Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors

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Generator515
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Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors

Post by Generator515 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:52 am

Recently begun the shift of some assets to Merrill to take advantage of their rewards program. In two months I will be Platinum Honors.

Currently debating if it all should go there (from Fidelity) to simplify life. I could then buy Vanguard or Schwab or whatever ETF I wanted commission free.

I have seen alot of posts on here that people move the minimum to hit the tier and leave it at that. Outside of a love of vanguard was wondering if any reason for that before I initiate.

lack_ey
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Re: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors

Post by lack_ey » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:12 pm

Fidelity has a higher yielding settlement fund, better bond selection (including brokered CDs), no commissions on Treasury bonds, and different mutual funds available (including actually having money market funds).

Essentially, Merrill Edge is relatively bad for cash or near-cash allocations. Depending on holding period, you may want short-term bond ETFs or funds instead (but NTF fund selection is poor), though you'd eat bid/ask spreads on ETF trades.

If your account is purely for longer-term money I guess it's not much of a big deal other than potentially the worse bond/CD selection, though again if you're asking about simplification, maybe you wouldn't be interested in trying to optimize these things anyway.

Generator515
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Re: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors

Post by Generator515 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:04 pm

Thank you. I am still in the accumulation phase so the near cash isn't as of a concern to me. I would either be in BND or SCHZ from a bond perspective.

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Re: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors

Post by indexfundfan » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:11 pm

Merrill Edge is great for ETF investing if you can qualify for commission-free trades. There is no restriction on which ETFs you can trade free.

Cash options are not great at Merrill Edge though. Nevertheless, in addition to using short term ETFs for liquid reserves, you can also request for the BIF Money Fund as the sweep fund. The yield is not great (currently 0.8% versus VG's 1.2% Federal MMF sweep) but at least it pays more than the default bank account sweep.
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Re: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors

Post by neilpilot » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:12 pm

I just transferred partial assets into 2 new ME accounts, keeping the rest at Scottrade. I definitely plan to consolidate to one firm, and expect to make that decision around mid-year. I'll base the decision on how I view working with ME in comparison to TDA. Scottrade account should all migrate to TDA by end of 1Q18.

I just transferred the assets in last week, but based on my initial contacts I think ME/BoA is way more cumbersome than Scottrade. For example, the POA to give me management rights to my spouse's account online was a breeze with Scottrade, and way too painful at ME.

Also, I still am not sure if ME can accept several Admiral class VG funds. Apparently the answer depends on who you ask.

Cash isn't an issue for me; I keep the bulk of my cash in CapOne MM and Ally CDs.

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Re: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors

Post by triceratop » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:23 pm

lack_ey wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:12 pm
Fidelity has a higher yielding settlement fund, better bond selection (including brokered CDs), no commissions on Treasury bonds, and different mutual funds available (including actually having money market funds).

Essentially, Merrill Edge is relatively bad for cash or near-cash allocations. Depending on holding period, you may want short-term bond ETFs or funds instead (but NTF fund selection is poor), though you'd eat bid/ask spreads on ETF trades.

If your account is purely for longer-term money I guess it's not much of a big deal other than potentially the worse bond/CD selection, though again if you're asking about simplification, maybe you wouldn't be interested in trying to optimize these things anyway.
Doesn't Merrill Edge have no commission on brokered CDs and treasuries? Their language is "Price & yield as quoted". I have been curious about this for a while, so clarity would help.

As mentioned you can use the BIF money market fund, but I have found that is not possible in a Roth IRA at least. For taxable it works fine. One can always use something like ICSH [iShares ultra-short term bond ETF; I am not claiming it is the best option] which ensures you don't expose much money to subpar cash yields. I don't think this is a practical problem. Investing your Asset Allocation works.
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Re: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors

Post by lack_ey » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:54 pm

triceratop wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:23 pm
Doesn't Merrill Edge have no commission on brokered CDs and treasuries? Their language is "Price & yield as quoted". I have been curious about this for a while, so clarity would help.

