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Merrill Lynch

Merrill Lynch
Overall Satisfaction Rating 3.92/5
  • 5 stars
    110
  • 4 stars
    132
  • 3 stars
    64
  • 2 stars
    21
  • 1 stars
    14
Based on 341 ratings submitted in the last year

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Merrill, formerly Merrill Lynch, is a financial advisory company that works with users to create wealth management packages for a variety of needs, including investment guidance and financial planning services. It has a wide network of associates available to help manage clients’ financial portfolios. Merrill is a subsidiary of Bank of America.

BOTTOM LINE

Merrill is a wealth management company with a global network of financial advisors. It’s an established option for anyone looking for investment guidance or in-person financial advising.

PROS
  • Comprehensive services
  • Vast network of advisors
  • Online portal
CONS
  • Some high account minimums
  • No set-fee pricing

Top Merrill Lynch Reviews We Found

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Rated with 5 stars
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Verified Reviewer

The good thing about Merrill is that I like the way they have laid out the site. Reporting is simple. They have tons of research and they have now created "stocks stories."... Like all other trading platforms, they do not charge you trading fees. They also have tons of funds to pick from.

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Rated with 5 stars
Verified Reviewer

I have been involved with Merrill Lynch for over 15 years. They have always been accessible to me; answered all my questions in a way I could understand. They are knowledgeable and gave me information that helped me make good decisions.

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What is Merrill Lynch?

Merrill is a large company offering wealth management services for individuals, businesses and other entities. It offers personalized guidance from over 14,000 advisors who help customers plan and execute their financial goals. Its services are available in every U.S. state, the District of Columbia and some U.S. territories.

Given its size, awards and substantial history, Merrill is a good option if you’re more comfortable with an established company handling your finances.

What does Merrill Lynch do?

Merrill offers a variety of financial planning and advising services. Whether you're trying to save for your retirement or invest, Merrill can help. Consider Merrill if you’re looking for:

  • Brokerage services
  • Retirement planning
  • Long-term living planning
  • Financial goal planning
  • Business planning
  • Charitable planning
  • Home planning
  • Healthcare planning
  • Leisure planning

Merrill's network of advisors can help you identify, create and execute a financial plan that fits your life and goals. To find the right advisor for you or your organization, visit Merrill's website to search for an advisor by name or location. Alternatively, the company can match you to an advisor based on your needs and information.

The Merrill advisor then leads you through the following process:

  1. Understanding your financial situation and your goals
  2. Creating an achievable strategy based on your goals
  3. Continually making adjustments and keeping you on track

Merrill offers three main programs for personalized advice and guidance: Merrill Guided Investing, Merrill Edge Self-Directed and Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. Merrill Edge Self-Directed is mainly an online investing tool, while Merrill Lynch Wealth Management is a full-service advisory program. Merrill Guided Investing offers a moderate level of advisor guidance with smaller investment minimums.

Merrill Edge Self-DirectedMerrill Guided InvestingMerrill Lynch Wealth Management
Advisor helps set goals and investment strategy
Merrill professional manages investments
Dedicated advisor team
Investment minimumNone$5,000; $20,000 with an advisorAround $250,000
PricingUnlimited $0 online stock, ETF and option trades0.45% annual program fee; 0.85% annual program fee with advisorCustomized
Merrill Edge Self-DirectedNoneUnlimited $0 online stock, ETF and option trades.
Merrill Guided Investing$5,000; $20,000 with an advisor0.45% annual program fee; 0.85% annual program fee with advisor
Merrill Lynch Wealth ManagementAround $250,000Customized

Merrill Lynch fees

Merrill’s fees and account minimums depend on the advisory program you choose and any special services you use.

Merrill Edge Self-Directed has no account minimum, and many of its trades are free. However, ETF sales are subject to a transaction fee of 1 to 3 cents per $1,000 of principal, and keep in mind that there are other costs that come with owning ETFs.

Merrill Guided Investing requires you to invest at least $5,000, but the minimum goes up to $20,000 if you want guidance from an advisor. Annual program fees vary accordingly. Accounts without an advisor pay 0.45% of assets under management, while accounts with an advisor pay 0.85% at the time of publishing.

Merrill Lynch Wealth Management has the highest investment minimum at $250,000. However, because it services such a comprehensive market and different types of investors, there is no set price on this program’s services.

Reach out to your advisor or call Merrill's customer support line for more info on its other fees.

