I'm considering consolidating my assets with a single broker; is there any way I can transfer the shares I own to another manager?

The trick is that each ESP purchase has a 2 year period before I sell to get the lowest tax rate. I don't want to incurr any additional fees.

Am I doing something that is possible?

  • To be clear: You already purchased the stocks, but you want to transfer them from one broker to another without triggering a taxable event, right? – Alex B Dec 6 '10 at 16:08
  • @AlexB They are purchased; I have a discount purchase plan, but not an 'option' plan per se – goodguys_activate Dec 6 '10 at 16:10
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    I thought an ESPP purchase held for over one year was eligible for long-term capital gains tax treatment, like other stocks, and if it was less than a year then it was a combination of income / short-term capital gains. Hmm. Probably ought to consult with your tax adviser. (I probably ought to consult with mine, too.) Of course, there's definitely no harm in holding it for longer, save for the additional exposure to risk. Well, and possible tax increases. :S – user296 Dec 6 '10 at 16:16
  • I'm not selling the positions in the stock, just transferring them to a different money manager. My goal is to have a significant amount of cash at a single bank before I ask them for a mortgage, credit card, etc. – goodguys_activate Dec 6 '10 at 16:27

I have an ESPP with E*Trade; you can transfer stock like that via a physical (paper) asset-transfer form. Look for one of those, and if you can't find it, call your brokerage (or email / whatever).

You own the shares, so you can generally do what you want with them. Just be very careful about recording all the purchase and transfer information so that you can deal properly with the taxes.

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    I just called them, and they will maintain the purchase history for tax purposes. A transfer is allowed on my plan after 90 days. – goodguys_activate Dec 6 '10 at 16:28
  • It appears that the rules are plan specific. I use Morgan Stanley for my ESPP, and they distilled the rules to me in a easy to understand language. Perhaps this ability is across all brokers – goodguys_activate Dec 6 '10 at 17:16
  • @makerofthings7 If you think this is the "best" answer to your question, you can mark it as "Accepted" by clicking the checkmark next to the answer. – Alex B Dec 7 '10 at 18:39

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