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. Where do penny stocks trade?

    Generally, penny stocks are traded through the use of the Over the Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB) and through pink sheets. ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Where can I buy penny stocks?

    Some penny stocks, those using the definition of trading for less than $5 per share, are traded on regular exchanges such ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How does the stock market react to changes in the Federal Funds Rate?

    The stock market reacts to changes in the federal funds rate in various ways depending on where it is in the business cycle. ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How do I place an order to buy or sell shares?

    It is easy to get started buying and selling stocks, especially with the advancements in online trading since the turn of ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Is there a difference between financial spread betting and arbitrage? (AAPL, NFLX)

    Financial spread betting is a type of speculation that involves a highly leveraged derivative product, whereas arbitrage ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Why would a corporation issue convertible bonds?

    A convertible bond represents a hybrid security that has bond and equity features; this type of bond allows the conversion ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Stock Analysis

    Are U.S. Stocks Still the Place To Be in 2016?

    Understand why U.S. stocks are absolutely the place to be in 2016, even though the year has gotten off to an awful start for the market.
  2. Term

    Understanding Market Price and Its Changes

    An asset’s or service’s market price is the current price at which it can be bought and sold.
  3. Active Trading

    Market Efficiency Basics

    Market efficiency theory states that a stock’s price will fully reflect all available and relevant information at any given time.
  4. Economics

    The History of Stock Exchanges

    Stock exchanges began with countries who sailed east in the 1600s, braving pirates and bad weather to find goods they could trade back home.
  5. Options & Futures

    What Does Quadruple Witching Mean?

    In a financial context, quadruple witching refers to the day on which contracts for stock index futures, index options, and single stock futures expire.
  6. Professionals

    Is A Stockbroker Career For You?

    Becoming a stockbroker requires a broad skill set and the willingness to put in long hours. But the rewards can be enormous.
  7. Fundamental Analysis

    5 Predictions for the Chinese Stock Market in 2016

    Find out why market analysts are making these five ominous predictions about the Chinese stock market in 2016, and how it may impact the entire world.
  8. Investing Basics

    How to Pick A Stock

    The first step in picking stock is to determine your goals.
  9. Economics

    How Interest Rates Affect The U.S. Markets

    When indicators rise more than 3% a year, the Fed raises the federal funds rate to keep inflation under control.
  10. Investing Basics

    Financial Markets: Capital vs. Money Markets

    Financial instruments with high liquidity and short maturities trade in money markets. Long-term assets trade in the capital markets.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Value Investing

    The strategy of selecting stocks that trade for less than their ...
  2. Sector

    1. An area of the economy in which businesses share the same ...
  3. Swap

    A derivative contract through which two parties exchange financial ...
  4. After-Hours Trading - AHT

    Trading after regular trading hours on the major exchanges. The ...
  5. Issued Shares

    The number of authorized shares that is sold to and held by the ...
  6. Depository Trust Company - DTC

    One of the world's largest securities depositories, it holds ...
Hot Definitions
  1. Liquidation Margin

    Liquidation margin refers to the value of all of the equity positions in a margin account. If an investor or trader holds ...
  2. Black Swan

    An event or occurrence that deviates beyond what is normally expected of a situation and that would be extremely difficult ...
  3. Inverted Yield Curve

    An interest rate environment in which long-term debt instruments have a lower yield than short-term debt instruments of the ...
  4. Socially Responsible Investment - SRI

    An investment that is considered socially responsible because of the nature of the business the company conducts. Common ...
  5. Presidential Election Cycle (Theory)

    A theory developed by Yale Hirsch that states that U.S. stock markets are weakest in the year following the election of a ...
Trading Center