As mentioned you can use the BIF money market fund, but I have found that is not possible in a Roth IRA at least. For taxable it works fine. One can always use something like ICSH [iShares ultra-short term bond ETF; I am not claiming it is the best option] which ensures you don't expose much money to subpar cash yields. I don't think this is a practical problem. Investing your Asset Allocation works.
Yeah, the "as quoted" means they're taking a cut and thus reducing the effective yield, even on Treasuries.

Checking CUSIP 912796PQ6 (Treasury bill, maturity 7/12/2018), Merrill Edge quotes a YtM of 1.408%, while Fidelity shows 1.530%.

The most liquid near-cash ETF is probably PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity Active ETF (MINT, ER = 0.35%, SEC yield = 1.69%), which trades about $50M a day with penny spreads on execution with a share price of $101.59 now. There's also iShares Short Maturity Bond ETF (NEAR, ER = 0.25%, SEC yield = 1.83%), trading about $30M a day with penny spreads on a share price of $50.15 now. I've noticed that MINT has tended to take more credit risk than NEAR. Both have duration about 0.5 years now. Oh, I guess iShares Ultra Short-Term Bond ETF (ICSH, ER = 0.08%, SEC yield = 1.72%) dropped the expense ratio sometime and has more AUM than it used to, but it's not quite as liquid.

Ultrashort muni bond ETFs are not as popular. Something like iShares Short Maturity Municipal Bond ETF (MEAR, ER = 0.25%, SEC yield = 1.52%) would seem to have a good tax-adjusted return but has AUM under $100M and more substantial spreads. There are larger funds with duration under 3 years, which are probably still appropriate for some uses.

Sure, you want to invest your asset allocation, but in general that could include cash or near-cash instruments, especially if you include emergency funds and other shorter-term savings as part of that. For most it's not going to be a huge amount of money and not that big a deal, though, unless you're looking for brokered CDs as a significant chunk of fixed income.

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Re: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors

Post by triceratop » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:19 pm

Thanks lack_ey. It looks like a rational call on a credit- and term-adjusted basis would be NEAR for funds held less than about 6 months and ICSH for funds held more than about 6 months, due to the differences in spreads and expense ratios. If I ever roll my own treasury ladder (probably not in the next 2-3 decades) it is good to know about the stealth commissions on adjusted yield.
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Re: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors

Post by indexfundfan » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:45 pm

I use MINT as cash in the IRA. Very very liquid, with a share price >$100 and a spread of $0.01.
For the taxable account, I transfer out any excess cash.
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Re: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors

Post by deltaneutral83 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:19 pm

Merrill has a great setup if you're fine to use ETFs which I think a significant amount do anyway. With $50k combined balance (which includes BofA accounts) you get free trades per month. At $100k, you are in line to get the free trades and also a great credit card (after 90 days) with BofA at 2.625% on every day purchases and 3.5% on dining/travel along with $500 sign up bonus. Merrill's current setup is not as heavily mentioned as the others (TDA/Schwab/Fidelity etc.) but it checks a lot of boxes for me personally. I certainly don't need the latest and greatest trading software nor anything else snazzy which I assume TDA and Schwab certainly do. The intro offer for Merrill is also the same if not better than the others (based off your initial funding amount), you just have to wait 180 days before they'll give it to you. I made the switch in my taxable after TDA's November "business decision." Total time spent moving from TDA to Merrill was probably 75-100 minutes, very little hassle.

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Re: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:36 pm

I have significantly more than necessary for the level. Part of that is from transfer bonuses, but I also just like them as a brokerage.
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Re: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors

Post by stlutz » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:36 pm

Actually the safest almost-money-market ETF would be SHV (ishares Treasury < 1 year). Currently yields 1.24%.

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Re: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors

Post by lack_ey » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:56 pm

stlutz wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:36 pm
Actually the safest almost-money-market ETF would be SHV (ishares Treasury < 1 year). Currently yields 1.24%.
Okay, if you really want to minimize rate and credit risk, there's SPDR Bloomberg Barclays 1-3 Month T-Bill ETF (BIL). SEC yield 1.07%.

