Book-Entry Securities

What are 'Book-Entry Securities'

Book-entry securities are investments such as stocks and bonds whose ownership is recorded electronically. Book-entry securities eliminate the need to issue paper certificates of ownership. Ownership of securities is never physically transferred when they are bought or sold; accounting entries are merely changed in the books of the commercial financial institutions where investors maintain accounts.

BREAKING DOWN 'Book-Entry Securities'

U.S. Treasury securities (bonds, bills and notes) are all issued as book-entry securities. In this case, the securities investors own may be recorded with Legacy Treasury Direct or Treasury Direct, the systems through which investors can buy treasuries directly from the government. Individuals who still own old paper securities may exchange them for electronic, book-entry securities.