SiebertNet Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)



About Investing with Siebert

Q. How do I find out more about investing with Muriel Siebert & Co., Inc.?

A. You may visit Why Siebert, see the investment choices we offer, learn about our trading services, or read about account features. To find out more about investing with Siebert, you may call our New Accounts Department at 800-872-0711 from 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. ET, Monday-Friday.

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Q. What kind of account protection do I receive with Siebert?

A. Muriel Siebert & Co., Inc., clears your trades on a fully disclosed basis through National Financial Services LLC (“NFS”), a Fidelity Investments® company. NFS holds in custody the securities and cash in your Siebert account. Securities in accounts carried by NFS are protected in accordance with the Securities Investor Protection Corporation ("SIPC") up to $500,000. The $500,000 total amount of SIPC protection is inclusive of up to $250,000 protection for claims for cash, subject to periodic adjustments for inflation in accordance with terms of the SIPC statute and approval by SIPC's Board of Directors.

NFS also has arranged for coverage above these limits, called "excess of SIPC" coverage, as described in more detail below. Neither coverage protects against a decline in the market value of securities, nor does either coverage extend to certain securities that are considered ineligible for coverage. For more details on SIPC, or to request a SIPC brochure, visit www.sipc.org or call 1-202-371-8300.

In addition to SIPC protection, NFS provides for brokerage accounts additional "excess of SIPC" coverage from Lloyd's of London together with Axis Specialty Europe Ltd. and Munich Reinsurance Co. The "excess of SIPC" coverage would only be used when SIPC coverage is exhausted. Like SIPC protection, "excess of SIPC" protection does not cover investment losses in customer accounts due to market fluctuation. It also does not cover other claims for losses incurred while broker-dealers remain in business. Total aggregate "excess of SIPC" coverage available through NFS's "excess of SIPC" policy is $1 billion. Within NFS's "excess of SIPC" coverage, there is no per account dollar limit on coverage of securities, but there is a per account limit of $1.9 million on coverage of cash (which must be in the account) awaiting reinvestment, and not just to earn interest, which brings the total of cash coverage through SIPC and “excess of SIPC” through Lloyd's to $2.15 million for each account, including up to $250,000 protection for claims for cash from SIPC and a per account limit of $1.9 million on coverage of cash through NFS' "excess of SIPC" coverage, as described more fully under Account Protection.

This is the maximum "excess of SIPC" protection currently available in the brokerage industry. Lloyd's of London currently has an A (Excellent) rating with "Stable Outlook" from ratings firm A.M. Best and an A+ (Strong) with "Stable Outlook" from Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor's. Ratings listed herein as of July 11, 2011, and subject to change. For ratings explanations, please go to http://www.lloyds.com/Lloyds_Market/Ratings/.

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Q. Can I stop by a Siebert office?

A. Yes. In addition to our New York City headquarters, we have branch offices located in New Jersey, Florida and California. Please visit the Contact Us section to find the branch office nearest you.

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Q. How can I contact Siebert?

A. You may e-mail or call us.  If you are a Siebert client, use our Customer E-mail form.  If you are not currently a client, please use the Non-Customer E-mail form to contact us.  If you prefer, you may call or visit any of our local branches. For issues regarding new accounts, please call the New Accounts Department at 1-800-872-0711 from 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. ET, Monday-Friday. For other customer service issues, please call the Customer Service Department at 800-872-0444 from 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. ET, Monday-Friday.

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About SiebertNet

Q. Is SiebertNet easy to use?

A. Our Web site is user-friendly. We have recently re-designed it to provide simpler, integrated navigation, as well as other features focused on our clients' needs. Learn about the new features or use our site map to quickly locate a specific page.

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Q. How much does it cost to trade on SiebertNet?

A. For equities, $14.95 per trade for up to 1,000 shares on market or limit orders and 1.5 cents per share for additional shares thereafter. Please note that we individually negotiate commission rates for large and/or active accounts on request. If you have an active and/or large account and you wish to negotiate special rates, please Contact Us. See our published commission rates.

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Q. Why should I choose SiebertNet?

