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Vanguard Withdrawal Fee For Moving Funds Out of Brokerage Account

Vanguard withdrawal fee, options, terms for moving cash money out of brokerage account by ACH, wire transfer, debit card, ATM, check, and ACAT.

Vanguard ACH Withdrawal

If you have a Vanguard brokerage account, and you want to withdraw some money, there are a few different choices available to you. The first option is to move a free cash balance electronically to an external bank via the Automated Clearing House (ACH) service. This method is available after adding a bank account to your Vanguard securities account. Either a checking or savings account can be used. Vanguard will also mail you a paper check for an account’s cash balance.

Vanguard Transfer Money

Transferring Cash Via the Vanguard Website

Whichever method you choose, the best way to find the broker’s web-based money movement form is to use the search box in the upper-right hand corner. Unfortunately, the Vanguard website is rather difficult to navigate; so finding any forms or documents you need is best accomplished by using the search box.

Typing in ‘Move money from Vanguard to your bank’ will generate a list of search results with the appropriate link at the top of the screen. Typing in something similar will result in the link appearing a little lower in the results.

Clicking on the correct link will produce a page where you can specify where the money is coming from (which Vanguard fund you want to move money out of), and how you want to receive the funds (ACH or paper check).

A free cash balance will be in a money market mutual fund, because Vanguard does not offer any other core account option. The fund is the Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund, Investor Class (ticker symbol VMFXX). Other mutual funds could be sold, and the proceeds sent directly to a bank account, bypassing the account’s core position.


See who are main Vanguard Competitors »

Vanguard ACAT Withdrawal

The brokerage firm offers ACAT service for transferring a brokerage account, in whole or in part, to another broker-dealer. Amazingly, Vanguard doesn’t charge anything for outgoing full or partial transfers. Most companies do charge for this service.

Vanguard Wire Transfer Withdrawal

Vanguard offers wire transfers, too, and it doesn’t charge for them, either. Most brokers do charge something to send a wire. Vanguard clients can send a wire of funds to either a domestic or foreign bank. If the bank account is already linked to your Vanguard account, the transfer can be completed online. If not, the broker offers a pdf document.

Withdrawing Funds on the Vanguard Mobile App

The Vanguard mobile app can also be used to move funds out of a brokerage account. To do this, first tap on the menu icon (three horizontal bars) in the upper-left of the app. Next, scroll down to ‘My Transactions’ and choose ‘Buy, sell, & exchange.’ Here, you will have the option to choose ‘Sell Vanguard funds.’ Tapping on this link produces the next menu where you can specify a cash amount and the receiving bank account. The option ‘Sell Vanguard funds’ must be chosen because a free cash balance will be in a Vanguard fund.

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Vanguard versus Etrade Comparison

Etrade (Etrade Review) offers on average similar commissions on stocks and ETFs to Vanguard Brokerage: $6.95 per trade versus $7 for the first 25 trades, $20 for subsequent trades at Vanguard (for accounts with less than $50,000). Vanguard becomes incredibly cheap for wealthy clients, with fees dropping to as low as $0 for those who have $10 million or more to invest. Both brokerage firms don't have account inactivity fees. Vanguard charges $20 annual maintenance fee for accounts with balances less than $50,000 (waived if account goes paperless), and Etrade charges $0.005 per share more on extended hours trades.

Etrade easily beats Vanguard in trading tools, investment research, banking services and customer service categories. Vanguard fell far behind most of its competitors in trading technology and in mobile trading. The firm does not offer advanced trading platform, while Etrade's Pro advanced platform is one of the best on the market (available only to clients making 30+ stock or options trades during a calendar quarter).

There are better brokerage firms for beginner investors than Etrade and Vanguard. Some of them offer very active user communities where members can ask questions, learn from more experienced traders and even get investment ideas. Others offer virtual trading environment that allows users to practice trading with virtual money. Anyone new to investing should read our Online Brokers for Beginners article.

Unlike Vanguard, Etrade does not have maintenance and setup fees for all individual retirement accounts (traditional, ROTH, SEP and SIMPLE). But in 2017 that was not enough to get included into our Best IRA Firms article.

Etrade offers a lot of value to prospective customers. It provides free streaming quotes, impressive independent third party investment research from most top rated research firms, sophisticated trading tools as well as rich selection of investment products for clients to invest or trade.

When it comes to recommendations, Vanguard is obviously better broker for clients with $1 million or more available to invest. The firm is also a great choice for anyone looking to invest mostly in Vanguard's own family of mutual funds and ETFs. Etrade is an excellent option for IRA accounts as well as for bonds and "buy-and-hold" investors.

We also should mention that both companies have commissions that are higher than the average for 2017. For example, one of the most popular brokerages, Ally Invest (review), is charging $4.95 flat rate stock/ETF commission ($3.95 for clients making over 30 trades per quarter) and $9.95 on mutual funds regardless of account balance or number of trades. It's up to each investor to decide whether Etrade and Vanguard are worth paying higher fees.

Updated on 8/10/2017.

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