Merrill Edge Feedback

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Jmh04j
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Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:40 pm

Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by Jmh04j » Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:43 pm

I am considering consolidating to Merrill Edge. I had a productive call with their rep today. Looks like free trades on ETFs and stocks which will allow me to use total market Vanguard ETFs when I buy the market every two weeks. The credit card bonus seems attractive too. The IT and user interface seem a lot better than Vanguard. I like Schwab and Fidelity too but don’t like being limited in what I can buy without a commission.

The only downside I see is lack of good money market funds. Perhaps I would need to hold ICSH or some other ultra short term bond fund for my significant cash holdings?

What are the downsides to Merrill Edge? What am I missing?

mighty72
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by mighty72 » Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:50 pm

I have been using ME and hold EF in ICSH. All other cash is invested in ETF as per investment plan.

One short coming is that you need to maintain 100k+ to get the best credit card bonus and free trades. Other brokers have a list of ETF which can be traded free irrespective of the amount in the account.

I also found opening IRA and doing Roth conversion much easier on Fidelity.

Otherwise just works fine as I also have BoA account and transfers are instant

Topic Author
Jmh04j
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by Jmh04j » Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:55 pm

Great, thanks

neilpilot
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by neilpilot » Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:00 pm

We maintained 5 account at Scottrade, and just prior to their acquisition by TD Ameritrade we decided to open 2 accounts at Merrill Edge with the plan to collect a generous sign on bonus and then move all other assets over from TD Ameritrade if ME worked for us.

Prior to account opening we were given positive answers from the local BoA/ME rep, but after the accounts were in place we experiences several reversals. After multiple attempts to resolve the most urgent failure (to link account on line), and receiving surprisingly poor customer service from local and call center reps at ME, we couldn't wait for the bonus period on our 2 accounts to end so we could move our assets back to TDAmeritrade.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=237932&p=4337390&hi ... e#p4337390

In the meantime, customer service at TD Ameritrade continues to be excellent. All of our assets are in Vanguard ETFs and MFs, and we've collected bonus $ that exceed the minimal commissions we pay. All 5 accounts have a cash sweep into a MM fund that current pays =>2% (sorry I don't know the precise interest).

Topic Author
Jmh04j
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by Jmh04j » Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:04 pm

Good to know. This is the sort of thing I am trying to avoid.

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WoodSpinner
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by WoodSpinner » Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:08 pm

I currently am split between Fidelity and Merrill Edge and only hold Vanguard ETFs, plus a CD.

I like the benefits of the Merrill/BofA connection, checking, credit card, safe deposit box to name a few at no cost (I hold over $100M in assets at Merrill). Only complaint I have is that it is more cumbersome to do Roth Conversions — you have to fill a form and submit a request. Fidelity allows me to manage it myself through their website.

Merrill is a solid choice!

WoodSpinner

yougotitdude
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by yougotitdude » Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:00 pm

WoodSpinner wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:08 pm
I currently am split between Fidelity and Merrill Edge and only hold Vanguard ETFs, plus a CD.

I like the benefits of the Merrill/BofA connection, checking, credit card, safe deposit box to name a few at no cost (I hold over $100M in assets at Merrill). Only complaint I have is that it is more cumbersome to do Roth Conversions — you have to fill a form and submit a request. Fidelity allows me to manage it myself through their website.

Merrill is a solid choice!

WoodSpinner
Dannnnnnnng! $100 million?!?!?

For what it's worth. I love Merill Edge. Free trades, decent website and the best credit card rewards for cash back.

drk
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by drk » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:14 pm

mighty72 wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:50 pm
One short coming is that you need to maintain 100k+ to get the best credit card bonus and free trades.
In fact, your status level remains in place for 12 months after reaching it, so no need to maintain the entire $100k.

mighty72
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by mighty72 » Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:58 am

drk wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:14 pm
mighty72 wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:50 pm
One short coming is that you need to maintain 100k+ to get the best credit card bonus and free trades.
In fact, your status level remains in place for 12 months after reaching it, so no need to maintain the entire $100k.
Didn't know that. Thanks

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WoodSpinner
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by WoodSpinner » Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:55 am

yougotitdude wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:00 pm
WoodSpinner wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:08 pm
I currently am split between Fidelity and Merrill Edge and only hold Vanguard ETFs, plus a CD.

