When I buy a security through a discount broker; is it (perhaps only in theory) possible to sell the security through a different broker?

Perhaps the answer differs by broker, or products at various brokers; in which case any examples of 'if you buy here yes; or if you bought here no' would be much appreciated.

Another way of phrasing is - if I purchased securities through a broker; and that broker goes out of business - what factors would affect what happens to the investments I hold.

  • 1
    I could better answer this question and give examples if you would specify a country and whether you are looking at tax-advantaged accounts or just regular brokerage accounts. Feb 17, 2017 at 15:22
  • The "out of business" is country specific. In the US there is SIPC.
    – user662852
    Feb 18, 2017 at 0:10
  • Thanks for the thoughts guys; aware it was a very broad question - and both answers where useful to me
    – brent
    Mar 1, 2017 at 7:33

2 Answers 2


I'm in the US and I once transferred shares in a brokerage account from Schwab to Fidelity. I received the shares from my employer as RSUs and the employer used Schwab.

After I quit and the shares vested, I wanted to move the shares to Fidelity because that is where all my other accounts are. I called Fidelity and they were more than happy to help, and it was an easy process. I believe Schwab charged about $50 for the transfer.

The only tricky part is that you need to transfer the cost basis of the shares. I was on a three-way phone call with Schwab and Fidelity for Schwab to tell Fidelity what the purchase price was.


Many brokers allow you to transfer shares to another broker without selling them. It depends on what kind of account and who the broker is for what forms you might have to fill out and what other hoops you might have to jump through.

  • You missed out the cost part.
    – DumbCoder
    Feb 17, 2017 at 15:24
  • 1
    @DumbCoder other hoops? Feb 17, 2017 at 15:27
  • I am not sure which country you talk about, but in UK it isn't as messy as you suggest. The primary factor stopping people from moving brokers is the cost of moving and nothing else.
    – DumbCoder
    Feb 17, 2017 at 15:30
  • @DumbCoder My answer is based on my experience in the US. Usually the hard part is tracking down the right person who knows which form to fill out, but if you are rolling from one tax-advantaged account to another that complicates things. There's no country tag, so you should certainly write an answer based on your UK experience. Feb 17, 2017 at 15:35

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