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Merrill Edge and Vanguard Withdrawal Fee For Moving Funds Out of Brokerage Account

Vanguard and Merrill Edge withdrawal fee, options, terms for moving cash money (funds) 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.

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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.


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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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Withdrawing Money From Merrill Edge

If you need to take money out of your Merrill Edge investment account, there are several avenues available to you. The broker has a user-friendly website where several of these methods can be used. One of the easiest methods can be found under the ‘Accounts’ tab located at the top of the website menu. Hovering over this will produce a drop-down menu that displays a variety of choices. One of them is ‘Transfer Money/Securities.’ Clicking on this link produces a new page where several options are available.

Using the ACH Service

The first is a cash option. This uses the Automated Clearing House (ACH) system to move funds out of a Merrill Edge brokerage account to an external account; and there is no charge for the service. Bank of America accounts, including credit cards, are automatically populated in the list of available external accounts. It’s possible to make a Bank of America credit card payment using this system.

Or you can simply move funds to a non-affiliated financial account. For an account to be eligible, it must be either a checking or savings account, although the Merrill Edge system will probably accept any financial account that has routing and account numbers. Once an account has been added, it can be deleted or renamed. Available withdrawal frequencies include one time, weekly, every two weeks, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, and annually. It does take up to 3 business days for transfers to complete if the external account is a non-Bank of America account. A submitted transfer will be executed immediately if the external account is with Bank of America. IRA contributions can made using this online system.

Sending a Wire with Merrill Edge

Another way to move funds out of a Merrill Edge securities account is to use the broker’s wire service. Unlike the ACH option, this one is completed in just one business day. Deposits are free, but moving funds out of a Merrill Edge account costs $24.95 per transfer. Unfortunately, there is no easy online form that can be used for wire withdrawals. You have to first contact the financial institution that will be receiving the funds, obtain instructions from it, and then call Merrill Edge with those instructions.

Merrill Edge Paper Check

The broker’s website also has an online check request feature. It can be used to withdraw funds from a brokerage, 529, or retirement account. A check can also be issued to a third party via Merrill Edge’s bill pay service, which is free of charge. A hard-copy letter of authorization must be filled out and submitted to the brokerage firm to establish regular withdrawals by check.

Moving an Account to a Different Firm

Instead of withdrawing funds from a Merrill Edge investment account, you can simply move the account to another brokerage house. The ACAT system can be used to make this transfer, although Merrill does charge $49.95.

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