneficial ownership (or street name) is referred to as an Automated Customer Account Transfer (ACAT). Per Sec Regulations, the ACAT transfer should be completed within 3 trading days, as long as the forms were completed properly. However, there is no regulation stating that broker to transfer agent transfers using the Direct Registration System need to be completed within a certain time frame. The time to complete can vary widely depending on market conditions, and on involved parties. Once the transfer request has been sent to and received by ComputerShare, they are able to process it fully by the end of the next working day.
  • Am I able to buy and sell through Computershare?
    Yes! There are some major differences between buying and selling using Computershare compared to through an account with a broker, but these features are still available to account holders. Buying When you purchase shares through Computershare, you will select an amount of dollars to purchase with rather than selecting an amount of shares to purchase. This is because Computershare does not have any capacity to act on margin or provide banking services, such as holding cash in your account. After you select the amount of dollars to purchase with, and choose a linked domestic bank account (or use an account through Wise if you are from another country), Computershare will wait for these funds to clear before making a purchase. After funds are settled, Computershare will make an at-the-market purchase the following trading day. This usually happens around 10:30am to 10:45am EST. You will not know your cost basis or purchase price at the time you place your order. Market conditions may change in the settlement period leading up to the purchase. The at-the-market purchase is performed on the lit market and will impact price discovery. Computershare does not use dark pools and does not participate in or profit from Payment for Order Flow. Selling Unlike buying, selling through Computershare is functionally very similar to selling through a broker. You are able to utilize both limit sells and market sells. Computershare charges flat rates as commission fees for these actions. As mentioned earlier, Computershare does not hold cash at any time - so when a sell takes place and settles, Computershare will send funds (minus fees) to your linked bank account automatically. If you do not have a linked bank account, they will send a check to the address on file for your account.
  • Can I speed up the snail mail delivery times?
    If your account has less than 10 shares, Computershare can provide your account number over the phone, skipping the need for the first letter. Otherwise you can expedite the first letter for $45. If you are a domestic US citizen investing in a US company such as GameStop, you can also log into the site without waiting for your account number by proving your identity and answering questions when prompted. The second letter with the verification code can be sped up for a $30 fee; they will send you an email with the pin within 48 hours.
  • Can directly registered shares be loaned without consent or accessed for any purpose by the DTCC, DTC, market makers or similar entity?
    Computershare does not lend securities; lending securities is not an authorized function of a transfer agent for shares held in directly registered form. The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTC/Cede & Co) cannot borrow shares from directly registered shareholders (shares held in shareholders names). The majority of all registered shares are registered to Cede & Co (subsidiary of the DTCC), and brokers can legally use the idea of locating shares instead of actually borrowing them (due to Regulation SHO). Transfer agents do not participate in this practice. Shares in directly registered form can only be accessed by intermediaries when they are authorized to do so by the investor to sell or transfer them. A transfer agent requires the broker or bank to transmit the investor's name and address, number of shares to be transferred, and the investor's unique holder identification number, before taking instructed action. Cede & Co.'s holding increases as deposits into DTCC are made by banks and brokers, while it decreases as withdrawals are made (using the Direct Registration System) by investors.
  • What can I do if my broker cannot transfer using DRS?
    Some brokers won't allow DRS transfers, but they might allow broker to broker transfers. If that's the case, you could transfer from your current broker to an international broker such as TradeStation, XTB or IBKR, then to a transfer agent like ComputerShare. Some brokers will not allow broker to broker transfers either, such as Etoro or Trading212. Closing positions on those brokers, and repurchasing assets from a broker that does allow for direct registration (or buying directly from the transfer agent for that stock), is the only way to move these equities to your own name. Direct Registration should be available to all investors. If your broker does not support it and you want to see that change, you can complain about this to your country's Financial Arbitrator/Ombudsman. Here's the list of European Financial Arbitrators.
  • My broker doesn't know what a DRS transfer is, now what?
    Use these 4 points to help your broker understand: 1. Ask specifically for a Direct Registration System transfer to ComputerShare US (or your transfer agent of choice for the company you hold securities with), and ask them to check with their back office or compliance officer about how to execute. 2. Remind them that ComputerShare (insert any transfer agent here) is a transfer agent and not a broker, so ComputerShare (they) cannot initiate the transfer. 3. Tell them it needs to be a DTC W/T Transmission. (W/T means Withdrawal by Transfer!). 4. Tell them its a NON-ACATS transfer,, The Automated Customer Account Transfer Service (ACATS) is a broker to broker service, whereas NON-ACATS is to a transfer agent.
