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My mother's Financial estate was with Merrill-Lynch. The snake oil salesman broker talk to me into staying with them and opening a managed IRA account. Three months later I was out $17,000 in lost money from their bad Investments, and exorbitant fees. This was in Spring of 2018 when the market was doing very well. The Fidelity portfolio that I manage myself with absolutely no Financial background just common sense earned about 16% in the same time period. I am SICK about this experience.
Despite being a customer of Bank of America (who owns them) for many years and keeping their large sums, for a very long time, was called a fraud, basically, when tried to open account with ML. Also, they requested impossible/ridiculous documents (utility bills: I happen to have none) to "verify my address", while they have all kind of info on me through BofA (their parent company), and this happens to be my BofA address on file.
They didn't even contact me: I had to. I was insulted, spoken rudely to, clearly because I was born outside the States, even though I'm a US citizen for a long time. The level of people I spoke to was... very low and unpleasant. I'm shocked at hatred I faced and I'm taking all my money out of Bank of America. Multiple big brokerages had opened an account for me in one business day with no issues this week, instead. The only reason I was interested in this horrendous Merril-Lynch broker is free trades because of BofA account, but now I'll be taking these funds out of their whole system: bye, bye. I'm glad this happened: reading other reviews here, I imagine the problems I could have faced. Will give no business to these organization, or any affiliate. Let's how "too big to fail" they're next time (and it's coming)!
Requested a hardship withdrawal on 12/1/18 (it was a Saturday and started the process). Had to also fax the documents as well... They claim it takes 48 hours for them to receive a fax... The check was supposed to be sent via UPS on 12/18/18 and it was sent US Mail. After talking with a supervisor I said I would wait for the mail and he said I would have the check 12/21/18. Guess what??? It has not arrived yet... Plus they charged me the $45 hardship fee twice. They won't send hardships via direct deposit as the previous company Mercer did. Unreal!
My father passed away in November 2018, he had several investments in this company and started the paperwork to take out his money for his funeral expenses since June 2018 so my mother would not have any issue along the line, never-heard from anyone so I stepped in and made several calls and still kept getting the run around, they would say you need to sign some paperwork. Got that taken care. Called back again and said it was pending? Then attempted to call again on the status and said We need to call the trade team in order to give them permission to liquidate. Called them and they said they showed nothing on file ever being processed.
It is such a headache to get the money back that you worked hard for and had faith in this company to help you down the line for expenses that you thought you would have taken care of and not put the burden on any of the family members or my poor mother. I have come to a conclusion that they do not want you to withdraw the money and keep it invested in their company which will never happen. That is my father's money and it’s not to give away. The phone calls will continue with this company.
My mom had a lot of stocks, CDs, money, etc. with Merrill-Lynch for many years. When she passed, my sister and I inherited them. Her longtime adviser became our good friend. I took the test to see if I was high risk or very low risk. Low risk was my choice. The stocks she had me in did absolutely nothing! I lost money, portfolio was not even balanced out for my risk assessment. I moved to another financial company and Merrill-Lynch took almost a week to transfer all my stuff, they also rejected my disability check after they said they'd deposit it in my account! It was plain evil on their part and the adviser Cheryl **. I had NO money to pay my bills, buy food and I had to call all my creditors, VA disability center about my check and go into my change jar to get $5 so I could open up a credit union account.
I tried to warn my sister, but she remained friends with this terrible person. Just yesterday I get a call from my sister and she tells me, "Cheryl ** screwed me too." Put her in very risky stocks. In the RED!! My sister had no idea. As her financial adviser she should be watching those stocks, balance them out, inform the client, listen to the client when they say, "I'm a low risk investor." Cheryl ** NEVER did. Put my sister's portfolio on the bottom of her stack. Now she's trying to say, like she did with me, "The client was doing their own buying and selling." **!! My sister could have lost everything and now she has to sell off certain high risk stock to balance her portfolio out. It'll cost her $10,000! She's retired and on a fixed income. Dishonest, liars, will ignore you unless you have a BIG investment. Merrill-Lynch will rob you blind.