I like the benefits of the Merrill/BofA connection, checking, credit card, safe deposit box to name a few at no cost (I hold over $100M in assets at Merrill). Only complaint I have is that it is more cumbersome to do Roth Conversions — you have to fill a form and submit a request. Fidelity allows me to manage it myself through their website.

Merrill is a solid choice!

WoodSpinner
Dannnnnnnng! $100 million?!?!?

For what it's worth. I love Merill Edge. Free trades, decent website and the best credit card rewards for cash back.
Uh, $100,000. M=1000.....

Wish it was a $100,000,000.

head
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by head » Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:29 am

WoodSpinner wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:08 pm
I currently am split between Fidelity and Merrill Edge and only hold Vanguard ETFs, plus a CD.

I like the benefits of the Merrill/BofA connection, checking, credit card, safe deposit box to name a few at no cost (I hold over $100M in assets at Merrill). Only complaint I have is that it is more cumbersome to do Roth Conversions — you have to fill a form and submit a request. Fidelity allows me to manage it myself through their website.

Merrill is a solid choice!

WoodSpinner
With respect to the Roth Conversion, I've always just called in and made the request over the phone. Takes about 5 minutes once a year.

yougotitdude
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by yougotitdude » Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:35 pm

WoodSpinner wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:55 am
yougotitdude wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:00 pm
WoodSpinner wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:08 pm
I currently am split between Fidelity and Merrill Edge and only hold Vanguard ETFs, plus a CD.

I like the benefits of the Merrill/BofA connection, checking, credit card, safe deposit box to name a few at no cost (I hold over $100M in assets at Merrill). Only complaint I have is that it is more cumbersome to do Roth Conversions — you have to fill a form and submit a request. Fidelity allows me to manage it myself through their website.

Merrill is a solid choice!

WoodSpinner
Dannnnnnnng! $100 million?!?!?

For what it's worth. I love Merill Edge. Free trades, decent website and the best credit card rewards for cash back.
Uh, $100,000. M=1000.....

Wish it was a $100,000,000.

haha maybe one day (for both of us!) :)

j0nnyg1984
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by j0nnyg1984 » Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:46 pm

I couldn’t be happier with ME. Moved my accounts, one at a time, got the biggest bonuses available, and still invest in Vanguard funds, albeit ETF’s now instead of MF’s.

I spend almost 100k a year on my credit card for personal and work expenses and I was tired of the points / miles game. Switched to cash back instead. Most of my spend is at the highest level, 3.5% on the premium rewards CC.

I get a free safe deposit box, thousands in cash back, and free ETF purchasing. What more could I want?

livesoft
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by livesoft » Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:51 pm

How are the 1099s?

How is the cost basis tracking?

Is it easy to specifically identify which shares you will sell and the cost basis of those shares?

What about timeliness of dividend payments? Does one get a respectable price when dividends are auto-reinvested for ETFs?

What about real-time updating of account transactions, values, and assets? What about pending transactions such as money transfers?

What about trade executions? Do you often get price improvement? On market orders do you never pay the spread?
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

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Shabber
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by Shabber » Thu Apr 11, 2019 4:58 pm

I too love ME. The app on my phone is great, the website is great, the integration with my BOA account is great, the CC cash back is huge. Only downside, I can't buy Admiral Vanguard Mutual Funds only Investor ones. Another bonus, ATM's refund any service charges to me too. Happy happy happy.

