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Written by Beau Jordan on January 15, 2022
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M1 Finance Rollover Tutorial 2022: How To Move Retirement Accounts?

M1 Finance has experienced rapid growth in popularity and is building a strong reputation in the investing community. 

Some of the reasons for this growth are that M1 Finance offers investors the opportunity to build custom portfolios for free. Additionally, investors can choose from numerous expert portfolios that vary in risk to match each individual investor’s goals. These are management fee free and commission free as well. 

M1 Finance has also become the platform of choice for many investors preparing for retirement. Oftentimes 401(k) plans and IRAs have hidden fees that are difficult for the investor to avoid.

However, M1 Finance is a 100% commission free and management free platform for retirement investing. 

Whether you are creating your first IRA or rolling over investments from another brokerage, M1 Finance has you covered. While creating a new IRA is simple on almost any investing platform, rolling over investments to a new brokerage can often be complex and confusing. 

To mitigate such difficulties, this article includes a step-by-step process to ensure your success in rolling over your investments into an M1 Finance retirement account. 

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M1 Finance Retirement Account Types

M1 Finance offers investors three types of IRAs (Individual Retirement Accounts) to save and invest for the future. These three accounts are a Roth IRA, a Traditional IRA, and an SEP IRA. 

While there are no management fees, M1 Finance does disclose that there is a $100 fee for closing an M1 Finance IRA account and another $100 fee for outgoing account transfers out of M1 Finance. 

One benefit for creating an IRA is for the tax advantages, which differ for each retirement account.

M1 Finance requires a minimum of $100 to open a traditional taxable brokerage account.

However, with the retirement accounts, that minimum jumps up to $500. 

Roth IRA

A Roth IRA is completely funded by the individual investor, as opposed to a 401(k) which can also be funded by an employer. 

With a Roth IRA, the investor funds the account with post-tax income. However, there is no tax on the capital gains or dividends that result from the investor’s portfolio. You are able to allow your money to grow completely tax free. 

There is no immediate tax benefit associated with the Roth IRA, however.

Traditional IRA

Much like a Roth IRA, a Traditional IRA  is completely funded by the individual investor. However, the tax advantages for a Traditional IRA differ from those offered with a Roth IRA account. 

With a Traditional IRA, the investor funds the account with pre-tax income. However, there is a tax on the capital gains that result from the investor’s portfolio later on down the road. 

These contributions may be tax deductible as well, so check with your tax advisor for more information.

SEP IRA

SEP IRAs differ from Roth and Traditional IRAs because this account is fully funded by an employer and not the individual investor.

Think of a SEP IRA like a 401(k) that is typically used for small businesses due to low operating costs. 

An SEP IRA has the same tax advantages that are present with a Traditional IRA account. In other words, the contributions are tax free but there will be capital gains tax on the gains down the road when you begin selling and taking distributions. 

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How To Rollover Your Retirement Account Into An M1 Retirement Account

Fortunately, the process for rolling your other retirement accounts into one of the three M1 Finance IRA accounts is exactly the same.

However, the rollover process differs depending on which previously held investment accounts you are using to rollover funds into your new M1 Finance retirement account.

How To Rollover Your 401(k) To M1 Finance

Here's the steps involved with rolling over your 401(k) to M1.

1. Open an M1 Finance Retirement Account (Roth, Traditional, or SEP IRA)

In order to open a retirement account with M1 Finance, you will have to fund it with a minimum of $500. 

The account opening process is relatively straightforward. You will have to create an account with an email and password. Then, you will have to open a brokerage account/retirement account. They will ask you for information such as your name, social, address and employer.

2. Initiate the transfer with your current 401(k) administrator

If you do not remember who your current administrator is you can either reach out to your former employer or check on a recent statement.

Begin the official rollover process by communicating with the provider that you would like to initiate a rollover. From here the provider should have a process that they will take you through to complete the request. 

During this process your current administrator will create a check. Follow the recommended actions in the step below to confirm the rollover is successful. 

3. Correctly fill out and send the rollover check to Apex Clearing

Confirm that your current administrator makes the check payable to Apex Clearing. 

Next, confirm that the memo line of the check includes your name and M1 IRA account number. If you don’t have your M1 IRA account number, it can be found in the drop down menu under account information. Hence why you need to open an account before initiating the transfer. 

If the account number is not included on the check, write down your M1 IRA account number on a piece of paper and include that with the check when you mail it off. 