A. As a SiebertNet client, you are entitled to prompt, professional – and personal – customer service. SiebertNet even has a safety net: If our Web service is ever interrupted, our professional registered representatives will execute your trade at the Internet rate.1

With SiebertNet, you will enjoy one of the most extensive selections of free third-party research and analytic tools, including stock analysis & commentary, automated stock analysis and screening systems, multiple sources of market-related news, fixed income screeners, a variety of alerts and more.2 (Please review Third Party Content and Sites before utilizing third-party research and tools.) Monitoring your investments and the market is easy with SiebertNet's Desktop News Alerts, e-mail account alerts, balances screens, intraday history and 36 months of online account statements, confirmations and tax documents. Trade by tax lot and the cost basis is automatically tracked from real-time positions screens. Investing is simplified with one comprehensive consolidated account and an automatic daily sweep of cash into your choice of money market mutual funds. You receive all this and more for one fair commission charge per trade and no hidden fees. Learn more about all the reasons you should choose Siebert.

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Q. What type of account information can I view with SiebertNet?

A. You can see real-time account balances including margin, equity and cash balances and buying power, in addition to real-time unrealized gains/losses for Positions purchased as recently as the prior day. Use the Positions screen to view cost basis for positions and component tax lots as well as real-time market value before you trade, or view and transaction history. Track realized gains/losses via a robust feature that displays cost basis details for all positions closed and summarizes the net gain/loss for each account for each of the past three years. You may also access your statements, trade confirmations and tax documents online.

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Q. Can I download my account information into personal finance programs?

A. Yes, you can download your account information into Quicken® and Microsoft® Money. Software downloads work beginning with the 2006 versions of these programs. Downloading your account information into these programs is quick and easy. Please visit Quicken ® Download or Microsoft ® Money Download for more information.

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Q. How can I access my account via SiebertNet?

A. SiebertNet access requires a unique User ID and Personal Identification Number (PIN). To receive your User ID and PIN, please contact Technical Support at 800-872-0444, option #4, from 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. ET, Monday-Friday.

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Q. Once I open a Siebert account, am I restricted to doing business with Siebert electronically?

A. No. You may always choose how you would like to interact with us. You may trade with a live broker on the phone or in person at one of our branch offices. You may choose BrokerageExpress, our combined interactive voice recognition and touch-tone telephone system, or you may trade wirelessly through popular Blackberry devices, Palm VIITM, Handspring TreoTM, Compaq Pocket PC, Web-enabled cell phone and the T-Mobile Sidekick. Different commission rates apply to each venue.

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Active Traders

Q. What do I get as an active trader or if I have a large asset account?

A. Siebert offers many programs and services to meet the specialized needs of active traders or those with large accounts. On request, these may include negotiated commission and margin rates, a personal brokerage team accessible via a private toll-free line, routing of orders to preferred destinations and extended market access. You can also request the Dynamic Monitor desktop with streaming real-time account and market information and utilize advanced order features including One-Cancels-Other and One-Triggers-Two. Qualified options account holders may also access the Options Wizard and Strategy Builder. Learn more about these services.

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Q. What kind of advanced orders does Siebert offer?

A. Siebert offers investors the ability to place online Conditional Orders, including One-Triggers-Two, One-Cancels-Other, Contingent and Multi-Contingent order types. Siebert also offers Trailing Stop orders online.

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Q. Does Siebert offer advanced options trading online?

A. Yes. Qualified options account holders may be entitled to trade simple or complex options.

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Change of Address

Q. How do I change my mailing address?

A. Please send us your address change in writing via mail or fax, including your account number, new address, new phone number and the signatures of all parties listed on the account. You may fax your updated address to the Customer Service department at 201-239-5749. If you prefer, please mail your instructions to Customer Service at 15 Exchange Place, 6th Floor, Suite 615, Jersey City, NJ 07302

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Funding/Withdrawals/Transfers

Q. How can I fund my account?

A. In addition to sending us a check or registered securities, you can fund your account via money wire transfer from your bank or electronic funds transfer (EFT). Learn more about funding your account. Please note that the EFT option is only available if your account has been open for at least 6 months.