NMBob
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by NMBob » Thu Apr 11, 2019 5:45 pm

you still get 30 trades a month free at $50k balance "platinum" level if that is the primary concern. I do not think it lasts a year if you fall below the level as I think somone suggested. The level is based on the previous 90 days average balance. From their website "The combined balance is calculated based on your average daily balance for a three calendar month period."

money transfers from bank of america checking/savings take seconds. Don't know about external banks.

cost basis tracking seems ok to me. They had calculated for an mlp, in what look like dividends but is accurately as return of capital not as dividends on 1099.

dividends seem to be posted in the morning they are dated, where as at schwab not till late at night.

Reinvested dividends in some etfs may not get reinvested for like 4-7 days. It varies. Something about the agreement with the etf provider. This happened to me withthe etf PCI. I did get tired of checking a week later to see if my dividend that got credited 4 or more days ago actually got reinvested....which they did.

I have never thought "I most frequently come out ahead of the spread on market orders."

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Thu Apr 11, 2019 5:53 pm

You definitely want to make sure you get a transfer bonus from Edge. I've generated thousands just from Edge alone, not even including other custodians. How much are you moving?

Here's a current offer: https://www.merrilledge.com/offers/900offer

I have been very satisfied at BofA/Edge. I've said that if I had to consolidate at one custodian it would be there.
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Thu Apr 11, 2019 5:55 pm

Shabber wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 4:58 pm
Only downside, I can't buy Admiral Vanguard Mutual Funds only Investor ones.
That has or is in the process of changing since Vanguard closed many Investor funds to new investors.
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

Topic Author
Jmh04j
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by Jmh04j » Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:49 pm

livesoft wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:51 pm
How are the 1099s?

How is the cost basis tracking?

Is it easy to specifically identify which shares you will sell and the cost basis of those shares?

What about timeliness of dividend payments? Does one get a respectable price when dividends are auto-reinvested for ETFs?

What about real-time updating of account transactions, values, and assets? What about pending transactions such as money transfers?

What about trade executions? Do you often get price improvement? On market orders do you never pay the spread?
These are the exact things I want to know with an emphasis on the trade execution and price improvement. Thanks livesoft for posing these questions.

djheini
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by djheini » Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:59 pm

NMBob wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 5:45 pm
you still get 30 trades a month free at $50k balance "platinum" level if that is the primary concern. I do not think it lasts a year if you fall below the level as I think somone suggested. The level is based on the previous 90 days average balance. From their website "The combined balance is calculated based on your average daily balance for a three calendar month period."
It's unclear if the 1 year timer is only from when you first qualify or if it's ongoing, but at least at first there's definitely 1 year+ of status even if your balance drops.
https://www.bankofamerica.com/preferred-rewards/faq/ wrote:You'll maintain your Preferred Rewards tier status for 12 months following your enrollment. If after 12 months you no longer meet the checking account or balance requirement, you'll have a three-month grace period. If you haven't met the checking account requirement after three months, you'll lose your Preferred Rewards benefits. If you haven't met the checking account or balance requirement after three months, depending on your balances you'll either be moved to a lower tier or lose your Preferred Rewards benefits.

mighty72
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by mighty72 » Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:58 pm

livesoft wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:51 pm
How are the 1099s?
It easily was imported by TurboTax
livesoft wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:51 pm
How is the cost basis tracking?

Is it easy to specifically identify which shares you will sell and the cost basis of those shares?
You can see each lot separately and chose which ones to sell
livesoft wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:51 pm

What about timeliness of dividend payments? Does one get a respectable price when dividends are auto-reinvested for ETFs?


What about real-time updating of account transactions, values, and assets? What about pending transactions such as money transfers?

What about trade executions? Do you often get price improvement? On market orders do you never pay the spread?
I don't track execution prices as I always use limit orders and don't auto-reinvest dividends.
All updates are real time. Transfer from and to BOA account are instantly available. Proceeds from sale can be used to buy other stocks right after sale execution

confusedinvestor
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by confusedinvestor » Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:11 am

I was told by ME customer service that ME rep can do the BackDoor Roth over phone vs Manual Forms

BoA Credit Card bonus avg around 3.0-3.5% for all catagories with ME 100K, I feel it is a good value.