4. Confirm that the rollover check is sent to the following address

Apex Clearing c/o BPO 

350 North St. Paul Street #1300 

Dallas, TX 75201 

Traditionally, your 401(k) administrator will send the rollover check directly to Apex Clearing Corporation at the address above. If your administrator sends the check to you directly though, you will be responsible to send the check to Apex Clearing Corporation at the address above.

As a final note, if the check is made out to you rather than Apex Clearing, you will have to endorse the check. 

M1 Finance requests that investors wait 20 days after the check is sent before contacting M1 Finance. 

How To Rollover Your 403(b) To M1 Finance

Here's the steps involved with rolling over your 403(b) to M1.

1. Open an M1 Finance Retirement Account (Roth, Traditional, or SEP IRA)

In order to open a retirement account with M1 Finance, you will have to fund it with a minimum of $500. 

The account opening process is relatively straightforward. You will have to create an account with an email and password. Then, you will have to open a brokerage account/retirement account. They will ask you for information such as your name, social, address and employer.

2. Initiate the transfer with your current 403(b) administrator 

If you do not remember who your current administrator is you can either reach out to your former employer or check on a recent statement.

Begin the official rollover process by communicating with your old provider that you would like to initiate a rollover. From here the provider should have a process that they will take you through to complete the request. 

During this process your current administrator will create a check. Follow the recommended actions in the step below to confirm the rollover is successful. 

3. Correctly fill out and send the rollover check to Apex Clearing

Confirm that your current administrator makes the check payable to Apex Clearing. 

Next, confirm that the memo line of the check includes your name and M1 IRA account number. If you don’t have your M1 IRA account number, it can be found in the drop down menu under account information. 

If the account number is not included on the check, write down your M1 IRA account number on a piece of paper and include that with the check when you mail it off. 

4. Confirm that the rollover check is sent to the following address

Apex Clearing c/o BPO 

350 North St. Paul Street #1300 

Dallas, TX 75201 

Traditionally, your 403(b) administrator will send the rollover check directly to Apex Clearing Corporation at the address above.

If your administrator sends the check to you directly though, you will be responsible to send the check to Apex Clearing Corporation at the address above.

As a final note, if the check is made out to you rather than Apex Clearing, you will have to endorse the check. 

M1 Finance requests that investors wait 20 days after the check is sent before contacting M1 Finance. 

How To Rollover Your Existing IRA To M1 Finance (ACATS)

A potential benefit of rolling over an existing IRA into an M1 IRA is using the ACATS system to transfer the securities. 

The ACATS system stands for an automated customer account transfer service. This system allows investors to successfully transfer securities from one broker to another electronically. 

For an ACATS transfer to be successful, the investor must confirm that they have an M1 IRA account open that matches the account type being transferred. In other words, a Traditional IRA account must be transferred to an M1 Traditional IRA account. 

It typically only takes 5-7 business days to complete the ACATS transfer whereas non-ACATS transfers typically take 30-60 days to complete. 

Completing the ACATS transfer form only has three simple steps (detailed below). 

1. Open an M1 Finance Retirement Account (Roth, Traditional, or SEP IRA)

In order to open a retirement account with M1 Finance, you will have to fund it with a minimum of $500. 

The account opening process is relatively straightforward. You will have to create an account with an email and password. Then, you will have to open a brokerage account/retirement account. They will ask you for information such as your name, social, address and employer.

2. Fill out the details on the online ACATS transfer form

Here is a link to access the ACATS transfer form.

These details include your current brokerage firm, the brokerage’s account number, the retirement account type, the total value of your transfer, whether or not this is a full or partial transfer of funds, and your email address. 

3. Upload a recent account statement from your current brokerage

The final step is to upload a copy of your most recent brokerage statement to M1 Finance via the secure online form. After that, M1 Finance will begin initiating the transfer process.

How To Rollover Your Existing IRA To M1 Finance (Non-ACATS Transfer)

Unfortunately, if your current brokerage does not support an ACATS transfer, expect the transfer process to take longer. However, the required process is listed below for a non-ACATS transfer. 

1. Open an M1 Finance Retirement Account (Roth, Traditional, or SEP IRA)

In order to open a retirement account with M1 Finance, you will have to fund it with a minimum of $500. 

The account opening process is relatively straightforward. You will have to create an account with an email and password. Then, you will have to open a brokerage account/retirement account. They will ask you for information such as your name, social, address and employer.

2. Initiate the transfer with your current IRA administrator 

If you do not remember who your current administrator is you can either reach out to your former employer or check on a recent statement.

Begin the official rollover process by communicating with the provider that you would like to initiate a rollover. From here the provider should have a process that they will take you through to complete the request. 