Merrill FAQ

Where is Merrill available?
Merrill is available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and several U.S. territories.
What types of investments does Merrill work with?
Merrill works with a wide variety of investment options, including stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, options and bonds. To find out more, try calling Merrill’s customer service line.
Does Merrill have in-person services?
Yes, you can meet with your local Merrill advisor in person or online, depending on the advisory program you choose.
Are Merrill branches independently operated?
No, Merrill's advisors and staff operate each branch.

Is Merrill Lynch good

Merrill is a good company if you're looking for an established financial advisor to help create and implement a plan to meet your financial goals. Whether you're looking for guidance on investing or selling a business, Merrill can help with various levels of service and options for both in-person and online advising. However, you have to inquire with the company to find out what you qualify for and what rates you can expect.

Merrill Lynch Reviews

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How do I know I can trust these reviews about Merrill Lynch?
How do I know I can trust these reviews about Merrill Lynch?
  • 3,056,638 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
  • We require contact information to ensure our reviewers are real.
  • We use intelligent software that helps us maintain the integrity of reviews.
  • Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.

For more information about reviews on ConsumerAffairs.com please visit our FAQ.

Page 1 Reviews 0 - 10
Rated with 5 stars
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 4, 2020

The good thing about Merrill is that I like the way they have laid out the site. Reporting is simple. They have tons of research and they have now created "stocks stories" which have all the relevant information available to you to make trades. Like all other trading platforms, they do not charge you trading fees. They also have tons of funds to pick from.

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Rated with 4 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 25, 2020

Our advisor's name is Greg, We would recommend Greg to friends, He is honest, friendly and professional. Never tries to push anything on us and always has time to answer questions in a way the answers are understandable, We have dealt with other brokers, both within Merrill, and outside. Have been taken advantage of by both. We have no doubt about Greg's honesty and his concern for our success in investing. He has also, along with his wife, become a friend.

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    Rated with 4 stars
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Nov. 24, 2020

    My Bank of America Merrill Lynch advisor is readily accessible in person and on the telephone. He is friendly and helpful as regards my portfolio. He also has been in his position for some time and I am encouraged that I can keep accessing the same person.

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    Rated with 5 stars
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Nov. 23, 2020

    They seem to help people with their money and trying to help you for the future so that you can know for sure that you will be ok for your money and if you need to get guidance for what to invest and what to see the best path for your future holds.

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    Rated with 5 stars
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Nov. 22, 2020

    I have been involved with Merrill Lynch for over 15 years. They have always been accessible to me; answered all my questions in a way I could understand. They are knowledgeable and gave me information that helped me make good decisions.

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    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: March 12, 2021

    I've had a savings account, as well as a 401K account with Merrill Lynch through my employer for almost 10 years. When I got terminated I was still getting record keeping fees applied to both of my accounts every month (this went on for 5 months), and I could not do anything about it. My accounts were frozen so I was unable to merge the accounts together, or change my investments yet was still getting charged for the account. I called on several occasions seeking help with getting my accounts closed out and rollover the plans into my current employer accounts. However, every single time I called I got different answers to what the fees I would be charged for doing this.

    Initially I was told I would have to pay $25 per account to close and rollover, then I was told both accounts would be $26.50, and then I was told one account was $26.50, and the other $33.75. This was infuriating! Especially since I was already out about $20 per month, and then on top of that I was charged the closeout fees which ended up being $60. This experience has given me a bad taste in my mouth for this company. Beware of the hidden fees, and the general lack of knowledge that the employees provide you.

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    Rated with 1 star
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    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Feb. 28, 2021

    I have tried calling Merrill Lynch customer service on many separate occasions, primarily to discuss stock trades about which I want additional information regarding the timeliness of execution of those trades. I have had several experiences wherein my limit order to buy or sell hit the specified price but the trade failed to execute. Most recently, I called to inquire where my Tax Form 1099 was (as of February 26, 2020, I still had not received it). I have never registered with Merrill Edge for paperless reporting, so I was expecting my tax form to arrive in the mail by the end of February, 2020.

    Merrill Lynch (also known as "Merrill Edge" never answers their telephone. They will put you on hold forever. Try calling them, if you don't believe this. Here is their customer servicer number: 1 (888) 637-3343. Merrill Lynch does not provide any other way to contact them except by telephone, which they never answer. They don't even offer an option to request a call back. It is IMPOSSIBLE TO CONTACT THEM.

    I will be moving my brokerage account elsewhere, to a brokerage that is more responsive to the needs of their customers. AVOID MERRILL EDGE AT ALL COSTS OR YOU WILL REGRET THAT YOU DID NOT TAKE MY HONEST, WELL-INTENTIONED ADVICE! When you need help with your Merrill Lynch account, you will be LEFT HOLDING THE BAG. Before you open a Merrill Lynch brokerage account, try calling them. You'll see what I mean.

