A registered security means the transfer agent records the name of the security owner. Registration gives the issuer names and addresses for distribution of annual reports, dividends, interest, proxy statements, proxies, and other shareholder information. It also makes the sale of stolen securities difficult or impossible.
In contrast, bearer bonds are just like cash and may be cashed by anyone submitting them for redemption. They are negotiable securities.
In modern times, nearly all stocks and bonds are registered. The most common exception is Treasury bonds, which are still bearer bonds.
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