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Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:35 pm
by Captain kangaroo
Considering moving my money over from Vanguard to Merrill Edge.

I love Vanguard, but for accounts over 1,000,000 you don't really get any benefits from it. Their website has been a little clunky for me and I've heard their customer service isn't the best.

With ME edge I'll have access to all Vanguard etfs for free for my 3 fund portfolio with superior customer service.

I'll also get the platinum honors account from Bank of America, which seems to have some good perks and also a free safety deposit box, something I've been meaning to get.

Anyone use them? Almost seems like a no brainer. Same benefits as Vanguard but better customer service and some nice perks from BoA

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:40 pm
by indexfundfan
With your assets, Merrill Edge will assign a "Premium Elite Relationship Manager" to you. Remember to collect a new account / asset transfer bonus when you transfer your assets.

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:42 pm
by sambb
consider fidelity or schwab. they do a good job also.

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:44 pm
by Captain kangaroo
sambb wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:42 pm
consider fidelity or schwab. they do a good job also.
Can I get Vanguard etfs free through them?

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:47 pm
by WoodSpinner
Captain kangaroo wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:35 pm
Considering moving my money over from Vanguard to Merrill Edge.

I love Vanguard, but for accounts over 1,000,000 you don't really get any benefits from it. Their website has been a little clunky for me and I've heard their customer service isn't the best.

With ME edge I'll have access to all Vanguard etfs for free for my 3 fund portfolio with superior customer service.

I'll also get the platinum honors account from Bank of America, which seems to have some good perks and also a free safety deposit box, something I've been meaning to get.

Anyone use them? Almost seems like a no brainer. Same benefits as Vanguard but better customer service and some nice perks from BoA
I have exactly that. So far very happy!

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:57 pm
by triceratop
No problem if you only need Vanguard ETFs. Some low-cost funds (munis) are offered only as mutual funds.

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:07 pm
by stan1
Just remember the free trades and perks are marketing schemes and they can change at any time. I left Schwab in 2003 because they started charging an annual fee on accounts under $100K. Today I have a lot more than that but I still don't have any money at Schwab because they basically told me I was a nuisance. TDAmeritrade recently switched from offering many no-commission Vanguard ETFs to no-commision State Street/SPDR ETFs.

BofA is trying to get you to be a "sticky" customer so just make sure you shop around for other products if you use them (FDIC insured savings/certificates, mortgages, HELOC, auto loan, credit cards).

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:08 am
by mega317
If I had your assets I would probably use both. At least 100k at ME for the credit card benefits, some at Vanguard because I like and use their muni funds.
indexfundfan wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:40 pm
With your assets, Merrill Edge will assign a "Premium Elite Relationship Manager" to you.
I don't know what this is but it sounds bad (also redundant).

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:49 am
by indexfundfan
mega317 wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:08 am
indexfundfan wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:40 pm
With your assets, Merrill Edge will assign a "Premium Elite Relationship Manager" to you.
I don't know what this is but it sounds bad (also redundant).
It's just a rep assigned to keep you happy. They are great when you have issues to follow up. They don't try to sell you anything.

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:23 am
by jhfenton
Captain kangaroo wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:35 pm
I'll also get the platinum honors account from Bank of America, which seems to have some good perks and also a free safety deposit box, something I've been meaning to get.
I've thought about it, but BOA doesn't have any branches within 250 miles of Cincinnati. They don't have any branches within Ohio or any neighboring states. I'd have to drive to Chicago, Detroit, or Tennessee for the closest branches.

For the second-largest bank in the U.S. by assets, they have a lot of gaps in their physical footprint

Image
(From wikipedia.org)

Unless Vanguard brokerage gets worse, I will stay. (I haven't had any serious issues.) I have no problems with ETFs. I use them in taxable, and I own a lot of VSS. But where funds have Admiral Shares, I prefer to use them for frictionless rebalancing and reinvestment of dividends.
triceratop wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:57 pm
No problem if you only need Vanguard ETFs. Some low-cost funds (munis) are offered only as mutual funds.
+1 There is no other Ohio-specific muni fund that can hold a candle to VOHIX (Vanguard OH Long-Term Tax Exempt).

