Nutaboutgolf wrote: ... In my research it appears all three firms offer a brokerage that linked to a CORE account or are basically two different accounts. Is this accurate? Do any of the firms offer any sort of automatic transfer between the accounts? For example, let's say I have $5000 in the brokerage and $0 in the core and needed an ATM withdrawal of $300, to my understanding I would need to transfer money from the brokerage to the core then do the withdrawal, but do any of the firms do that automatically? ...
I can only speak regarding Schwab. By default if you overdraw your checking account they will issue a margin loan from your brokerage account to cover the difference. There is no fee if that happens, but I'd suggest you think carefully about whether you would want those circumstances to render you leveraged. Margin interest accrues, of course.
There are other overdraft options, but you have to specifically request them. When I did and asked for confirmation, they said they don't confirm overdraft arrangements in writing, but suggested I call again later to ask a different representative to tell me what was set up. That was four years ago; the policy may have changed.
I like the Schwab checking account overall, but I didn't like that part of the service.
For the record, I'm paranoid about being electronically fleeced, so I don't want a checking account at an institution where I have substantial assets. While I do maintain a small savings account at Schwab Bank, and it's linked for free overdraft transfers as well as to the debit card so I can just draw directly from it, I keep nothing in the brokerage account.