During this process your current administrator will create a check. Follow the recommended actions in the step below to confirm the rollover is successful. 

3. Correctly fill out and send the rollover check to Apex Clearing

Confirm that your current administrator makes the check payable to Apex Clearing. 

Next, confirm that the memo line of the check includes your name and M1 IRA account number. If you don’t have your M1 IRA account number, it can be found in the drop down menu under account information. 

If the account number is not included on the check, write down your M1 IRA account number on a piece of paper and include that with the check when you mail it off. 

4. Confirm that the rollover check is sent to the following address

Apex Clearing c/o BPO 

350 North St. Paul Street #1300 

Dallas, TX 75201 

Traditionally, your IRA administrator will send the rollover check directly to Apex Clearing Corporation at the address above.

If your administrator sends the check to you directly though, you will be responsible to send the check to Apex Clearing Corporation at the address above. Include M1’s provided IRA Deposit Slip when sending in your check.

As a final note, if the check is made out to you rather than Apex Clearing, you will have to endorse the check. 

M1 Finance requests that investors wait 20 days after the check is sent before contacting M1 Finance. 

How To Prepare Your M1 Account For Your Incoming Transfer

There are a few additional steps that you can take to ensure that your M1 Finance rollover is successful.

Unless you want to liquidate your assets during the rollover process, make sure that your M1 pie selection of stocks and funds matches your current portfolio. 

Let’s say that at your current brokerage your portfolio is a mix of Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft. If your M1 Finance pie is set up with just Apple and Amazon, Microsoft will either need to be added to the pie or those assets will be liquidated during the transfer. 

M1 Finance states that target percentages created for your retirement pie will not impact your incoming transfer. 

If Apple represents 10% of your current portfolio but you set it to represent 25% in your M1 retirement pie, the entire amount will transfer over to M1 and then the M1 algorithm will slowly adjust to the portfolio weight through future investments and withdrawals. 

So, the key thing to remember here is to make sure you include each stock and ETF within your M1 Finance portfolio that you are transferring in. Don't worry about the percentages as much for now.

Creating Your Retirement Portfolio With M1 Finance

Now that you understand the rollover process, there are a lot of unique capabilities and offerings with M1 Finance for you to take advantage of. One key differentiator for M1 Finance is the power for the investor to create their M1 pie. 

The pie is an overview of your investment portfolio with M1. Investors have the option to create a custom pie or leverage M1 experts knowledge by using an expert pie. 

Check out Investing Simple’s article on how M1 Finance pies work for a pie deep dive!

Custom Pies

For custom pies, the investor selects their own mix of stocks and funds to create their individual investment portfolio. M1 has a selection of over 6,000 individual stocks and funds for investors to create custom pies. 

Each slice of the pie will be given a target allocation % determined by you. You can have up to 100 stocks/ETFs within your pie.

Expert Pies

Expert pies differ from custom pies in that these pies are created by M1 Finance professionals. M1 has created nearly 100 expert pies to help each individual investor meet their financial goals. 

There is no additional fee for selecting an expert pie compared to creating a custom pie. 

Target Date Retirement Funds

Target retirement funds are unique in that the asset classes change and strive to become less risky as the investor grows closer to retirement. The target retirement date for each fund is indicated in the fund title and usually moves by 5 year increments (2020, 2025, 2030, etc.). 

While most brokerage accounts have target retirement funds, M1 Finance breaks down each retirement fund into three options (aggressive, moderate, and conservative) depending on the individual investor’s risk tolerance. 

Typically the more aggressive option has a higher stock allocation while the more conservative selection has a higher bond allocation. 

M1 Finance Rollover Tutorial: Summary

M1 Finance offers a Roth IRA, Traditional IRA, and SEP IRA. Each of these retirement accounts have different use cases and tax advantages. 

It is easy to rollover a 401(k), 403(b), and IRA account into an M1 Finance retirement account. The steps for each of those processes are detailed in the body of this article as well as on the official M1 Finance website. 

There are a couple of actions that you can take to ensure that the transfer into M1 Finance is successful. One of these actions is confirming that your M1 account includes the stocks and funds from your transferring portfolio. If your M1 portfolio does not have a stock or fund that you are transferring, those funds will be liquidated and reinvested to the rest of your M1 pie. 

Lastly, M1 finance enables you to create your perfect retirement portfolio. Whether you are using a custom pie (self-selected portfolio) or an expert pie (M1-created portfolio), M1 finance should have all the resources needed for a successful retirement account. 

Article written by Beau Jordan

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