How to transfer investments to Wealthfront from another brokerage

You can transfer part or all of an outside account that holds securities (including an IRA) to Wealthfront. Here’s how to set up an investment transfer:

  • Using the Wealthfront mobile app: Open the Wealthfront app and click the transfer icon at the bottom. 
  • Using the Wealthfront website: Login to Wealthfront from your web browser and click Transfer money at the top.

From there, select Bring over investments. You can select the account from which you’d like to transfer investments or follow the prompts to link a new account. 

Once you’ve set this up, the estimated time to complete the transfer is 5-10 business days. We’ll provide a more specific estimate when you set up the transfer.

How does it work? 

When you link your outside account to Wealthfront, we’ll let you know if we can submit the transfer request electronically. We use an industry-standard protocol called ACATS (Automated Customer Account Transfer Service) to move securities electronically from brokerage accounts at other firms. You can transfer all the investments in that account or just the investments you specify.

In both cases, Wealthfront “pulls” the investments from the outside brokerage firm. In other words, Wealthfront sends an electronic message to the third-party account that holds the investments. You do not need to contact the other brokerage firm. 

Learn more about how we handle transferred investments here.

Is this process tax efficient? Will I have to pay taxes?

When you transfer part or all of your outside accounts from another firm to Wealthfront, we transfer them as tax-efficiently as possible. In many cases, you can transfer your outside accounts without paying taxes. That’s because the industry-standard protocol that we use, called ACATS (Automated Customer Account Transfer Service), moves assets between brokerage accounts without needing to sell them, so it’s not a taxable event. But there are a few scenarios that may involve a taxable sale of assets: 

  1. Your originating brokerage may require you to sell assets first. 
  2. We may not support the asset you're trying to bring over, so we’ll need to sell them.
  3. We may need to sell investments that don’t fit your Wealthfront portfolio so that we can invest the proceeds in low-cost funds or stocks that do. 

In instances where we need to sell assets, we’ll aim to do so tax efficiently. To do this, we generally optimize for long-term gains over short-term gains. 

There are exceptions for assets we do not support – we’ll sell those immediately or you can leave them at your outside brokerage. During the transfer process, we’ll show you a breakdown of how we plan to convert your investments before you actually submit the transfer, including what investments we will likely sell and what we will keep. 

How can I manage my entire portfolio at Wealthfront?

You can manage your entire portfolio at Wealthfront by transferring all of your investment accounts into your Wealthfront accounts. In general, you can transfer most US stocks and ETFs into your Automated Investing Account or Stock Investing Account at Wealthfront. After linking your external account, our software will review your portfolio and show you which investments you can transfer to Wealthfront.

Once all of your accounts are transferred to Wealthfront, you’ll have a holistic view of all of your balances and allocations in one place, you can easily move money between your Wealthfront Cash Account and Wealthfront investment accounts, and you’ll be able to coordinate an investing strategy for all your assets.

Will I pay a fee?

Wealthfront does not charge a fee to transfer securities in or out. However, the brokerage from which you transfer might.

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