TD Ameritrade Transitions to Charles Schwab: How You Can Prepare
Most of you are already aware that Charles Schwab bought TD Ameritrade back in 2020. For the past three years, they have been preparing for the merger that is going to take place over Labor Day weekend 2023. But what does that mean for you as a Financial Planning Fort Collins client?
At FPFoCo, we already work with both custodians, so we’ll be with you every step of the way. Let me share with you what we know about what’s going to happen between now and the target completion date for the transition as well as what your relationship with Charles Schwab will look like when it’s all done.
Important Dates and Key Information for Our Clients at TD Ameritrade
6/28: TD Ameritrade will mail Account Transition Notices and regulatory disclosures to you for each of your accounts. You may also notice prompts when you login to TD Ameritrade notifying you of the conversion and providing guidance to help you prepare.
8/1-8/5: A notification in AdvisorClient.com will inform you when it is time for you to create your Schwab Alliance credentials. Here is a link to a video to preview Schwab Alliance. Schwab Alliance will be your new online portal to view your accounts, replacing AdvisorClient.com.
8/18: Last day for TD Ameritrade account updates such as address changes, beneficiary updates, new bank account information, and so on. You’ll be able to make any changes after this date at Charles Schwab when the conversion is complete.
8/21-8/25: Charles Schwab will send you a Key Information letter that will include your new account number(s) in Schwab’s 8-digit format. Charles Schwab will issue new checks and debit cards for any accounts that had previously elected that feature and had activity in the last 24 months with TD Ameritrade.
► Please keep in mind that your Schwab accounts won’t be active until 9/5, so your new checks and debit cards won’t be valid until then.
8/25: Last day for incoming or outgoing asset transfers from TD Ameritrade.
9/1: Your TD Ameritrade Institutional accounts will transition to Schwab, starting at 8:30 p.m. (ET) on Friday, Sept. 1, 2023.
9/2-9/4: Accounts will be inaccessible for both advisors and clients.
9/5: The transition to Schwab will be complete, and you’ll be able to access your account online via your Schwab Alliance login. Once you’ve logged in, please take a bit of time to review all of your information via the prompts from Charles Schwab.
In the Meantime, It’s Good to Know That …
► Any money movement instructions you currently have set up directly with TD Ameritrade will transfer over automatically. However, If you set up any direct deposits or recurring payments with your bank or other third parties — like Social security or payroll deposits — to your TD Ameritrade accounts, you will need to update the routing and account numbers. You’ll see this information in the Key Information letter that you’ll be receiving between 8/21 and 8/25.
► You’ll receive statements from both TD Ameritrade and Schwab for the third quarter of 2023 and possibly the fourth quarter, too, if there were any residual transactions.
► You’ll have access to tax forms for both TD Ameritrade and Charles Schwab for 2023 on Schwab Alliance.
► If you have existing accounts with Charles Schwab, your statements may have different formats. By the end of the year, this should be consistent across all of your accounts.
What’s Happening Now: Behind the Scenes
FPFoCo originally chose TD Ameritrade as our primary custodian due to its excellent customer service model. As part of this TD Ameritrade transition to Schwab, Charles Schwab is adopting and implementing many of the same features and strategies. So while we’re familiar with Charles Schwab’s platform, they are in the process of making numerous upgrades to equally match or surpass the precedent set by TD Ameritrade for our clients.
By the time the transition is complete, they will have overhauled their advisor and client websites, updated their statement layout, added many additional integrations for trading, and so much more. Our team is working hard to attend as many training sessions as possible so our internal processes are up to date — and so that we can handle all of your requests in a timely manner.
Charles Schwab has already taken a blueprint of our organization so they can map all accounts properly. Plus, I’ve completed quite a bit of cleanup to make sure that your client credentials, money movement instructions, and statement preferences come through the transition intact. I’ll also review all accounts prior to the final transition.
If you recently became a client or you’ll be opening a new account between now and the conversion, we’ll likely set you up at Charles Schwab for simplicity. There will be no disruption to your billing if you pay via your managed accounts.
What’s Coming Next: Your Ongoing Charles Schwab Relationship
To access your account at Charles Schwab after the conversion, you’ll use your Schwab Alliance login. You can also download the Schwab Mobile app if you are looking to utilize the mobile check deposit feature and have quick access to your accounts from your phone. To remain paperless for statements and confirmations, you must establish your Schwab Alliance credentials within 90 days of the conversion. One upgrade is that you will be able to view both managed and retail accounts under a single login with Schwab. Also, Schwab has more security features for fraud protection built into their forms process, money movement verifications, and built-in DocuSign console.
Again, we’re here to make this easy. I’ll continue to work with the team behind the scenes as we do everything possible to make it a smooth move for you. And I’ll continue to update you as new announcements and additional details emerge. If you want to follow along directly with Schwab, they have a Client Information HUB and a Client Learning Center available.
Please feel free to submit any questions to email@example.com, but don’t be concerned. We’re here for you so you don’t have to go it alone.
Ready to schedule your next meeting?