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Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of accounts do you offer?

We offer Individual, Joint, Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, SEP-IRA, Uniform Gift to a Minor (UGMA), Trust, Corporation, and Partnership/Other Entity accounts.

How do I open a new account?

You can open an Individual, Joint, Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, SEP-IRA or Uniform Gift to a Minor (UGMA) account online through our online process. Or you can download our account application and mail it to Parnassus Investments. Currently we do not accept new Trust, Corporation, and Partnership/Other Entity accounts online. For these accounts please download and complete our Investment Account Application then mail it to Parnassus Investments. You will be able to have online access for these accounts once they are open.

Can I get electronic delivery of my statements and fund documents?

Parnassus Investments is pleased to offer electronic delivery of fund documents. By delivering documents electronically, we’ll be able to deliver documents by email and save some trees. Shareholders will be able to choose to receive mail from Parnassus Investments either through email or by postal mail. These include statements, transaction confirmations, shareholder reports, prospectuses and tax forms. Shareholders can choose a different type of delivery method for each type of document. For example, shareholders who like receiving mailed shareholder reports can continue to choose to receive them by postal mail while receiving their quarterly statements and prospectuses electronically.

To sign up for electronic delivery, shareholders can go to their Document Delivery Preferences after logging into their account.

What are the minimum initial investments?

The minimum investment per fund is $2,000 for non-IRA accounts and $500 for IRA and UGMA accounts. For non-IRA accounts, this amount is reduced to $500 if the account owner signs up for the Parnassus Automatic Investment Plan. IRA minimums are waived for accounts that sign up for the Parnassus Automatic Investment Plan.

How do I make additional purchases?

You can make additional purchases by accessing your account online. You may also mail your check to Parnassus Investments at 1 Market Street, Suite 1600 San Francisco, CA 94105. When mailing in your check please make sure to reference your account number and fund selection for your investment. For more information on purchasing additional shares, please refer to a prospectus, which you can download from our Forms & Documents section or download subsequent investment slips.

You may also sign up for our Parnassus Automatic Investment Plan, where you can have your bank account automatically debited to make automatic monthly or quarterly investments to your Parnassus Investments account.

How do I start or update an automatic investment plan?

You may sign up for our Parnassus Automatic Investment Plan, where you can have your bank account automatically debited to make automatic monthly or quarterly investments to your Parnassus Investments account. Start an automatic investment plan online or you may download our Parnassus Automatic Investment Plan form.

How do I redeem my shares?

Depending on the online access settings for your account and account type, you can make a redemption online by accessing your account. You can also redeem shares by mail, fax, or telephone, also depending on what type of account you have and the account access settings. You may download the Redemption Request Form for non-IRA accounts or the IRA Distribution Form and mail or fax your request in. The maximum redemption request by telephone and fax is $50,000.00.

Please note that for security reasons, if you request that a redemption check be sent to your new address, the new address must have been on file for 30 days, otherwise we require requests to be mailed to Parnassus Investments with an original Signature Guarantee Medallion Stamp. We cannot accept a Signature Guarantee Medallion Stamp by fax.

What is Cost Basis?

Cost basis is used to determine your gain or loss for tax purposes should an investment be sold. The cost basis is the purchase price of a mutual fund (or other asset) plus reinvested dividends and reinvested capital gains distributions. If an investment is sold and the market value exceeds the cost basis, then there is a realized capital gain. Conversely, if the cost basis exceeds the market value, then there is a realized capital loss. Parnassus Funds will default to Average Basis if a cost basis disposition method is not chosen.

Calculating Cost Basis

The IRS allows you to calculate cost basis using one of three methods.

Average Basis. Under this method, the shareholder must divide the total cost basis of all shares held in the account (including reinvested distributions) by the total number of shares held at the time of the sale or redemption. The holding period of the shares sold is determined on a FIFO basis. This method is most commonly used by mutual funds (including Parnassus Funds) when providing cost basis information to their shareholders.

