If you’re a TD Ameritrade customer, finally get ready for some big changes this weekend.
Charles Schwab (SCHW) plans to complete part of the migration of TD Ameritrade “retail” clients and all client accounts of registered investment advisors over this Labor Day weekend, says Schwab spokesperson Margaret Farrell. This is one of the biggest steps in combining the two giant online brokerage firms after years of effort.
It’s been a gradual process bringing the two firms together. Schwab bought TD Ameritrade back in 2020 just three years after buying another brokerage, Scottrade. The combination of the firms kicked off in earnest in early 2023.
But now, it looks like the change is near.
Charles Schwab’s Time Table
The combination of the two firms is progressing in a measured way. There are actually three additional transition groups, Farrell says.
A bulk change will happen this weekend. “The Labor Day group will include (part of) retail clients and will complete the conversion of client accounts managed by more than 7,000 registered independent advisor firms (RIAs),” she said.
Schwab is giving customers a heads-up on its website: “Have you been notified to create your Schwab login info? If your TD Ameritrade account is moving to Schwab soon, or has already moved, create your Schwab Login ID and password.”
But there are two additional migration dates: November and the first half of 2024. “For Ameritrade clients in the future November and 2024 groups, there’s nothing to do right now. Every client will be notified well in advance of their transition date to ensure the move is as smooth and as seamless as possible,” she said.
TD Ameritrade Goes Blue
Schwab has already made some account transitions. And it’s also made subtle changes to ease TD Ameritrade customers into the change.
For instance, the Thinkorswim mobile app icon on Android is now more blue (the color of Schwab’s logo) rather than green (the color of TD Ameritrade). Additionally, the broker’s video offering is rebranded “Schwab Network” on many platforms.
Investors know a partnership with their broker is important to success. And to that end, Schwab has repeatedly reiterated its commitment to Thinkorswim, a popular trading app formerly for TD Ameritrade customers. Making Thinkorswim available to Schwab customers “is on track and coming soon,” Farrell said.
Competition is hot among top online brokers, so pulling this off seamlessly is critical. Schwab in August reported $8.24 trillion in client assets at the end of July, up 13% from July 2022 and up 3% compared to June 2023.
But rival brokers like Robinhood (HOOD) are aggressively going after some of those customers.