Coincidentally it actually returned more than SHV in the last year.

I think most people would be okay with a bit of credit risk (if you're not going to have stable NAV anyway...), but I guess these are legit options.

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Re: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors

Post by triceratop » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:58 pm

stlutz wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:36 pm
Actually the safest almost-money-market ETF would be SHV (ishares Treasury < 1 year). Currently yields 1.24%.
Correct, in that a money market is not 'safe'.

Edit: as lack_ey notes, just use T-bills then.
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Re: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors

Post by bgf » Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:02 pm

deltaneutral83 wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:19 pm
At $100k, you are in line to get the free trades and also a great credit card (after 90 days) with BofA at 2.625% on every day purchases and 3.5% on dining/travel along with $500 sign up bonus.
whaaaat?! i had no idea it was that good. im doing that. thanks!
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Re: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors

Post by lazyday » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:57 am

triceratop wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:19 pm
It looks like a rational call on a credit- and term-adjusted basis would be NEAR for funds held less than about 6 months and ICSH for funds held more than about 6 months, due to the differences in spreads and expense ratios.
Have you tried to estimate how much of the spread you are paying?

I’ve been quite happy with my ETF trades. For example, by etf.com data, if you buy VGSH at the ask and sell at the bid, you lose 2 basis points. Using small mixed lot market orders, I probably have paid less than 1 basis point per round trip on average. It wouldn’t surprise me if it's only a half a bp. I haven’t kept track, but do look after each trade. As I recall, my executions are sometimes at the bid/ask midpoint, and rarely worse than .5 cents from the midpoint even if the spread is 2 cents. If I average ¼ cent per trade, that’s under 1 bp on a round trip.

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Re: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors

Post by lazyday » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:03 am

In exchange for free trades, I don’t try to collect every possible dollar of interest. If my cash balance is well under $1000, I’m likely to leave it alone.

Here’s some low ER Treasury funds from this thread, from cash to short term. YTM seems low, maybe not current:

http://www.etf.com/BIL
market-weighted index of all publicly issued zero-coupon US Treasury bills with a maturity of at least 1 month, but less than 3 months
Duration0.17
Yield to Maturity0.69%
Expense Ratio0.14%
Average Daily $ Volume$31.31M
Average Spread (60-Day)0.01%

http://www.etf.com/SHv
market-weighted index of debt issued by the U.S. Treasury. Remaining maturity must be 1-12 months
Duration0.37
Yield to Maturity0.92%
Expense Ratio0.15%
Average Daily $ Volume$78.07M
Average Spread (60-Day)0.01%

http://www.etf.com/SHY
market weighted index of debt issued by the US Treasury with 1-3 years remaining to maturity
Duration1.89
Yield to Maturity1.28%
Expense Ratio0.15%
Average Daily $ Volume$97.58M
Average Spread (60-Day)0.01%

http://www.etf.com/VGSH
market weighted index of fixed income securities issued by the U.S. Treasury… with maturities of 1-3 years (agency bonds were included until recently)
Duration2.00
Yield to Maturity1.30%
Expense Ratio0.07%
Average Daily $ Volume$11.18M
Average Spread (60-Day)0.02%

I’ve been using VGSH lately. Maybe when I expect to hold for under a month, I’ll use SHV since it’s more liquid. I also have a slight preference for the shorter duration.

I’ve also used VCSH ST Corp, which is quite liquid in normal times but might trade below NAV in a crisis. Of course, it is not cash.

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Re: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors

Post by triceratop » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:05 pm

lazyday wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:57 am
triceratop wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:19 pm
It looks like a rational call on a credit- and term-adjusted basis would be NEAR for funds held less than about 6 months and ICSH for funds held more than about 6 months, due to the differences in spreads and expense ratios.
Have you tried to estimate how much of the spread you are paying?

