Transfer Vanguard Account to TD Ameritrade and The Other Way in 2022

Instructions to transfer a Vanguard account, IRA, stocks, ETFs, assets, money to TD Ameritrade brokerage in 2022.

How to Move a Brokerage Account from Vanguard to TD Ameritrade (and Vice Versa)

Do you need better software than what Vanguard offers? You could electronically transfer your account to TD Ameritrade with a few simple steps. And if you have a TD Ameritrade account, you can move it to Vanguard. Keep reading and we’ll show you how.

Transfer Overview

Moving a brokerage account nowadays from one firm to another is a fairly straightforward process. A simple digital form is all that is required to initiate an e-transfer of brokerage assets, although some amount of legwork may be required beforehand.

Anytime you want to transfer an investment account, make sure you accomplish these tasks:

In an electronic transfer, investments are moved out of one brokerage account and into another. The accounts themselves aren’t actually moved. This means that you need two accounts open before initiating a transfer. So opening a new securities account with the new brokerage house is the first step, if you don’t already have one open. If you do have one open, it must be the same account type with the same name on it.

If you have option contracts that you plan on moving, the new account will first need to be approved for options trading before the transfer begins. If you plan on transferring option spreads, the new account will also need to be a margin account. Any mistake along the way on any issue will only lead to a delay.

After opening and preparing the receiving account, the next phase in the transfer journey is to properly arrange the old account. This could entail several tasks, depending on how similar the receiving and outgoing brokerage firms are. If the outgoing firm offers trading in bonds, but the receiving firm does not, then obviously any fixed-income positions can’t be moved. Moreover, only cash and securities can be transferred, which means holdings of cryptocurrencies, futures, and forex can never be moved under any circumstances.

For a partial transfer, individual positions of cash and securities can simply be listed in a transfer request. A full transfer will complicate things a bit. This type of transfer will require closing all open orders. Trades will also need to settle before requesting a full transfer. A margin debit could be transferred under some circumstances, although it probably will be easier to pay it off before going forward with a transfer.

The final step is to send a transfer request to the receiving brokerage firm. The two brokers will handle everything from this point forward, and all there is left for you is to sit back and monitor the progress.

From Vanguard to TD Ameritrade

Use the above guide and you’ll be able to transfer your assets from a self-directed Vanguard account into a TD Ameritrade account in short order.

As noted above, the first step is to open a TD Ameritrade account if you don’t have one. If you do have one, but it is a different account type (a custodial account instead of a joint account, for example), you need to open a second that matches what you have at Vanguard.

TD Ameritrade’s website is the easiest place to open an account. At the top, there is a link just for this task. Follow the prompts, and you should be all set in short order.

The next step is to prepare your Vanguard account for the upcoming move. This won’t be too difficult as Vanguard does not offer any asset classes that are unavailable at TD Ameritrade. However, some mutual funds available on the Vanguard platform may not be available for trading at TD Ameritrade. You may want to verify that the mutual fund you have at Vanguard is on the TD Ameritrade platform. To do this, type in the fund’s ticker symbol in the search box (located in the upper-right portion of the website). If the fund isn’t available, you’ll want to reach out to TD Ameritrade’s customer service department to inquire whether you can move the fund over or not.

If you have any options contracts that expire in less than two weeks, it is best to close them out or let them expire before requesting a transfer in the next step. If you request a transfer before this point, Vanguard might forcibly close them out.

Remember that if you plan on a full transfer, you’ll need to let all trades settle and close out open orders.

Now it’s time to pull the trigger and get the transfer going. On the TD Ameritrade mobile app, tap on the More icon at the bottom of the screen and then select Transfer funds. You’ll find the account transfer link in there.

On the website, hover over the My Account tab and click on Deposit or Account Transfer. You’ll find the e-transfer form through either link.

Move Vanguard Account to Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade’s website displays Vanguard’s logo as a possible outgoing broker. Click on this to make filling out the form even easier. Once submitted, TD Ameritrade will do the rest of the heavy lifting.

Transferring a robo account from Vanguard to TD Ameritrade would follow a similar path, but keep in mind that TD Ameritrade no longer offers robo accounts.

Open TD Ameritrade Account

$0 stock/ETF trades + transfer fee refund.

Open TD Ameritrade Account

From TD Ameritrade to Vanguard

Vanguard does not permit transfers of securities into a robo account. If you want to move assets into a self-directed account, just follow the same steps discussed above:

Opening a Vanguard account is a breeze on the company’s website. Just click on the Open an account button that appears on the front page. Vanguard is unique among brokerage firms in allowing new customers to start the transfer process with an initial account application.

After clicking on the Open an account button on the Vanguard site, you’ll be given two options: Open a new account and Move an account or assets to Vanguard. If you take the first route, on the very next screen you’ll be given the option to specify Transfer investments from another financial firm, which will bring you to the same location that the second original option provides. If you want to open an account without specifying a transfer, you can do that and perform a transfer later.

Whenever you decide to pull the trigger on the transfer, you do need to make sure that your TD Ameritrade account is ready to go. This is what the second step is for. Forex and futures positions cannot be moved in an e-transfer. These will have to be transported to a second TD Ameritrade account not associated with the move to Vanguard, closed out, or left behind in a partial transfer.

Although options generally can be moved into Vanguard, the broker does not have any software for spread trading. If you transfer any spreads, these will have to be closed out leg by leg at Vanguard. Some option contracts cannot be moved at all.

Money market mutual funds cannot be transferred into Vanguard, either. If you attempt to do so, they will be sold by Vanguard and converted to cash. Annuities and some over-the-counter and Pink Sheet stocks also cannot be moved into a Vanguard account.

The same rule for mutual funds mentioned above apply in this direction: verify that a specific fund is available for trading with the new broker before trying to move it.

If you didn’t attach a transfer to the initial account application, it’s easy to do inside an existing Vanguard account. Just click on the Investing tab at the top of the site (after logging in), then select Account transfers under the sub-heading Rollovers & transfers. On the page that appears, you’ll see a red Start your transfer online button. That will give you the e-transfer form you need.

Move Ameritrade Account to Vanguard

You’ll see TD Ameritrade is an outgoing broker. Select that and then you can either enter your login credentials for your TD Ameritrade account to connect it to your Vanguard account or you can enter your TDA account number. Simply enter the remaining necessary details, such as full or partial transfer, and the transfer request will be complete in a matter of minutes.

How Long Does a Transfer Take?

Vanguard estimates that an e-transfer could take 3 to 4 weeks. TD Ameritrade, on the other hand, predicts a transfer time of roughly 6 to 8 business days. These two estimations differ by quite a bit. The total time of an actual transfer will vary based on many factors, such as assets transferred, whether there are any mistakes made in the transfer application, and how long it takes to get a new account open and ready to accept a deposit. Sometimes, the back office of a brokerage firm may require a couple of days to get a new account approved for receiving a transfer, for example.

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