Whether brokers of any description are going to be armed with access to
extra funds to bail them out is, a mute point. Everything is suspect.
To protect your retirement accounts you have two avenues of approach.
a. You request direct registration as a book entry at the transfer
agent, naming your trust entity and your retirement account name. This
creates what equates to a check requiring two signatures and thereby
assures a fast settlement and payout by a bankruptcy judge.
b. You require your trust agent to assure you that your pension account
is is held in a true custodial form. That means the assets of the
retirement account are segregated to your pension account name and is
not part of the balance sheet of the financial agent. If those assets
are in the nominee name of the Trust agent your assets are on their
Share investments in precious metals entities can be protected three
ways. The first is to take paper delivery of your shares where
available. The second is by you ordering direct registration as a book
entry at the transfer agent. Third is that you keep your shares at a
financial agent that offers true custodial accounts.
I hope that none of you are using margin accounts because the shares
can be loaned out to short that particular company and there is always
the possibility of a margin call where you have a limited time period
to meet the extra cash commitment before a percentage of the shares
will be sold to cover the margin.