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:28 am
by sc9182
Been with Fidelity, took $3250 transfer bonus for over $1MM new funds-in., got a few hundred free trades for a year too (all/most left un-used and expired as don't trade much as simply be passive investor). Even if you do say 25 trades in a year, your cost is about $125. Also last week got $2500 retention bonus to stay put (wait 1 year after transfer-in bonus)

Fidelity 2% cash back bonus credit card ain't bad, either. (USAA 2.5% ONE is my personal fav, but very few populace aware, and/or eligible for that card)

Do occasionally bounce of a few idears as well. Never consulted'em on mortgage or jumbo, can't say much on this area.

When (still) with Chase Private Client, got them to match great rate/costs offered by one of the lowest quotes we had at that time (of not so great name mortgage firm, all we had was their quote sheet/estimates) Chase mortgage matched those, except closing took 50-60 days, but having Private client manager, he/she was helpful to drive it further till closing. Chase even ate cost of 1/4 point for extending their rate beyond 45 days as the delays were on their side.

Not sure how things are on ME side of the house, but BoA banking side always nickel and dimed with frivolous charges, fees and complex balance maintenance rules. BoA mysterious check clearing/deposit reordering rules could ding you, so always be on lookout. Got tired of them.. hope ME side hasn't inherited 10% of their banking arm's gotcha, ding'em playbook!

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:51 am
by radiowave
I have a ME account for about a year and half but will be closing it shortly. I use mostly mutual funds but apparently these are not covered under the no commission bonus, only ETFs. Yes, you can get any publicly traded ETF without trading fee if you have $100k or more. I never liked the online interface either.

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:00 am
by danaht
I would go with a Merrill Edge / Fidelity combination. Transfer at least $100,000 of stocks/ETFs in Merrill Edge to get the Platinum Honors rewards. (this allows the great credit card rewards, and the 100 free trades a month).

Transfer the rest in Fidelity because:
1) Fidelity has great customer service (much better than Merrill Edge)
2) Free Turbo Tax Premiere if you qualify (rules are not quite clear about who qualifies for this). I think being an "active trader" is one way. So -I don't reinvest my dividends - I just manually buy commission free ETFs throughout the year with the dividends to qualify.
3) Good selection of commission free ETFs and index funds

It's worth having the Bank Of America Platinum Honors rewards level - but I wouldn't put all your assets with Merrill Edge.

I would also consider having a small taxable brokerage account with TD Ameritrade. Every year - TD Ameritrade offers $50 cash back if you invest $5000 in the brokerage account. (as part of an effort to get people to invest their tax refunds)

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:33 am
by Glamdring56
I have been considering Merrill Edge to get the platinum level rewards. My concern is if I transfer too much money to them; they might uncover my existence to a local Merrill broker and I might be a target of his/hers phone and marketing tactics.

Does anyone have any experience with local Merrill brokers that got your contact and financial data from Merrill Edge?

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:52 am
by stan1
Glamdring56 wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:33 am
I have been considering Merrill Edge to get the platinum level rewards. My concern is if I transfer too much money to them; they might uncover my existence to a local Merrill broker and I might be a target of his/hers phone and marketing tactics.
On this matter even if it did happen I think a polite but clear statement "Thank you for reaching out to me, but I am not interested. Please do not call me again." would do the trick. Upsetting potential high net worth clients is counter to their business model. Local Merrill Lynch offices and their employees do not want to be viewed as sleazy marketers.

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:53 am
by retiredjg
Captain kangaroo wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:44 pm
Can I get Vanguard etfs free through them?
If this is important to you, remember that TD Ameritrade also HAD free Vanguard ETFs....until they didn't.

You cannot assume that Merrill Edge will continue their current practice. They might, they might not. Be sure the other benefits are worth it if they change their policy. My guess - free stuff is frequently bait and is prone to disappearing after awhile.

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:56 am
by WL2034
Currently the ME/BOA reward structure is maximized at $100k. So depending on your definition of “higher NW accounts,” you likely don’t need to transfer all your assets to ME to qualify. If you have a local BOA branch and/or find the credit card booster worthwhile, I think it is worth using. Car loans and mortgages are also reduced, but still need to shop around to ensure they are the best available. The interest rates at BOA for checking/savings are still low so it’s not worth it just for that.