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I opened my account with them, and after a month of it being in review they without any reason closed my account. Causing me to lost my disability check that I desperately need. I will never in my life have anything to do with them again. They have no right to close someone's account without notice or reason. Whatever you do, do NOT GO WITH THIS COMPANY. THEY SUCK!
I also had Platinum status at BOA, so free trades with Merill. Out of the blue, they tell me move my IRA or they will liquidate it and send me the check in 30 days. No reason given at all. Luckily, I had an account at a competitor. They are total jerks, will never recommend or do business with them again. Funny thing they still send tons of junk mail and spam asking me to open account.
I am a platinum honors client of BOA/Merrill. I maintain a 6 figure balance between my checking and savings, and I had roughly 35k in investments with Merrill Edge. Out of the blue, I received a notice that my 2 accounts were being terminated. I called to ask why and no explanation could be given. The "investment specialist" said there aren't any notes as to why, and it just appears that they don't want to do business with me anymore. He apologized, but nobody could give me an answer. I just can't believe they would treat a customer that way to just terminate his accounts? My options are to liquidate, or pay $49.50 to transfer to a different institution. Unbelievable...
My mother placed stock orders on 10/21 to be filled 10/22. Discovered orders were “missing” late 10/22 & was told they’d had a “computer glitch’” and if she wanted those trades she’d need to place them again. Market had gone down so she decided NOT to replace most of them but did place 4 new trades for 10/23. The “new” trades went through & all seemed well. Late on evening of 10/24 she discovered 8 ADDITIONAL TRADES in her account that’d been back-dated to 10/22 (all of these trades were the ‘missing” trades from “glitch” but now the stocks had gone down even further and she was out approximately $10K++). She spoke with people on 10/22, early and later 10/24 and 10/26.
She also spoke to Manager on 10/29...bottom line: They will NOT REVERSE the 8 trades from computer glitch that didn’t show up in her account until 36 hours later...and caused her to place duplicate trades in some cases...because “they show only 1 or 2 trades were actually affected by computer glitch”. This is simply NOT TRUE and she now owns stock she doesn’t want and at significant losses (losses would be substantially more if she sells). They have “conveniently” lost the original phone call from 10/22 wherein she was told none of the orders would be placed. They are unethical and dishonest and, insult to injury, somewhat condescending. She tried working with them calmly all last week and finally got frustrated yesterday and tried to be more tenacious. They won’t let her hear the phone calls (even though she’s the person on the calls) and, unless she spends more money in legal fees, it appears she has no further recourse.
DON’T OPEN ANY ACCT WITH MERRILL-LYNCH. Her broker left them because of what she perceived to be unethical behavior (my mom’s words). Mom left her self directed IRA/ROTH with them assuming they’d be fine since she was the only one making trades in the accounts - so what bad thing could happen? Yes, in hindsight, it was foolish!! You will not get service from them if they mess up and they will not take any responsibility for errors they make. She has stage 4 cancer and this money is all she has; she can’t work due to side effects of treatments and a loss of this magnitude is DEVASTATING. There’s much more to the story but I hope this summary is enough to help people be safe and STAY AWAY FROM MERRILL-LYNCH!!!
Our money was supposed to be invested. We were told the money was invested. We never received statements and tried to follow up and were pushed back that things take time. Months later, we received a statement that showed that not only had our money been sitting in cash for months, but we were being charged a fee for them to hold it in cash. Now we want to transfer the money and they do not want us to. They are not willing to invest it, which makes no sense to me at all. They just transfer us around and we always end up speaking to someone who says they are not the person we are supposed to talk to. I just want to transfer the money away from them. We are about 50 yrs old and never ever had this trouble with Fidelity in the 25 years we have used Fidelity.
