How Can I Avoid the $95 Edward Jones Account Closing Fee?

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How Can I Avoid the $95 Edward Jones Account Closing Fee?

Postby WEL » Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:08 pm

At this point, I only have a few American Funds left at Edward Jones. Soon I will finish selling them and buying Vanguard funds instead. You may remember me from this thread: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=118936&p=1739046#p1739046

I called Edward Jones and they said there is a $95 fee to close an account.

Here is my question as the title of this thread may hint at...

A) Is there a way to forego the Edward Jones fee?

B) If there is not a way to avoid the fee, is there a place to park a little cash (maybe as part of an emergency fund of cash or Money Market) within the account so it can remain open and therefore avoid the fee?

Please don't scoff too much at this 23-year-old's desire to avoid spending $95. I've already paid enough to Edward Jones. This would be a moral victory as much as monetary.

Thank you for reading!


P.S. I would call Edward Jones directly for suggestions but I'm guessing they would not be too helpful. :happy
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Re: How Can I Avoid the $95 Edward Jones Account Closing Fee

Postby BolderBoy » Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:21 pm

Probably not. Even if you try to be sneaky, they'll out-sneak you. Just make sure you are only charged ONE closing fee.

In the REALLY grand scheme of things (at age 23), you'll make the $95 back many times over in your career as a Boglehead. Licks your wounds and move on.
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Re: How Can I Avoid the $95 Edward Jones Account Closing Fee

Postby heyyou » Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:24 pm

Please don't scoff too much at this 23-year-old's desire to avoid spending $95. I've already paid enough to Edward Jones. This would be a moral victory as much as monetary.


You are not the first EJ customer to bail out. They get you coming and going. You are going. Good luck with trying to avoid paying fees to a Wall Street brokerage. You can leave a low balance in the account and they will have some other fee that will take your money away from you. That is what they do, they have worked smart and hard for many years at perfecting fees.
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Re: How Can I Avoid the $95 Edward Jones Account Closing Fee

Postby mathwhiz » Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:37 pm

If you have a large account balance, you can ask your new brokerage to reimburse you the $95. Fidelity did this to me when I switched assets to them. I have no clue if Vanguard does this.
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Re: How Can I Avoid the $95 Edward Jones Account Closing Fee

Postby expat » Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:41 pm

WEL wrote:P.S. I would call Edward Jones directly for suggestions but I'm guessing they would not be too helpful. :happy


I think you're wrong there. Call them and politely ask them to waive the fee as a courtesy. It works for me.
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Re: How Can I Avoid the $95 Edward Jones Account Closing Fee

Postby Default User BR » Wed Jul 03, 2013 1:23 am

mathwhiz wrote:If you have a large account balance, you can ask your new brokerage to reimburse you the $95. Fidelity did this to me when I switched assets to them. I have no clue if Vanguard does this.

They do not.


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Re: How Can I Avoid the $95 Edward Jones Account Closing Fee

Postby frugaltype » Wed Jul 03, 2013 2:01 am

expat wrote:
WEL wrote:P.S. I would call Edward Jones directly for suggestions but I'm guessing they would not be too helpful. :happy


I think you're wrong there. Call them and politely ask them to waive the fee as a courtesy. It works for me.


It didn't work for me when I closed my Schwab accounts and got dinged $50 for each one. Guarantees I won't do business with Schwab in the future tho.
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Re: How Can I Avoid the $95 Edward Jones Account Closing Fee

Postby DaleMaley » Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:25 am

I helped my mother, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law close their Jones accounts, and they did not charge any fees for closing the accounts (these were done at various times over the last 10 years).

Jones also stalled a long time moving my dad's IRA from Jones to Vanguard. I checked the law at the time, and was surprised there is no legal deadline (e.g. 60 days) requiring a firm to give up the IRA for transfer. After several calls pestering the Jones broker, they finally transferred it.

I would call and ask them to waive the fee, like the previous poster suggested.
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Re: How Can I Avoid the $95 Edward Jones Account Closing Fee

Postby Rainier » Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:39 am

Is this your Roth or the taxable account?

