I have duplicate holdings at a different brokerage and wanted to consolidate them with those at Vanguard. I tried to initiate partial account transfer online at Vanguard. The first thing it asked was the other brokerage account username and password with a note that this information will be used by a third party to initiate the transfer but that Vanguard will not keep that information. I can trust Vanguard but not a third party I never did business with.
Has anybody transferred assets to Vanguard brokerage recently and what was your experience?
P.S.: I tried to reach their onboarding department by phone for the past two days and after an hour plus on the phone I received a voice mail one day and the other day it got disconnected.
I transferred assets from Vanguard to another brokerage a few clicks in a 1 minute. I thought Vanguard might have a similar, simpler process to receive assets.
The first three comments listed in the link below provide details.
Changes may have been implemented since then...
Will I pay any fees for my transfer?
Vanguard doesn't charge any transfer fees. However, you'll need to contact your current financial firm to see if it charges transfer fees for closing an account.
If you want to move money from a CD (certificate of deposit) that's held in a bank account and the CD hasn't yet reached its maturity date, check with your firm to see if you'll be charged any withdrawal fees or penalties. Bank CDs will be liquidated at the time of the transfer to a Vanguard account.
Is there any paperwork I need to fill out?
Many large financial firms are enrolled in the Automated Customer Account Transfer Service known as ACAT (or a similar service). The majority of ACAT transfers can be completed entirely online, with assets sent to Vanguard electronically. Some cases, such as partial transfers and changes of ownership (e.g., a joint account to an individual account) may require paperwork. If forms are required, we can prefill some of the information for you.
Some asset transfers require a Medallion signature guarantee from a bank or another financial institution. A bank officer, trust company, or member firm of the U.S. stock exchange can grant this service. (Notary publics can't provide it.) If the firm you're transferring from requires a signature guarantee, check with your bank or a financial institution near you to see if they'll provide this service.
How long will the transfer take?
The fastest transfers take approximately 7 business days. They occur when firms are enrolled in the Automated Customer Account Transfer Service known as ACAT (or a similar service), when assets are moved "in kind" (or "as is"), and when the owner's name is identical on the "to" and "from" accounts. When assets are moved "in kind," it means there's no selling or buying involved, and no gain or loss is recognized as a tax consequence.
A firm that doesn't provide automated transfers may have you fill out paperwork and will send us a check once it receives your documents in good order. This may take 4 to 6 weeks.
Assets held in a money market fund are cashed out before they're moved to the money market settlement fund in your Vanguard account, so they may arrive after your other assets.
Many brokerage CDs (certificates of deposit), limited partnerships, hedge funds, and low-priced securities can't be transferred in kind. If you hold any of these investment in your account, we may contact you to discuss your options.
Regarding the hoops Level5 jumped through, the rules are different for employer-sponsored plans. With those plans, the withdrawal must be initiated on the 401k/403(b)/457 side. The assets usually have to be converted to cash. The only exception I have seen, and this is with multiple financial institutions, is that if you're transferring assets between an employer plan and an IRA run by the same institution, e.g. TRP, Fidelity, etc., then the transfer can be in-kind.
Many if not most of these plans today still send the cash only via paper check. The only way I've found around this problem is to use the exception above: transfer assets electronically from plan to a temporary IRA managed by the same institution if possible. Then have your target IRA do a customary electronic pull from the temporary IRA.
First, in transferring some funds from my credit union to Fidelity for the first time (about a month back) a message on the screen asked for my credit union user name and password. It appeared at the time to me that this was an added layer of security required by the credit union before they would process the request from Fidelity. I supplied the requested information and the transaction was completed w/o any hassle. FWIW - I’d linked my bank several weeks earlier w/o having to do this.
Second - While I don’t recall any reference to a “third party”, I’m wondering in your case if that might be an added safeguard - so that VG would not have 100% control over the transaction. In other words, I suspect it is a trusted 3rd party serving as added / independent security measure. I could be wrong.
*Another thought - Had I been worried about having provided the user name & password I’d have immediately logged in to my credit union account and changed them. Never got around to it. Not a bad idea.
Interestingly, today, Vanguard website allows an alternate longer process, which I suspect was always part of their process but some how the website must have had a glitch last time I tried and did not display this alternate process. I will go through it and see how that goes. Thanks.
Although this caused a delay, the process helps to prevent fraud/theft which I can appreciate.
Here's a good primer on Medallion Signature Guarantees.
"Your transfer requires paperwork
You'll need to complete paperwork to transfer only some of the investments (rather than the entire account). Mail your completed form along with an account statement that shows all of your investments (dated within the past 90 days) to the Vanguard address provided on the form.