I wonder if ME/BOA will add additional tiers as $100k seems a bit low for a cap if they are trying to incentivize people to hold large amounts of assets at ME/BOA.

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:40 pm
by Earl Lemongrab
I'm a big fan of Edge, especially the bonuses. You'd definitely want to see what they can do for that size of transfer.

For those saying that the deal might change, so what? Then you move somewhere else you like better. Any custodian can change their policies and fees. If you use ETFs, then there is ultimate freedom to pick up and take off.

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:41 pm
by Earl Lemongrab
jhfenton wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:23 am
I've thought about it, but BOA doesn't have any branches within 250 miles of Cincinnati. They don't have any branches within Ohio or any neighboring states.
That makes the free safe-deposit box worthless but otherwise doesn't matter much. We have BOA locally, but I opened and funded my account online.

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:54 pm
by jcchen
another vote for fidelity or vanguard. They pay more for funds waiting to be invested.

Bank america reward money market pays .07% interest for platinum. think 0.14% for merill sweep??
Vanguard and Fidelity pay alot more, around 1%.

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:03 pm
by student
jcchen wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:54 pm
another vote for fidelity or vanguard. They pay more for funds waiting to be invested.

Bank america reward money market pays .07% interest for platinum. think 0.14% for merill sweep??
Vanguard and Fidelity pay alot more, around 1%.
You can link an external account such as Ally to it. If you want to make a purchase, initiate a transfer. There will be several days of delay. Unless you are market timing, it should not be an issue. If you have to make the purchase on the same day, just call them. If you have enough assets in the account to cover it, they will allow it.

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:04 pm
by munemaker
indexfundfan wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:40 pm
With your assets, Merrill Edge will assign a "Premium Elite Relationship Manager" to you.
That sounds deluxe!

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:38 pm
by neilpilot
jcchen wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:54 pm
another vote for fidelity or vanguard. They pay more for funds waiting to be invested.

Bank america reward money market pays .07% interest for platinum. think 0.14% for merill sweep??
Vanguard and Fidelity pay alot more, around 1%.
I opened my ME account with a $1k signing bonus in late Dec 2017. There's currently no cash in the account.

For sake of example, although I would typically only have $1-2k in cash in my account, say I was lazy and kept $10k in cash there long term.

I figure I'll still be ahead of your Vanguard example for at least 10 years. The $1k signing bonus easily offsets the difference between Vanguard's 1% and the 0.14% for Merrill sweep (using your example).

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:10 pm
by remomnyc
I have my 401k at Merrill, my taxable at Schwab, the kids' UTMAs at Vanguard, and I used to have a Chase Private Client account. Every once in a while I'm tempted to chase fees, but end up staying put. IMO, Schwab has the best customer service.

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:25 pm
by ruralavalon
stan1 wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:07 pm
Just remember the free trades and perks are marketing schemes and they can change at any time. I left Schwab in 2003 because they started charging an annual fee on accounts under $100K. Today I have a lot more than that but I still don't have any money at Schwab because they basically told me I was a nuisance. TDAmeritrade recently switched from offering many no-commission Vanguard ETFs to no-commision State Street/SPDR ETFs.

BofA is trying to get you to be a "sticky" customer so just make sure you shop around for other products if you use them (FDIC insured savings/certificates, mortgages, HELOC, auto loan, credit cards).
Right.

I won't switch any investment for marketing gimmicks.

I don't need or want any loans, HELOC, mortgage, savings accounts, CDs, or new credit cards, don't want Merrill Edge investing help, in any event the nearest Merrill Edge office is 140 miles away. Free access to Vanguard ETFs can disappear at any time, and I prefer Vanguard mutual funds instead.

I have never had a problem with Vanguard customer service, it has always been prompt, courteous and professional.

