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Migrating IRAs to another brokerage, pitfalls?

Posted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 12:27 pm
by KeepItSimple78
Planning to move 3 IRAs from Vanguard to Merrill Lynch. I hold passive funds and a small money market allocation in one of the IRAs. My understanding is the first step is to convert the funds to ETFs. After which I would contact Merrill and have them start the process of opening IRAs there and transferring the assets. What should I be looking out for? What could go wrong? Fellow Bogleheads seem to make similar moves regularly, with many chasing transfer/asset level bonuses.

I have a few concerns:
1. The actual transfer is done properly and I am whole in the end. Because tax basis isn't an issue here, this isn't a large concern. Should be a straight-forward transfer.

2. The volatility we've seen this year. How long will the assets be out of the market during the transfer? After a bit of research and looking at other posts here, I'm unclear on this and I suppose it varies.


Thanks in advance.

Re: Migrating IRAs to another brokerage, pitfalls?

Posted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 12:28 pm
by Tattarrattat
If you convert to ETFs first, then you will never be out of the market. The ETFs will stay in the market the whole time.

Re: Migrating IRAs to another brokerage, pitfalls?

Posted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 2:04 pm
by KeepItSimple78
Great, thanks Tattarrattat

Re: Migrating IRAs to another brokerage, pitfalls?

Posted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 9:05 pm
by KeepItSimple78
Moving forward with the transfer of assets next week (after funds to ETFs conversion is complete). Spoke with someone at Merrill and they walked me through the process and offered to cover the close-out fees from Vanguard. I am able to initiate the transfer of assets online which is nice. I expect it to go well, but will follow up here with any issues I encounter.

Re: Migrating IRAs to another brokerage, pitfalls?

Posted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 10:32 pm
by RetiredAL
KeepItSimple78 wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 9:05 pm Moving forward with the transfer of assets next week (after funds to ETFs conversion is complete).
Just be aware that any income issued after the initial transfer (month-end) will slowly straggle across days after it is posted on your Vanguard account. It all will catch-up at some point. When I transferred my Dad's IRAs from Wells Fargo to Schwab, there were dribbles for several weeks afterwards.

Re: Migrating IRAs to another brokerage, pitfalls?

Posted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:11 am
by KeepItSimple78
RetiredAL wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 10:32 pm
KeepItSimple78 wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 9:05 pm Moving forward with the transfer of assets next week (after funds to ETFs conversion is complete).
Just be aware that any income issued after the initial transfer (month-end) will slowly straggle across days after it is posted on your Vanguard account. It all will catch-up at some point. When I transferred my Dad's IRAs from Wells Fargo to Schwab, there were dribbles for several weeks afterwards.
Thanks

Re: Migrating IRAs to another brokerage, pitfalls?

Posted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 12:01 pm
by montanagirl
Tattarrattat wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 12:28 pm If you convert to ETFs first, then you will never be out of the market. The ETFs will stay in the market the whole time.
Why is that? Are they wired to the new brokerage? It always puzzles me why all transfers don't go that way if like-to-like.

Re: Migrating IRAs to another brokerage, pitfalls?

Posted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 5:31 pm
by Eagle33
KeepItSimple78 wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 9:05 pm Moving forward with the transfer of assets next week (after funds to ETFs conversion is complete). Spoke with someone at Merrill and they walked me through the process and offered to cover the close-out fees from Vanguard. I am able to initiate the transfer of assets online which is nice. I expect it to go well, but will follow up here with any issues I encounter.
There are no fees for closing an account at Vanguard. What close-out fees are you referring to?