Published: Oct 20, 2023 10 min read
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Article Summary:

  • Since September 1, 2023, all E*TRADE accounts have begun transitioning to Morgan Stanley.
  • Similarly, as of September 5, 2023, all TD Ameritrade accounts are being transferred to Charles Schwab.
  • For customers who may be interested in opting out of these transitions, there are other viable options to consider.

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As of early September, E*TRADE account(s), as well as their assets and obligations are being transferred to Morgan Stanley. Similarly, all TD Ameritrade customer accounts are now being held by Charles Schwab.

Perhaps two of the biggest shifts in the brokerage industry in recent years, the acquisitions have been met with mixed reactions from both investors and analysts — with some critics saying the mergers represent Wall Street’s increasing takeover of Main Street, and others speculating that it's a matter of survival in a brokerage industry where large banks are in a scramble for retail accounts to monetize. However, only time will tell just how the transitions will affect customers and the industry as a whole.

If you're an E*TRADE or TD Ameritrade customer, you're probably asking what this means for you — can I opt out of the transition, how will my portfolio be affected, and what are my options? Read on to learn more.

Can I opt out of the transfer?

E*TRADE and TD account holders should carefully consider their options and decide whether or not they are comfortable with the changes that are taking place. If you do not want your accounts transferred, you do have the right to opt-out. If your accounts were already transitioned, you have the option of withdrawing and transferring your accounts to a new brokerage.

If you are an E*TRADE Customer:

If you do not want your E*TRADE account(s) transferred to Morgan Stanley, you have the right to opt out. To do so, according to E*TRADE, you must complete both steps below:

  1. Call E*TRADE’s Customer Service at 1-800-387-2331 to signal your intention to opt out of the transfer; and
  2. Close or move your account(s) to another broker-dealer of your choice. You are required to provide the receiving broker-dealer with transfer instructions and these transfer instructions must be initiated by the new broker-dealer before the date listed in the Notice of Changes sent to you by Morgan Stanley.

If you are a TD Ameritrade Customer:

If you would prefer that your TD Ameritrade account not move to Schwab, according to TD Ameritrade, you must do one of these two things:

  1. Transfer your account to another firm by the Friday one week prior to your scheduled transition. The new broker-dealer will initiate the transfer by Automated Customer Account Transfer ("ACAT"). ACAT transfers typically take 3-5 days to complete.
  2. Close your account and withdraw your balance. You'll first have to liquidate all your open positions by the Monday two weeks before your transition. Then, you'll need to contact TD Ameritrade by 1 p.m. ET on the Thursday two weeks prior to the start of your transition weekend to request funds from your account either by electronic transfer (ACH)—for which you'll need bank instructions on file prior to this date—or by requesting a check or wire. You'll receive a communication about 60 days ahead of your account transition date with more details and deadlines. If you need help or support, call TD Ameritrade’s Client Services 24/7 at 800-669-3900.

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If your accounts have already been transitioned and you’re not happy with what you're seeing, Robinhood could be an appealing option for people looking for an alternative.

Here’s what active traders could get with Robinhood:

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4.9% APY on your idle cash: Earn more interest on your uninvested cash with the Robinhood Gold subscription (1.5% without Gold subscription). There's no cap, and you can withdraw or invest at anytime.²

Lower margin interest rates than competitors: Robinhood Gold members can also increase their buying power with margin investing at 8% (12% without Gold subscription)³ — versus competitor rates ranging from 8.075% to 12.45%.

Commission-free trading — including options & crypto: Buy and sell stocks, ETFs, and options through Robinhood Financial and cryptocurrencies through Robinhood Crypto with zero commission fees* — compared to a $0.65/contract fee charged by competitors. Transfer crypto (including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and Altcoins) to Robinhood, or send coins from your Robinhood account to other crypto wallets. It’s secure, simple, and you’ll never be charged deposit or withdrawal fees.

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* Terms apply. Other fees may apply, such as (non-commission) trading fees.

¹ Among U.S. retail brokers. Limitations and risks apply. Other fees may apply.

² Terms apply. Rates subject to change. With the brokerage cash sweep program, the uninvested cash in your brokerage account (cash intended for investing but that you have not yet invested or spent) is swept to partner banks (there are currently six banks in the program), where it becomes eligible for FDIC insurance up to $2 million or $250,000 per partner bank, inclusive of any other deposits you may already hold at the bank in the same ownership capacity which may impact how much is covered. Robinhood is not responsible for monitoring the amount of your deposits in any partner bank, whether these deposits are made through the brokerage cash sweep program or otherwise, to determine whether the amount on deposit exceeds the limit of available FDIC insurance. Please note that until funds are swept to a partner bank, they are held in your brokerage account which is protected by SIPC. Once funds are swept to a partner bank, they are no longer held in your brokerage account and are not protected by SIPC. However, these funds are eligible for FDIC insurance through the Partner Banks subject to FDIC insurance coverage limits. Please see the IND Sweep Agreement for more information on how the sweep program works and how we treat your uninvested cash balance. Member of SIPC, which protects securities customers of its members up to $500,000 (including $250,000 for claims for cash). Explanatory brochure available upon request or at

³ For margin enabled customers, to earn interest through the cash sweep program, a cash balance is needed. If you have a margin balance, there is no cash balance to earn interest.

⁴ Availability may be subject to regulatory approval in certain states. Network fees still apply.

Limitations apply. The IRA Match is automatically added after eligible contributions from an external bank account. Keep the contributions in your IRA for at least 5 years from the date you contribute. Other fees may apply.

⁶ IPOs can be risky and speculative investments, and may not be appropriate for every investor. Not intended as investment advice or a recommendation.

Robinhood’s Disclaimer: All investing involves risk and loss of principal is possible. There are additional, unique risks with trading outside of regular market hours you should be aware of before making an investment decision, including the risk of lower liquidity, increased volatility, greater spreads, and pricing uncertainty. Please review Robinhood’s Extended Hours Trading Disclosure for more information concerning these risks. Robinhood Financial LLC (member SIPC), is a registered broker dealer. Robinhood Securities, LLC (member SIPC), is a registered broker dealer and provides brokerage clearing services. Cryptocurrency services are offered through an account with Robinhood Crypto, LLC (NMLS ID 1702840). Robinhood Crypto is licensed to engage in virtual currency business activity by the New York State Department of Financial Services. All are subsidiaries of Robinhood Markets, Inc. (Robinhood).

The information provided on this page is for educational purposes only and is not intended as investment or financial advice.