How is Merrill Edge?

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owenmia
Posts: 153
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:19 am

Re: How is Merrill Edge?

Post by owenmia » Sun Jul 28, 2019 4:15 pm

It’s pretty good.

They are very helpful, and have called me when I gave negative feedback on the bond screener.

I like the platform BUT the bond screener is somewhat glitchy and a few times I could not make a trade. A couple times it was for a legitimate reason like the bond was called but other times they could not tell me why.

I have also had two or three times where, on a busy trading day the system was DOWN.

That scared me because what if you need to trade in an emergency. Actually, it might be good because it will prevent you from panic selling. :D

anoop
Posts: 1296
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:33 am

Re: How is Merrill Edge?

Post by anoop » Sun Jul 28, 2019 4:22 pm

owenmia wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 4:15 pm
It’s pretty good.

They are very helpful, and have called me when I gave negative feedback on the bond screener.

I like the platform BUT the bond screener is somewhat glitchy and a few times I could not make a trade. A couple times it was for a legitimate reason like the bond was called but other times they could not tell me why.

I have also had two or three times where, on a busy trading day the system was DOWN.

That scared me because what if you need to trade in an emergency. Actually, it might be good because it will prevent you from panic selling. :D
Murphy's law says it will be down when you are trying to sell at the peak and need the money urgently. When you are panic selling, it will be up and running.

Topic Author
Blue456
Posts: 486
Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:46 am

Re: How is Merrill Edge?

Post by Blue456 » Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:20 am

NativeTxn wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 3:42 pm
Blue456 wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 3:22 pm
I will be mostly concerned about investing into IRAs and eventually long term retirement non IRA investments so Index Funds and Bonds.
Then you may not like Merrill Edge because they don't have any index funds I'm aware of that are NTF/no-load. I've got a couple of accounts there and some at Fidelity. I use ME for ETFs/stocks and Fidelity right now for funds.

I am going to be moving my ME IRA into my 401k later this year so I can do backdoor Roth's starting in 2020, so when I move that, I may move all but an account I use to play around with options out of ME and to Fidelity. I see the main benefit of ME being the ability to be in the preferred rewards program and once I move the IRA I won't qualify anymore. At that point I will probably move my banking relationship somewhere else and just keep the one account there to trade options (or I may move it to Fidelity for the slightly lower commission). We'll see - I have nothing against ME, but without using it to invest larger amounts to get into Preferred Rewards, I don't see a tremendous amount of value over any of the other brokerages.

Overall though, it's fine as far as a brokerage is concerned. If you use it for ETFs and stocks, have BOA accounts, and you are Platinum or Platinum Honors preferred rewards, then it's very good.
They have vanguard bond index fund. One time purchase fee of 19.99. I’m going to put my entire IRA into that and rebalance my 401k instead. Seems like easy way to avoid paying any fees and consolidate my banking and get good credit card rewards. I will very easily recoup that one time fee with increased rewards.

Bobby206
Posts: 235
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2018 4:01 pm

Re: How is Merrill Edge?

Post by Bobby206 » Thu Mar 05, 2020 11:35 am

softwaregeek wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 3:59 pm
I am in the 100k+ tier. On the surface it is fine but the little things are terrible. Low sweep rate, Monet market not available without hoops, makes you wait until account is settled on a sale before purchasing something new. And the banking part is awful. Against that is account bonus and credit card benefits.
You mention the banking part is awful. Curious what elements? I am thinking of moving some accounts to Edge and the banking side is one of the things I use.

Lastrun
Posts: 213
Joined: Wed May 03, 2017 6:46 pm

Re: How is Merrill Edge?

Post by Lastrun » Thu Mar 05, 2020 2:15 pm

I have accounts at BofA, Ally and a local bank. In terms of the banking, the website is adequate, the bill pay is adequate, the IPad app is pretty good actually, and the branch availability is great. ACH times are not as good as Ally, but in fairness to BofA, I move a lot of money through Ally and not as much in BofA, so the algo’s may be a reason for that.