    2 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Feb. 24, 2021

    My experience has not been good w/ Merrill Lynch. They disallowed sending emails via their website in 2020, and when I called, I was put on hold for LONG periods of time. They could use a callback feature, but they don't use one. I'd try Fidelity or Schwab as an alternative.

    3 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
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    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Jan. 12, 2021

    I have a checking account with Bank of America, decided to open an investment account and wrongly thought that it is convenient to chose Merrill. I had the worst experience ever. I never could make any transaction when the market was active because the system was always overloaded. This means that I always missed to sell or buy at good price. When the system works, it misleads me by showing wrong numbers: prices are not timely updated and sometimes the cash balance is not accurate. Once based on the balance I had, I bought some shares.

    The next day I received an email states that I must sell some shares to cover an outstanding balance, I understood that the previous day the balance wasn’t correct and just sold some shares. But a Merrill service associate decided to penalize me by cancelling all the transactions I did that day and making me losing money. I tried to discuss with them but without results because they do believe in their system and could not understand it is a rubbish. They know that I cannot buy anything if I didn’t have money in my account but they could not believe that their system contains bugs and it is not accurate. So I had to sell all my shares at lost and move to Robinhood. I strongly recommend you to stay away as much as you can from their bad system and service.

    9 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
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    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Nov. 30, 2020

    ON 11/24/2020 9:30 am place a trade on Merrill Edge app, AAL short 2,000 shares at 14.31. A few minutes later I tried to place a buy to cover at 14.18 which would have resulted in a profit of 260.00. The app just spun and spun and trade was never placed. At the time I thought it was my connection. The stock price rose, I went in to place another trade short 2000 more shares at 14.31 at 9:47 am. Now I have AAL short 4000 total shares at an average of 14.43. After this trade the whole site crashed completely, what I thought was my connection turned out to be a major system crash at Merril Lynch.

    Not knowing how long this issue would take to correct I drove to work. At 11:13 am the stock was at 14.40. Unable to log in still. I proceeded to call them. At the prompts it asked for my account number, I do not have this written down in my pocket and could not log in to retrieve as I normally would. I selected the prompt to talk to someone, I was disconnected immediately, I called back 2 minutes later at 11:15 am and was disconnected again. Finally after approximately 4 hours the site finally came back up.

    On 11/25 I called to and finally was connected to someone, I explained what all had happened in detail, he stated he would open an investigation and get back to me, he went ahead and processed a buy to cover for the 4000 shares at 14.90 resulting in a loss of 1880.00, he called me back and said he could not find where I had tried to call. I told him I had it in my phone and could send proof of call, he directed me to the site and showed me where I could upload the proof, and I did. Proof sent to merrill lynch.

    -screenshot of call made at 11:13 am
    -screenshot of call made at 11:15 am
    -screenshot of my Google history showing where I was looking at the outage over 20 searches
    -screenshot from Merrill lynch showing AAL ticker was trading at 14.40 at the time of my calls

    -screenshot from CNBC showing AAL ticker was trading at 14.40 at the time of my calls

    On 11/30 the rep called me back and said the trade would stand and no assistance would be given. The reason is that the number I called 866-706-8321 was not the number to place trades. What? Where did I get the number then? It walked me through the normal prompts as always, it is the number listed as customer service. He then asked me an outrageous question, "Did you call this number as an excuse?" My answer, "Hell no because was making 120 at the time of my call." After back and forth I asked for a supervisor to reach out. Micahel ** reached out, I went back through the details again.

    Question, "Where did you find the number you called?" Answer, "Merrill lynch website I guess." "Why did you only call twice?" Answer- "How many time should I have to call?" "Why did you wait till next day to call again?" Answer, "I have a job, I called when I had time to call." Blah blah blah, "We cant help you." "So Michael we agree your website was down half the day?" His answer YES, "We agree I tried to call you?" His answer YES. "But you can not help with issue that merill caused?" His answer NO.

    So after being a Bank of America customer for over 20 years, a Platinum Honors customer, over 15 active accounts, numerous loans, multiple credit cards, all I get is rude customer service, baseless and nonsensical accusations, a trading platform that has crashed numerous time over 3 months. Bottom line this was not my issue, I did far more than i ever should have had to and I get zero assistance. Steven **, Platinum Honors Member

    21 people found this review helpful
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    Merrill Lynch Company Information

    Company Name:
    Merrill Lynch
    Year Founded:
    1914
    Address:
    250 Vesey Street
    City:
    New York
    State/Province:
    NY
    Postal Code:
    10007
    Website:
    www.ml.com