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From my own research I think I have a decent handle on the "pseudo-drip" brokers that continue to hold shares in street name, but in looking at the DRIPs offered by ETFs (which offer to reinvest distributions at the lesser of (i) NAV and (ii) market) the disclosure seems to imply that I can direct my broker to elect to participate in the plan on my behalf (see below), which leads to my question: does anybody know a (discount?) broker that does this obviating the need to get the shares registered in my name? This is a particularly attractive option for ETFs that generally trade at a premium to NAV.


From the annual report of PCK:

Pursuant to the Funds’ Dividend Reinvestment Plan (the “Plan”), all Common Shareholders whose shares are registered
in their own names will have all dividends, including any capital gain dividends, reinvested automatically in additional Common
Shares by BNY Mellon, as agent for the Common Shareholders (the “Plan Agent”), unless the shareholder elects to
receive cash. An election to receive cash may be revoked or reinstated at the option of the shareholder. In the case of record
shareholders such as banks, brokers or other nominees that hold Common Shares for others who are the beneficial
owners, the Plan Agent will administer the Plan on the basis of the number of Common Shares certified from time to time
by the record shareholder as representing the total amount registered in such shareholder’s name and held for the account
of beneficial owners who are to participate in the Plan. Shareholders whose shares are held in the name of a bank, broker
or nominee should contact the bank, broker or nominee for details.
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In any event, I would offer one clarification: by "ETF" I actually meant "CEF" (as ETFs don't trade at discounts/preiums due to their in-kind redemption features for institutional investors) and my example, PCK, is in fact a CEF.

Another way to ask my questions is: what's the cheapest way to (i) buy shares through a broker and then (ii) get them registered in my own name?

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Ok. So, 30 minutes later I think I have a decent answer to my own question:

The SEC helpfully tells you the various ways in which to hold shares:

Of the two ways to get the shares registered in your name the Direct Registration System seems to make the most sense so that you don't have to hold physical certificates and you avoid the fees brokerage firms charge for issuing/depositing certificates.

Next step is to find a discount brokerage firm that participates in the DRS and allowes (free?) transfers.

Scottrade seems to meet this criteria: "No-cost, value added services include:... Incoming / outgoing direct registration system (DRS)"

Hope this helps somebody else and if anybody can find a less expesive way to accomplish this, please let me know!
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Amatorem, I haven't bought into any new DRIPs in years, however here's a couple of places you might go to for more info:
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