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:36 pm
by Earl Lemongrab
ruralavalon wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:25 pm
I won't switch any investment for marketing gimmicks.
Their marketing gimmicks have put thousands of dollars in my accounts, including precious Roth space.
ruralavalon wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:25 pm
I don't need or want any loans, HELOC, mortgage, savings accounts, CDs, or new credit cards, don't want Merrill Edge investing help, in any event the nearest Merrill Edge office is 140 miles away. Free access to Vanguard ETFs can disappear at any time, and I prefer Vanguard mutual funds instead.
Most of that I don't either. And where is Vanguard's nearest office? The credit card has one of the best cash back system when you have the highest PP level. What does Vanguard's have?
ruralavalon wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:25 pm
I have never had a problem with Vanguard customer service, it has always been prompt, courteous and professional.
That's pretty disingenuous. You read the forums enough to know that a LOT of people have been reporting problems.

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:00 pm
by sambb
vanguard customer service is bad, but it isnt that dept's fault i bet. When it is this bad, one has to ask if the leadership is asleep at the wheel. I have heard good things abotu ML - good luck to the OP, but consider schwab or fidelity also

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:09 pm
by j0nnyg1984
Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:36 pm
ruralavalon wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:25 pm
I won't switch any investment for marketing gimmicks.
Their marketing gimmicks have put thousands of dollars in my accounts, including precious Roth space.
ruralavalon wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:25 pm
I don't need or want any loans, HELOC, mortgage, savings accounts, CDs, or new credit cards, don't want Merrill Edge investing help, in any event the nearest Merrill Edge office is 140 miles away. Free access to Vanguard ETFs can disappear at any time, and I prefer Vanguard mutual funds instead.
Most of that I don't either. And where is Vanguard's nearest office? The credit card has one of the best cash back system when you have the highest PP level. What does Vanguard's have?


Some people just can't be convinced. Meanwhile, I've made thousands in cash back and incentives from BoA / ME. Hey, I hope people don't switch. More for me (and you).

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:07 am
by djd1950
My IRA is with Merrill Edge; chose them for the $900 bonus and the 75% boost in cash back on their credit card. I have never heard from anybody other than a Merrill edge person offering help if I wanted it. Maybe I don't understand something, but I don't see how it would be to their advantage to "leak" a name to a Merrill Lynch broker, which might result in losing the Merrill Edge assets.

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:30 am
by EnjoyIt
Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:36 pm

Their marketing gimmicks have put thousands of dollars in my accounts, including precious Roth space.
Can you please explain further? Is it through sign up bonuses? How much extra space has it given you and over how may years?

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:58 am
by Earl Lemongrab
EnjoyIt wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:30 am
Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:36 pm

Their marketing gimmicks have put thousands of dollars in my accounts, including precious Roth space.
Can you please explain further? Is it through sign up bonuses? How much extra space has it given you and over how may years?
Yes, bonuses. It's at least $3000, but I'd have to go over my records to see if there was another in there. I have been with them for just about four years. I haven't tried to calculate the extra from cash-back rewards from the credit card.

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:55 pm
by ruralavalon
Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:36 pm
ruralavalon wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:25 pm
I have never had a problem with Vanguard customer service, it has always been prompt, courteous and professional.
That's pretty disingenuous. You read the forums enough to know that a LOT of people have been reporting problems.
The OP was considering a move, and said "I've heard that [Vanguard] customer service isn't the best" as one of the reasons for considering the move. That invites comments about Vanguard customer service.

A lot of people, including me, have had good experience with Vanguard customer service. I truthfully reported my experience, this is not "disingenuous" at all.

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:11 pm
by J295
Don’t know anything about ME

Will report that we have accounts at Vanguard and Fidelity, and find the Fidelity website and service to be excellent.

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:41 pm
by bgf
Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:58 am
EnjoyIt wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:30 am
Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:36 pm

Their marketing gimmicks have put thousands of dollars in my accounts, including precious Roth space.
Can you please explain further? Is it through sign up bonuses? How much extra space has it given you and over how may years?
Yes, bonuses. It's at least $3000, but I'd have to go over my records to see if there was another in there. I have been with them for just about four years. I haven't tried to calculate the extra from cash-back rewards from the credit card.
i signed up for ME in december. i moved three accounts there, two of which are Roth. within the next couple months they will add the bonuses to all three accounts.

did the same thing last year moving my savings account to capital one. got a $200 or $250 bonus, and its currently paying 1.4%.

this kind of thing is a no brainer for me. it takes so little effort, i get free money no strings attached, and i get better perks.

