All brokerage move accounts from one firm to another by using the ACATS system (Automated Customer Accounts Transfer System). The balances and positions of such customer usually move the DTC system (Depository Trust Corp) which acts a clearing agency for most security transactions executed on exchanges.
The charges imposed by brokerage firms vary, the receiving firm usually does not charge a fee for having securities/monies moved to them. The charges imposed by the delivering firm varies, most will charge about $15 for the total move, some may charge more.
Not sure how you can "cancel" your positions/balances with a brokerage firm, if you move to a new firm you must, by law, open a new account and apply for those accounts you may need (margin, options etc). Brokerages firms are not permitted to accept new account forms or other agreements prepared for or used by other broker/dealers, therefore the new firm needs all agreements
"GO WITH THE FLOW" you are dead wrong, you DO NOT have to sell positions at one firm and buy them back at the new firm - No one with an ounce of sense would do this nor make you do this.
from the street