celia wrote: ↑Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:04 pm
OP, If you think you don't "really own anything", who do you think owns YOUR assets?
Why do you think you "can never get" a Medallion signature?
userwithconcern wrote: ↑Sat Sep 05, 2020 10:14 am
Not asked for one yet, but I am new to investing, I have just been reading through the board, caught my eye on the medallion signature topic, dug more and seems everyone is unhappy about them, except a few people that seem to get it very easily. It seems like I may never be able to get access to the money if I am not able to convince someone to take on the massive liability of guaranteeing the signature.
And to be frank, I am not good at interpersonal interactions (please don't judge), so am convinced that I will never get one because they will think I am not worth the risk
A Medallion signature is stronger than a notary stamp which only requires you show your ID to a stranger (typically). Both confirm your identify, but the Medallion signature is also confirming you have a relationship with a bank. Banks have rules these days that they need to "know the customer" (hence they ask some questions that you might consider invasive, but are part of "knowing" the customer, such as who your employer is). You usually can't just walk into your bank with forms asking for the signature. You usually need to call ahead for an appointment and there is likely only one person in the branch that can sign on the bank's behalf. They may ask what your form is for so they can weed out people who only need a notary. You don't have to "convince someone to take on the massive liability" as it is a common service that banks provide, although not requested very often. (So is closing an account after someone dies or following up after an account has been fraudulently closed out.) These specialized services are likely only processed by one experienced employee in the branch.
Although you don't need to do it now, you should eventually open a checking account at a brick and mortar bank near where you live, so you can start building a relationship with them. Having a 5+ year history with the bank and their ability to "see" your spending and income habits will make them more comfortable in confirming that you are who you say you are. I doubt they will treat you any differently than any other customer, but as your assets and transactions change over the years, it will be good to have a brick and mortar bank on your side.
I would add that Vanguard as well as other financial institutions and transfer agents have the obligation to prevent fraud and require verification of identity for many types of securities transfers and account changes.
"Securities Transfer Agents Medallion Program (STAMP) is a verification system used by many different institutions for guaranteeing individual signatures applied to physical certificates of securities requiring transfers."
"STAMP members - including commercial banks, credit unions, savings banks or broker-dealers - must have Medallion imprinting equipment and surety bond coverage to carry out the service. The Medallion imprint or stamp on a certificate indicates to a transfer agent that a signature is guaranteed by a trustworthy financial institution, which, presumably, knows its customer. A transfer agent will not accept a certificate without a signature guarantee because of the risk of loss or liability if the signature is later discovered to have been forged. Guarantors generally do not charge for the imprint service, instead offering it as a courtesy for their banking or brokerage relationship with the customer."
The bank officer is a registered member of STAMP and signs the required documentation as well as providing a stamp with their membership identification on the document.
I have never found this to be difficult and am glad this proof of identity is required to prevent fraud.
As far as the OP is concerned I believe he is not quite fully understanding what Vanguard means in their regulations and is thus overreacting somewhat.
"Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." Winston Churchill.