This is a very honest review. I am using Merrill Edge for 1 year now as my primary broker for stocks primarily. The commission of this broker is at $6.95 per trade. The reason I am still with them is that I get 100 free trades per month thru their reward program (besides the free trades, everything else is a disaster). They been around for years, I am sure more than most of other competitors. Their trading platform (Marketpro) sucks big time. Very based web-based. All active traders should stay away from this disaster 100 miles away.
They have something called "Safepass", pretty much prior to entering a trade you have to get a code in your phone as SMS to verify the trade. You will definitely not going to get the entry you desire in a trade. There is no "HotKeys" to place orders. Everything has to go thru a manual entry with a verification step which takes few seconds to place any type of order. They don't have a good stock scanner tool. They brag about their research, yet they don't provide a premarket or aftermarket gappers list. Anyway, I am about to say goodbye to 100 free trades due to all other problems that come with those free trades. The 1 star is due to its free trades. Other than that it's a "ZERO".
Once again I am on hold waiting anyone to answer. They received and held funds from my disability checks without authorization, and now I cannot reach anyone for a disbursement of the funds. Just today I have been on hold well over an hour, and their website states disbursements cannot be done online. You can get account information online (as the recording has stated 100 times now) but can’t do anything with the information you find. I didn’t think anyone could do a poorer job than FI, ML proves otherwise. It’s frightening to learn that you really have no control over your own money, isn’t it!?
Since the passing of my mother-in-law last summer, Merrill Lynch has used every trick in the book over the past 6 months to keep my husband from his rightful inheritance. Stonewalling, sending us on all sorts of crazy wild goose chases, and the latest, "requiring" an IRS document for transfer of funds that the IRS has notified us that we do not require. They have $230,000 of our money, and reading the reviews on this site, I know that our experience is not unique. I always try to think the best of people, but it has become transparent that ML employees seem trained finds ways to keep beneficiaries from their inheritance, exploiting the pain, grief, and embarrassment tangled up in the process of having to "gravel" for a deceased family member's money. They are counting on us feeling this way!
They have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Financial Investors have no fiduciary responsibility to their investors, meaning they cannot be held criminally liable for not having our best interests at heart. So what do they do? They same thing over and over to seemingly countless families, sit on our money long enough to earn fees for themselves until they are finally worn down and the fight is no longer worth it to them or threatened with legal action. Therein lies the problem. Once there is a lawsuit or once they finally hand over the money, there is literally nothing that can be done to punish them.
For six months, we've been waiting for a small partial payout (about $7000 times three people). These guys promise date after date, inching along by two days, then a week, then another two days, over and over. I guess they figure that if the payout is just around the corner, they won't get sued for no performance. However, each time the day arrives, they simply say they're not distributing the money, don't need to explain. We even took them to court here in Florida, they just gave them an extension, the date and time came and they did the same to him. No payment, no reason.
If pushed, they sometimes come up with some sort of undisclosed internal processing procedure that they claim to have just magically just "found" (Obviously, I believe that they generate this stuff when they need it.). For those of us who have relied on their word, we're losing everything, cannot pay for medical bills and more, but ML really doesn't care one bit. They keep holding on to customer’s money and are packaging and investing it to earn millions, just like they caused the 2009 depression. These guys believe they're above the law, and they obviously are. Don't invest money with them.
Just wanted to post two annuities were placed within the IRA. Each annuity had its own fees in addition to the wealth manager's agreed upon monthly fee for the total IRA account. Ouch. Check those paper statements. Figured out the cost to have such a product did not make sense. There is an agreed upon timeframe for each annuity before you can dump it. There is a dollar penalty if you ask your wealth manager to dump a product before whatever date has been set on yours. Overall, the wealth manager does not want to dump an annuity within your account because of the commission they are making. Also, if you have one be sure to ask if it is transferable to spouse in the event of your death. Many are not. They are complicated and expensive. Requested advisor to get rid of annuities. He did it; he was not happy. I sure was!
