Transfer Fees At Brokerage Firms To Move An Account

How much are transfer fees at brokerage companies in 2017? Online discount brokerage account transfer fees to move IRA or taxable accounts.

List of Brokerage Account Transfer Fees

Brokerage Full Transfer Out Fee Partial Transfer Out Fee Account Closing Fee IRA Closing Fee Account Transfer Rebates and Other Incentives
Ally Invest$50$10.00 per security, $50 maximum$0$50 Switch to Ally Invest and get up to $150 in transfer fees reimbursed.
TD Ameritrade$75$0$0$0Trade free for 60 days + get up to $600. TDA
Capital One$75$15.00 per sec. ($75.00 max)$0$0None
Charles Schwab$50$25$0$0None
Etrade$60$25$0$0At E*TRADE, active traders get $4.95 trades + 50₵ per options contract.
Firstrade$75$25 (min. account $500)$0$50None
Light Speed$95$0$0$95None
Merrill Edge$49.95$0$0$75None
Motif Investing$65$0$0$95 Buy 30 Stocks in 1 Motif for $9.95. Fully Customizable.
Muriel Siebert$75$0$0$50None
OptionsHouse$75$25$0$60Open and fund an OptionsHouse account to get up to $1,000 in free commissions for 60 days.
Scottrade$75$0*$0$0Trade free for 60 days + get up to $600.
Thinkorswim$75$0$0$0Trade free for 60 days + get up to $600. TDA
TradeStation$75$0$0$0 Get up to $1,500 in commissions rebates. TradeStation
Wells Fargo$95$95$0$95None

* $2,500 minimum equity balance must remain in the account; otherwise the $75 full transfer fee will apply

Should I Change My Broker?

Nothing in the securities industry is ever fixed in stone, and this rule certainly applies to brokers. They actually change in various ways quite often; so you may find yourself wanting to switch brokerage firms at some point in your trading journey.

One area where brokers often change is in their pricing schedules. Small changes frequently occur. More significant changes are implemented less regularly, but they’re still part of the industry.

For example, a recent price war among broker-dealers caused a major shakeup, with some firms like Schwab and Fidelity becoming ultra-low cost brokers virtually overnight. The two companies reduced their equity commissions to $4.95, and this change undoubtedly caused some traders to leave previous brokers for Schwab or Fidelity. Brokerage houses that used to be very cheap—places like OptionsHouse or Ally Invest—are no longer the least brokers. Some brokers that were low-cost before the price war, Capital One Investing for example, are actually more expensive than several firms now.

Another reason investors change brokers is technical offerings. Brokerage houses will come out with a new app or platform that traders want to try. Maybe your current brokerage firm hasn’t updated its app or other technologies in quite some time. Meanwhile, another firm has rolled out a new trading platform that has no account minimums. Or maybe a broker has changed its trading requirements for a certain platform. Ally Invest LIVE, for example, used to have an account balance requirement; but the broker changed its policy and now allows all traders to use it.

Brokers also change when they are bought by a rival firm, or when they merge with another. This is happening right now in several situations. Scottrade, for example, has been purchased by TD Ameritrade, and OptionsHouse was recently acquired by E*Trade. Ally Financial has bought Ally Invest. Some of these acquisitions will take time to complete. When they are finished, significant changes may occur, not the least of which could be in the pricing schedules. ShareBuilder’s schedule was modified, for example, when it was acquired by Capital One.

A change in a broker’s product offerings might be a good reason to leave one place for another. Sometimes the number of fund offerings can change. E*Trade used to offer only about 1,300 no-load, no-transaction-fee funds. Today, it provides more than 4,400. Obviously, that’s a pretty significant change, enough of a change to justify leaving one broker, such as Merrill Edge who doesn’t provide many funds, for E*Trade.

Another frequent reason people change brokers is poor customer service. Some companies simply don’t provide enough competent assistance to their clients. Understandably, traders quickly grow tired of the deficient service they receive and decide to go elsewhere. Although a company like Robinhood has an unbeatable commission schedule, its customer service doesn’t quite measure up to TD Ameritrade’s. Investors who need satisfactory customer support would be wise to make the switch.

Updated on 5/1/2017.

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