So the website and ACH are not as good as Allys but the same as my local bank. Overall, I have had a good experience with BofA, but I use Ally as my hub bank. I use the BofA account to pay my BofA credit cards and hold a small amount of cash if I need it for the ATM. I also pay local work people with BofA checks as many of them like to cash their checks at a local bank :D .

Overall, of the three, BofA is a close second behind Ally. But let others chime in because BofA does not have the best of reputations.

Topic Author
Blue456
Posts: 486
Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:46 am

Re: How is Merrill Edge?

Post by Blue456 » Thu Mar 05, 2020 2:22 pm

Lastrun wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 2:15 pm
I have accounts at BofA, Ally and a local bank. In terms of the banking, the website is adequate, the bill pay is adequate, the IPad app is pretty good actually, and the branch availability is great. ACH times are not as good as Ally, but in fairness to BofA, I move a lot of money through Ally and not as much in BofA, so the algo’s may be a reason for that.

So the website and ACH are not as good as Allys but the same as my local bank. Overall, I have had a good experience with BofA, but I use Ally as my hub bank. I use the BofA account to pay my BofA credit cards and hold a small amount of cash if I need it for the ATM. I also pay local work people with BofA checks as many of them like to cash their checks at a local bank :D .

Overall, of the three, BofA is a close second behind Ally. But let others chime in because BofA does not have the best of reputations.
You pretty much summed up why I use BofA.
You do know you can Zelle money between BofA and Ally.

decapod10
Posts: 550
Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:46 pm

Re: How is Merrill Edge?

Post by decapod10 » Thu Mar 05, 2020 3:35 pm

Blue456 wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 2:22 pm
Lastrun wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 2:15 pm
I have accounts at BofA, Ally and a local bank. In terms of the banking, the website is adequate, the bill pay is adequate, the IPad app is pretty good actually, and the branch availability is great. ACH times are not as good as Ally, but in fairness to BofA, I move a lot of money through Ally and not as much in BofA, so the algo’s may be a reason for that.

So the website and ACH are not as good as Allys but the same as my local bank. Overall, I have had a good experience with BofA, but I use Ally as my hub bank. I use the BofA account to pay my BofA credit cards and hold a small amount of cash if I need it for the ATM. I also pay local work people with BofA checks as many of them like to cash their checks at a local bank :D .

Overall, of the three, BofA is a close second behind Ally. But let others chime in because BofA does not have the best of reputations.
You pretty much summed up why I use BofA.
You do know you can Zelle money between BofA and Ally.
I don't think that using Zelle to transfer money between your own accounts was an intended use of the product, so if you do, you have to really make sure there is no overlapping information between your two Zelle accounts and the bank accounts they are tied to. I tried to make a Zelle account on one bank with my email address and the other with my phone number, but because my bank account also has that information, it knows that both accounts are me and doesn't allow transfers.
Bobby206 wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 11:35 am
softwaregeek wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 3:59 pm
I am in the 100k+ tier. On the surface it is fine but the little things are terrible. Low sweep rate, Monet market not available without hoops, makes you wait until account is settled on a sale before purchasing something new. And the banking part is awful. Against that is account bonus and credit card benefits.

You mention the banking part is awful. Curious what elements? I am thinking of moving some accounts to Edge and the banking side is one of the things I use.
My experience with BofA has been fine. The way that the website handles credit card accounts is awful IMO, but the actual banking part is just like any other big bank I think. The credit card has this set up where everything is managed through the Bill Pay system. Every month, the credit card sends a eBill to the Bill Pay system, then the bank account side "pays" the bill that the credit card generated. I really don't like it. But outside of that, its fine. You can write checks, you can withdraw from ATMs. Account minimums and fees are generally not an issue if you are Platinum Honors level.

