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INVESTING THROUGH RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS General While most people are aware that IRAs, SEPs, Keogh's (HR-10s) and other types of retirement plans may be invested in areas other than insured bank deposits, including real estate, listed and non-listed stocks, mutual funds and bonds, many are not aware of their ability to invest in the sale of new bank stock. This misunderstanding or confusion is due in large part to the fact that many of the larger retirement plan sponsors resist such investments for a variety of reasons - general policy or the fact that they don't receive a commission for placing the investment, for example. In fact, in face of the resistance from these managers, one might reasonably conclude that this investment was, at best, marginally acceptable and, at worst, somewhat illegal. This, simply put, is not true! The laws, rules and regulations governing self-directed retirement accounts do not distinguish IPOs or new bank stock as any more or less acceptable than any other potential investment. It is solely up to the individual making the investment to determine the relative risk/return of any of the investment options open to them. In fact, many of the recent new bank stocks have found that a significant percentage of their offerings have been subscribed through retirement accounts. Now that the misunderstanding some may have regarding the ability to invest in new bank stocks through their retirement plans has been addressed, it is important to note some of the more commonly asked questions as to how this investment is accomplished (assuming, of course, that you have decided that this investment makes sense for you). This information is not intended, and should not be regarded, as legal or financial advice regarding the use of your retirement plan for the purpose of purchasing shares of El Camino Bank (In Organization). As with all transactions involving the use of your retirement funds, you should consult with your accountant, financial and/or tax advisors in connection with an investment in the bank’s securities. The information contained herein is not an offer to sell the securities of El Camino Bank (in Organization). Please read the offering circular for information regarding the offering. Questions & Answers May an investment in a new bank stock be made through any retirement account? No, only a self-directed retirement account without specific restrictions against investing in new bank stock may be used. Keep in mind, however, as briefly addressed above, the sponsor may have other reasons to resist this investment. If you encounter these difficulties, contact other, possibly smaller plans, which would likely be more interested in service and the overall relationship than the individual transaction (commission). Finally, of course, the issuer of the new bank stock would be most helpful in referring you to a reputable self-directed retirement plan sponsor, which would have no trouble processing this investment. Okay, I'm convinced and I've opened my self-directed retirement account. How do I buy the new bank stock from the public offering and get it into the account? What you don't do, as your plan manager will tell you, is buy the new bank stock first! You need to put funds into your retirement account either by making a qualified contribution or by transferring the funds into the account from another qualified plan. You cannot buy the stock personally and then transfer it to the retirement account. To transfer funds from my already existing qualified plan, must I close it? No, you may have as many qualified plans as you want, with different custodians. This does not, however, increase the amount of your maximum annual contribution. Okay, my money is in my self-directed retirement plan. What do I do now? Notify your retirement plan manager that you want to invest in new bank stock and advise him/her of the number of shares you wish to invest. Be sure to take notice of the minimum number of shares required to invest in the new bank stock and the amount of money available in your self-directed retirement account: You then fill in (on the Subscription Application) the number of shares you want your plan to purchase and deliver it to your plan manager with the Offering Circular (prospectus). Some also provide subscribers with a Broker Instruction Letter. If provided, you should complete the form and deliver it to your plan manager. As an alternative, the issuer of new bank stock will usually be more than happy to have a copy of the Offering Circular and Subscription Application delivered directly to the retirement plan manager on your behalf. What happens if the new bank stock is not successfully completed? Your investment funds are returned to your retirement plan, in some cases with interest or deduction for expenses incurred in investing such funds. When the new bank stock is successfully completed, do I receive a stock certificate? No, your investment is held in "street name" (the name of the broker/retirement plan) on your behalf. Periodic updates will be sent to you from this source based largely on information they receive from the company (new bank stock issuer). It is very important that you notify directly the new bank stock issuer of your investment along with your address (and phone number if you feel comfortable doing so). While this is not in any way legally required and does not affect the integrity of your investment, it will expedite your receipt of information regarding the company and increase their recognition of you. What if I have other questions? Ask your plan manager. On a specific new bank stock, the new bank stock issuer can also be most helpful.
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