Merrill Edge Feedback

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Jmh04j
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Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by Jmh04j »

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 »

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 »

Great, thanks
neilpilot
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by neilpilot »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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.
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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by Earl Lemongrab »

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.
Topic Author
Jmh04j
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by Jmh04j »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by confusedinvestor »

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
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by confusedinvestor »

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 »

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
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by confusedinvestor »

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
Gadget
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by Gadget »

Has anyone else had trouble linking an external bank account for transfers? I've tried 2 and neither works. It just gives an error and says try again later. I've tried for 3-5 days.
jimmyg
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by jimmyg »

Gadget wrote: Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:49 pm Has anyone else had trouble linking an external bank account for transfers? I've tried 2 and neither works. It just gives an error and says try again later. I've tried for 3-5 days.
I experienced the same thing and had to enroll in the Merrill Edge Funds Transfer Service in order to link to my Merrill Edge account to my bank. They had a form that I filled out and submitted online.
owenmia
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by owenmia »

If you are buying individual bonds it is less than ideal. The bond screener is cumbersome and does not contain enough criteria to do effective screening. Schwab’s screeners are light years better.

I have noticed the entire system was down two or three times
,and it was when the market was dropping fast.

I also don’t trust the etf screener, it feels proprietary. It did not easily show the lowest cost etfs for the category I was looking for.
owenmia
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by owenmia »

jimmyg wrote: Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:54 pm
Gadget wrote: Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:49 pm Has anyone else had trouble linking an external bank account for transfers? I've tried 2 and neither works. It just gives an error and says try again later. I've tried for 3-5 days.
I experienced the same thing and had to enroll in the Merrill Edge Funds Transfer Service in order to link to my Merrill Edge account to my bank. They had a form that I filled out and submitted online.
I was able to do that no problem.
owenmia
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by owenmia »

If the only issue for you is the commission, I would not be too concerned if you are in index funds and it is on $7 per trade.
ma21n2
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by ma21n2 »

Has anyone initiated from Merrill Edge website an ACH transfer from an external checking account (i.e., not B of A) directly into Merrill Edge CMA account? I’m wondering if Merrill Edge makes the funds available for trade immediately or not.

For example, on my payday, I can go to vanguard.com and place an order to buy $1000 of Vanguard settlement fund, and then buy $1000 worth of ETFs the same day. I’m wondering if I can do the same with Merrill Edge, or if I need to wait for ACH transfer to complete before I can buy ETFs.
JimmyJammy
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by JimmyJammy »

I've used Merrill Edge for a few years. No commissions on any stock or ETF trades.

For options, you do pay commission. No Robinhood has an advantage there. But Robinhood has other problems.
student
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by student »

ma21n2 wrote: Sun Jun 21, 2020 10:42 am Has anyone initiated from Merrill Edge website an ACH transfer from an external checking account (i.e., not B of A) directly into Merrill Edge CMA account? I’m wondering if Merrill Edge makes the funds available for trade immediately or not.

For example, on my payday, I can go to vanguard.com and place an order to buy $1000 of Vanguard settlement fund, and then buy $1000 worth of ETFs the same day. I’m wondering if I can do the same with Merrill Edge, or if I need to wait for ACH transfer to complete before I can buy ETFs.
No. They do not. You have to wait for the ACH to complete. Fidelity allows it.
deltaneutral83
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by deltaneutral83 »

Has anyone been able to use the backdoor Roth by making a non deductible contribution to a traditional IRA and then converting to a Roth online. I can't figure out how to do it online with ME?
hoffse
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by hoffse »

Personally, I really dislike ME, but I hold my nose and keep $100k there for the cc perks.

I had a situation with them several months ago where it looked like somebody was linking my Fidelity cash account to a brokerage account at ME. It was an external ME account that appeared on my Fidelity account, and neither I nor my husband had initiated it. It took 10 days, 4 phone calls where I had to wait more than 30 min on hold each time, and finally a scathing customer service survey in order for somebody at Merrill to actually look into it enough to tell me what happened. They kept blaming Fidelity, when the issue was clearly on their end (which they finally admitted). The review I left was so negative that a member of their leadership team actually called me to apologize.

This was after several negative encounters just getting the account set up and linked to BoA. I called before initiating the asset transfer and the rep told me he understood why I was emotional about transferring $100k because it probably seemed like a lot of money to me.... I was just calling to make sure I clicked the right buttons as I was new to their platform. I wasn’t emotional at all, but it was a super patronizing conversation and left a bad taste in my mouth.

Contrast this to setting up a new account at Schwab, which I did at the same time... I also had an issue with linking my Schwab account to an external account, but a 5 min phone call fixed it and the rep even gave me $100 “for my trouble.” It was no big deal at all, but Schwab was super fast to fix it and really nice.

ME also doesn’t offer fractional shares of ETFs like you can get at fidelity and Schwab.

Anyway, once their cc rewards are nerfed I am moving everything back to fidelity or Schwab. I am over the long wait times, janky app, and terrible customer service.
Gadget
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by Gadget »

deltaneutral83 wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 8:25 am Has anyone been able to use the backdoor Roth by making a non deductible contribution to a traditional IRA and then converting to a Roth online. I can't figure out how to do it online with ME?
I don't know the current answer, but a year or two ago when I was looking into transferring funds to Merrill Edge for the credit card perks, someone said you couldn't do a backdoor roth conversion online. You had to actually call someone. So I transferred taxable account money instead of Roth money.

At both Vanguard and Fidelity, the backdoor roth process can be fully online. I like most everything about Fidelity and Vanguard better than Merrill, except for the awesome credit card reward perks for platinum honors. If they get rid of those, all my Merrill money is going to be transferred out.
daw007
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by daw007 »

My experience so far isn’t impressive. Trying to open an account and made a mistake with a birthdate. Instead of letting me correct it, they’ve asked me to submit a number of forms like utility bills, etc to prove identity. They offered bank statements too so I submitted those since it was faster.

Then someone else calls me and tell me those can’t be used and I have to provide different documentation....
humblecoder
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Re: Merrill Edge Feedback

Post by humblecoder »

Gadget wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 2:12 pm
deltaneutral83 wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 8:25 am Has anyone been able to use the backdoor Roth by making a non deductible contribution to a traditional IRA and then converting to a Roth online. I can't figure out how to do it online with ME?
I don't know the current answer, but a year or two ago when I was looking into transferring funds to Merrill Edge for the credit card perks, someone said you couldn't do a backdoor roth conversion online. You had to actually call someone. So I transferred taxable account money instead of Roth money.

At both Vanguard and Fidelity, the backdoor roth process can be fully online. I like most everything about Fidelity and Vanguard better than Merrill, except for the awesome credit card reward perks for platinum honors. If they get rid of those, all my Merrill money is going to be transferred out.
I did a Backdoor Roth through Merrill last year (2020). I was able to do it completely online, but the process was a little weird. You had to complete a Roth conversion fillable PDF form and e-sign it. Once submitted electronically, they processed the Roth conversion within 1-2 days as I recall. I would have preferred it to be done immediately, but I did NOT have to call someone.
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