Interest rates on checking and savings accounts are inconsequential to me for my purposes at BofA. The sweep accounts and money market funds at Merrill also don't matter to me since I only have an IRA there so I don't have cash sitting around typically. But it may matter to others.

For Merrill Edge, the main thing I don't like is that doing Roth conversions requires a phone call. You can't just do it online like you can with Vanguard or other online brokers. At least I think they allow you to keep your traditional IRA open after it zero's out. Before, they would close it everytime, so I would have to reopen a new traditional IRA every year.

Lastrun
Posts: 213
Joined: Wed May 03, 2017 6:46 pm

Re: How is Merrill Edge?

Post by Lastrun » Thu Mar 05, 2020 3:41 pm

Blue456 wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 2:22 pm
You do know you can Zelle money between BofA and Ally.
I am usually moving a little more than Zelle can handle (will allow). :twisted: Both at Ally and BofA

StrangePenguin
Posts: 151
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:35 am

Re: How is Merrill Edge?

Post by StrangePenguin » Thu Mar 05, 2020 3:43 pm

decapod10 wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 3:35 pm
For Merrill Edge, the main thing I don't like is that doing Roth conversions requires a phone call. You can't just do it online like you can with Vanguard or other online brokers. At least I think they allow you to keep your traditional IRA open after it zero's out. Before, they would close it everytime, so I would have to reopen a new traditional IRA every year.
I just did Roth conversions at Fidelity and Merrill Edge (one for me, one for spouse).

Merrill Edge does not require a phone call. I was able (with some searching!!!!) to find an online form that I could fill out, "virtually sign" using DocuSign, and submit. The conversion was done 1 or 2 days later. So the process was do-able online, but it was hard to find and far from elegant.

Fidelity was very slick and smooth by comparison. A few clicks and the conversion was done immediately.

This is a pretty good microcosm of my whole experience at ME -- the user interface is a bit clunky especially compared to Fidelity. My other complaint with ME is that when I do an ACH transfer from an external bank (Chase) to Merrill Edge, I am not able to invest the money until it truly settles at ME, approximately 3 days later. At Fidelity and Vanguard I am able to use the money immediately (which I realize is before they even "have" it). (Transfers from BofA checking to ME are instantaneous.)

decapod10
Posts: 550
Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:46 pm

Re: How is Merrill Edge?

Post by decapod10 » Thu Mar 05, 2020 3:55 pm

StrangePenguin wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 3:43 pm
decapod10 wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 3:35 pm
For Merrill Edge, the main thing I don't like is that doing Roth conversions requires a phone call. You can't just do it online like you can with Vanguard or other online brokers. At least I think they allow you to keep your traditional IRA open after it zero's out. Before, they would close it everytime, so I would have to reopen a new traditional IRA every year.
I just did Roth conversions at Fidelity and Merrill Edge (one for me, one for spouse).

Merrill Edge does not require a phone call. I was able (with some searching!!!!) to find an online form that I could fill out, "virtually sign" using DocuSign, and submit. The conversion was done 1 or 2 days later. So the process was do-able online, but it was hard to find and far from elegant.

Fidelity was very slick and smooth by comparison. A few clicks and the conversion was done immediately.

This is a pretty good microcosm of my whole experience at ME -- the user interface is a bit clunky especially compared to Fidelity. My other complaint with ME is that when I do an ACH transfer from an external bank (Chase) to Merrill Edge, I am not able to invest the money until it truly settles at ME, approximately 3 days later. At Fidelity and Vanguard I am able to use the money immediately (which I realize is before they even "have" it). (Transfers from BofA checking to ME are instantaneous.)
Really? Thanks for the information. I literally asked the guy on the phone if I could do Roth conversions online, and they said no, lol. I'll have to do some hunting.

bo105954027
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2016 4:00 pm

Re: How is Merrill Edge?

