How to Get Money From Stocks to a Bank Account

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Large, unexpected expenses have a bad habit of popping into your life at the worst time possible. If you are cash-poor but stock-rich, you can raise money by selling stocks or borrowing money using your stock positions as collateral. Moving cash from your broker to your bank account is a simple matter of either picking up a check at your broker's local branch office or having the money transferred to your bank account. If your broker offers checking accounts, the process is even easier because your cash and margin stock accounts are linked to your checking account for easy access to your money.

Raise cash by selling your stock or, if you don't want to sell your position, instruct your broker to transfer it into your margin account. Margin is a form of loan that allows you to access cash using your stock position as collateral for the loan. The interest charge on margin accounts compares favorably to any other source of credit.

Move money from your brokerage account to your bank by requesting a check for the cash amount you need, to be picked up in the branch or sent to you. Then deposit the check into your bank account. If you have a checking account at your brokerage firm, write a personal check drawn on that account and deposit it into your bank account.

Use your broker's wire or electronic money transfer services if you don't have the option of either picking up or writing a check. These services can take several days for the money to clear into your bank account, depending on the policies at your broker and bank. A wire transfer generally provides cash or next-day funds for your bank account, again depending on the policies of your bank.

Tips

  • A margin account can take several days to be approved by your broker, and when you need money quickly, this approval time can be a problem. Apply for a margin account with your broker in case you need it to borrow money against your securities position.

Warnings

  • If you choose to sell your stock to raise money, it will take three days for the trade to settle and cash to appear in your account. It might be possible to sell your stock for same-day settlement, which means the cash will be available that day. Ask your broker about the fastest settlement available on your stock sale before entering your order to sell.

    Retirement accounts generally require some advance notice for the withdrawal of cash or a loan backed by the account as collateral. Discuss with your broker the best way to access emergency cash using your retirement account.