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FAQ's Relating to a Brokerage Account Transfer - Boca Raton, Florida Broker/Dealer FINRA Arbitration and Litigation Attorney

Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach, Florida Broker/Dealer FINRA Arbitration and Litigation Attorney:

FAQ's You Should Consider Asking Before You Initiate Your Account Transfer:

Discussing the transfer process with your new firm is the best way to become familiar with the account transfer process. If the answers to your questions are not clear, ask the new firm for a written response. You should ask questions, such as:

  • Can you explain the transfer process to me?
  • Can you tell me what fees I should expect to pay (including transfer fees and any other fees associated with the account (e.g. annual fees, brokerage commissions)?
  • What documents or information do I need to transfer my account to your firm?
  • What do I need to do to start the transfer process and what should I expect after that?
  • What is the anticipated length of the transfer process given the specific type of account (such as cash, margin, IRA, custodial) and the assets held (such as stocks, bonds, options, limited partnership interests)?
  • Can you identify any issues that may cause a delay during the account transfer process?
  • How and when will you inform me that the transfer process is complete?
  • Does your firm have any specific policies or constraints that might impact the account transfer? For example, if you have a margin account, ask if the new firm will accept a margin account and, if so, what its minimum requirements are. In short, make sure the new firm is a good fit for you as a customer before you attempt to transfer your account.
  • Are there any restrictions on transactions I can execute during the transfer process? For example, buying and selling securities during the account transfer process can complicate and delay the transfer.
  • Can you identify any securities or assets in my account that may not transfer and how they will be handled? Before initiating the transfer process, ask your new firm which assets in your account may not transfer.

 These securities may include:

  • securities sold exclusively by your old firm;
  • mutual funds or money market funds not available at the new firm, typically because the new firm does not maintain a relationship or arrangement with the fund necessary to hold the asset;
  • limited partnerships that are private placements, typically because the asset is held at the issuer, not the broker or investment adviser who sold it to the customer;
  • fractional shares of securities; and
  • bankrupt securities.

You will need to make an informed decision regarding these non-transferable assets.

  • You may be able to simply sell the non-transferable asset and transfer the cash proceeds, but you should consult your tax adviser first because selling the asset may affect your taxes. Also, before selling a mutual fund and buying a similar fund at your new firm, find out the fees that will be charged for the transactions by the old and new firms.
  • If you choose to leave the non-transferable assets at the old firm in an inactive account, ask whether a fee will be charged.
  • You may be able to take physical delivery of assets directly from your old firm. However, this may not be a wise choice. Taking possession of a physical security poses risks, such as the security being lost or stolen. Lost or stolen securities require significant time and money to replace. Also, it usually takes longer to sell a physical security than one your broker or investment adviser already holds electronically.

If you own some of these non-transferable securities, it may take longer to complete a transfer while you decide how to handle them. Your old firm is required to transfer whatever securities or assets it can through ACATS and ask you what you would like to do with the others.

Please keep in mind that this information is being provided for educational purposes only.  It is not designed to be complete in all material respects.  Thus, it should not be relied upon as legal or investment advice.

Contact Us:

With extensive courtroom, arbitration and mediation experience and an in-depth understanding of elder abuse, exploitation and securities law, our firm provides all of our clients with the personal service they deserve. Handling cases worth $25,000 or more, we represent clients throughout Florida and across the United States, as well as for foreign individuals that invested in U.S. banks or brokerage firms. Contact us to arrange your free initial consultation.

At the Fort Lauderdale Law Office of Russell L. Forkey, we represent clients throughout South and Central Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Sunrise, Plantation, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Delray, Boynton Beach, Hollywood, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Manalapan, Jupiter, Gulf Stream, Wellington, Fort Pierce, Stuart, Palm City, Jupiter, Miami, Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Heathrow, Melbourne, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, Vero Beach, Daytona Beach, Deland, New Smyrna Beach, Ormand Beach, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Dade County, Orange County, Seminole County, Martin County, Brevard County, Indian River County, Volusia County and Monroe County, Florida. The law office of Russell L. Forkey also represents South American, Canadian and other foreign residents that do business with U.S. financial institutions, investment advisors, brokerage and precious metal firms.

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