Asked Merrill-Lynch to transfer 401k to a Fidelity IRA, and they only transferred part of the total. When called them back to ask what is going on, they now said had to fill out a form to transfer the rest and it would take 90 days to get the money! Sent form by mail and after 90 days - NO MONEY! Called them and was advised they didn't get the form and will have resubmit form to get the money and wait another 90 days! This firm should have been put out of business instead of being bought by Bank of America. They are the biggest fraudster on Wall Street. BUYER BEWARE!!
Terrible performance on managing over 1 million dollars. Then we I decided to move the funds from Merrill-Lynch to another investment service, Merrill-Lynch starting a stonewalling and slow work in actually transferring the funds. Got several calls from people I didn't even know asking about the transfer. One lady named Morgan actually said she would hold the printing of a check and wire the funds and she would wait for our wiring instructions. Got wiring instructions but when I contacted them back it was after 430 PM and they were closed. Called this morning August 28th and no one knew a thing and this person Morgan wasn't in today. As of now, I don't know where my money is.
If you or a loved one, use Glenn **, make sure and double check your paperwork, especially when it comes to transfer on death. One day, you will find out his assistant, Klair, mishandled the paperwork, filled out the paperwork wrong while Glenn was on vacation. Their manager will call you and admit a mistake was made, but will explain there is nothing they can do. The more you look into the financial advice that was given over the years to your family member, the more questions you start to generate. Thank you Glenn for your incompetence, you made a blatant $600,000 mistake and do not even have the honor to apologize, you have your manager clean up your mess.
Merrill Lynch has devolved into an incompetent bureaucratic organization that is unresponsive to customer needs. An attempt to close an account required numerous emails, phone calls, and requests from ML for paperwork that had been previously sent. When ML originally divided the account, they made a calculation error and left $42 in the account and did not close it. When the paperwork was finally complete, I was told that a $75 fee would be charged to close the account!!! Never ever choose this organization if you value your time or your money.
I moved my account from Sharebuilder as they were closing, by the way never had an issue with that broker to Merrill Edge. I joined because of the Bank of America Preferred Rewards which are nice. Read lots of reviews good and bad. I figured any major bank going to have some issues but it seems to be one after the other. They messed up my transfer that I had put in months before as I knew I was deploying and took weeks of calling every day for hours right up to the day before I was deploying for military duty to get fixed. Luckily I got one representative who understood and worked the issue to the end which was nice after going through 5 different ones before who did nothing but repeat same thing over and over. That was the start of issues. Now I can't reinvest dividends from certain companies which raises my taxes when paid as cash which is unacceptable and each representative gives same excuse with no real answer or fix.
There is no real way to submit a complaint or issue except to talk to a representative instead of sending a form or email or call to a complaint center which tells you they don't seem to care or hope it will get lost in the mess of representatives and hope you forget at that point. They have changed their low priced security policy which makes it even harder to buy the stocks you want. I will continue to try out the free trades which is the only positives of the preferred rewards program and hope things get better. If not I will transfer to a better broker and pay slightly higher fees for trades but get better use of my assets with less hassle. If you are thinking about joining I recommend going somewhere else. I miss ShareBuilder and starting to question if I should have let it go to E-Trade. The only benefit is the preferred rewards program but I am starting to question if it is worth it.
I started with Merrill-Lynch through an employer, but now that I have switched jobs, I wanted to rollover my 401k funds into account set up by my new employers. Should be easy right? In fact, I have rolled over my 401k 2 times prior. But Merrill-Lynch says my husband needs to fill out a Spousal Consent From for me to simply roll over my funds! Keep in mind, this is not withdrawing the funds, simply placing the funds into a different account. My husband and I were both confused by this so we looked into it, and its total BS!! Then I hear from a Tax Attorney that Merrill-Lynch is known for stunts like this. So if they do not allow me to roll over my account, I will be filing charges against them and screaming to everyone, everywhere about this!!