If its taxable and you are selling the funds anyway just convert to cash and extract all the cash, don't close the account.
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Re: How Can I Avoid the $95 Edward Jones Account Closing Fee

Postby nisiprius » Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:39 am

I don't know whether polite asking would work, but I once got a closing fee refunded by writing a high-quality complaint letter to the CEO. My success rate on this sort of thing has been pretty good, and the key elements seem to be:

  • paper, mailed letter, not email, not telephone;
  • get CEO's name and corporate headquarters address from annual report, using Wikipedia or "shareholder relations" from their website;
  • less than a page long; state exactly what you want them to do in the first sentence;
  • do not make any references to any legalisms whatsoever. Instead use language like "I do not feel this is fair," so that in responding to it they are responding to a one-off request and not setting any precedent;
  • no fibs, it is all but certain that you have a signature or e-signature on file somewhere over a thick wad of fine print that says you knew all about the fee;
  • no hostility, no threats of any kind, cordial tone is that of asking a favor, I am a long-standing customer who is disappointed and if you did this I would now be happy;
  • no long complicated stories;
  • enclose just enough documentation to make it easy for the person who gets the letter to do their work; in this case, a copy of the final statement showing all your ID and account numbers and the closing fee (which you would circle).
  • limit your goal is to getting your own problem taken care of, in this case refunding the closing fee; your goal should not be to teach them a lesson or change their policy or acknowledge their sleaziness.

Yes, it takes an hour or so of time to do. And, yes, you need to steel yourself in advance for the possible sting of rejection.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
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Re: How Can I Avoid the $95 Edward Jones Account Closing Fee

Postby Faith20879 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:44 am

I agree. It doesn't hurt to ask - you have nothing to lose. But always be prepared for rejection.

When I was leaving Fidelity, I asked nicely and I begged but the outcome was the same. They took $75 from my pre-tax dollars. I'll definitely take a chapter from nisi next time.

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Re: How Can I Avoid the $95 Edward Jones Account Closing Fee

Postby JW Nearly Retired » Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:45 am

WEL wrote: I called Edward Jones and they said there is a $95 fee to close an account.

A) Is there a way to forego the Edward Jones fee?

B) If there is not a way to avoid the fee, is there a place to park a little cash (maybe as part of an emergency fund of cash or Money Market) within the account so it can remain open and therefore avoid the fee?

Please don't scoff too much at this 23-year-old's desire to avoid spending $95. I've already paid enough to Edward Jones. This would be a moral victory as much as monetary.

After paying 5.75% loads and 1% ERs, is fixating on a $95 closing fee moral victory worthwhile? If you think so, then l would just keep one of your least expensive EJ funds in the account to keep that option open. If you have cap gains, keep the one with the highest gains for tax reasons. Transfer everything else.

You know, you don't need to talk to EJ at all to do a transfer of assets. You just fill out Vanguards transfer of assets forms per the form instructions, and it happens in like 3 or 4 working days (using the US mail). I've done this many times without talking to either the old fund company or with Vanguard at all. For your first time doing it talking to Vanguard first would be a good idea. No reason whatsoever to talk to EJ. The IRA and the taxable transfers are separate forms.
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Re: How Can I Avoid the $95 Edward Jones Account Closing Fee

Postby rotorhead » Wed Jul 03, 2013 2:39 pm

Re: How Can I Avoid the $95 Edward Jones Account Closing Fee

Post by JW Nearly Retired » Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:45 am
You know, you don't need to talk to EJ at all to do a transfer of assets. You just fill out Vanguards transfer of assets forms per the form instructions, and it happens in like 3 or 4 working days (using the US mail). I've done this many times without talking to either the old fund company or with Vanguard at all. For your first time doing it talking to Vanguard first would be a good idea. No reason whatsoever to talk to EJ. The IRA and the taxable transfers are separate forms.


This is exactly what I did when I transferred my account from Schwab to Fidelity. Schwab did charge the $50 account closing fee; but Fidelity immediately credited me for it without hesitation when I asked them about it.

Conduct the transaction exactly as JW Nearly Retired has suggested. It works.

Edited to add: At no time did I have any direct correspondence with Schwab; and in fact never heard from them after, except for the 1099 at year end. It's all pretty impersonal, so don't take it so.
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Re: How Can I Avoid the $95 Edward Jones Account Closing Fee

Postby just_trailing » Wed Jul 03, 2013 2:42 pm

You can make up this fee if the brokerage you are transferring to gives you a bonus. Schwab usually has such bonuses from time to time. You can buy vanguard ETFs at Schwab. It's trading costs are lesser than Vanguard Brokerage.
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Re: How Can I Avoid the $95 Edward Jones Account Closing Fee

Postby Default User BR » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:37 pm

frugaltype wrote:It didn't work for me when I closed my Schwab accounts and got dinged $50 for each one. Guarantees I won't do business with Schwab in the future tho.

I guess I don't understand. Almost every brokerage does this, and you knew (or should have known) about it going in. Also, almost any brokerage besides Vanguard would reimburse you for fees if the portfolio is of reasonable size. This is part of what pays the freight so that you can have reduced fees elsewhere.


