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wrt giving broker information:

Brokers are in a tough spot in recommending appropriate investments to their clients. So, even a very legit, conservative firm will require a profile which their leagal-beagles will approve before trading your account. Thus, questions like "How long have you been trading?" need to be answered before you can write naked puts.

I know that with my brokerage firm, I need net worth and salary information to do option trading, etc. That way they can tell if an order to short 100,000 shares is appropriate.

To just buy & hold stuff, there shouldn't be too many requirements. they still might want it for "suitability" proof. Everybody whose investment goes down wants to sue the broker. [I'm not defending any of the above, just giving some reasoning.]

As far as SSN, all of your dividends, as well as your trades, are reported to Uncle Sam each year. So, a broker does need a SSN.

I get no unsolicited "stuff" from my brokerage(s) except for plugs for extended services stuffed in with statements.

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