A:

CUSIP stands for Committee on Uniform Securities Identification Procedures. Formed in 1962, this committee developed a system (implemented in 1967) that identifies securities, specifically U.S. and Canadian registered stocks, and U.S. government and municipal bonds.

The CUSIP number consists of a combination of nine characters, both letters and numbers, which act as a sort of DNA for the security - uniquely identifying the company or issuer and the type of security. The first six characters identify the issuer and are assigned in an alphabetical fashion; the seventh and eighth characters (which can be alphabetical or numerical) identify the type of issue; and the last digit is used as a check digit.

The CUSIP Service Bureau is operated by Standard & Poor's on behalf of the American Bankers Association (ABA). When setting out to develop the CUSIP system of identification, the ABA basically had two main criteria it was trying to meet. First, it wanted the identification to contain the fewest number of characters possible and to be linked to an alphabetical sequence of issuer names. Secondly, it recognized that the system should be adequate given the current operating requirements while having the flexibility to adapt to any future needs or changes in the operating systems. For more information on the CUSIP system, visit Standard & Poor's CUSIP Service Bureau.

To learn more about CUSIPs, see Old Stock Certificates: Lost Treasure Or Wallpaper? and How do I find the CUSIP number for a particular stock?

RELATED FAQS
  1. Do mutual funds have CUSIP numbers?

    Learn what CUSIP numbers are and how they are used to classify securities, such as mutual funds, registered in the U.S. and ... Read Answer >>
  2. How do I find the CUSIP number for a particular stock?

    Unfortunately, this can be a little difficult as CUSIP numbers are owned and created by the American Bankers Association ... Read Answer >>
  3. Do hedge funds have CUSIP numbers?

    Learn what a CUSIP number is, and whether this number is necessary for hedge funds, ETFs and various other types of investment ... Read Answer >>
  4. How does the ISIN numbering system work?

    The International Securities Identification Numbering (ISIN) system is an international standard set up by the International ... Read Answer >>
  5. How do you get a hard copy of a stock certificate?

    Before online brokers and personally-directed accounts, holding a physical stock certificate was a necessity, as this was ... Read Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    Old Stock Certificates: Lost Treasure Or Wallpaper?

    What if you've discovered some old shares in bearer form? Follow our tips and find out what they're worth.
  2. Investing

    Old Stock Certificates: Lost Treasure?

    Today, most stocks reside electronically in a broker’s computer. But it is possible to stumble across a physical stock certificate.
  3. Personal Finance

    Microsoft Excel Features For The Financially Literate

    Here are some of Excel's functions and features that a financial professional can use to make his or her job more efficient.
  4. Insights

    Inside National Payment Systems

    Investopedia explains: The global interconnection of U.S. payment systems makes commerical and financial transfers possible.
  5. Investing

    Subaccounts: As Good Their Clone Funds?

    Variable annuity subaccounts are virtual clones of mutual funds but they have their own CUSIP number and their historical performances are tracked separately.
  6. Trading

    Trading Systems: Run With The Herd Or Be A Lone Wolf?

    Find out if taking the path less traveled will work in your favor - or against it.
  7. Investing

    Understanding Google's Capital Structure (GOOG)

    With Google becoming Alphabet, the company's internet business and other ventures remain the same under a capital structure of more equity and less debt.
  8. Small Business

    Alphabet Is the 'Hegemon' of Digital Advertising (GOOGL)

    Thanks to a combination of strong YouTube views, improved mobile search products and dominant ad business, Alphabet continues to put up gaudy numbers.
  9. Investment Committees: Duties and Responsibilities

    An investment committee can help plan sponsors avoid fiduciary liabilities. Included is information regarding the duties and responsibilities of investment committee members.
  10. Investing

    Google Stock: An Earnings Case Study (GOOGL)

    Analyze Alphabet's recent and historical earnings. Learn about the business trends that influence financial results and analyst forecasts.
RELATED TERMS
  1. CUSIP Number

    An identification number assigned to all stocks and registered ...
  2. Dummy CUSIP Number

    A temporary identification number attached to a security by a ...
  3. CINS Number

    An extension to the CUSIP numbering system, which is used to ...
  4. Valoren Number

    An identification number assigned to financial instruments in ...
  5. International Securities Identification Number - ISIN

    A code that uniquely identifies a specific securities issue. ...
  6. MBS Pool Number

    A number or alphanumeric character assigned to a mortgage-backed ...
Hot Definitions
  1. Federal Direct Loan Program

    A program that provides low-interest loans to postsecondary students and their parents. The William D. Ford Federal Direct ...
  2. Cash Flow

    The net amount of cash and cash-equivalents moving into and out of a business. Positive cash flow indicates that a company's ...
  3. PLUS Loan

    A low-cost student loan offered to parents of students currently enrolled in post-secondary education. With a PLUS Loan, ...
  4. Graduate Record Examination - GRE

    A standardized exam used to measure one's aptitude for abstract thinking in the areas of analytical writing, mathematics ...
  5. Graduate Management Admission Test - GMAT

    A standardized test intended to measure a test taker's aptitude in mathematics and the English language. The GMAT is most ...
  6. Magna Cum Laude

    An academic level of distinction used by educational institutions to signify an academic degree which was received "with ...
Trading Center