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Written by Sam Pennington on December 4, 2022
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How To Transfer From Fidelity To Vanguard 2023

Fidelity and Vanguard are two of the largest and longest standing brokerages on the market. With extensive offerings, best in class customer support, and a plethora of investment options, both Fidelity and Vanguard cater well to the needs of beginners and advanced traders alike.

So, which is best for you? This may come down to which platform delivers a better customer experience in app! However, many investors agree that Vanguard may be better suited for the long term while Fidelity may be best for more advanced traders with its extensive real time data.

Whichever you choose, this article covers the steps to transfer from Fidelity to Vanguard. Let's dive in!

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Transfer From Fidelity To Vanguard

Moving your assets from one company to another may seem complicated. But this really isn't the case. Rather than selling your assets and repurchasing them on another platform, you can perform what's called an in-kind transfer, or ACATS (automated customer account transfer service). This kind of transfer simply moves your account to another platform without ever triggering capital gains tax through the sale.

In order to transfer from Fidelity to Vanguard, you will need to complete the steps below:

  1. Open a Vanguard Account
  2. Gather Information From Fidelity
  3. Initiate an ACATS transfer

Let's jump into each of these steps in more detail!

1. Open A Vanguard Account

vanguard was founded on the theory from jack bogle that low cost index funds will provide an investor with great returns over time

If you already have a Vanguard account, then you can move on to the next step. 

As one of the oldest standing brokerages available, Vanguard has certainly adapted to changing investor needs. Creating an account with Vanguard is actually pretty simple. Though they do have an app, Vanguard requires an account application be filled out from their website. Opening an account with Vanguard takes roughly 7 minutes!

Before you start the process, be sure you are eligible. To create an account, you will need to have the following:

  • Permanent US address
  • Social security number
  • If applicable, employer's address

To open an account, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Vanguard's website
  2. Click on the "Open an account" button on the top menu
  3. You can either fund your account with a bank account or through a transfer from another account.
  4. Follow the remaining steps as prompted. You will be asked for your name, email, phone number, address, SSN, employer, and level of investing experience.

Once you have completed the account application, you will be able to start investing in 3 business days.

2. Gather Information From Fidelity

Fidelity

When performing an ACATS transfer, the steps required are typically the same for most platforms. If you want to transfer your assets from one platform to another, you will need to obtain the account number and login details of the existing account.

You will need your Fidelity account number to provide to Vanguard to initiate this transfer. You should also make note of what type of account you have with Fidelity. The account type you open with Vanguard has to be identical to the account you are transferring in.

This information can be found by downloading a copy of your most recent brokerage statement. 

3. Initiate ACATS Transfer

With a Vanguard account and your Fidelity account information, you are ready to initiate the transfer. Be aware that an outgoing transfer from Fidelity will incur a $75 fee. Vanguard does not charge for incoming ACATS transfers,

This process is pretty quick and will take just 10-15 minutes to complete online. While the funds may take 4-6 weeks to appear in your Vanguard account, the process is usually completed much sooner.

Before you start the transfer, you should also know about the assets that you can and cannot transfer to Vanguard.

Investments you can transfer:

  • Stocks.
  • Bonds.
  • Most options.
  • Exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
  • Unit investment trusts.
  • Certificates of deposit (CDs) held in a brokerage account.
  • Most mutual funds (although money market funds will be sold and transferred as cash).

Investments you can't transfer:

  • CDs held directly with a bank.
  • Certain options.
  • Limited partnerships and private placements.
  • Certain mutual funds and other investment products offered exclusively by your current firm.
  • Certain low-priced securities traded over the counter (OTC) or on the pink sheets market.
  • Commodities.
  • Annuities.
  • Life insurance policies.

Any investments that you have that cannot be transferred must be liquidated first.

Account Transfer Steps

To initiate this ACATS transfer, follow the steps below:

  1. Navigate to Vanguard's account transfer page
  2. Select the option "Transfer investments from another firm to Vanguard" and click continue
  3. Select the type of account you want to transfer from (whichever account you are transferring to Vanguard, needs to be the same type of account you have with Vanguard)
  4. Next, login with your Vanguard login details or select the Sign up option
    1. If you already have a login, then you will continue with the steps below. If you need to sign up, then you will need to provide additional details first such as your name, email, phone, SSN and more.
  5. After clicking continue, type in the name of the platform you want to transfer from. In this case, it would be "Fidelity."
  6. Enter in your Fidelity login details or find the account manually by entering in your Fidelity account number.
  7. Decide whether you want to transfer all or some of the assets held in Fidelity
    1. If a partial transfer, you will be able to select the individual investments you want to move
  8. Select where you would like to transfer the assets to, either a new account or an existing Vanguard account
  9. Review the details of the transfer and click continue
  10. Review the terms and conditions and accept to move on

Be aware that this transfer can take up to 4-6 weeks to complete, though typically is completed much sooner.

Transfer From Fidelity To Vanguard: Final Thoughts

While the process is fairly simple, you ought to do your research before moving to a new platform. Each transfer typically has an ACATS transfer fee from the firm you are leaving. Additionally, the assets typically take a few weeks to appear, meaning you won't be able to access them until they are cleared in the receiving platform.

Once you have decided that you want to transfer from one platform to another, like Fidelity to Vanguard, then you can rest assured that the process is quick and painless.

Once you have a Vanguard account, you will just need to locate your Fidelity login information and account number. After that, it's as simple as following Vanguard's online transfer form.

If you have additional questions, be sure to reach out to Vanguard's customer support team.

Article written by Sam Pennington
Sam is a personal finance writer. While in college, he dedicated his spare time to learning about personal finance, investing, and real estate. Sam currently works as a business analyst for one of the top food manufacturers in the world.

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