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:29 pm
by BigJohn
ruralavalon wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:55 pm
The OP was considering a move, and said "I've heard that [Vanguard] customer service isn't the best" as one of the reasons for considering the move. That invites comments about Vanguard customer service.

A lot of people, including me, have had good experience with Vanguard customer service. I truthfully reported my experience, this is not "disingenuous" at all
I'll add another vote for good experience and I've done some fairly complicated things (rolled over a 401k, rolled over a lump sum pension, upgraded to brokerage account with a tricky agent authorization issue, transferred in an account from WF). I'm certainly not saying that VG is perfect or that some people haven't had issues but I think you need to be cautious about drawing conclusions based on just forum posts. By their nature, forum posts are going to selectively reflect the worst experiences because people either need help or want to vent, both of which are OK. It would be a very short and boring forum discussion (also not actionable) for me to start a post just to say everything went per plan.

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:35 pm
by Earl Lemongrab
It's a given that any large company that deals with the public will have customers that have a bad experience in one way or another. However, I think anyone who tries to deny that there's been a serious upturn in complaints of late with Vanguard either hasn't been paying attention or willfully wants to dismiss the evidence.

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:21 am
by EnjoyIt
Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:58 am
EnjoyIt wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:30 am
Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:36 pm

Their marketing gimmicks have put thousands of dollars in my accounts, including precious Roth space.
Can you please explain further? Is it through sign up bonuses? How much extra space has it given you and over how may years?
Yes, bonuses. It's at least $3000, but I'd have to go over my records to see if there was another in there. I have been with them for just about four years. I haven't tried to calculate the extra from cash-back rewards from the credit card.
Are you also saying that ME has a cash back card that pays into your Roth?

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:26 am
by Earl Lemongrab
EnjoyIt wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:21 am
Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:58 am
EnjoyIt wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:30 am
Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:36 pm

Their marketing gimmicks have put thousands of dollars in my accounts, including precious Roth space.
Can you please explain further? Is it through sign up bonuses? How much extra space has it given you and over how may years?
Yes, bonuses. It's at least $3000, but I'd have to go over my records to see if there was another in there. I have been with them for just about four years. I haven't tried to calculate the extra from cash-back rewards from the credit card.
Are you also saying that ME has a cash back card that pays into your Roth?
Not Roth, only taxable for that. You might be able to put it in Roth, but it would be a contribution. To get the 75% rewards bonus, it has to either go into a BOA or Edge account.

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:19 am
by investor997
If Merrill pays you a bonus for moving over a Roth IRA is that considered a contribution? Or do they deposit it into another account (ie BoA checking)?

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:39 am
by dodecahedron
investor997 wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:19 am
If Merrill pays you a bonus for moving over a Roth IRA is that considered a contribution? Or do they deposit it into another account (ie BoA checking)?
No, the Merrill Edge bonus for transferring over a Roth IRA goes into the Roth IRA (six months after the funds arrive) but is not considered a contribution. It is considered earnings or growth within the Roth. So it does expand your Roth-space somewhat.

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:00 pm
by evoila
Merrill Edge is good. Have a couple IRA, and couple taxable accounts with them. User interface is easy, customer service is good, sign-up bonuses for bringing money over, plus unbeatable credit card cash back rates if over $100K with them. Getting money out is quick (they don't sit on your request for 3 days), you get a checkbook, and wires are pretty easy too.

That said, I do wish somebody created a hybrid account that kind of acted like a checking account + betterment rolled into one, where you could select the investments you wanted "like a sweep" with tax-loss harvesting built-in, with a minimum cash balance for everyday checking uses with on-line bill pay. There are cash management accounts out there at Fidelity that kind of do this, but that + roboadvisor features would be pretty slick.

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:14 pm
by BogleDan
One of the great benefits of Merrill Edge that I recently became aware of is, you can use funds in your account as "reserves" for a child's down payment on a house (or your own, if need be). For instance, your child needs 20% down on a $500,000 house. Merrill will mark $100k as "reserved" in your account, your child gets a house with effectively 0 down, and you continue to earn and keep the returns on that money.

