How To Move Your Brokerage Account With Minimal Pain

Your sick and tired of your old, stone-age broker and platform and it’s time to move right? Now your stomach drops…“How do you move your brokerage account with minial pain and hassle right?”

For most people transferring money from one brokerage account to another case seem a little intimidating. But if you are in an unhappy (or pissed off) with your current broker than why stick around any longer? Dump your broker just as you would a relationship you don’t enjoy being in. Frankly these days it’s so easy to make the switch you’ll be amazed at the end of the process.

Why I Made The Switch To thinkorswim?

Back in early 2005 I decided I had enough with my old Fidelity account. It was complicated and time consuming to enter trades. Moreover, I had stopped working for the investment banks and needed something more sustainable to keep my alive trading on my own. I was referred to thinkorswim through a friend and have never looked back!

As many of you already know, I’m a complete thinkorswim fan. They continue to update their platform with the best tools and charts around these days. Sure they are a little pricey but you get what you pay for in this industry. And when you have money working day and night, the platform had better be top notch.

The Paperwork Is Easier Today

Most people fail to leave their current broker because they fear the paperwork. However, these days they have made the whole process so easy and streamline, you may end up only signing 1-2 pages at most. Either way, if you are unhappy with the services or tools your broker offers, the commissions they charge, or justwant access to every product type out there, then paperwork should not stop you.

3 Quick Tips To Help You Start

Whatever your reasons for leaving, here are some tips to make the transition smooth.

  1. Let your new broker handle most of the work. They want your business and are willing to do most of the paper work for you in advance. They might also waive their wire transfer fee to get you up and running.
  2. Duplicate your new account to match your old account. It is important to make sure your new account looks exactly like the old one. That means that if it is a joint account your old account must be a joint account. This will make the paperwork much easier and the whole process smooth.
  3. The transfer process can take several days. Plan this out in advance. Don’t decide to move your account over 1 night and assume it will get done. Know now that it could take 3-4 days. So plan your new trades accordingly and/or close out any trades in advance of the move.

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for questions and talk to your broker often. Get your hands dirty, make the switch and it will all be for the better.

What’s Worked For You?

Have you made a switch recently? What has worked for you or what didn’t work? Any gems of knowledge you can share with everyone…

  • Gerald

    I've had a real problem with TOS lately. The data loads very slowly and the last few days the data has actually been frozen for the last hour or so. I noticed a change after TOS was sold to TD Ameritrade. I suspect there are too many clients now and the servers cannot keep up. Oddly, the prophet charts load ok but the TOS charts do not. The data off my IB account loads without interuption so I know it is not my internet connection. I even resorted to IB charts which I am not used to, but with practice they are not so bad.
    Additionally TOS has been cancelling clients in some countries.. Eastern Europe and I think South America. This weekend they are doing some major maintenance, hopefully there will be an improvement.

    • Kirk – Admin

      Well we all know how mad I was about a month ago when TOS had a major issue with margin calculation for crude oil options, and hopefully they will correct all these new "merger" issues with the new updates!

  • Robert

    Kirk,

    I have to agree. TOS is the broker of my choice.

    • Kirk – Admin

      Yeah every company has flaws but I really like TOS. Thanks for the comment as always Robert!