I’ve been quite happy with my ETF trades. For example, by etf.com data, if you buy VGSH at the ask and sell at the bid, you lose 2 basis points. Using small mixed lot market orders, I probably have paid less than 1 basis point per round trip on average. It wouldn’t surprise me if it's only a half a bp. I haven’t kept track, but do look after each trade. As I recall, my executions are sometimes at the bid/ask midpoint, and rarely worse than .5 cents from the midpoint even if the spread is 2 cents. If I average ¼ cent per trade, that’s under 1 bp on a round trip.
I was measuring tradeability only via the size of the spread on recent trading days. Of course, if one uses non-market orders things may be different.
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Re: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors

Post by neilpilot » Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:51 am

neilpilot wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:12 pm
I just transferred partial assets into 2 new ME accounts, keeping the rest at Scottrade. I definitely plan to consolidate to one firm, and expect to make that decision around mid-year. I'll base the decision on how I view working with ME in comparison to TDA. Scottrade account should all migrate to TDA by end of 1Q18.

I just transferred the assets in last week, but based on my initial contacts I think ME/BoA is way more cumbersome than Scottrade. For example, the POA to give me management rights to my spouse's account online was a breeze with Scottrade, and way too painful at ME.
Update: After my 5th contact with ME, including a 90-minute session in the local BoA office initiating POA documents, our account are still not linked. ME customer service seems mired in red tape, and their followup is terrible. I've all but given up on having them link my wife's account to my login. Based on this experience, I'm somewhat doubtful that I will transfer the bulk of our assets from TDA to ME. The bonus was nice, but I can't deal with incompetence.

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Re: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors

Post by metalwhiz » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:56 pm

I've never had a problem with Merrill Edge. Been with them for a while now. Any issue that has come up, they have taken care of it. Love the Platinum Honors and free trades. Left Schwab after receiving some nasty customer service and never looked back. CMA account and Roth Ira's for myself and wife. No problem with getting POA on wife's IRA. I log in and all accounts are there including BofA accounts. Not crazy about the service I get at BofA as a bank, but can put up with that, as I also have accounts at Chase. Sorry you've had a bad experience.

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Re: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors

Post by bling » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:37 pm

I've been using ME ever since I discovered about the free trades. No complaints whatsoever. I love being able to trade whatever ETF I want. And with access to Vanguard, iShares, Schwab, SPDR, there's no shortage of good ETFs.

While good, I don't take advantage of the other perks like the credit card rewards because for my spending patterns the sapphire reserve is still king.

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Re: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors

Post by madbrain » Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:32 pm

I took advantage of the bonus offer. 9 months after asset transfer, still haven't got one cent of it.

Also, Merill messed up with cost basis of one of my securities mightily. I discovered it only last month. Unit cost was the same for all lots going back to 2012, which was clearly wrong.

Merrill says they want statements from Vanguard to fix it, but Vanguard.com doesn't let me download statements that far back - the site only goes back to 2013. I just got out of a 1 hour 3-way call (include hold times x 2) to try to fix this, and Vanguard can't even give me an ETA for the 2012 statements.

To make things worse, partial shares for mutual funds and ETFs are handled in a horrible way at Merrill.
This goes not just for the transferred assets, but for dividend reinvestments that happened afterwards.
For example, here is what one reinvestment looks like for VWO at Merrill :

Acquisition Date - Quantity -Unit Cost ($) - Cost Basis ($) - Value($) - Gain/Loss ($) - Gain/Loss (%)

12/28/2017 (Short Term) 0.4499 45.81 20.61 20.82 0.21 1.02
12/28/2017 (Short Term) 3 45.80 137.40 138.81 1.41 1.03
12/28/2017 (Short Term) 1 44.25 44.25 46.27 2.02 4.57

Not only are there separate lots for the partial and entire shares, but there are 2 lots for entire shares too, and all 3 lots are at different unit costs despite happening on the same date. It doesn't make any sense at all.