  • How can I own shares with a transfer agent without ever using a broker?
    There are two easy methods to get started with direct share ownership without using a broker first. 1. Give A Share. Give a Share is a resource that can provide a share as a gift to any individual, and that share is directly registered with that company's transfer agent automatically. It also comes with a replica share certificate and frame. Give a Share is a great way to make the share into a special gift and conversation starter! 2. ComputerShare's Gift Share feature. If you already have a ComputerShare account, you can send a share as a gift to anyone you like. The sender will enter some information about the recipient, and an account will be available for them to claim.
  • How do I call Computershare?
    Here are Computershare's GME specific numbers: In the US You can call toll free on 800-522-6645. Oustide of the US: Computershare has made a free phone number for GME! The number is: + 800-3823-3823. Most EU countries can call this number, the full list can be found in the Computershare FAQ. It's the 5th FAQ down. If your country is not on that list, you can use a Skype free trial or a similar web calling platform.
  • My Computershare account has two share types - Book and Plan. What are they?
    From ComputerShare's FAQ on this subject; DRS - Direct Registration System (Book) DSPP - Direct Stock Purchase Plan (Plan) DSPP and ‘pure’ DRS shares are technically different forms of holding, although for many practical purposes, they are the same, and both considered "book entry". Both forms of ownership record the names of the investor directly on the issuer’s register, where they are recognized as directly registered shareholders, (removing those shares from the ownership of the DTCC). In both cases, the investors are sent communications by the company and can directly vote their shares. Both forms of ownership are recorded directly on Computershare’s platform, and may be managed by the shareholder through the online portal, the Investor Center. Both DSPP & DRS are classified as "book entry" means of holding shares. The DSPP has an internal pool of shares held by ComputerShare to provide the liquidity that allows for fractional sales. DRS shares do not require enrollment into a "plan", nor is there a need to make elections around dividend payment allocations. DSPPs are specific plans that require shareholders to elect enrollment, and allow fractional buying. DSPP shares require for the shareholder to elect for dividend payment to be reinvested into the purchase of additional shares. Dividends are paid, and proxy voting instructions are issued, on a consolidated basis, i.e. for the aggregate of DRS and DSPP positions. Computershare does not issue separate proxies or make two dividend payments. An investor can, at any time, withdraw all or part of their shares in DSPP form, and have them added to their DRS holding (for example after a DSPP purchase settles) without a fee. Shares held in DRS form and DSPP form (with the exception of any fractional amount) can be transferred to a broker (in a single parcel to a broker or in multiple parcels to multiple brokers) at any time via the DRS system. Shares held in DRS and DSPP form can be sold via Computershare, and are subject to the terms and conditions of the DRS Sales Facility or DSPP, as applicable. The best way to secure fractional shares from being sold in a DSPP account is to maintain at least one share of said stock in the account in order to maintain the plans requirements. If you wish to convert your plan shares to book, you can follow our guide on how to do it here:
  • What happens if the publicly traded float of a company is ‘locked’?
    No publicly traded company has ever had its full float, or full outstanding body of shares represented entirely by directly registered long term investors. While there are theories, there is no way to know for sure what may happen.
  • I like what this website is doing to spread DRS advocacy. How do I donate?
    DRSGME.org is not accepting cash donations at this time. If you would like to volunteer your time or have ideas to improve the resources here and the user experience, please reach out to us at hi@drsgme.org.
  • I want to help my community learn about direct registration and bring power back to the investors. How can I do that?
    That's awesome! Beyond sharing this site and these guides, there are general free advocacy resources available for download here . It is encouraged for everyone to take advocacy personally, and help spread information however comfortable to you if you would like to teach others about the financial system. Hopefully these resources are helpful and can be used as a jumping off point to help your friends, family and community learn about the Direct Registration System. The ability to direct register has been there for decades, but it's only recently that a surge of retail interest (initially focused on GameStop) has emerged. Word of mouth has always been the most powerful tool, so don't be afraid to use it!
  • I have a large amount of GME shares purchased from within my IRA – how can I DRS these?
    There is a full guide available to assist organizing a DRS transfer from an IRA. Please see this link for more details. https://www.drsgme.org/direct-register-shares-from-ira-in-kind-direct-transfer
  • Can a transfer agent liquidate your shares without your permission or force you to close?
    No. A transfer agent has no property rights over the shares; they manage the books for a company. They need explicit instruction from a shareholder to do anything regarding the securities. A transfer agent does not handle cash, and does not have accounts which operate on margin. Even if the transfer agent were to disappear overnight and go bankrupt, the company you're invested in would still know you own X amount of shares - and the shares would still be safely, directly registered in your name. The transfer agent's solvency has nothing to do with the safety of your investment. The company still knows who you are as a shareholder, on their books, so your investment is always secured.