Post by bo105954027 » Thu Mar 05, 2020 4:04 pm

I use BoA credit cards and have savings and checking accounts at BoA for many years. But as I keep low balance in these accounts I'm only qualified for "Gold" tier benefits and rewards. Besides I have 100k CDs in another bank saved for a home down in 1-3 years. Now I'm thinking of transferring these CDs to ME to reach BoA's "Platinum Honors" tier rewards. So is there CDs or similar low risk, ~2% interest rate, high liquidity investment options in ME?
Time in market beats timing the market.

Lastrun
Posts: 213
Joined: Wed May 03, 2017 6:46 pm

Re: How is Merrill Edge?

Post by Lastrun » Thu Mar 05, 2020 4:23 pm

Short answer is no. Also note that with the recent rate cuts the MM rates and short-term bond funds like BIL, SHV, and ICSH, that most use at BofA/ME will be heading south as well.

Below are the money market options and if you google around there are lots of threads on this on BH.

Here is the ME rate sheet:

https://olui2.fs.ml.com/Publish/Content ... eSheet.pdf

Here is a link to a BH ME cash thread:

viewtopic.php?t=281102

Topic Author
Blue456
Posts: 486
Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:46 am

Re: How is Merrill Edge?

Post by Blue456 » Thu Mar 05, 2020 4:39 pm

decapod10 wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 3:35 pm
I don't think that using Zelle to transfer money between your own accounts was an intended use of the product, so if you do, you have to really make sure there is no overlapping information between your two Zelle accounts and the bank accounts they are tied to. I tried to make a Zelle account on one bank with my email address and the other with my phone number, but because my bank account also has that information, it knows that both accounts are me and doesn't allow transfers.
It may not be intended use but it certainly is allowed. I can transfer money between 3 bank accounts with 2 different emails and 1 phone number. The way to get it done is to make sure that your bank’s Zelle is set up with only email or only phone number but not both.

decapod10
Posts: 550
Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:46 pm

Re: How is Merrill Edge?

Post by decapod10 » Thu Mar 05, 2020 4:49 pm

Blue456 wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 4:39 pm
decapod10 wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 3:35 pm
I don't think that using Zelle to transfer money between your own accounts was an intended use of the product, so if you do, you have to really make sure there is no overlapping information between your two Zelle accounts and the bank accounts they are tied to. I tried to make a Zelle account on one bank with my email address and the other with my phone number, but because my bank account also has that information, it knows that both accounts are me and doesn't allow transfers.
It may not be intended use but it certainly is allowed. I can transfer money between 3 bank accounts with 2 different emails and 1 phone number. The way to get it done is to make sure that your bank’s Zelle is set up with only email or only phone number but not both.
I know it works if you set it up correctly, as I've seen others mention they do it, as long as there is no overlap between your contact information at the banks, at least for Ally and BofA specifically. My Ally Zelle is tied to my e-mail address, and my BofA to my phone number. If I try to put in my phone number in Ally Zelle to transfer to BofA, it says "The mobile number you entered is already in our system" because my Ally bank account also has my phone number. I would need to either change my phone number on my Ally account, or change my e-mail address on my BofA account, which is certainly possible to do, but it's not really worth the effort for me.

Edit: My main purpose of mentioning this is so that people who want to use Zelle to transfer between their banks should make sure to choose your contact information carefully if this is something you want to do.

azianbob
Posts: 264
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:53 pm

Re: How is Merrill Edge?

Post by azianbob » Thu Mar 05, 2020 6:02 pm

I have had no issues with Merrill. Like others have said, its a nice connection with Bofa, and the platinum honors credit card rewards are nice.

I have no issues doing the backdoor online, you can just open a traditional IRA (can be done online in a few minutes) transfer cash from your checking to ME (takes a minute) then contribute to it on an after tax basis. Then you convert the full account into your existing Roth IRA (once again all online). You then wait like 4 days from when you submit the request and boom it ends up in the Roth. Once it's settled in the Roth you can buy stuff with it.

It used to be only free trades for preferred members but now I think anyone can have commission free trades.

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