I wish I had never transferred a single asset to Merill . No transfer bonus is worth this much trouble. Say whatever you want about Vanguard, but they never messed up like this for me.

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Re: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:05 am

That's fine. As I've said, every custodian will have someone who has a bad experience. People have reported similar tales as yours with Vanguard. I on the other hand have been with Edge for years and done many transfers without problem. You should have enquired about the bonus though.
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Re: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors

Post by triceratop » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:10 am

How do you know that it is Merrill Edge and not Vanguard that messed up? There are many posts on bogleheads.org stating Vanguard screwed up cost basis information. I have not seen one before about a Merrill Edge cost basis error.
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Re: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors

Post by madbrain » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:43 am

triceratop wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:10 am
How do you know that it is Merrill Edge and not Vanguard that messed up? There are many posts on bogleheads.org stating Vanguard screwed up cost basis information. I have not seen one before about a Merrill Edge cost basis error.
I can't be sure for the cost basis of transferred assets who messed up.

However, for the cost basis on dividend reinvestment (see the 3 lots I quoted), I'm sure it's Merrill that's messed up.

Merrill really seems to handle fractional shares very strangely.

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Re: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors

Post by WoodSpinner » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:35 am

OP,

I am a Merrill Edge client and have been very happy with their service, fund selection, and costs, Hard to go wrong. Plus their are add-on benefits through BofA that are valuable

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Re: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors

Post by dodecahedron » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:41 am

WoodSpinner wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:35 am
OP,

I am a Merrill Edge client and have been very happy with their service, fund selection, and costs, Hard to go wrong. Plus their are add-on benefits through BofA that are valuable
Happy ME customer here, but all I currently do in my ME taxable account is hold Vanguard ETFs and direct dividends to my BoA checking account (where I may ultimately invest them elsewhere.) I just maintain a sufficient balance of Vanguard ETFs to qualify for Platinum Preferred Honors. (I used to also have a Roth IRA at ME and I did more transactions within that account, but after collecting the $1,000 bonus for moving it there, I later closed it out and moved it elsewhere.)

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Re: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors

Post by deltaneutral83 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:56 am

dodecahedron wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:41 am
WoodSpinner wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:35 am
OP,

I am a Merrill Edge client and have been very happy with their service, fund selection, and costs, Hard to go wrong. Plus their are add-on benefits through BofA that are valuable
Happy ME customer here, but all I currently do in my ME taxable account is hold Vanguard ETFs and direct dividends to my BoA checking account (where I may ultimately invest them elsewhere.) I just maintain a sufficient balance of Vanguard ETFs to qualify for Platinum Preferred Honors. (I used to also have a Roth IRA at ME and I did more transactions within that account, but after collecting the $1,000 bonus for moving it there, I later closed it out and moved it elsewhere.)
Are you speaking to the DRIP that ME uses that may not be as favorable as investing your Divs elsewhere? I have read about some of the issues with broker executions on DRIPs across the various houses (TDA/ME/Schwab/Fido/Etrade etc) but can't really see anything on my part that I can do.

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Re: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors

Post by dodecahedron » Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:28 pm

deltaneutral83 wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:56 am
dodecahedron wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:41 am
WoodSpinner wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:35 am
OP,

I am a Merrill Edge client and have been very happy with their service, fund selection, and costs, Hard to go wrong. Plus their are add-on benefits through BofA that are valuable
Happy ME customer here, but all I currently do in my ME taxable account is hold Vanguard ETFs and direct dividends to my BoA checking account (where I may ultimately invest them elsewhere.) I just maintain a sufficient balance of Vanguard ETFs to qualify for Platinum Preferred Honors. (I used to also have a Roth IRA at ME and I did more transactions within that account, but after collecting the $1,000 bonus for moving it there, I later closed it out and moved it elsewhere.)
Are you speaking to the DRIP that ME uses that may not be as favorable as investing your Divs elsewhere? I have read about some of the issues with broker executions on DRIPs across the various houses (TDA/ME/Schwab/Fido/Etrade etc) but can't really see anything on my part that I can do.
No, I am speaking to the fact that I am reinvesting my dividends from my ME taxable account into *other* tax-advantaged accounts held at other custodians (using dividends from my taxable ME to fund contributions to HSA and Roth IRA at other custodians.) The particular Vanguard ETFs I happen to hold at ME are not funds into which I want more contributions automatically reinvested in. At this point (early semi-retirement), I am gradually drawing down my taxable accounts (such as the one I have at ME) through taking out dividends while continuing to fund tax-advantaged accounts (which happen to be held elsewhere.)

