This excerpt taken from the ALOY DEF 14A filed Dec 5, 2005.
What is the difference between holding shares as a stockholder of record and as a beneficial owner?
Most of our stockholders hold their shares in an account at a brokerage firm, bank or other nominee holder, rather than holding share certificates in their own name. As summarized below, there are some distinctions between shares held of record and those owned beneficially.
Stockholder of Record
If on November 25, 2005 your shares were registered directly in your name with our transfer agent, American Stock Transfer and Trust Company, you are a stockholder of record who may vote at the special meeting, and we are sending these proxy materials directly to you. As the stockholder of record, you have the right to direct the voting of your shares by returning the enclosed proxy card to us or to vote in person at the special meeting. Whether or not you plan to attend the special meeting, please complete, date and sign the enclosed proxy card to ensure that your vote is counted.
If on November 25, 2005 your shares are held in an account at a brokerage firm or at a bank or other nominee holder, you are considered the beneficial owner of shares held in street name, and these proxy materials are being forwarded to you by your broker or nominee who is considered the stockholder of record for purposes of voting at the special meeting. As the beneficial owner, you have the right to direct your broker on how to vote your shares and to attend the special meeting. However, since you are not the stockholder of record, you may not vote these shares in person at the special meeting unless you receive a valid proxy from your brokerage firm, bank or other nominee holder. To obtain a valid proxy, you must make a special request of your brokerage firm, bank or other nominee holder. If you do not make this request, you can still vote by using the voting instruction card enclosed with this proxy statement; however, you will not be able to vote in person at the special meeting.