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Re: How Can I Avoid the $95 Edward Jones Account Closing Fee

Postby WEL » Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:31 pm

nisiprius wrote:I don't know whether polite asking would work, but I once got a closing fee refunded by writing a high-quality complaint letter to the CEO. My success rate on this sort of thing has been pretty good, and the key elements seem to be:

  • paper, mailed letter, not email, not telephone;
  • get CEO's name and corporate headquarters address from annual report, using Wikipedia or "shareholder relations" from their website;
  • less than a page long; state exactly what you want them to do in the first sentence;
  • do not make any references to any legalisms whatsoever. Instead use language like "I do not feel this is fair," so that in responding to it they are responding to a one-off request and not setting any precedent;
  • no fibs, it is all but certain that you have a signature or e-signature on file somewhere over a thick wad of fine print that says you knew all about the fee;
  • no hostility, no threats of any kind, cordial tone is that of asking a favor, I am a long-standing customer who is disappointed and if you did this I would now be happy;
  • no long complicated stories;
  • enclose just enough documentation to make it easy for the person who gets the letter to do their work; in this case, a copy of the final statement showing all your ID and account numbers and the closing fee (which you would circle).
  • limit your goal is to getting your own problem taken care of, in this case refunding the closing fee; your goal should not be to teach them a lesson or change their policy or acknowledge their sleaziness.

Yes, it takes an hour or so of time to do. And, yes, you need to steel yourself in advance for the possible sting of rejection.


First off, thank you all for the very helpful replies.

nisiprius: $95 an hour works for me! I have used this same basic format for the letters I have written in the past to various companies and it has yielded positive results for me as well. Thank you for taking the time to type it all out!

Bolderboy: Sounds like a challenge :P

JW Nearly Retired: I have switched my Roth IRA to Vanguard without ever speaking if the company holding my account (American Funds). For some reason my taxable was always held at Edward Jones while my Roth was at AmFunds. I called Vanguard and they asked me about half a dozen easy questions and then had me approve the form from my online Vanguard Investor page. It indeed was quick and easy. They said the funds should be at Vanguard within 4 days.

This forum needs a multi-quote feature!
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Re: How Can I Avoid the $95 Edward Jones Account Closing Fee

Postby JW Nearly Retired » Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:03 pm

WEL wrote:JW Nearly Retired: I have switched my Roth IRA to Vanguard without ever speaking if the company holding my account (American Funds). For some reason my taxable was always held at Edward Jones while my Roth was at AmFunds. I called Vanguard and they asked me about half a dozen easy questions and then had me approve the form from my online Vanguard Investor page. It indeed was quick and easy. They said the funds should be at Vanguard within 4 days.

WEL wrote: This forum needs a multi-quote feature!
WEL Posts: 7Joined: 29 Jun 2013

Good with the quick and easy transfer.

You can do multiple quotes by copying the text, clicking on "quote" at the top of the frame, pasting the text, and then filling in the quotee, ="WEL" in my post here.
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Re: How Can I Avoid the $95 Edward Jones Account Closing Fee

Postby WEL » Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:12 pm

Moments ago I got off the phone with what seemed to be a well-versed Investor Relations Representative. She said the Edward Jones $95 account closing fee only applies to Roth IRAs held at Edward Jones. Taxable accounts are not penalized at closing.

Tomorrow I will call my Edward Jones advisor and give him a chance to convince me to stay with him. I believe that's fair. I predict he will make a weak argument. I will then have him liquidate all my funds and close my account. The funds will be transferred into my bank account which is linked to my Vanguard account. Once available, I will use the cash to purchase Vanguard funds inside my lazy portfolio.

Thank you for all the help, everyone. I hope this thread helps someone else in the future.
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Re: How Can I Avoid the $95 Edward Jones Account Closing Fee

Postby LAlearning » Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:53 pm

WEL wrote:Moments ago I got off the phone with what seemed to be a well-versed Investor Relations Representative. She said the Edward Jones $95 account closing fee only applies to Roth IRAs held at Edward Jones. Taxable accounts are not penalized at closing.

Tomorrow I will call my Edward Jones advisor and give him a chance to convince me to stay with him. I believe that's fair.Really? Is it really fair? You should ask him to guarantee your returns will at least match the market if not exceed them UNTIL YOU RETIRE if you keep the accounts with him. That seems fair. I predict he will make a weak argument. But you still want to waste your time? I will then have him liquidate all my funds and close my account. Just let Vanguard do it. You just need to sign the form and its done. The funds will be transferred into my bank account which is linked to my Vanguard account.Make sure you are transferring "in-kind" as much as possible. Didnt read the thread or see what your moving. Once available, I will use the cash to purchase Vanguard funds inside my lazy portfolio.

