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Let's say I buy an iShares ETF, does Blackrock have this information or only my broker has this information? Is there a "customer service" or something that I can contact to ask a question? Are they supposed to have?

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  • What problem are you having that your broker can't answer?
    – RonJohn
    Nov 5, 2017 at 20:46
  • @RonJohn No problem for now, I just wanted to understand if the stock belongs really to me or if it belongs to me through a broker. When I buy a computer at a store I own the computer, the store has nothing to do after the buy. It seems as it is not the same thing in the stock market. Nov 5, 2017 at 22:21
  • You don't own a stock, you've bought shares in a fund managed by Blackrock.
    – RonJohn
    Nov 6, 2017 at 1:01
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    @RonJohn: Sure, but the same question obviously can apply to a share of a fund just as to a share of a stock.
    – BrenBarn
    Nov 6, 2017 at 2:03
  • @RonJohn OK, but do I really own these shares or not? Is the fact that I have bought the shares written somewhere other than the broker? Nov 6, 2017 at 8:54

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Yes. In the case of owning an ETF the parent company, in this case Blackrock, "has" a list of all the investors in that Exchange Traded Fund. In the case of an individual share of some stock the answer is also yes. There is an investor relations dept./officer who maintains a list of investors - which gets reconciled before a shareholder vote.

The brokerage have the most up-to-date list at any time and they update the listed exchange who can update the investor relations dept of Blackrock or the public company.

OK, but do I really own these shares or not? Is the fact that I have bought the shares written somewhere other than the broker?

Yes you own the shares. Your broker is the custodian. You can physically take custody of the shares you own as paper shares if you request them from your broker - check your investor agreement / contract with your broker.

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    The broker may be holding them in "street name" and Blackrock may have no idea which customers that use the broker own shares.
    – zeta-band
    Jan 24, 2018 at 0:16
  • Also worth adding most brokers who do this offer the ability to transfer to your name, albeit for a fee.
    – Philip
    Jan 24, 2018 at 11:38

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