Merrill-Lynch gives you a hard time if you want to a hardship withdrawal from your 401k. It's my money and I should be able to withdraw it without being hassled by Merrill-Lynch. ML gets $45 every time they do a transaction, whether they approve your hardship withdrawal or not. Then they will not make a decision on your withdrawal until 10 business days after the necessary paperwork was received. After the application is approved, they make you wait another 4 days before they will release the funds and send the check to you. So you have to wait 14 days before they release the money plus however long it takes the post office to deliver your check. By this time, you have waited approximately 3 weeks for your money to be delivered to you. I asked a Merrill-Lynch rep why did the process take so long. Her reply was so that people can find another source to get money from instead of getting it from their 401k account.
I am on H1B and a customer with Bank Of America for 4+ years. Based on my credits and balances the banks suggested me giving an offer to open investment account with Merrill Edge. Someone from Merrill Edge called me directed me to open the account. He didn't say that only US citizens and Permanent residents can open a account. After all the forms filled, at last he said to me that people in H1B open an account. I have never seen such restrictions with any other stock-brokers. I then moved my money to Fidelity/E-trade/Robinhood and started using trading without any problem. I suggest Merrill Edge to remove this junk rule. Anybody who has an SSN/ITIN with a valid working permit. Alas, you lost a stock trader. :)
Soon after Bank of America took over Merrill-Lynch, our agent stop calling us with regular updates. We rarely got him when we tried to contact them. At one point, our account had a lot of Apple stock during the run to 700. We called and requested that he put some trailing stop to protect us should the stock drop. The stock was in the mid 600s at that time. We were assured that it would be taken care of. When Apple's stock dropped to the mid 300s weeks later, we were relieved that we had requested that. We came to find out that the agent never did and the portfolio dropped in value significantly, causing calls on orders and loans, which required the sale of existing stocks to cover. The portfolio was devastated and is worthless today. Their incompetence cost us an over $1,000,000 portfolio and we are still trying to get reparations in court.
However, since they require that you agree to arbitration rather than a jury trial, the advantage is theirs. Additionally, despite the fact that they routinely record telephone conversations, they do not have recording for ours. So, we are struggling to find a lawyer willing to try to fight a he said/she said with a corporation. We won't give up, but it is costly and money is tight. The irony isn't lost on me that we can't afford to get justice for the money they lost us because we don't have the money to pay for it because they lost it. I doubt that this will accomplish anything but if it saves one person from the greed and incompetence of Merrill-Lynch, then I will feel successful.
When I talked to someone who worked at the Merrill-Lynch department of BoA, I was told that my (financial) interests would be put first. When I had my taxes done, my tax attorney understood more than I understood that was on the Merrill-Lynch tax statement. From what my attorney said to me, I get the impression the guy who did the trading, had more of an interest in himself (his income at my expense), than MY income! With the (high) commission Merrill-Lynch makes, the (HUGE) cost of trades, and my taxes from my Merrill-Lynch investments, I probably LOST money, last year!
I am sort of forced to have Merrill-Lynch be the custodian of my 401K, it not my choice. I was trying to get funds for my daughter's tuition, she ran out of funds and got a letter from her financial aid office. It was VERY detailed, it included the information about what semester the tuition was for, what payments were missed, who was CC'd, my daughter student ID, their name, number position, everything BUT they didn't date it at the top. They said they needed a date on it from the last 60 days to show it was for the current semester. What part of having spring 2018 semester, the missed payment dates, and when they needed to be paid by was so ambiguous?
They simply wanted to deny it because every time you apply whether the loan is approved or not they get $45. So I had to go back to student accounting ask that they add the date, RE-APPLY and now I'm delayed further and I get to pay ANOTHER $45. They simply are money hungry crooks, what would expect from a bank that was fined and fined repeatedly for errors during the mortgage crisis, Bank of America will never learn.