First-in, First-out (FIFO). This method assumes that the first shares acquired were the first shares redeemed. While this method is simple to apply, it may result in the realization of larger gains if the first shares you acquired were purchased at the lowest prices. The IRS assumes FIFO is used if shares are not adequately identified at the time of the sale or exchange or another method has not been selected.

Specific Share Identification. Under this method, the shareholder is required to specifically identify the shares sold at the time of the sale. Although this method allows shareholders to identify the shares that will yield the most favorable tax result, it may result in additional record keeping.

You're required to provide written instructions to your selling agent in advance of any redemption as to which shares are to be sold.

Once you've selected an Average Basis method for calculating the cost basis for a particular fund, you generally cannot change to another cost basis method without the approval of the IRS. However, you can select different methods for other funds you may own. For additional information on the three available methods, please refer to IRS Publication 550, Mutual Fund Distributions.

What are Covered Shares vs. Non-Covered Shares?

The new cost basis regulations treat mutual fund shares acquired before the effective date (January 1, 2012) as non-covered shares. Mutual funds are not required to report cost basis to the IRS for shares purchased prior to the effective date.

Shares acquired after the effective date (January 1, 2012) are considered covered shares. Mutual funds will now report the cost basis for all covered shares to both you and the IRS. When filing your tax return, you will be required to use the cost basis reported on your 1099-B for covered shares. The cost basis method that will be used for all non-covered shares is Average Cost.

How do I convert assets from a Traditional IRA to a Roth-IRA?

You may convert assets from your Parnassus Traditional IRA to a Roth-IRA by completing our IRA Account Application if you currently do not have a Roth-IRA with Parnassus Funds or if you do have an existing Roth-IRA with Parnassus Funds please complete our IRA Distribution Form. Please note that a conversion from a Traditional IRA to a Roth-IRA is a taxable event.

Can I have my redemption proceeds in the form of a check sent by overnight mail to me?

Yes. There is a $20 charge to send a check to you by overnight delivery. We can send your check to your address on record by United Parcel Services (UPS). For example, if Parnassus Investments receives your completed redemption request on Monday prior to 4:00 PM Eastern time, we will send the check out on Tuesday, and you will receive your check by 10:30 AM your local time Wednesday.

How do I wire money to my bank account?

You can have a redemption made electronically to your bank account by a wire or by ACH (Automated Clearing House). Your trade will take place the same business day if the order is received before 4:00 PM Eastern time, and an ACH will take place over 2 to 3 business days.

Wiring funds will require a signed redemption request with all registered owner’s signatures and stamped with a Signature Guarantee Medallion Stamp unless wiring instructions were previously filed with the Funds. Your bank account will receive the wire the next business day after the trade date. There is also a $20 charge per transaction to wire funds.

If you choose a redemption by ACH, your bank account will receive the redemption proceeds 2 to 3 business days after the trade date. There is no fee for this option, but we must have your bank account information on file with us previously.

What is a Signature Guarantee Medallion Stamp?

A “signature guarantee,” also called a medallion signature guarantee, means a written guarantee of a signature by a financial institution, confirming the identity of the individual signing the document. A signature guarantee is a stamp provided by a financial institution that verifies a signature. The shareholder will sign their request letter and have the signature guaranteed by an eligible guarantor institution such as a commercial bank, trust company, security broker or dealer, credit union, or a savings association participating in the Medallion Signature Guarantee Program approved by the Securities Transfer Association, Inc.

Certain types of transactions at Parnassus Investments require a signature guarantee:

  • a redemption check sent to an address that is not the address of record or has not been on our records for at least 30 days;
  • redemption proceeds sent to a bank account that is not the original bank account of record;
  • a redemption check made payable to someone other than the named account owner; and
  • changing the shareholder of record on an account, including a transfer-on-death request.

How do I change my address?

You can change your address online by first logging into your account online and then selecting update your mailing address under the Update Your Information page. You can also change your address by downloading the Change of Address Request Form and mailing it back to Parnassus Investments or faxing it to (415) 778-0228 or by calling us at (800) 999-3505 between 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, Pacific Time, Monday through Friday.

