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E*TRADE & TD Ameritrade accounts are transitioning to new brokers. Was your portfolio affected?

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Article Summary:

  • Since September 1, 2023, all E*TRADE accounts have begun transitioning to Morgan Stanley.

  • Similarly, as of September 5, 2023, all TD Ameritrade accounts are being transferred to Charles Schwab.

  • For customers who may be interested in opting out of these transitions,

As of early September, E*TRADE account(s), as well as their assets and obligations are being transferred to Morgan Stanley. Similarly, all TD Ameritrade customer accounts are now being held by Charles Schwab.

Perhaps two of the biggest shifts in the brokerage industry in recent years, the acquisitions have been met with mixed reactions from both investors and analysts — with some critics saying the mergers represent Wall Street’s increasing takeover of Main Street, and others speculating that it's a matter of survival in a brokerage industry where large banks are in a scramble for retail accounts to monetize. However, only time will tell just how the transitions will affect customers and the industry as a whole.

If you're an E*TRADE or TD Ameritrade customer, you're probably asking what this means for you — can I opt out of the transition, how will my portfolio be affected, and what are my options? Read on to learn more.

Can I opt out of the transfer?

E*TRADE and TD account holders should carefully consider their options and decide whether or not they are comfortable with the changes that are taking place. If you do not want your accounts transferred, you do have the right to opt-out. If your accounts were already transitioned, you have the option of withdrawing and transferring your accounts to a new brokerage.

If you are an E*TRADE Customer:

If you do not want your E*TRADE account(s) transferred to Morgan Stanley, you have the right to opt out. To do so, according to E*TRADE, you must complete both steps below:

  1. Call E*TRADE’s Customer Service at 1-800-387-2331 to signal your intention to opt out of the transfer; and

  2. Close or move your account(s) to another broker-dealer of your choice. You are required to provide the receiving broker-dealer with transfer instructions and these transfer instructions must be initiated by the new broker-dealer before the date listed in the Notice of Changes sent to you by Morgan Stanley.

If you are a TD Ameritrade Customer:

If you would prefer that your TD Ameritrade account not move to Schwab, according to TD Ameritrade, you must do one of these two things:

  1. Transfer your account to another firm by the Friday one week prior to your scheduled transition. The new broker-dealer will initiate the transfer by Automated Customer Account Transfer ("ACAT"). ACAT transfers typically take 3-5 days to complete.

  2. Close your account and withdraw your balance. You'll first have to liquidate all your open positions by the Monday two weeks before your transition. Then, you'll need to contact TD Ameritrade by 1 p.m. ET on the Thursday two weeks prior to the start of your transition weekend to request funds from your account either by electronic transfer (ACH)—for which you'll need bank instructions on file prior to this date—or by requesting a check or wire. You'll receive a communication about 60 days ahead of your account transition date with more details and deadlines. If you need help or support, call TD Ameritrade’s Client Services 24/7 at 800-669-3900.

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