So I have no need for DRIP anywhere other than my tax-advantaged accounts. I did previously have a Roth IRA at ME and DRIP worked fine for me within that Roth. However, I ultimately decided to move that Roth IRA elsewhere after collecting the cash bonus.

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Re: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors

Post by MichDad » Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:48 pm

deltaneutral83 wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:19 pm
Merrill has a great setup if you're fine to use ETFs which I think a significant amount do anyway. With $50k combined balance (which includes BofA accounts) you get free trades per month. At $100k, you are in line to get the free trades and also a great credit card (after 90 days) with BofA at 2.625% on every day purchases and 3.5% on dining/travel along with $500 sign up bonus. Merrill's current setup is not as heavily mentioned as the others (TDA/Schwab/Fidelity etc.) but it checks a lot of boxes for me personally. I certainly don't need the latest and greatest trading software nor anything else snazzy which I assume TDA and Schwab certainly do. The intro offer for Merrill is also the same if not better than the others (based off your initial funding amount), you just have to wait 180 days before they'll give it to you. I made the switch in my taxable after TDA's November "business decision." Total time spent moving from TDA to Merrill was probably 75-100 minutes, very little hassle.
I have a couple of questions about the credit card offer you mentioned in your post. Is it the BoA Premium Rewards credit card? Does it have a $95 annual fee or is that fee waived for customers who satisfy certain conditions?

Thank you.

MichDad

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Re: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors

Post by Super Hans » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:34 pm

Delta Neutral is describing the Bank of America card with a $95 fee, the Premium Rewards Visa. It comes with, among other things, a $100 airline incidental credit each year, so I don't mind paying for this one. If you're opposed to paying an annual fee regardless, though, you can get the same rebate on the Travel Rewards Visa--except it doesn't have the heightened rebate on travel and dining, but rather a flat 2,625%.

I'm not aware of any annual fee waivers through Preferred Rewards.

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Re: Merrill Edge - Platinum Honors

Post by Nysoz » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:09 am

MichDad wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:48 pm
deltaneutral83 wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:19 pm
Merrill has a great setup if you're fine to use ETFs which I think a significant amount do anyway. With $50k combined balance (which includes BofA accounts) you get free trades per month. At $100k, you are in line to get the free trades and also a great credit card (after 90 days) with BofA at 2.625% on every day purchases and 3.5% on dining/travel along with $500 sign up bonus. Merrill's current setup is not as heavily mentioned as the others (TDA/Schwab/Fidelity etc.) but it checks a lot of boxes for me personally. I certainly don't need the latest and greatest trading software nor anything else snazzy which I assume TDA and Schwab certainly do. The intro offer for Merrill is also the same if not better than the others (based off your initial funding amount), you just have to wait 180 days before they'll give it to you. I made the switch in my taxable after TDA's November "business decision." Total time spent moving from TDA to Merrill was probably 75-100 minutes, very little hassle.
I have a couple of questions about the credit card offer you mentioned in your post. Is it the BoA Premium Rewards credit card? Does it have a $95 annual fee or is that fee waived for customers who satisfy certain conditions?

Thank you.

MichDad
The $95 annual fee isn't waived for platinum honors members, or at least mine wasn't. I do get reimbursed $100 annually through qualifying travel purchases though (usually luggage fees or seat upgrades). I also put enough on my credit card to make it easily the best daily credit card to use.

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