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Q. How can I withdraw funds from my account?

A. Siebert provides unlimited free check writing for all non-retirement accounts. There is no minimum balance and no minimum check amount. At your request, we will also provide you with a Visa debit card ($60 per year). (Debit card not available for UTMA or UGMA accounts.) We can also wire funds to your bank or another designated recipient, or mail you a check. To request a debit card, bank money wire or check withdrawal, please call Customer Service toll-free at 800-872-0444 from 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. ET, Monday-Friday. Learn more about withdrawals.

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Q. How do I transfer assets from one Siebert account to another?

A. To transfer assets from one Siebert account to another, please submit your transfer request in writing. Please include both account numbers, a detailed description of the assets you are requesting to be transferred and your signature. If the account from which the assets are withdrawn is a joint account or trust account, the letter should include the signatures of both owners or trustees. You may fax the letter to 212-486-2784 or mail to Customer Service at:

Muriel Siebert & Co., Inc.
15 Exchange Place, 6th Floor, Suite 615
Jersey City, NJ 07302

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Q. How can I deposit a security certificate into my account?

A. Please have the registered holders sign and write the date on the back of your certificate and write your account number on the front. Please mail your signed certificate to Customer Service at:

Muriel Siebert & Co., Inc.
15 Exchange Place, 6th Floor, Suite 615
Jersey City, NJ 07302

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Q. How do I cancel an ACH service?

A. To cancel an existing ACH service, please fax a written request with your signature to 212-486-2784 or mail to Customer Service at:

Muriel Siebert & Co., Inc.
15 Exchange Place, 6th Floor, Suite 615
Jersey City, NJ 07302

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Q. How do I withdraw funds from an IRA account using ACH?

A. To withdraw funds from any retirement account, you must complete an IRA Distribution Form. If you would like the distribution to be deposited directly with your bank or credit union account via EFT, you must have EFT instructions on file. To add EFT instructions, please complete the Bank Information sections on the distribution form or attach a voided check to the form. Please note that the EFT option is only available if your account has been open for at least 6 month. Once submitted, the instructions may take up to 14 days to process.

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Margin3/Options4

Q. What are Siebert's margin rates?

A. Siebert's margin rates are competitive, and we will negotiate them for individuals with large debit balances and/or active accounts on request. Our margin rates vary from a minimum of 3/4% to a maximum of 2% above the broker call money rate, depending upon the amount of your total debit balance. The broker call money rate changes with fluctuations in interest rates and is published in most major newspapers. If you believe you may qualify for negotiated rates, please Contact Us. View our current published rates. Our margin rates are among the most competitive in the industry visit our current offers margin page to learn more.

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Q. How can I receive margin and/or option trading privileges?

A. Qualified customers can apply for margin and/or options trading by completing the appropriate forms and mailing them to Muriel Siebert & Co., Inc., 15 Exchange Place, 6th Floor, Suite 615, Jersey City, NJ 07302. Please note that margin borrowing and options trading are not suitable for everyone. Using margin to buy additional securities can offer greater potential returns, but also incurs additional risks. Please visit Margin Information to learn more. Please read Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options if you are interested in options trading.

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Q. What does it mean if I get a margin call?

A. If a price drop in a margined security causes your account's equity to fall below its maintenance requirement, you will receive a margin call. To fulfill a margin call, you are required to raise your account's equity to the minimum acceptable level by selling securities, depositing cash or depositing securities that are already fully paid for. Please visit Margin Information to learn more.

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Q. How do JAGTRRA dividend changes impact my margin accounts?

A. The Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 reduces the federal tax rate to a maximum of 15% for "qualified dividends" paid to individual shareholders (5% for taxpayers in the two bottom ordinary income tax brackets). Learn more about the potential impact of this legislation on your margin account.

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Online Forms/Statements

Q. Can I download account applications and related forms online via SiebertNet?

A. Yes, most account-related forms can be viewed and printed from the Online Forms Center.

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Q. Can I access my monthly statements and tax documents online?

A. Yes, you may view and print up to three years of monthly statements. In addition, you may also view the most current 1099, 1099R and 5498 forms. For your convenience we also provide printable copies of your trade confirmations online for all trades done in the last 90 days.

