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Written by Drew Cochran on August 20, 2022
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How To Transfer From Vanguard To Public 2022

Public is a popular online brokerage that features a social-media-style investing app. It takes the best ideas from social media sites like Twitter, and allows investors of all levels of experience to see what moves others are making, and gives them space to talk about it and learn!

As well as this, Public is expanding its offerings, allowing its users to invest in stocks, ETFs, crypto, and soon - fine art, NFT's, collectibles, and more.

Many investors who use mobile apps for their personal investing accounts, including Vanguard users, are wondering what value Public can offer them.

Right now, we're going to show you the exact steps you'll need to take to transfer your stocks from Vanguard to Public, start to finish!

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How To Transfer From Vanguard To Public

The technical term for the transfer process we'll be using today is called an ACATs transfer - an Automated Customer Accounts Transfer Service.

When performing an ACATs transfer, you move your stocks from your current brokerage to a new one. ACATs transfers can seem like "extra work", but they're actually pretty cool: instead of you needing to sell off each of your stock positions and rebuying them inside a new brokerage, you never stop owning your stocks.

The ACATs process doesn't just save you time and potential market exposure, but also saves you on taxes; as if you had to sell off and rebuy all your stocks, it would create a taxable event you'd potentially be liable for - not fun.

The one catch with ACATs transfers: the broker you're leaving charges you for withdrawing your assets.

For Vanguard, their ACATs fee is $75 for a full transfer, and $25 for a partial transfer.

The good news? Most often, the brokerage you're moving your account into will either pay your fees directly, or give you a rebate. Public will pay any ACATs fees for incoming accounts whose value is worth over $150.

If your overall portfolio in your Vanguard account isn't worth $150 yet, we'd recommend investing into your Vanguard until it is, and doing the ACATs after.

All that might sound complex, but ACATs transfers are actually really easy to do, and only take a couple of minutes!

To do the ACATs transfer, you'll have to take these 3 steps:

  1. Copy down some key info from your Vanguard Account
  2. Open a Public account (if you don't have one already)
  3. Initiate the ACATs Transfer from Vanguard to Public

Now, let's break down each step.

1. Find Your Vanguard Account Information

vanguard review vs betterment vs personal capital

First, we'll have to find your Vanguard investing account number, as well as making sure you have the right kind of account that Public can use.

At the time of writing, Public only has one kind of account available on their app: a "taxable" personal/individual account. There's several terms brokers will call these accounts, but they're all the same kind - not "tax-advantaged".

You won't be able to transfer a tax-advantaged account like a retirement account, or a savings/money account into Public, only these "taxable" individual investing accounts.

When looking for your Vanguard account number, double-check and make sure your Vanguard account is indeed a taxable/individual account to avoid potential frustration in the future.

How to find your Vanguard account number:

  1. Open your Vanguard app and log in
  2. Tap on the "My Accounts" section in the main screen
  3. Here, you will see your account information, including your 8-digit account number

2. Sign Up For Public

Public Logo

Now that we have your Vanguard account info securely copied down, we'll finish up everything else inside the Public app. Of course, if you haven't yet, you'll have to sign up for Public!

Already set up your Public account? Skip to step 3.

Use this link when signing up for a free stock slice, on us!

Here's how to sign up:

  1. Download the Public app
  2. Click "Get Started"
  3. Provide your phone number and name
  4. Choose your username
  5. Provide your email address
  6. Create a strong password
  7. Choose to follow some new accounts
  8. Claim your free stock slice! (only works with referral link)
  9. Confirm your citizenship
  10. Submit photo ID for fast-track verification
  11. Provide birthdate and personal information
  12. Accept Terms & Conditions if you agree
  13. Fill out investment goals questionnaire
  14. Make your first deposit by Linking your Bank

New Public accounts can take a few business days to get approved and verified, it might not be immediate.

3. Initiate ACATs Transfer To Public

Everything's set: you've got your Vanguard info at the ready, and your Public account is fresh and ready for lift-off!

Time to initiate your ACATs transfer into Public.

Inside your Public app, take the following steps:

  1. From the main screen, click the person icon in the bottom right corner
  2. Click the gear icon on the top right corner
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page, and click "Transfer my stocks to Public"
  4. Enter your Vanguard Account Number, and click Next
  5. Enter your Public account info to confirm
  6. Select either "Full" or "Partial" transfer
  7. If only partially transferring, select assets to transfer

When transferring, you can perform either a full transfer, or just a partial transfer. When you do a full transfer, your Vanguard account will close automatically.

ACATs transfers can take a few business days to process.

Transfer From Vanguard To Public: One Final Thing

Public has a lot of great features, between investing in both stocks, ETFs, and crypto, and the ability to gain insights from seasoned investors and market analysts. But perhaps the most valuable aspect of Public is its social approach to investing.

Invite your friends to try out Public and see what you learn about personal finance together!

Don't forget about your free stock slice when signing up with our link.

Enjoy your time in Public!

Article written by Drew Cochran

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