If you're unable to print the form now, a copy has been sent to your secure Message Center on vanguard.com."
The other brokerages I am familiar with, all participating in ACAT, do not require this print and snail mail process. There you can electronically attach a brokerage statement and submit an electronic transfer request. I am not inclined to do manual applications and manual handling.
P.S.: At the end of the application, there is a medallion signature part which says it is only required if the transferring firm requires it. This tells me that Vanguard potentially plans to send my paper application by mail to the transferring firm rather than using the ACAT process to request the assets. Potentially more handling by humans than I prefer. Also, the medallion signature requirement now is only if the transferring firm requires it, which is an improvement over my prior experience with Vanguard.
That ends my venture to transfer assets to Vanguard.
No longer plan to check this thread.
As BaluBalu had not (until an hour ago) identified the third party, and because I did not recall being prompted by Vanguard to provide Yodlee any information, I started a test transfer. Sure enough, in the process a Vanguard page identified Yodlee and asked for login info for the "from" account.
I just tried reproducing that and Vanguard's site took me through a different sequence.
From MyAccounts (drop down) By & Sell, I followed the "Transfer an account" link. Next page, "Start your transfer or rollover". The next page has a radio button for type of account. I selected Roth IRA.
The next page asks whether the assets are in one's possession or at another firm (radio button). Moving on, the next page reads: Nothing about logins. Indeed nothing else is required.
After providing the requested info, I get to a page that recaps the information submitted (sending brokerage, account number, assets to be transferred). The step is labeled: Review and e-sign.
In any case, as you suggested, I followed "From My Accounts (drop down) to Buy & Sell" but I do not see a "Transfer an account" link in there. In fact, I did a search of the webpage to make sure I did not overlook. There was only one link for Transfers and that is a link for "Transfer money." Then I did a search at the main page for Transfer an account which led me to the same old process.
I think I was fairly clear that I want to transfer partial individual account which is a taxable account. I am not looking for how to transfer a full IRA account.
If you do not mind, could you please post the link for "Transfer an account" or the full web address you seem to have discovered that you say enables electronic transfer of assets? (I do not think the link will identify your account information for us and it will require me to login using my credentials but it will take me to the correct page.)
In any case, had you been able to find/follow the "Transfer an account" link, it would have taken you to:
The problem may be with the browser used. With the first couple of browsers I tried, the Buy and Sell page is as I described, including a "Transfer an account". With a Chrome browser, I get what's probably an older version of that page. As you said, without a "Transfer an account" link.
Using the move money link above, the Chrome browser still leads one to the Yodlee prompt, while other browsers get to the pages I previously described. Best suggestion is to try different browsers until one of them works for you.
(BTW, even from the old Buy and Sell page, the Open an Account link will take you to the same place, i.e. the move money page. For all the good that does.)
So, bottom line is, a third process with all the promise and the same Vanguard result.
Enough with asset transfers to Vanguard. I am sorry we wasted so much of everybody time on the weekend trying to make Vanguard work for us.
The current CEO of Vanguard was hired in 2002 when he was a 30 yr old as Chief Information Officer to bring Vanguard into the electronic age. He spent in that role for four years and was rewarded for his work eventually leading to his current role which he has held for the past three years.
Have a good week, Derf
Two weeks after I asked Vanguard through their message center to cancel my partial asset transfers because I am not inclined to participate in their manual process (print, sign, and mail), they wrote back saying I can sign and upload into the message center the pre-filled transfer forms they mailed me. That was funny. I did not ask them to mail me. Looks like Vanguard employees are eager to help (in their own way) but Vanguard’s inefficient, expensive processes are getting in the way!
Vanguard: Service is meeting customers' reasonable expectations but not making customers adapt to your ways.
It is a newer technology.
Remember the old way that some institutions still follow? 2 tiny deposits were made and you were asked to find those and enter to validate? That took 3-5 days. Then a hard-link was established between the institutions.
This newer way is real-time. You enter login info, which remains encrypted (and not stored by anyone), but is used to generate coding for hard-link between the institutions. And that hard-link would continue to work (until cancelled) even if you changed your login info. If you don't trust either financial institution for this linking process, why would you give your money to them?
Of course, the old-old way is the paper way with Signature Guarantee (same as Medallion Signature Guarantee) from bank or brokerage - Notary is NOT accepted. Then you mail all this and keep fingers crossed that the mail is not lost or stolen.
I use Zelle and don't think it is a solution. Zelle transactions are limited by banks to $200-2,000 (small potatoes). Transactions/mistakes are NOT reversible/fixable - and users accepted that condition on sign up. Try sending $100K or $1 million by Zelle (-:).