How do I change my name on my account?

You can change your name on your account by mailing to Parnassus Investments a letter of instruction and a copy of your driver license, marriage certificate, name change certificate, or Social Security Card that reflects your new name, for verification purposes.

How do I split a joint account?

You can split a joint account by mailing to Parnassus Investments a letter of instruction signed by both account owners and a completed and signed new account application for the second person listed on the account. You can download a new account application from our Forms & Documents page.

How do I change the beneficiaries on my IRA account?

You can change the beneficiaries on your IRA account by downloading an IRA Beneficiary Form and returning the completed form to us by mail.

Can I assign beneficiaries for my non-IRA account?

Yes. Most accounts, like normal financial assets, become part of the estate upon a shareholder’s death. Non-IRA accounts at Parnassus Investments can be registered under a Transfer on Death (TOD) Registration that designates beneficiaries for your account. Fill out the Transfer on Death Registration from and mail it back to us. Be sure to consult your tax adviser regarding the consequences of registering your account as a TOD.

How can I transfer my account to a new owner or donate shares to a charity?

In order to effect a change of ownership for an account, Parnassus Investments requires a clear letter of instruction referencing your account number, share or dollar amount, recipient’s name and all account owner’s signatures guaranteed with an original Signature Guarantee Medallion Stamp from your bank or broker (see Signature Guarantee Policy section). We also require a completed Investment Account Application for the receiving accountholder.

What do I do when the account holder is deceased?

If an account holder is deceased, you must submit a certified death certificate, a copy of the court appointment of the estate administrator and written instructions from the estate administrator on how to re-register the account or liquidation instructions.

If the account is an IRA or a Roth IRA and you are the account beneficiary, it is recommended that you contact Shareholder Services for additional instructions due to the complexity of the tax consequences. In all cases, we will require a certified death certificate and a new IRA Application for the beneficiary. In most cases that the spouse is the sole designated beneficiary, the spouse may 1) assume the IRA as her or his own, 2) withdraw the entire amount within five years, or 3) receive payments over the beneficiary’s life expectancy. In most cases, a non-spouse beneficiary may 1) withdraw the entire amount within five years, or 2) receive payments over the beneficiary’s life expectancy. Depending on the age of the IRA holder and other factors, there are other rules that may apply, so it’s important to contact your tax adviser before making a decision. You can find more detailed information from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Publication 590, which discusses IRAs.

How can I speak to a representative in person?

You are welcome to visit our offices to speak to a representative between the hours of 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM, Pacific time, Monday through Friday. Our offices are located at 1 Market Street, Suite 1600, San Francisco, CA 94105. You do not need to make an appointment to visit our offices. You can reach us by phone by calling Shareholder Services at (800) 999-3505. We’re open 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, Pacific time, Monday through Friday.

What is required to use this website?

Our website requires one of the supported internet browsers with javascript enabled, SSL enabled and cookies enabled. This is for security and performance reasons to protect you and to give the best online experience as possible. For most up to date browsers, the default settings usually allow sufficient compatibility with our website.

What should I try if experiencing difficulties?

We apologize if you are experiencing difficulties using our website, but there several things to try to troubleshoot an issue. If these suggestions do not help, please contact us.

  • Clear your internet browser cache
    It is possible that a file or cookie became corrupted, and clearing the internet browser cache is required. (See instructions for Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or Safari below.)
  • Restart your internet browser
  • Update the supported browser to the latest version
    In some cases, problems can be seen with a specific browser version. (Note: With Internet Explorer, verify Windows is up to date.)
  • Check antivirus/firewall software
    Please verify that your antivirus program and/or security firewall like Norton Personal Firewall, Norton Internet Security or ZoneAlarm does not prohibit the cookies and javascript for the Parnassus website. You may need to reference your antivirus software's customer support or documentation to configure this.
  • Restart your computer

How can I read PDF files and what if there are problems?

