DEFINITION of 'Safekeeping Certificate'

A document that represents ownership of a security or certificate of deposit. Safekeeping certificates are the investor's claim against the institution that is holding his or her financial instruments. These documents are most commonly used to facilitate international securities trading and foreign investment; they benefit both the companies and investors who use them.

BREAKING DOWN 'Safekeeping Certificate'

Depositary receipts are a common example of safekeeping certificates. These documents often represent ownership of securities issued and traded outside the United States. Depositary receipts can be bought and sold like stocks and can help investors diversify their holdings.

Other methods for investing internationally include purchasing U.S.-traded international stocks, purchasing stock in U.S.-based multinational corporations, and investing in international index funds and foreign country mutual funds through U.S. brokerages. When assets are placed with a broker, a safekeeping certificate is issued.

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  1. 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 >>
  2. I hold stock certificates in a company that just had a stock split. What happens ...

    The short answer is that a stock split will have little effect on the holder of stock certificates. In most cases when an ... Read Answer >>
  3. I lost my share certificate. Do I still own the stock?

    Regardless of whether a shareholder loses his or her stock certificate, that person still owns the shares. However, in order ... Read Answer >>
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