Wednesday Feb. 17, 2016 C invited his firm to his house. He needed the whole firm present for a business transaction to take place. Neal ** (Tuke), Casey **, Scott **, and Lori **. C communicated to Tuke about his house. Tuke repeated to C he wanted to pay his mortgage off, C replied yes. Tuke offered to C if he wanted to cash out his investment insurance accounts to satisfy his debt. C replied yes.
Tuke then reassured C he would take care of his transaction. Feb 19, 216 Tuke came back to the residence to visit, he was waiting to see C as others were visiting also. C passed away from M.S. on Feb, 21, 2016. I spoke with Tuke a week after C death and he never honored C transaction, because he stated he needed a document signed??? Complete NEGLIGENCE. Has zero excuses, Tuke was in the house 2x in that week. I witness 5.5 years of active activity at this house with this firm. C was paralyzed from the neck down from M.S. Every transaction was made verbal!!
I had a duplicate transaction that was paid to one of the government websites. I called Bank of America twice to remove the duplicate payment but they advised me to send a fax to Merrill-Lynch ACH services. I waited 2 weeks with no response then I called the bank twice to check what happened but they advised me to call again and wait for extra week. Then I received a rejection letter that has nothing to read in it. No one took the time or bothered to ask more info or go and check my account to see that there is an actual duplicate transactions that was made in the same day and time. I called the bank again and after the guy talking for half an hour with Merrill-Lynch he told me that it was rejected because the transaction was approved by me and they cannot ask for refund for the duplicate payment because case was CLOSED.
There is a LACK of communication between Bank of America and Merrill-Lynch as if they called to check my account. They would see that I actually have 2 payment and needed to refund one of them but looks like drinking coffee and chatting with each other is what they were paid to do so why bother and do your job that you were paid for? And something else usually BOF sends me an email to express my feedback about any call I make but this specific time I have not received any email to write what happened so what do you call that? Very disappointed at BOA and Merrill-Lynch and too bad I am their customer since 12 years. It's time to find better bank that solve their customers' problem and respect them.
Merrill after giving me false information refused to bust a bond trade. They actually called the police on me, then suggested I was dumb and that I should turn my money over to them for their managed account. This is outrageous. The worst service ever? Crooks, rude, cruel. I had a $365,000 account. Please for God sake go with other brokerages.
My mother passed in September of 2016. The benefits department stated that they would contact us if there were any assets that we needed to deal with. Never got a contact but when I was doing taxes found a HSA controlled by them. I contacted Merrill Lynch and they stated that it would take up to 8 weeks to receive the paperwork. It was not received. When requested a second time it was sent to a wrong address. Once it was filled out they decided there was an error but the letter was sent to the wrong address again, so now that the estate has been settled they require that it is reopened to resolve their incompetence. Will never deal with them again, totally incompetent.
Merrill Lynch expert review by Barbara Friedberg
Merrill Lynch is owned by Bank of America, one of the world’s leading financial institutions. The company serves approximately 47 million consumers and small businesses and has 4,700 retail financial centers.
Services: As a part of the Bank of America family, Merrill Lynch offers an unparalleled menu of financial services. Their offerings include banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. Merrill Lynch has offices and representatives across the world and is accessible in the U.S. and globally.
Products: The company has a unique approach to serving their clients. The website answers the “products” question by first asking consumers to outline what they are looking for, i.e. “I want ongoing financial advice and guidance designed to help me meet my goals,” or “I need to budget for steady income in retirement.” Their client fact sheet outlines a variety of investment strategy approaches. Merrill Lynch has access to all types of financial products through their large network.
Educational and client resources: Their “Research and Insights” portal provides cutting edge investing commentary by professional analysts and financial journalists. The individual advisors guide investors through all of the financial questions.
Best for: The newly wealthy, those experiencing family and/or household changes, consumers looking for a financial advisor to guide them through their life planning money goals, the financially unsavvy and business owners.
Merrill-Lynch Company Information
- Company Name:
- Merrill Lynch
- Year Founded:
- 250 Vesey Street
- New York
- Postal Code:
- (800) 637-7455