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How Long Does It Take to Sell Stock and Get the Cash Into a Checking Account?
If you think you'll soon be in a position where you need to sell stock to get money for a purchase, you'll have to do some planning ahead. Keep in mind that there are multiple types of brokerage accounts. Some will let you withdraw cash based on marginable securities. Others require a settlement period after the sale of a stock. If you have cash in a money market, you can usually transfer that cash right away, but it will still take a few days to show up in your checking account.
How Long Will It Take to Get My Money?
Withdrawing Against a Margin
Some accounts allow you to withdraw against a margin and then sell the stock to cover the short-term loan. These accounts will take two to three days to get the cash transferred from your brokerage account to your checking account.
Money Market Accounts
Funds that are sitting in a money market account with your brokerage will also take two to three days to transfer into your checking account.
Standard Brokerage Accounts
For brokerage accounts like a standard Fidelity account, it will take three days to settle a transaction where you've sold your stock. Then the cash will be available to transfer. Depending on the time of the day that you initiate a transfer, it usually takes two to three days for the funds to show up in your checking account. So, the entire period can take up to six days to sell stock and get the money deposited into your checking. If you don't transfer the money the same day that the sale transaction settles, it may take even longer. Remember, you cannot initiate the outgoing transfer to your checking until the sale settles.
Think You'll Need Money Quickly? Plan Ahead!
Liquidating Stock for a Purchase
In conclusion, if you're going to need to liquidate a stock position for a purchase (like a down payment on a home or urgently-need cash to cover a check), you will want to make sure you understand the type of brokerage account you have. By figuring out your account type, you can find out if the cash can be transferred right away or if there is a settlement period. Poor planning for situations like these can cause stress and financial woes, so make sure you plan ahead.
How long does it take you to transfer money to your checking account?
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
Question: Is a paper check issued if I sell stock?
Answer: The preferred way to get the cash after a stock sale is an electronic transfer, but some brokerages will send checks for things like 401k fund transfers and closing accounts.
Question: If I want to get some money out from a stock that has made me some money, do I have to sell my stock or can I get some of my gain out without selling any shares?
Answer: For pure stock transactions where there is no margin account, securities need to be sold to realize a gain.
De Greek from UK on March 06, 2010:
Good stuff, tahnks :-)
Priscilla Chan from Normal, Illinois on March 03, 2010:
Good info. I agree with Melinda that Charles Schwab is a good company but their fee is probably higher than most of the company. Do some research before you sign up with a company. Don't just look for the price either. See if they have satisfied customers. That is important!
Jyoti Kothari from Jaipur on March 03, 2010:
Thanks for sharing. Perhaps you are referring system in the US. It is little different in India and may be in other countries.
Thanks and thumbs up!
Ten Blogger on February 24, 2010:
Good tips . I think it is a good idea to set aside money for emergencies in this ecomony. You should have a cash cushion such that you are able to get by at least 6 months without external help.
Springboard from Wisconsin on February 22, 2010:
I like to keep a fairly proportional amount of money in cash, mainly because I like to make stock sale decisions based on stock performance and achievement of anticipated ROI rather than on the need for cash...
That said, there ARE times when substantial amounts are needed.
But really you shouldn't be cashing out stocks for things like a new roof, car repairs, or Christmas shopping UNLESS those stocks have met their performance first.
Buying a house on the other hand is quite a different thing. :)
msorensson on February 21, 2010:
Charles Schwab has been very good about this.
Ethel Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on February 20, 2010:
Hello, hello, from London, UK on February 20, 2010:
Great advice and interesting read. Thank you.
sheila b. on February 19, 2010:
You told me something I didn't know before. Thanks.
Darlene Sabella from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ... on February 19, 2010:
Thank you for another great hub and your wise advise on stocks, I'm not a stock person but I enjoyed reading your hub.