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:45 pm
by bgf
BogleDan wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:14 pm
One of the great benefits of Merrill Edge that I recently became aware of is, you can use funds in your account as "reserves" for a child's down payment on a house (or your own, if need be). For instance, your child needs 20% down on a $500,000 house. Merrill will mark $100k as "reserved" in your account, your child gets a house with effectively 0 down, and you continue to earn and keep the returns on that money.
wait, how exactly does that work? are there protections that it would only be sold without your consent under certain circumstances? that sounds great, i'd just like to know more details.

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:45 pm
by JBTX
BogleDan wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:14 pm
One of the great benefits of Merrill Edge that I recently became aware of is, you can use funds in your account as "reserves" for a child's down payment on a house (or your own, if need be). For instance, your child needs 20% down on a $500,000 house. Merrill will mark $100k as "reserved" in your account, your child gets a house with effectively 0 down, and you continue to earn and keep the returns on that money.
To each his own but I wouldn't want my retirement assets collateralized for my kids mortgage. Yikes!

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:49 pm
by JBTX
Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:26 am
EnjoyIt wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:21 am
Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:58 am
EnjoyIt wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:30 am
Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:36 pm

Their marketing gimmicks have put thousands of dollars in my accounts, including precious Roth space.
Can you please explain further? Is it through sign up bonuses? How much extra space has it given you and over how may years?
Yes, bonuses. It's at least $3000, but I'd have to go over my records to see if there was another in there. I have been with them for just about four years. I haven't tried to calculate the extra from cash-back rewards from the credit card.
Are you also saying that ME has a cash back card that pays into your Roth?
Not Roth, only taxable for that. You might be able to put it in Roth, but it would be a contribution. To get the 75% rewards bonus, it has to either go into a BOA or Edge account.
dodecahedron wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:39 am
investor997 wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:19 am
If Merrill pays you a bonus for moving over a Roth IRA is that considered a contribution? Or do they deposit it into another account (ie BoA checking)?
No, the Merrill Edge bonus for transferring over a Roth IRA goes into the Roth IRA (six months after the funds arrive) but is not considered a contribution. It is considered earnings or growth within the Roth. So it does expand your Roth-space somewhat.

So is it a contribution or not?

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:59 pm
by bligh
I moved an account over to Merrill Edge to take advantage of their preferred rewards program. The credit card bonus was my primary motivation. Just passed 6months with them in fact. The Merrill Edge side of the customer service divide is ok, (not good, not bad.. just average).. the BofA side makes me lose faith in humanity. I have a dormant BofA checking account that comes free with the Preferred Rewards status. I use it for absolutely nothing and do my best to stay away from the BofA side of the equation.

I have done exactly one trade in that account in the past 6 months and it was free as expected. :) I am planning on leaving that account in place for the foreseeable future simply because I want to retain the preferred rewards status and keep that credit card bonus in place. Otherwise I would have be transferring that money to get tansfer bonuses.

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:14 pm
by FOGU
I love Vanguard, but for accounts over 1,000,000 you don't really get any benefits from it. Their website has been a little clunky for me and I've heard their customer service isn't the best.
"I've heard...." I think you've heard wrong.

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:21 pm
by bligh
JBTX wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:49 pm

So is it a contribution or not?
dodecahedron wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:39 am


No, the Merrill Edge bonus for transferring over a Roth IRA goes into the Roth IRA (six months after the funds arrive) but is not considered a contribution. It is considered earnings or growth within the Roth. So it does expand your Roth-space somewhat.

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:28 pm
by md&pharmacist
I avoid anything having to do with BofA like the plague.

While Vanguard is imperfect (and they've driven me nuts with some of their policies recently), I too have >$1M there, doubt many places where the grass is greener or greener enough for me to bother switching. I think you should stay put but rely on your own judgement, I don't let them steer me to their funds given there are better performers out there.

I agree, they really should consider making their website more user friendly, but I think it is that way by design.

Re: Merrill Edge best choice for higher net worth accounts?

Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:40 pm
by ruralavalon
jcchen wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:54 pm
another vote for fidelity or vanguard. They pay more for funds waiting to be invested.

Bank america reward money market pays .07% interest for platinum. think 0.14% for merill sweep??
Vanguard and Fidelity pay alot more, around 1%.
That's right.

For example Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund (VMMXX) has a current SEC Yield = 1.99%, and Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund (VMFXX) has a current SEC Yield = 1.79%.