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Online Security & Privacy

Q. How secure is SiebertNet?

A. SiebertNet incorporates strong electronic security measures. Customer data and trading information is transferred over the Internet using industry-standard encryption technology that is designed to be secure. Additionally, we employ redundancy measures, including diverse Internet access points for fast, highly-reliable service. Please review important information on Online Security.

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Q. What other measures do you recommend?

A. SiebertNet's secure site automatically logs you off if you do not interact with it for 15 minutes. We recommend that you close your browser on completion of a logged-in online session. We also recommend that you use a browser that supports 128-bit encryption technology. Please review important information on Online Security.

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Q. What kind of a PIN number should I select?

A. A general rule for creating a PIN is the longer the better. Don't use sequential or repetitive characters in PINs or easy-to-guess numbers such as your phone number or date of birth. Don't tell anyone your PIN and don’t write it down. Ideally, your PIN should be easy for you to remember yet difficult for others to guess.

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Q. How secure is downloading my account information to Quicken and Microsoft Money?

A. Information downloaded into finance-management tools is subject to the security protocols established by these products. In general, they feature advanced encryption and authentication technologies, including SSL technology.

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Q. How do you use the personal information I enter in the online application?

A. Siebert limits the collection, use and retention of your personal information to the extent necessary to properly administer our business and our continued commitment to improving our services. Access to your personal and account information is restricted to employees who need to know that information in order to provide products or services to you. We do not sell current or former customer information to anyone for any reason, at any time.  In addition, we do not share your nonpublic personal information with any nonaffiliated third parties. We may disclose nonpublic personal information on a strictly limited, confidential basis to third parties that perform account maintenance and processing services for us. These include, for example, our clearing firm and fulfillment companies. Finally, we maintain physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to guard your nonpublic personal information. Read more in our Privacy Policy.

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Q. Is the information I provide through the online application secure?

A. Protecting your personal information online is critical in today's Internet environment. All of your personal information that is collected is stored on a secure database environment away from our Web servers. Some of our third-party content providers may use cookies which are electronically transmitted files holding small pieces of information. You can set your browser to notify you when you receive a cookie and allow you to decide whether to accept it. If you have any further questions, please consult our Privacy Policy or contact a Siebert Customer Service Representative.

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Opening an Account

Q. I want to open an account. What do I have to do?

A. Fill out the online application, or call us at 800-872-0711 from 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. ET, Monday-Friday, to open an account over the phone. You can also apply by mail or in person.

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Q. How much does it cost to open and maintain an account?

A. There is no fee for maintaining an account at Siebert except $30 for retirement accounts with under $10,000. There is also no minimum investment amount required to open an account.

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Q. Are there any inactivity fees?

A. Yes, but only $25 for clients with inactive non-retirement accounts where the combined value of any single account or multiple accounts designated "household" (retirement and non-retirement) is under $25,000.*

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Q. What types of accounts do you offer?

A. Siebert offers a variety of account types, depending on your individual, family and/or company needs and goals. Learn more.

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Q. How can I transfer an account from another brokerage to my Siebert account?

A. To transfer your account, please complete the Account Transfer form (download at the Online Forms Center), attach it to a copy of a monthly statement from your current brokerage firm and mail to Customer Service at:

Muriel Siebert & Co., Inc.
15 Exchange Place, 6th Floor, Suite 615
Jersey City, NJ 07302

We'll even pay your other broker's exit fees (maximum credit $100 per account transferred). Once your transfer is initiated, please allow 8-13 business days for the assets to be received from the delivering broker. Partial or mutual funds transfers can take up to 29 days. For further information, please Contact Us.

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Q. Can I transfer an existing debit balance and/or options contracts to Siebert?

A. Yes. You are able to transfer a debit balance and option positions directly over to Siebert.

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Q. Can I open an account if I don’t have U.S. citizenship and/or reside outside the U.S.?

