How to Transfer Trading Accounts Between Firms


Written By: Ehsan Jahandarpour

how to transfer trading account

Transferring a trading account

Changing brokerage firms can be a hassle, but the process can be done efficiently. If you have a good reason to switch, there are several steps you can take to ensure that your accounts are transferred properly. The first step is to compare your last statement to your first one. Then, check to see that the assets transferred are in the same account as they were in the previous firm. The next step is to find out what fees are associated with the transfer, and ask both the new and old firms about them.

The next step in the process involves filling out a Transfer Initiation Form (TIF), which should be obtained from the new brokerage firm. Once you complete the form, the new broker will communicate with your old broker. Usually, this process will take seven to ten business days.

In-kind transfers

Most brokerages will accept in-kind transfers, making it easier to switch trading accounts. In-kind transfers also avoid the tax consequences of selling your investments. However, the types of investments you can transfer in-kind will vary from brokerage to brokerage. Generally, you can transfer in-kind stocks, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and bonds. You should check with your new brokerage to find out what types of in-kind transfers they accept. In any case, you should avoid making any trades during the transition.

The easiest way to perform an in-kind transfer is to transfer accounts of the same type. In other words, if you have a taxable brokerage account, you should transfer it to another taxable brokerage account. Similarly, if you have a traditional IRA, you should transfer it to another Roth IRA. However, moving accounts of different types can complicate the in-kind transfer process because you will need to provide additional documentation.

Automated Customer Account Transfer Service (ACATS)

If you would like to change your trading account to another brokerage firm, you can use the Automated Customer Account Transfer Service (ACAATS). This service enables you to transfer all of your account information in an efficient way. To complete the transfer process, you first need to submit the TIF to the new firm. The TIF should be filled out as accurately as possible and contain all the required information exactly as it appears on your old account. After the TIF is submitted, the new firm will start the transfer validation process.

In order to participate in ACATS, the institution transferring your account must be a member of DTCC or NSCC. Most major financial institutions are members of these organizations. Otherwise, the transfer process will be manual and take weeks or months. Some investment firms use custodians to transfer their client assets, but they are not eligible to use ACATS. In these cases, they may use an affiliate with a member firm to facilitate the transfer process.

Forms required

If you are planning to transfer your trading account from one brokerage firm to another, you need to be sure you have the right forms. Some firms have one form for all accounts, while others have separate forms for different types of accounts. To find out what forms are required, call your new firm or visit their Web site. Depending on the type of account you’re transferring, you may need to complete additional pages, such as signing the ACATS Form or providing additional information.

After you have signed up with a new firm, you will need to complete a Transfer Instruction Form (TIF). It is very important to fill out the form correctly and completely. The information on the form must match what is on your old account. Once you have completed the form, the new firm will begin the validation process.

Time frame

Transferring a trading account is not an immediate process. While a transfer can occur as quickly as the next day, it can also take weeks. It is important to know how long it will take for your account to transfer. Typically, it takes six business days for the transfer to be complete. During this time, the old firm will validate your account information and transfer your assets. However, if there are discrepancies during this process, the transfer may take longer than expected.

The firm that you’re moving from must take action on your transfer request within two business days. You should check your new firm’s policies and fees to be sure that your account will be transferred properly. You should also make sure that you are happy with the firm that’s transferring your account.

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