ETF selling (multiple lots in one transaction)

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Bulgogi Head
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Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:45 pm

ETF selling (multiple lots in one transaction)

Post by Bulgogi Head » Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:49 pm

I have never owned any ETFs in a taxable account and my Roth IRA doesn't let me sell individual lots.

At Vanguard, is it possible to sell multiple ETF lots in the same transaction?

Further, if multiple ETF lots can be sold in the same transaction, can you set different limit prices for those different lots?

Bonus question: For mutual fund shares, I know you can sell multiple lots in one transaction. Can you also "exchange" multiple lots within a single transaction? For example, if I have three lots of $1000, can I exchange them all in one transaction into the Investor shares of another Vanguard fund?

Thesaints
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Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:25 am

Re: ETF selling (multiple lots in one transaction)

Post by Thesaints » Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:53 pm

What do you mean by "one transaction" ?
Selling an ETF means you will offer it on the market at some price. You still have to find a buyer and you've gotta find one for each separate ETF.
It is fundamentally different from redeeming shares of a fund for cash.

livesoft
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Re: ETF selling (multiple lots in one transaction)

Post by livesoft » Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:22 pm

A single limit order consists of a single limit price, so in a taxable account, it would not be possible to have a single order sell shares with different limit prices whether they are in a taxable account or not. Also, it is not possible to submit an order for fractional shares, so if a lot consists of a non-integral number of shares, then something special happens ONLY when one has no more shares of that ticker in that account.

At my brokers, I can submit multiple orders with different limit prices if I want to.

At least at WellsTrade and TDAmeritrade, I can specify which shares were sold AFTER they are sold and BEFORE the trade sells. AND I can change my mind at any time before the trade settles. I may specify that the shares come from a single lot or parts of multiple lots or a combination of full lots and parts of lots

Here is a screen capture of limit orders to buy:
viewtopic.php?p=3731858#p3731858

Now if you are trying to rid your account of lots with non-integral number of shares, then it becomes tricky since only orders of whole number of shares can be places.
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Bulgogi Head
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:45 pm

Re: ETF selling (multiple lots in one transaction)

Post by Bulgogi Head » Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:49 pm

I guess the main question is can I sell more than one lot in one sell order, similar to how you can with mutual funds? (where there is the check box screen where you can select which lots you want to sell).

For example if I had the following three ETF lots:

1/1/2018: 100 shares
1/10/2018: 100 shares
1/30/2018: 100 shares

Could I then go to My Accounts > Buy & Sell > Trade Vanguard ETFs (and non-Vanguard ETFs) > and then sell all 300 shares at one time?

Or do I need to go through this process three different times for each of the 100 share lots?

livesoft
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Re: ETF selling (multiple lots in one transaction)

Post by livesoft » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:00 pm

Yes, you could sell in one sell transaction any number of shares up to 300 shares with one order. If it was a limit order, then there could only be one limit price.

Since orders cost one no commissions nor fees at most brokers nowadays, one could also submit 1, 2, 3, 4, ..., 300 orders (almost) simultaneously and achieve the same result.
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stan1
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Re: ETF selling (multiple lots in one transaction)

Post by stan1 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:21 pm

Make sure you have your cost basis method set to "specific identification" and you will see the user interface needed to sell shares out of specific lots. If you do that you put in the number of shares you want to sell and then you can specify how many shares out of each lot you want to sell. The number of shares you identify in specific lots must match the number of shares you want to sell.

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