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I work for company X. The stock grants that I have received from my employer which are made available in the charles schwab account.

The very basic questions that I have are below:-

Charles schwab being a broker will charge some fees for selling those shares. How do I compare their fees with other brokers? If others offer better rates, is it possible to sell the shares that are present in my Charles schwab account using some other broker?

What is capital gains tax? How does it affect how many shares I can sell? Is there a way to avoid the capital gains tax?

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    Is your account the kind any person off the street could get, or an employee benefit? If this is an employer program you may enjoy better rates, or may be limited in transferring the shares. – user662852 Nov 6 '15 at 22:23
  • I didn't sign up for this account myself. When I joined the company they provdied this account for me. – user855 Nov 6 '15 at 22:41
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And to answer your other questions about fees, there are a number of sites that compare brokers' fees, Google "broker fee comparison". I like the Motley Fool, although there are a lot of others. However, don't go just by the comparison sites, because they can be out-of-date and usually just have the basic fees. Once you find a broker that you like, go to that broker's site and get all the fees as of now.

You can't sell the shares that are in your Charles Schwab account using some other broker. However, you can (possibly now, definitely eventually, see below) transfer the shares to another broker and then sell them there. But be aware that Charles Schwab might charge you a fee to transfer the shares out, which will probably be larger than the fee they'll charge you to sell the shares, unless you're selling them a few at a time. For example, I have a Charles Schwab account through my previous employer and it's $9.99 commission to sell shares, but $50 to transfer them out. Note that your fees might be different even though we're both at Charles Schwab, because employers can negotiate individual deals. There should be somewhere on the site that has a fee schedule, but if you can't find it, send them a message or call them.

One final thing to be aware of, shares you get from an employer often have restrictions on sale or transfer, or negative tax consequences on sale or transfer, that shares just bought on the open market wouldn't, so make sure you investigate that before doing anything with the shares.

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Capital gains tax is an income tax upon your profit from selling investments. Long-term capital gains (investments you have held for more than a year) are taxed significantly less than short-term gains. It doesn't limit how many shares you can sell; it does discourage selling them too quickly after buying.

You can balance losses against gains to reduce the tax due. You can look for tax-advantaged investments (the obvious one being a 401k plan, IRA, or equivalent, though those generally require leaving the money invested until retirement). But in the US, most investments other than the house you are living in (which some of us argue isn't really an investment) are subject to capital gains tax, period.

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