A. Yes.  We open accounts for non-U.S. citizens who reside in the U.S.  We also open accounts for individuals who reside in certain countries.  Please contact our New Accounts Department at 800-872-0711 from 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. ET, Monday-Friday, to verify if your country of residence is eligible.

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Retirement

Q. Can I transfer an IRA or retirement plan to Siebert?

A. You can transfer an IRA or retirement plan from one broker to another electronically.  The method in which to do this does vary depending on the type of retirement account.  Please call our New Accounts Department toll-free at 800-872-0711 from 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. ET, Monday-Friday, for more information.

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Q. Can I open a Pension Plan/Keogh/SEP?

A. Yes. We offer Money Purchase Pension Plans, Keogh Profit Sharing Plans, SEP IRAs and a variety of other retirement accounts.

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Q. What is a Rollover IRA?

A. A Rollover IRA is an IRA account into which funds from an employee-sponsored plan, such as a 401(K), can be transferred. These funds may also be rolled back out into a new employer's retirement plan. Learn more about the different types of retirement accounts.

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Q. What is the difference between a rollover and a transfer of assets?

A. A transfer is the movement of funds between like accounts, such as one Traditional IRA to another Traditional IRA. You can transfer assets as often as you like.  Since no possession of assets occurs, transfers are not reported to the IRS.  In contrast, a rollover is the movement of funds between one eligible retirement plan and another, such as a 401(k) to a Traditional IRA. All distributions are reported to the IRS and may be subject to federal income tax.

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Q. I am not sure how to request a rollover transfer from my prior employer. What should I do?

A. In order to initiate a rollover from your prior employer to Siebert, you will first need to open an IRA Rollover account with us. Once the account is established, you should contact your current employee sponsored plan's provider to initiate the rollover.

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Q. What is a 60-day rollover?

A. A 60-day rollover allows you to move money between IRA accounts. You can take a distribution from one IRA account and rollover the amount of the distribution to the same IRA or different IRA account within 60 calendar days of receiving the distribution. You may execute only one 60-day rollover per IRA account during every rolling 12 month period. Please consult your tax advisor to determine the best solution for your individual situation.

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Q. Can I make contributions to my Rollover IRA once it is established?

A. Yes. You can make annual contributions to a Rollover IRA account.

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Q. Can I combine my Rollover IRA assets with the assets in my other IRAs and still roll over my assets to an employer-sponsored retirement plan in the future?

A. Yes. You can combine your assets held in a Traditional IRA and a Rollover IRA.

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Q. How can I avoid the 20% mandatory withholding income tax on my retirement payout?

A. In order to avoid the tax on your retirement payouts, you should request your employer to pay the funds directly to Siebert rather than to you.

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Q. What is an Inherited IRA (otherwise known as Beneficiary IRA)?

A. When a beneficiary other than the spouse takes possession of the assets in a tax-deferred IRA account, the funds are transferred into an Inherited IRA so that they remain tax-deferred until the IRS requires that they be withdrawn.

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Q. If I am a spousal beneficiary of an IRA, can I open an IRA of my own?

A. The IRS allows a non-working spouse to open an IRA of their own. The same contribution guidelines apply for both the working and non-working spouse.

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Q. Can I change the beneficiary on my IRA?

A. Yes. You can change your beneficiaries at any time by completing an IRA Beneficiary Change form. To have the form mailed to you, please call Customer Service toll-free at 800-872-0444 from 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. ET, Monday-Friday.

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Q. Can I move money from my Traditional IRA to my Roth IRA?

A. Yes. Roth Conversion allows you to move money from a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. This is a taxable event, so please check with your tax advisor prior to initiating any movement of assets.

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Tax Matters

Q. How can I update the cost basis of the securities in my account?

A. SiebertNet's real-time Positions screens automatically track cost basis on securities you have purchased through your Siebert account and allow you to add cost basis of securities that have been transferred to Siebert. You can even break aggregated cost basis of transferred stock into separate component tax lots with the correct cost basis for each.

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Q. When are the 1099 forms mailed?

A. Most 1099 forms are mailed out by February 15. However, in an effort to reduce the number of corrected forms that are issued, the IRS has granted an extension. As a result, some 1099 forms may not be mailed until the end of February. If you believe you have not received your forms, please contact Customer Service toll-free at 800-872-0444 from 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. ET, Monday-Friday.

