“Should I wait until the market calms down or pull the trigger now?” I’m tired of my brokerage charging 1%, and I want to move my money now, but I don’t want to lock in the losses. What is my move?

Is 1% too much to pay?

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Question: My current brokerage account charges 1% and also has high priced funds so I’m thinking of moving my money. My question is should I wait until the market calms down or pull the trigger now? I guess I will have to liquidate my funds before I can transfer the money and I was told by the brokerage where I want to transfer my money that it will take about seven days for the money to return to the market. I don’t want to lock in losses, but would I be if I’m only out of the market for seven days? I would appreciate any thoughts you may have.

Answer: First, your instinct to move your money is probably a good one. First, expensive funds are probably not necessary, and just cost you. Additionally, although 1% is a fairly standard fee for a financial advisor, there are many good advisors at good financial firms who will manage your money and charge less. This tool can help match you with an advisor who can meet your needs.

Plus, you may not need to be out of the market at all, say professionals. In fact, depending on your investments, you may be able to transfer the entire account without having to sell your investments, says Certified Financial Advisor Danielle Miura of Spark Financials. Adds certified financial planner Cody Garrett of Measure Twice Financial: “Many positions can simply be transferred in kind with no tax or market consequences.”

If this is your situation, it means you don’t have to sell your shares and can stay invested during the transfer process. Once the shares are transferred to your new investment company, you will be able to make changes within two business days,” says John Piershale, certified financial planner at John Piershale Wealth Management.

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To find out if yours can transfer, give a list of the funds you’re currently in to the brokerage you want to transfer your money to “to determine if they can accept an in-kind transfer of those securities,” says Garrett. In other words, don’t assume your money can’t be transferred directly, but ask the brokerage what can and can’t be transferred. Most mutual funds, cash, stocks and bonds are transferable without tax penalties or associated fees. “Meanwhile, investments like cryptocurrencies and options are usually not transferable,” says Miura.

If you must liquidate funds, Garrett says don’t make decisions without considering the expected tax consequences, especially if you plan to liquidate funds in a taxable brokerage account instead of a tax-deferred retirement account. Stocks held for one year or less are subject to short-term capital gains tax, and funds withdrawn from a 401(k) before age 59.5 are subject to a 10% penalty on top of taxes owed to the IRS. And, he adds, you’ll want to “ensure that the transfer is completed and reinvested quickly in line with [your] unique investment objectives,” says Garrett.

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Miura notes that: “There is some risk in not having your assets on the market for seven days, however, in the long run, seven days won’t make much of a difference. Unfortunately, it is difficult to determine whether to sell the assets now or later.”

If questions like these stress you out, professionals say you may want to hire a financial advisor. But don’t necessarily just go with what’s provided to you for free by the brokerage firm you’re moving your money to — because sometimes these advisers aren’t fiduciaries and may earn a commission. You may want to choose a certified financial planner who has a legal and ethical obligation to act in your best interest.

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