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Transfer of stocks & or MF's

Would a fee be due on the transfer of stocks from one account to another ? 401-k transfer to IRA was a fee less deal for me a few years ago.
I have a very small amount of Brighthouse Financial & received mailing asking if I wanted to sell. Cost was $3.50 / share up to a $60 max. At the current price of BHF that figures out to a little over 9 % / share !! This (deal) is for only less than 100 shares. 18 shares would get you to the point of less than $3.50 per share.
I'm thinking of transfer to VG or Schwab.
Yes I know I'm talking pennies here , but the small guy is getting stiffed. Plus I didn't ask to be included in spin off from MET. Time for a chill pill.
Have a nice weekend, Derf


  • edited October 2019
    Hi @Derf, Since, it is a small amount I'd say digest it and move on. Then consolidate your holdings with only one, or two, advisors. Hope the chill pill helps.
  • I was in two somewhat similar situations, and in each case I bit the bullet.

    I owned shares of company stock through an ESOP. The plan used E*Trade to hold the shares. Then the company had a spinoff (like MET spinning off BHF). E*Trade refused to sell the spinoff shares out of the ESOP account, but if I opened a retail E*Trade account it would transfer the spinoff shares to that account at no charge. However, it would charge me a fee to transfer those shares to another brokerage. This was a way that E*Trade strong-armed people into opening accounts. I declined, transferred the stock, and have never dealt with E*Trade since.

    I received a few shares of MET as a policy holder when it demutualized. The IRS contends that shares one gets this way have $0 cost basis. Since 100% of the price was appreciation (according to the IRS), and the amount was small, I just donated the shares to charity.

    It sounds like your BHF shares are being held by MetLife (or Brighthouse), much as my MET shares were held in a MetLife trust. You'd have to ask them how much it would cost to transfer the shares out. (I think my cost would have been zero.)

    Different brokerages have different fee schedules for ACAT (in kind) transfers. They may even charge different amounts depending on whether you transfer your whole account or just part.
  • @msf: Your second scenario sounds like mine , only you bailed shortly after

    demutualization. (new word)? Maybe I can transfer shares to MFO ?

    Thanks for your reply, Derf
  • @msf
    Similarly, we received shares of Prudential when it demutualized. The tax basis wasn't clear, but it really seemed what you said: 0.
    So we contributed the shares to Fidelity Charitable Trust and were able to deduct the full values as a charitable contribution in that year.

    BTW, Fidelity Charitable Trust is incredibly easy to work with. You can go online to easily make a contribution (cash, stocks, mutual funds) from a Fidelity account (into your FCT account). It's also very easy to make a grant (to a qualifying charitable organization) and Fidelity remembers your past activities so you don't have to look up or enter the info every time.

    For several years now I have made QCD contributions from my IRA at Fidelity. Unfortunately, their process is clunky. I've encouraged them to learn from the Charitable Trust and smooth out their procedures.
    I wonder how easily these QCD contributions are done at other firms.
  • I've helped my mother do QCDs from Fidelity. It was a pain, filling out their QCD request form.

    When you make a QCD, you are donating your money. When you make a "donation" from a donor advised fund (DAF), the DAF is donating its money upon advice from you. You don't need a paper trail for that (though the DAF might). Still, it seems Fidelity could do the QCDs online.

    There's another, easier way to make QCDs. A check drawn from your IRA payable directly to the charity suffices, whether it's Fidelity's "handwriting" on the check or you write that check yourself. What matters is that (a) the money comes directly from the IRA and (b) you never have possession of that money.

    You won't find anything on Fidelity's site talking about this method (I've looked). Here's the next best thing: Consumer Reports quoting Fidelity:
    If you're writing a check yourself from your IRA account and sending it directly to the charity, the charity must cash the check before the QCD can be eligible for a tax break. So for a last-minute donation, you'll need to follow up with your brokerage to ensure the check has cleared.

    "It's not true that the charity just has to receive the check," says Maura Cassidy, director of retirement products at Fidelity Investments. "The money has to come out of the account by December 31."
    That's the one gotcha with writing your own checks. When you have Fidelity write the check, Fidelity knows about it and immediately records the IRA distribution. So you've got your QCD immediately. When you write a check yourself, Fidelity doesn't know about it until the check is cashed. It's only then that the distribution is recorded and you've got a QCD.

    Here's Ed Slott drawing that distinction between an "IRA CHECK ISSUED BY THE CUSTODIAN" and an "IRA CHECKBOOK CHECK".

    Here's another useful page (not a Fidelity site) on Fidelity RMDs including the note on QCDs that "If you have checkwriting established on your IRA, you can write a check directly to the qualified charity."

  • edited October 2019
    Hi again @Derf,

    I hope the chill pill has helped. And, after reading what others have to say on the subject I'm still with my first thought ... "Digest It and Move On." Sometimes it just gets too complicated to do good things with small sums although I realize this is important to you. After all, if I read your comment correcly, you'll net about 90% of the starting principal sum after expenses.

    Again, I'd digest it and move on.

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