Some of our forms and documents are available as Adobe PDF files to give the best possible print format, and the free Adobe Reader application is required for viewing. To read PDF files or if you are experiencing viewing difficulties, please download and install the latest version of Adobe Reader.

If you are having problems with the latest version of Adobe Reader, please see Adobe's Support site.

How do I enable cookies for Internet Explorer 7 and 8?

  1. At the top of your browser click Tools, then Internet Options.
  2. Click on the Privacy tab.
  3. Click on the Advanced button.
  4. Place a checkmark in Override automatic cookie handling.
  5. Verify that First-Party Cookies and Third-party Cookies are accepted.
  6. Place a checkmark in Always allow session cookies then click OK.
  7. Click the Sites button and verify if Parnassus is in your "Managed Web sites list". If Parnassus is in the list, highlight it and click Remove. Then click OK.
  8. Click OK to close the Internet Options window.
  9. Restart your computer.

How do I enable cookies for Mozilla Firefox 3.x?

  1. At the top of your browser, click on Tools to view Options.
  2. In the Privacy tab, place a checkmark on Accept cookies from sites.
  3. Click on Exceptions, and verify that Parnassus is not in the list of blocked sites. If it is, remove it.
  4. Click OK to accept these changes.

How do I enable cookies for Safari for Macintosh OS X?

  1. At the top of your browser, click on Safari on the top left corner, then Preferences.
  2. In Preferences, click on the Security icon.
  3. In the Accept Cookies section, select Always.
  4. Close the Preferences window.

How do I enable javascript for Internet Explorer 7 and 8?

  1. Select Tools from the top menu.
  2. Choose Internet Options.
  3. Click on the Security tab.
  4. Click on the Custom Level.
  5. Scroll down until you see the section labeled Scripting.
  6. Under Active Scripting, select Enable and click OK.

How do I enable javascript for Mozilla Firefox 3.x?

  1. At the top of your browser, select Tools.
  2. Choose Options.
  3. Choose Content from the top navigation.
  4. Select the checkbox next to Enable Javascript and click OK.

How do I enable javascript for Safari for Macintosh OS X?

  1. At the top of your browser, click on Safari on the top left corner, then Preferences.
  2. In Preferences, click on the Security icon.
  3. Select the checkbox next to Enable Javascript.

How do I enable SSL for Internet Explorer 7 and 8?

  1. Select Tools from the top menu.
  2. Select the Advanced tab.
  3. Scroll down to the Security section and select the checkboxes marked Use SSL 2.0 and Use SSL 3.0, then click OK.

How do I enable SSL for Mozilla Firefox 3.x?

  1. At the top of the browser, select Tools, then choose Options.
  2. Select the Advanced tab.
  3. Scroll down to the Security section and select the checkboxes marked Use SSL 2.0 and Use SSL 3.0.
  4. Click OK.

How do I enable SSL for Safari for Macintosh OS X?

SSL is always enabled on Safari. Nothing is required for configuration.

How do I clear the cache for Internet Explorer 7 and 8?

Internet Explorer 7 and 8

  1. Select Tools then select Internet Options.
  2. Under Browsing History, select Delete
  3. Select Delete Files. Click Yes.
  4. Select Delete Cookies. Click Yes.
  5. Select Delete History. Click Yes.
  6. Click Close to close Delete Browsing History window.
  7. Click OK to close Internet Options window.

How do I clear the cache for Mozilla Firefox 3.x?

  1. Select Tools from the top menu.
  2. Select Options.
  3. Select the Privacy tab.
  4. Click Settings.
  5. Place checkmarks on all checkboxes (Browsing History, Download History, Saved Form Information, Cache, Cookies, Saved Passwords, Authenticated Sessions).
  6. Click OK, and then click OK to close all option windows.

How do I clear the cache for Safari for Macintosh OS X?

  1. At the top of your browser, click on Safari on the top left corner.
  2. Select History, then Clear History.

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