Sunday, September 14, 2008

What happens if my Broker goes bankrupt?

Your stock portfolio holdings or mutual fund value depends on the stock market values of all the stocks held in the fund, so you are fine unless the US stock market crashes. If your Broker files for bankruptcy over the weekend and you can't trade because your broker is out of business, you should be able to transfer your holdings to another broker.

If your broker goes bankrupt then the SIPC (Securities Investor Protection Corporation) will replace up to $100,000 in cash and $400,000 in securities. SIPC is a nonprofit, private organization that insures the assets of customers of broker-dealers registered with the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) . To see the fine print check the SIPC website.

This leads into the question, what happens if my bank goes bankrupt? You are insured up to $100k as long as the Bank if FDIC insured. However, do you want to deal with the hassel of waiting in line if there is a run on your bank. The strongest survive theme applies here too, WaMu customers are leaving and going to Bank of America.

What happens if AIG goes Bankrupt? Your broker is suppose to have reserves set aside encase they go belly up. If the reserves are not big enough to handle the claims, then there are state guaranty funds that should cover the claims. To see how much your covered by your state if your broker fails, check the Annuity Advantage Website.

To see the fine print on the Guaranty laws check the The National Organization of Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Associations (NOLHGA) website.


tapeworm on 10:53 PM said...

if all of that happens "overnight," it just proves i'm not paranoid after all

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