Thank you for all the help, everyone. I hope this thread helps someone else in the future.
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Re: How Can I Avoid the $95 Edward Jones Account Closing Fee

Postby MN Finance » Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:01 pm

Since you're trying to be fair, I would spare the FA his/her time and just leave if that's the decision. I'd be pretty annoyed if someone who was already leaving asked me why they should stay and wasted my time.
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Re: How Can I Avoid the $95 Edward Jones Account Closing Fee

Postby WEL » Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:12 pm

LAlearning wrote:
WEL wrote:Moments ago I got off the phone with what seemed to be a well-versed Investor Relations Representative. She said the Edward Jones $95 account closing fee only applies to Roth IRAs held at Edward Jones. Taxable accounts are not penalized at closing.

Tomorrow I will call my Edward Jones advisor and give him a chance to convince me to stay with him. I believe that's fair.Really? Is it really fair? You should ask him to guarantee your returns will at least match the market if not exceed them UNTIL YOU RETIRE if you keep the accounts with him. That seems fair. I predict he will make a weak argument. But you still want to waste your time? I will then have him liquidate all my funds and close my account. Just let Vanguard do it. You just need to sign the form and its done. The funds will be transferred into my bank account which is linked to my Vanguard account.Make sure you are transferring "in-kind" as much as possible. Didnt read the thread or see what your moving. Once available, I will use the cash to purchase Vanguard funds inside my lazy portfolio.

Thank you for all the help, everyone. I hope this thread helps someone else in the future.


I understand your frustration and I'm frustrated as well with my Edward Jones "advisor". I think it would be rude to just up and close my account with no prior voiced concern (besides me stopping new investments for the past 6 months). Seeing him around town will at least be less uncomfortable this way.

Vanguard can't liquidate my EJ funds and transfer them to Vanguard in a taxable account.

I called EJ client services and they said I need to contact my advisor. My only tiny worry is that EJ will drag their feet. I will stay on him to get it done though.
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Re: How Can I Avoid the $95 Edward Jones Account Closing Fee

Postby rustymutt » Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:30 pm

If you're tranferring this over to another institution, ask that institution to pay the fee. Can't hurt to ask them.
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Re: How Can I Avoid the $95 Edward Jones Account Closing Fee

Postby jlawrence01 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:55 pm

I had to open up an account at Merrill Lynch to exercise my incentive stock options. I had the same feeling that there would be an exit fee. When I exercised the options, I made sure to deposit $1 more than I needed to buy the stock.

When I received the stock, I immediately transferred the stock to E*trade. When I tried to close the ML account, they wanted to hot me with a $95 fee. I said to keep it open. I will let ML hold on the $1 and spend $$$ sending me statements each quarter. I have NO INTENTION of closing the account or using those clowns again.
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Re: How Can I Avoid the $95 Edward Jones Account Closing Fee

Postby cdogg44 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:34 pm

I left EJ for Fidelity two months ago. I had two account, a taxable investment account and a Roth IRA. I called and told them that I didn't mind the fees but I wanted to pay for both of them, $195, out of the taxable account so I didn't lose the value in my Roth. They said no problem.

It didn't happen and they charged me $95 out of each account. I called, complained, and they waived the fee on the Roth account and reimbursed me the money.

Everybody charges account termination fees. Just pay it and go on, but make 100% sure that you DON"T pay it out of an IRA account. And also make sure that for the foreseeable future they broker you switch too will cover all your needs. I researched them all and Fidelity is what works best for me and my family. Two months in and I couldn't be happier.

EDIT: I would not liquidate the EJ account to cash prior to transferring. Their commissions can be very high. Plus most brokers give you free trades which are great to allow you to sell off EJ investments and get to where you want to be.
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Re: How Can I Avoid the $95 Edward Jones Account Closing Fee

Postby mathwhiz » Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:51 am

I understand your frustration and I'm frustrated as well with my Edward Jones "advisor". I think it would be rude to just up and close my account with no prior voiced concern (besides me stopping new investments for the past 6 months). Seeing him around town will at least be less uncomfortable this way.


Eh, this is part of the EJ business model. They hire "sales" guys with no financial experience and then train them in the basics to go door to door and make personal relationships with people so they become their clients. He might be a nice guy but feeling bad seeing him around town should be the last of your considerations. Your financial future is much more important. Politely but firmly ask to leave.
Last edited by mathwhiz on Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How Can I Avoid the $95 Edward Jones Account Closing Fee

Postby Default User BR » Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:08 pm

rustymutt wrote:If you're tranferring this over to another institution, ask that institution to pay the fee. Can't hurt to ask them.