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Q. Do the 1099 forms report short sales?

A. Yes, short stock sales will be shown on the 1099-B form.

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Q. What forms do I receive if I have a W-8BEN form filed?

A. All non-resident aliens will receive a 1042-S form instead of the 1099. This form shows total gross income and the amount of Non-Resident Alien tax withheld (as determined by your country's tax treaty with the U.S.).

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Technical Issues

Q. Which web browser is best to use with SiebertNet?

A. Siebert recommends Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher (You may visit Technical Support for further details). Be certain to choose the 128-bit encryption version. Firefox may also be used. For Mac OS X, we recommend the Safari or Firefox browsers. Siebert continues to test newly released browsers for compatibility.  You can check the Technical Support page periodically for updates. AOL users who are accessing the internet through AOL should use either Internet Explorer or Firefox.

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Q. What are the system requirements for using SiebertNet?

A. Our recommended operating system requirements are Windows 2000 or higher (XP, Vista).  We also recommend a processor of Pentium III – 1 GHz or higher, 256 MB of RAM or higher and at least a 56K modem.

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Q. What are the recommended monitor display settings for using SiebertNet?

A. We recommend a resolution of 1024 x 768 with a 17” monitor or 800 x 600 resolution with a 14” monitor.

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Q. What should I do if I'm having difficulty connecting to SiebertNet?

A. If the difficulty appears with other sites on the Internet, please contact your Internet service provider. However, if you experience issues specific to SiebertNet, please visit the Technical Support page for more information.

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Q. How can I download my account information into Quicken® or Microsoft® Money?

A. Downloading your account information into these programs is quick and easy. Please visit Quicken® Download or Microsoft® Money Download for more information.

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Q. Can I install RTTNews Desktop News Alerts on my computer at work?

A. Yes, if your company will permit it. In addition to following the simple installation instructions, please request the firewall administrator in your company's IT department to allow TCP traffic on port 80 to IP addresses 69.61.51.202 and 69.61.48.203. This will allow information sent from RTTNews’ servers to enter the corporate network.

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Q. How can I print from your Web site?

A. The best results are achieved by right-clicking on the page and choosing “Print” in Internet Explorer or “Print Frame” in Netscape Navigator. You can also use the print button on the browser toolbar, although this is not recommended. Graphics used in SiebertNet are designed for on-screen display and may not print as sharp as they appear on the screen.

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Trading and Order Types

Q. What types of orders can I place online?

A. SiebertNet allows you to place online orders for equities, through informative order entry screens with automatic on-screen display of your current account balances, direct links to real-time quotes and news, and direct links to additional account information including positions and order status. Investors may place trailing stops, as well as orders for options, including complex options for approved accounts, and mutual funds. Investors may also place a variety of online Conditional Orders, including One-Triggers-Two, One-Cancels-Other, Contingent and Multi-Contingent order types. You can also indicate interest in fixed-income securities and IPOs.

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Q. What types of equity orders and special conditions are available online?

A. You may buy, sell, sell short and buy to cover. Order types that may be placed are market, limit, stop loss, and stop limit orders. You may also specify shares to trade by tax lot and borrow stock for short sales by checking a "versus purchase" box on the order ticket. Equity order conditions available include all-or-none, do-not-reduce, do-not-increase, not-held, day, good-'til-canceled (120 day limit), fill-or-kill, immediate-or-cancel and at the close.

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Q. What parameters are available for trailing stop orders?

A. You may set a trailing stop to buy or sell at a specific dollar amount or percentage above or below the stock's current bid or ask or last trading price. Learn more about trailing stop orders.

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Q. Do you have an order handling fee?

A. At Siebert, there is never a special fee to place or execute an order. You are only charged the commission for your trade if your order is executed.

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Q. Can I place pre-market and after-hours ECN trades online?

A. Yes, both pre-market and after-hours ECN trades can be placed via SiebertNet, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. until 9:28 a.m. ET and from 4:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. ET through NYSE Arca. Learn more.

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