Failure of a brokerage firm

To protect yourself from this worst-case scenario:

  1. Don’t hold more than $250,000 of uninvested cash in your brokerage account. Keep any extra in your bank account until you want to make an investment.
  2. Split your investments so you have no more than $500,000 of stock in any one brokerage.

Option 3. Open brokerage accounts with the big two (Fidelity and Vanguard) and brokerage accounts owned by “too big to failed” banks (JPM-Chase, BAC, C).