There's no point in asking Vanguard. They won't.


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Re: How Can I Avoid the $95 Edward Jones Account Closing Fee

Postby Default User BR » Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:10 pm

WEL wrote:Vanguard can't liquidate my EJ funds and transfer them to Vanguard in a taxable account.

No, but you can transfer in-kind and sell once you get to the new custodian. That's the preferred method by many. You aren't out of the market and you don't need to wait on a custodian that has no incentive to do things quickly.


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Re: How Can I Avoid the $95 Edward Jones Account Closing Fee

Postby Duckie » Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:37 pm

Default User BR wrote:
WEL wrote:Vanguard can't liquidate my EJ funds and transfer them to Vanguard in a taxable account.

No, but you can transfer in-kind and sell once you get to the new custodian. That's the preferred method by many.

Check before you move anything "in-kind" because many funds at EJ have no "commission" when sold. If you hold any of those it would be cheaper to liquidate them at EJ.
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Re: How Can I Avoid the $95 Edward Jones Account Closing Fee

Postby abuss368 » Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:18 pm

It never hurts to ask....
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Re: How Can I Avoid the $95 Edward Jones Account Closing Fee

Postby WEL » Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:58 am

My Edward Jones advisor is out of town for the next 10 days on a "diversity trip". Sounds enlightening. I had his admin. assistant liquidate the funds and transfer them to my bank account. Once the transfer is complete (I was told 3-5 business days), I will bring the funds into my Vanguard taxable. I asked many times about Edward Jones fees for doing this process and I was told there will be zero fees for selling A share American Funds and closing my Edward Jones account completely.

I will post back if there are any hiccups.
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Re: How Can I Avoid the $95 Edward Jones Account Closing Fee

Postby LAlearning » Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:14 am

What taxes are you going to owe?
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Re: How Can I Avoid the $95 Edward Jones Account Closing Fee

Postby Abe » Sat Jul 27, 2013 12:28 pm

WEL wrote:
LAlearning wrote:
WEL wrote:


I understand your frustration and I'm frustrated as well with my Edward Jones "advisor". I think it would be rude to just up and close my account with no prior voiced concern (besides me stopping new investments for the past 6 months). Seeing him around town will at least be less uncomfortable this way.

Vanguard can't liquidate my EJ funds and transfer them to Vanguard in a taxable account.

I called EJ client services and they said I need to contact my advisor. My only tiny worry is that EJ will drag their feet. I will stay on him to get it done though.


Before I converted to Bogleheadism, I had an account with Wells Fargo Advisors. I received a letter from my "financial advisor" at WF saying the demands for his time had increased and he would like to transfer my account to (name of another WF advisor). I had an account with this man for over 25 years and he did not even give me a call. The reason he didn't want my account anymore was because I would not let him churn my account anymore. These people are sharks. They care nothing about you. All they want is the money. I would not worry about being rude to them.

Also, I had a small business and did credit business. When a customer left, most of the time they would just disappear and stiff me for any money they owed. I sure would of been nice to charge them almost $100.00 to close their account.
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Re: How Can I Avoid the $95 Edward Jones Account Closing Fee

Postby WEL » Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:18 pm

LAlearning wrote:What taxes are you going to owe?


I planned my taxes for 2013. Unless I earn more this year than I expect, I won't have to pay any capital gains.
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Re: How Can I Avoid the $95 Edward Jones Account Closing Fee

Postby Stonebr » Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:24 pm

This is how full service brokers make money nowadays -- by losing customers. A little sympathy for the devils...
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Re: How Can I Avoid the $95 Edward Jones Account Closing Fee

Postby leonard » Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:38 pm

WEL wrote:At this point, I only have a few American Funds left at Edward Jones. Soon I will finish selling them and buying Vanguard funds instead. You may remember me from this thread: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=118936&p=1739046#p1739046

I called Edward Jones and they said there is a $95 fee to close an account.

Here is my question as the title of this thread may hint at...

A) Is there a way to forego the Edward Jones fee?

B) If there is not a way to avoid the fee, is there a place to park a little cash (maybe as part of an emergency fund of cash or Money Market) within the account so it can remain open and therefore avoid the fee?

Please don't scoff too much at this 23-year-old's desire to avoid spending $95. I've already paid enough to Edward Jones. This would be a moral victory as much as monetary.

Thank you for reading!


P.S. I would call Edward Jones directly for suggestions but I'm guessing they would not be too helpful. :happy


Try leaving $1 in the account.
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