Most financial institutions have facilities available for purchasing stocks, bonds, and mutual funds on the U.S. exchanges or other major markets. If you decide that you want to hold shares of IBM in your account, you can direct the bank to buy the stock for you. The bank will perform all of the traditional stock brokerage services. For U.S. stocks, the trades will generally be executed on the U.S. exchanges. However, the customer’s name does not appear on the trade. An order to buy 100 shares of IBM is executed under the name of the bank. The physical securities may be delivered to the bank, in its name or can be held in a brokerage account in New York for its account. The bank’s internal records show that the customer is the owner, but there is no disclosure of that information. If you want to buy a mutual fund, the purchase will also be in the name of the bank, credited to your account on its books. Your monthly account statement will show the cash balance and the securities which you own.
Most financial institutions will offer you the option of having your funds managed by their investment professionals. If you wish to do so, they will obtain the necessary information about your investment objectives, time horizons, and risk tolerance. If you are not an experienced investor or if you wish to take advantage of a particular expertise, the managed account may satisfy your needs.