What it is What you pay to move some or all of your investment assets to another brokerage firm
What's so bad If you aren't happy with your broker, you should be able to take your money elsewhere for free.
Ouch! E-Trade charges $25 to $60 for moving assets to another firm. Schwab charges $25 for a partial transfer out and $50 to move all your money (recently lowered from $95).
What you can do To minimize the chances you'll need to switch later on, pick a broker that offers access to all the investment products you want. If you have to change firms, pay the fee and move on.