WoodSpinner wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:08 pm
I currently am split between Fidelity and Merrill Edge and only hold Vanguard ETFs, plus a CD.

I like the benefits of the Merrill/BofA connection, checking, credit card, safe deposit box to name a few at no cost (I hold over $100M in assets at Merrill). Only complaint I have is that it is more cumbersome to do Roth Conversions — you have to fill a form and submit a request. Fidelity allows me to manage it myself through their website.

Merrill is a solid choice!

WoodSpinner

confusedinvestor
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:04 am

Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by confusedinvestor » Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:13 am

ME Tax lots tracking and tx lot sell options are better than Schwab, Fidelity and TD - I don't know about Vanguard as I don't have account with Vanguard.

No, ME don't show "price improvements " like Fidelity, Does Vanguard show it ?
livesoft wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:51 pm
How are the 1099s?

How is the cost basis tracking?

Is it easy to specifically identify which shares you will sell and the cost basis of those shares?

What about timeliness of dividend payments? Does one get a respectable price when dividends are auto-reinvested for ETFs?

What about real-time updating of account transactions, values, and assets? What about pending transactions such as money transfers?

What about trade executions? Do you often get price improvement? On market orders do you never pay the spread?

confusedinvestor
Posts: 472
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:04 am

Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by confusedinvestor » Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:17 am

head wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:29 am
With respect to the Roth Conversion, I've always just called in and made the request over the phone. Takes about 5 minutes once a year.
+1

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WoodSpinner
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by WoodSpinner » Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:28 am

confusedinvestor wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:11 am
I was told by ME customer service that ME rep can do the BackDoor Roth over phone vs Manual Forms

BoA Credit Card bonus avg around 3.0-3.5% for all catagories with ME 100K, I feel it is a good value.

WoodSpinner wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:08 pm
I currently am split between Fidelity and Merrill Edge and only hold Vanguard ETFs, plus a CD.

I like the benefits of the Merrill/BofA connection, checking, credit card, safe deposit box to name a few at no cost (I hold over $100M in assets at Merrill). Only complaint I have is that it is more cumbersome to do Roth Conversions — you have to fill a form and submit a request. Fidelity allows me to manage it myself through their website.

Merrill is a solid choice!

WoodSpinner
I guess we have a different perspective. I like being able to initiate the conversion via the web and don’t like having to deal with phone calls or forms. Not a deal breaker, still have funds there but it is not as convenient for me.

My conversion approach is:
- Convert in kind, normally from my equity position
- DCA over 12 months with an option to shift if there are some RBDs and prices are lower

WoodSpinner

confusedinvestor
Posts: 472
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:04 am

Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by confusedinvestor » Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:19 pm

I agree I'd also prefer online vs calling, but, I cant find any brokerage where I'd get so much credit card bonus + brokerage bonus, given my limited assets.

WoodSpinner wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:28 am
confusedinvestor wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:11 am
I was told by ME customer service that ME rep can do the BackDoor Roth over phone vs Manual Forms

BoA Credit Card bonus avg around 3.0-3.5% for all catagories with ME 100K, I feel it is a good value.

WoodSpinner wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:08 pm
I currently am split between Fidelity and Merrill Edge and only hold Vanguard ETFs, plus a CD.

I like the benefits of the Merrill/BofA connection, checking, credit card, safe deposit box to name a few at no cost (I hold over $100M in assets at Merrill). Only complaint I have is that it is more cumbersome to do Roth Conversions — you have to fill a form and submit a request. Fidelity allows me to manage it myself through their website.

Merrill is a solid choice!

WoodSpinner
I guess we have a different perspective. I like being able to initiate the conversion via the web and don’t like having to deal with phone calls or forms. Not a deal breaker, still have funds there but it is not as convenient for me.

My conversion approach is:
- Convert in kind, normally from my equity position
- DCA over 12 months with an option to shift if there are some RBDs and prices are lower

WoodSpinner

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