  • Is it possible to give direct registered securities to someone else directly, as a gift?
    Yes, it is! We have a dedicated page to this question located here. In brief, there are two easy methods to provide the gift of direct registration to loved ones. You can either send shares you already own from your Computershare account or you can purchase securities to be delivered directly to anyone anywhere through the online service Give a Share. That person will be prompted to create an account with the transfer agent.
  • What is the W-8 BEN form?
    The purpose of the W-8 BEN form is to clarify the tax status of non-US citizens. Every non-US investor will have filled one out with their broker when buying US stocks. Brokers will not let you trade until you fill it out, however with Computershare you can fill it in at any time. It's essential to fill in this form with your transfer agent as soon as you open your account, or you will be taxed twice on your profits. Once in the US, and once in your home country. Here is a guide on how to fill it in with Computershare, and how to get around the time out errors that come up with it. Please note: If you add US banking details to your Computershare profile (such as details from a Wise.com account), Computershare will assume you are a US citizen and you will have to re-do the W-8 BEN form (and possibly submit more paperwork to clear things up with them).
  • How can I DRS GS2C shares?
    GS2C is the ticker that GameStop has on the Frankfurt exchange. They need to be converted to GME in order to be DRS'd by Computershare US. Many German brokers can convert GS2C to GME for you, but normally for a fee. If you want to cut back on fees, you can convert your GS2C shares to GME while transferring them to IBKR, using the XBT solution (XTB stands for Cross Border Transfer, also known as Cross Border Delivery). There is a guide on how to do the XTB solution available on the site here.
  • What are book and plan shares?
    Shares transferred to Computershare from brokers are always whole shares, and are always placed in a type of book entry called "book holdings". ​ Shares directly purchased with Computershare are all placed in a type of book entry called "Plan Holdings". Plan holdings can hold fractional shares. Also any shares you put in a limit sell order are moved to plan for quick execution when the price is met. They also stay in plan if you cancel the limit sell order. Both are registered with the Company, and are reported as separate tallies. It is up to the company to decide how to report on this. Book holdings are 100% removed from the DTC, which is why Paul Conn of Computershare refers to it as "pure DRS". Where as a portion of plan holdings are kept with Computershare's broker (again for quick execution of trades). While plan shares cannot be used for any lending purposes (Computershare is literally not able to do it), some investors are still concerned about what the DTC might be able to do with them (could the DTC argue they are reasonable locates? They are in plan for quick execution of trades after all). ​ Unfortunately due to the obfuscation of data (we can't see the data for ourselves), there is no way to know for sure. Both book and plan are great, but there are differences between them. Both can be more appropriate for you depending on your circumstances. If you wish to convert your plan shares to book, you can follow our guide on how to do it here:
  • Should I give my broker my transfer agent account number?
    You would only need to give your transfer agent account number to your broker in order to move shares back to your brokerage account. This is because your transfer agent account number is considered to be the key to your account. Think of it more like an authorization code for your broker to request the share transfer. However some brokers will ask for your transfer agent account number when attempting to move shares from the broker and into direct registration. Often a broker thinks the process to DRS transfer is similar to transferring to another broker and will therefore ask for your account number. When moving from broker to broker this is perfectly normal, but when moving from a broker to a transfer agent it is entirely unnecessary. It may seem strange at first, but your full name is actually how transfer agents locate your account and allocate your shares. This is because the shares are being placed in your name, instead of under some anonymous account number. So your name is actually closer to what you would normally consider to be an account number when it comes to direct registration. If your broker insists on having your transfer agent account number even after you have explained this to them, then you may have limited options. One option is to move to another broker that understands the process better. Another is to accept their terms, and open yourself to the risk of accidental reverse transfers. Because brokers can be so unfamiliar with the process, this has been recorded to have happened to several investors. Although you may be able to protect your account by making a small change to your name or address so what your broker has on file no longer matches. Such as adding or removing a middle initial, or making a subtle enough change to your address that you can still receive your snail mail (add or remove a borough, change from "Street" to "St" or add a space in your postal/zip code). Only do this when you are confident you are finished transferring your shares from your broker to the DRS, and if you are confident you do not want to move your shares back to your broker.
Si vous souhaitez entrer en contact avec davantage d'investisseurs partageant les mêmes idées, rejoignez notre nouveau subreddit :r/DRSyourGME
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