Self Directed Accnt at BOA's Merrill Edge. Hidden Fees ?

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Gaspar18
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Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:33 pm

Self Directed Accnt at BOA's Merrill Edge. Hidden Fees ?

Post by Gaspar18 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:35 am

Hello everyone, i'm a novice investor..

It looks like I will be rolling an IRA into a SELF DIRECTED ACCOUNT at BOA's Merrill Edge.

I asked about the fees. They said there are three fees.

1. The annual expense ratio of the passive index funds that I will purchase (between 0.04% and 0.14% - dep on the fund)
2. $19.95 per trade (I am going to hold the funds long term, minimal trading)
3. The investment guy at the BOA branch will get a commission for setting this account up for me (I'm a bank customer), but the bank will pay it. It won't come from my funds.

-- > Are there any other fees that they are not telling me ? < ---

Thanks for your time and info.
Last edited by Gaspar18 on Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:33 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Ragnoth
Posts: 149
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2016 8:10 am

Re: Self Directed Accnt at BOA's Merrill Edge. Hidden Fees ?

Post by Ragnoth » Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:53 am

I have a Merril Edge accout.

I don’t know of any other “secret fees.” However, most people that move to Merril Edge are hoping to have a large enough balance to get free ETF/Stock trades through their preferred rewards program (I think 50k minimum).

If you aren’t going well to be getting free trades, you might be able to find cheaper services elsewhere. Depending on the size of your account, you are either (1) being pushed into an unnecessarily expensive service, or (2) not being advertised the actual advantages of the account. I would trust the ME website and their customer service line to walk you through this better than the people working in the local branch.

livesoft
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Self Directed Accnt at BOA's Merrill Edge. Hidden Fees ?

Post by livesoft » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:02 am

Maybe.

My spouse uses the SDBA at TDAmertrade in her company sponsored 401(k). They told her about the following fees which do exist which her
company is going to pay for everyone that uses the SDBA.

1. Quarterly. $75 a year, but paid $18.75 per quarter.

2. Any usual commissions, but TDAmeritrade has no commission trades of many ETFs if you follow their rules. We have see the list change.

3. Fee to transfer cash into the SDBA from the regular 401(k) side of things and fees to transfer cash back from the SDBA back to the 401(k) side of things. I don't think you mentioned these two fees. My spouse's company pays pays these transfer fees, but she has made only one transfer in 2 years.

A problem is that the 401(k) is a different set of people, different account, different login, and so on, so if there are problems communicating, they entities involving point their finger at the other one. So you get different statements and different e-mails, too.

I would not be surprised to find out that in a year or so, the person at the company that said there were no other fees had moved to a new company and the new people said, "What? Who told you there were no fees? Oh, Joe doesn't work here any more."
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Gaspar18
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:33 pm

Re: Self Directed Accnt at BOA's Merrill Edge. Hidden Fees ?

Post by Gaspar18 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:16 am

Gaspar18 wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:35 am
Hello everyone,

It looks like I will be rolling an IRA (ny nest egg) into a SELF DIRECTED ACCOUNT at BOA's Merrill Edge.

I asked about the fees. They said there are three fees.

1. The annual expense ratio of the index funds that I will purchase (between 0.04% and 0.14% - dep on the fund)
2. $19.95 per trade
3. The investment guy at the BOA branch will get a commission for setting this account up for me (I'm a bank customer), but the bank will pay it. It won't come from my funds.

-- > Are there any other fees that they are not telling me ? < ---

Thanks for your time and info.

GatorFL
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:07 pm

Re: Self Directed Accnt at BOA's Merrill Edge. Hidden Fees ?

Post by GatorFL » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:21 am

I moved my tIRA into ME this year. I review all account activity in detail monthly and so far I have not had any fees. I am a platinum honors customer, which along with the cash bonus is why I switched. I pay no fees on ETF and stock purchases.

The only downside that I see is that I cannot purchase admiral class shares for the popular Vanguard funds (VTSAX, etc.), I had to go with the ETF equivalents.

I agree with the post downplaying the local branch, I would never go to a local branch to have them set anything up for me. They are commissioned people from what I can tell. I worked directly with their online staff and the process went very smoothly. My only advice is that if you are bringing across a large amount, you can negotiate the cash bonus. They have "custom deals" they can offer. It wasn't a great deal of extra money, but I enjoy negotiating.

In terms of the platform, I don't use their advanced trading tools (which is a different web interface). I just use their plain jane website to manage my 3 fund portfolio. I do like their research however, I have learned a lot about various ETFs and funds.

In short, I have been "fee free" for 6 months now.
GatorFL

Gaspar18
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Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:33 pm

Re: Self Directed Accnt at BOA's Merrill Edge. Hidden Fees ?

Post by Gaspar18 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:32 am

... the local branch person is commissioned, however I was told that the bank pays the commission, not me.

You said I can do this online. When I called Merrill Edge's customer service, I found out the person on the other end of the line also gets a commission.

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Watty
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Re: Self Directed Accnt at BOA's Merrill Edge. Hidden Fees ?

Post by Watty » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:51 am

Gaspar18 wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:35 am
-- > Are there any other fees that they are not telling me ? < ---
There is likely an account closing fee of maybe $75 to $150 dollars per account if you ever leave.
Gaspar18 wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:35 am
I asked about the fees. They said there are three fees.
You were asking the wrong question.

You can ask to see their fee schedule for your account type. This would usually be a page or two long PDF or paper document that lists the fees along with the appropriate legal wording.

This would list all the fees they can charge and would likely include things you are unlikely to use like foreign exchange fees, bounced check fees, wire transfer fees, etc.

deltaneutral83
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Re: Self Directed Accnt at BOA's Merrill Edge. Hidden Fees ?

Post by deltaneutral83 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:52 am

GatorFL wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:21 am

The only downside that I see is that I cannot purchase admiral class shares for the popular Vanguard funds (VTSAX, etc.), I had to go with the ETF equivalents.
I'm curious, I am also with ME for the exact reasons, do you know of another house that will let you purchase Vanguard mutual funds commission free? The reason I say this is that this may be a downside, but it wouldn't be a ME specific downside necessarily.

Gaspar18
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:33 pm

Re: Self Directed Accnt at BOA's Merrill Edge. Hidden Fees ?

Post by Gaspar18 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:58 am

Watty,

Good point, I didn't think about asking about the fee schedule for my account type. I will do this.

GatorFL
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:07 pm

Re: Self Directed Accnt at BOA's Merrill Edge. Hidden Fees ?

Post by GatorFL » Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:07 am

deltaneutral83 wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:52 am
GatorFL wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:21 am

The only downside that I see is that I cannot purchase admiral class shares for the popular Vanguard funds (VTSAX, etc.), I had to go with the ETF equivalents.
I'm curious, I am also with ME for the exact reasons, do you know of another house that will let you purchase Vanguard mutual funds commission free? The reason I say this is that this may be a downside, but it wouldn't be a ME specific downside necessarily.
I don't know of another firm that allows purchase of Admiral shares. This is not an ME only downside, thanks for shedding light on that.

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