Should we be concerned - a month after submitting ACAT?

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Should we be concerned - a month after submitting ACAT?

Postby cflannagan » Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:45 am

I just took a look at our emails, and it has been almost exactly a month since we submitted ACAT transfer form for the trust funds to go into our newly set up brokerage account (WellsTrade with PMA, 100 free trades a year, which I understand will no longer be offered April 1, 2013).

The last email I got was from senior trust administrator (coincidentally, she's also at Wells Fargo), who said she cannot give us an ETA until "tax clearance". And now we're about one month since ACAT transfer form was been acknowledged to have been received..

Is this typical/normal? I think the WF senior trust administrator said something about this being busy time of year (tax season now), which makes sense but should this be expected?
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Re: Should we be concerned - a month after submitting ACAT?

Postby livesoft » Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:52 am

When we did ACAT from TDAmeritrade to WellsTrade/PMA things took less than 2 weeks. That's the only ACAT we have ever done and no trust was involved.

If this is substantial money, I think a phone call is in order. Maybe every week until things get done. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
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Re: Should we be concerned - a month after submitting ACAT?

Postby nisiprius » Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:15 am

Only a little. My personal experience is that the only transfers that have gone smoothly and quickly are ACAT transfers of a) entire retirement accounts that b) consisted entirely of mainstream mutual funds. I've done several of them (I'm fickle with brokerages I guess) that have taken, oh, much less than two weeks.

However, my transfer from TIAA-CREF ("annuity" accounts) to Vanguard, where the things being transferred weren't mutual funds, took something like seven weeks. And a couple of attempts I've made to do partial transfers--nothing complicated and nothing but plain-vanilla mutual funds, but not the entire account--in both directions, between Fidelity and Vanguard--went through complicated cycles of not completing and being restarted and fresh authorization forms. Most amazing, it once took well over three weeks and three or four telephone calls to transfer about $1,000 in a money market account from my Fidelity-managed 401(k) to my Fidelity rollover IRA.

In other words, yes keep on top of it, but don't panic. I am sorry to say that during the slow transfers the reps were never really able to give me clear, detailed, or accurate information on exactly what was happening. I agree with livesoft that about one telephone call per week is about the right frequency, and, of course, record anything resembling a reference number or anything that will help the next person you talk to get to the screen that shows them everything that's gone before. Don't bother expressing impatience or annoyance.

In this forum there have been many stories of people upset because transfers took many weeks, and during the time the money appeared to have simply vanished, and nobody could tell them where it was--but to the best of my recollection the outcome, in every case, was OK.

By the way, this is why I personally feel that one should always ask for a "transfer in kind" whenever it is possible.

(Parenthetically, it reminds me once of what I learned about check clearing. It appears as if there is no such thing as a check clearing--that is, you can never determine whether an individual check has actually cleared. All that can possibly be learned for sure is that a check has NOT cleared. Everything else is just a reasonable presumption based on elapsed time.)
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Re: Should we be concerned - a month after submitting ACAT?

Postby Default User BR » Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:27 pm

cflannagan wrote:I just took a look at our emails, and it has been almost exactly a month since we submitted ACAT transfer form for the trust funds to go into our newly set up brokerage account (WellsTrade with PMA, 100 free trades a year, which I understand will no longer be offered April 1, 2013).

To clarify, WF will stop offering this to new customers in April. Currently people who have accounts will still receive the benefits.


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Re: Should we be concerned - a month after submitting ACAT?

Postby MN Finance » Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:22 pm

An actual ACAT transfer should take about a week max, maybe two if there's something out of the ordinary. That said, ACAT is one of many methods that could be used to transfer the assets with the same set of paperwork. They may use and entirely different system to move the money if the ACAT system will not work. The losing firm may require copies of the paperwork, for example (in a "typical" ACAT the gaining firm just enters the request electronically and puts the paperwork in their file, the losing firm never sees it). There could also be a delay setting up the new account since it's a trust, something simple. There most certainly would be other delays if it's a testamentary trust or other irrevocable trust.
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Re: Should we be concerned - a month after submitting ACAT?

Postby cflannagan » Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:35 pm

MN Finance wrote:An actual ACAT transfer should take about a week max, maybe two if there's something out of the ordinary. That said, ACAT is one of many methods that could be used to transfer the assets with the same set of paperwork. They may use and entirely different system to move the money if the ACAT system will not work. The losing firm may require copies of the paperwork, for example (in a "typical" ACAT the gaining firm just enters the request electronically and puts the paperwork in their file, the losing firm never sees it). There could also be a delay setting up the new account since it's a trust, something simple. There most certainly would be other delays if it's a testamentary trust or other irrevocable trust.


In this case, it's a Wells Fargo to Wells Fargo scenario. The trust account was at Wells Fargo (thus why we're communicating with trust administrators at Wells Fargo), into newly set up WF WellsTrade account.

Yes it's an irrevocable trust, one of items you listed that could cause delays. That might be it.

I will follow the recommendations from earlier replies to call them once a week for status updates. Thanks everyone.
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Re: Should we be concerned - a month after submitting ACAT?

Postby cflannagan » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:56 pm

Another week has passed, and we're still getting the same status: "waiting on tax clearance".

I'm not sure who exactly is responsible for "tax clearance" in this context - is it on their (Wells Fargo's) end that they need to do some work beforehand, or are they waiting on some outside factors?
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Re: Should we be concerned - a month after submitting ACAT?

Postby livesoft » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:01 pm

It is the season of 1099s and corrected 1099s, so I can imagine that if an account is about to be transferred from one place to another that the place responsible for 1099s for year 2012 would want to make sure they are correct before things get shutdown on their end. But that is only speculation on my part. WellsFargo only had 1099s for 2012 available starting this past weekend.
It's all about short-term opportunistic rebalancing due to a short-term change in one's asset allocation, uh, I mean opportunistic rebalancing, uh I mean rebalancing, uh I mean market timing.
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