In general, securities may be held in three different ways.  One way is to hold them in certificate form, where the securities are registered in your name on the books of the company, and you receive a printed certificate.  If you lose the certificate, you will incur expenses to replace it.  Alternative approaches eliminate the need to hold certificates by relying on a “book-entry” record of ownership.  For example, you can hold your securities in “street name” where your securities positions are recorded on the books of your brokerage firm.  Another book-entry option is direct registration where your securities positions are registered on the company's books.

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