Every reasonable precaution should be taken against the loss of a security, either by theft, fire, or whatever the case may be, and no better precaution can be taken than by the rental of a box in some Safe Deposit Company. There is no recorded instance of an effort to break into a modern safe deposit vault. The physical obstacles offered by the construction are too great. There are
1One of our leading educators recently said: " There are usually two foundations for the capitalization of a business corporation. The first is the money actually paid for the property or plant; the second is the earning power of the plant and the organization. Both these foundations may be real and solid at any given amount, but both are liable to grave changes. Most plants deteriorate or waste, and constantly require partial replacement. Earning power may be unexpectedly either increased or diminished by natural causes, or by bad management or fraud. Injudicious or unfaithful directors may fail to maintain the value of a plant, or may sell earning power to other corporations or to partnerships or individuals." a great many who think they cannot afford this; but in the long run it is to prove a very cheap method of insurance. The keeping of one's securities in the ordinary safe in the house, store, or office, is practically no protection at all against the present day scientific burglar.
Again, many safes do not give proper protection in case of fire. The keeping of securities in concealed places, like in some old stocking or under the bricks of the hearth, is likewise unsafe, especially in case of fire, and the urgent advice of securing the rental of a safe deposit box is here repeated.
In any event, have a complete list of your securities and keep the same in a different place from that in which the securities themselves are kept - in an entirely different building - so that if the securities are destroyed by fire, the same fire will not be likely to destroy the list. This list should be a fairly complete description so that in case of loss the securities can be so completely described as to fully identify them. It should give, in each case, the name of the security, the number it bears, if any, the date of its issue, the face value, the rate of interest, when due; and it will be valuable to take additional description, such as when interest is payable, of whom bought, etc. All this information is valuable, as it may also save a trip to one's safe deposit vaults to obtain information regarding some particular security, which may be wanted for other reasons than in case of identification on account of loss. For instance: certain bonds may be " called for payment " and it is often necessary to know if one holds any of the numbers called.
There are small books issued, with ruled pages, with blank spaces and printed headings, by the use of which an investor will be guided in taking all the information necessary. In event of loss of a security, notify immediately the corporation issuing the same, also the banker from whom it was purchased, giving in each case a complete description of the security.
If it is a municipal bond, notify the municipality and the banker.
If it should be a mortgage upon real estate, bring the attention of your lawyer to it without loss of time.
(See " Bond of Indemnity.")