Well, folks, the time has come. After Charles Schwab began the acquisition of TD Ameritrade in 2019, it is finally consummating the acquisition over Labor Day weekend. The transition starts Friday night, September 1st, and is expected to be done by 5 am on Tuesday the 5th of September. If you’re not an investment management client of MY Wealth Planners, then this is a great week to skip the blog and enjoy some time outdoors. If you are an investment management client, then it behooves you to take a few minutes to read through our notes and FAQs on this transition. If you call us or email us to ask us questions about this transition, our very first question will be: Did you read this? And if your question reflects that you have not, we will send this to you. Don’t be that guy.
Bottom Line Up Front
You do not need to do anything. Let me say that again: You do not need to do anything. You do not need to do anything.
Unless you opt-out of the merger by terminating MY Wealth Planners as your investment adviser and transfer your funds to another custodian, your accounts will be transferred from TD Ameritrade to Charles Schwab. Charles Schwab has been the “back end” of TD Ameritrade since early 2020, so this represents essentially no change in the quality of service or operations as your accounts are concerned. It will represent a change in branding, websites, and some other areas, but from a fundamental standpoint, if you don’t really ever log into TD Ameritrade directly, then your experience is changing little if at all.
During the Charles Schwab Transition
Until after Labor Day (September 5th) no information on your TDA accounts will show up on Charles Schwab other than account title and number. If you log in or have access to Charles Schwab, do not be shocked when your account balance shows as $0. When the TDA accounts transfer over to Charles Schwab over Labor Day weekend, both TDA and Charles Schwab may at various times be inaccessible or show a $0 balance. Only after September 5th at 5 am should you expect to see any balances or information on Charles Schwab. In turn, because the transition is happening mid-month, you will receive a statement from both TD Ameritrade and Charles Schwab at the end of the month. The TDA statement will say that you started September with a balance and ended September without a balance, and Charles Schwab’s statement will say that you started September without a balance and ended September with a balance. This doesn’t sound like rocket science, but I will take the over-under that at least one person is going to call or email us in October saying: “My TDA balance says I have $0, where is my money?” If anyone wants to take the under, let me know.
What You Should Probably Do Before the Charles Schwab Transition
You should have received a letter from Charles Schwab by now (if not by now, in the very immediate future) providing you with your new account number at Charles Schwab. Go to www.schwaballiance.com and click on New User as shown below. From there, follow the prompts given, and you can set up a new set of login credentials at Charles Schwab. If you have not received your letter, expect it shortly. We cannot provide you with your new Charles Schwab account number until after Labor Day, so if you ask us for it, we do not have it to give to you. If, for some reason, your letters have gotten lost or gone missing in transit, we will happily help you get access to Charles Schwab’s portal after Labor Day. In the meantime, your accounts are linked through both TDA and Charles Schwab in the investment performance portal, so we will have full continuity of your investment performance, holdings, and data. Account statements and tax documents from TDA will transfer over to both Schwab and will continue to be stored in the Vault of your investment performance portal.
There was some mixed information provided about the transition earlier, including that your logins would transfer over. Charles Schwab has announced that existing logins will not transfer over due to the rare instances of username conflicts. You will need to create your new login credentials at Charles Schwab if you want direct access to Charles Schwab, but we will also continue to port over copies of statements and documents to your investment performance portal, along with monthly performance reports, so it’s only so necessary as you want it to be to create the credentials.
Dan, Didn’t You Say I Didn’t Need To Do Anything?
Yes, I did say that. Because you don’t have to create credentials or even ever log into Charles Schwab. Your money will move over without any effort on your part, and we will continue to manage it for you and report on it for you. Creating a login to Charles Schwab is solely in the event that you want to have a login, but it is not required whatsoever.
What You Should Not Do Before or During the Charles Schwab Transition
- Panic. Seems obvious, but money movements can make anyone nervous. So relax. This is just changing the paint on the car. No material changes are happening to your investments, portfolio, or money.
- Attempt to move money around on your own. Charles Schwab will move everything on their own; you do not need to move funds on your own, open or close accounts, and so on. Everything will happen automatically.
- Change or establish income payments. All standing instructions and bank instructions on file at TD Ameritrade will transfer over to Charles Schwab. If you want to make changes to any of this, the cutoff date on TD Ameritrade’s side is August 18th. After that point, if you want to change banking instructions, you will have to wait until after the transition is completed. We can still have a check mailed directly to you at any time.
- Panic. Again. Just in case. Don’t do that.
Your money is moving from TD Ameritrade to Charles Schwab. Charles Schwab will do all the heavy lifting for you. You can set up your login to Charles Schwab in advance if you have received a letter with your new account number(s). All pertinent records and facts will transfer over to the new platform. No other action is required. We’ll see you on the other side next month.