Our promise. We provide a buying advantage with verified reviews and unbiased editorial research.
About Merrill Reviews
This profile has not been claimed by the company. See reviews below to learn more or submit your own review.
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.
Pros & Cons
- Comprehensive services
- Vast network of advisors
- Online portal
- Some high account minimums
- No set-fee pricing
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.
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."... Lik...Read full review
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 an...Read full review
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:
- Understanding your financial situation and your goals
- Creating an achievable strategy based on your goals
- 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-Directed||Merrill Guided Investing||Merrill Lynch Wealth Management|
|Advisor helps set goals and investment strategy|
|Merrill professional manages investments|
|Dedicated advisor team|
|Investment minimum||None||$5,000; $20,000 with an advisor||Around $250,000|
|Pricing||Unlimited $0 online stock and option trades||0.45% annual program fee; 0.85% annual program fee with advisor||Customized|
|Merrill Edge Self-Directed||None||Unlimited $0 online stock and option trades|
|Merrill Guided Investing||$5,000; $20,000 with an advisor||0.45% annual program fee; 0.85% annual program fee with advisor|
|Merrill Lynch Wealth Management||Around $250,000||Customized|
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.
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.
ConsumerAffairs has collected 371 reviews and 367 ratings.
A link has directed you to this review. Its location on this page may change next time you visit.
- 4,313,342 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.
Reviewed Aug. 11, 2023
I had worked with other institutions after my Brother's death, as the estate administrator. Others had well defined processes and systems and communicated clearly what was needed. I was able to submit forms and documents securely electronically. People I spoke to were Knowledgeable and confident. This was not the case at Merrill. They filter your calls through a call center that can only enter your questions into their system and read from their system, very little understanding of the process. Merrill does not let you speak to the people who have the knowledge.
I had to work with Merrill regarding a non-IRA account, HSA account, and a 401K account. All acted as three separate companies with different documentation requirements. None of the areas reached out to me. I had to call weekly to find out what was needed. Merrill must have bought out other companies or something. It is a dysfunctional organization and does not compare on process or technical capabilities to other institutions I had to work with. Very slow moving and inefficient.
Reviewed June 21, 2023
The girl on the phone had me answer at least 8 - 10 questions to verify me. All I wanted was my account balance.... She was nice, polite, young lady but Merrill Lynch sucks. I am 67 years old. I will close my account...
Thanks for subscribing.
You have successfully subscribed to our newsletter! Enjoy reading our tips and recommendations.
Reviewed June 20, 2023
I was forced into Merrill Lynch through a employer bankruptcy. They turned my 401K into an IRA. Now I am a senior and I want to go in a different direction with my investments. It's 3 months and I can't get my money.
Reviewed June 18, 2023
Merrill Lynch was once a very good brokerage for self directed investors. Unfortunately, over the past several years, customer service has become dreadful. Can't get through on the phone, no communication about special events in the account(s), very late 1099's at year end. I finally had enough and pulled every dime after 20 years with them. I moved both personal and IRA accounts to another brokerage where the service is good and the investment options are very good as is research reports and other things individual self directed investors are interested in having access too. Merrill is one of the oldest investment firms and it is sad to see it deteriorated to the point that it has.
Reviewed March 21, 2023
Worked with a Bank of Boston representative for Merril Lynch to obtain a $100,000 1 year CD. We verified with her in every way possible that the most we could forfeit is the accrued interest if for some reason we had to withdraw the money prior to the end of the year. She was emphatic that there would be no penalty, and there might be a percentage of the interest accrued that would be lost. SHE LIED!!! After six months we ran into a hardship due to my mother inlaw’s illness. We needed to take out half the money.
When we contacted Merrill Lynch they stated we would lose all interest, which was acceptable. THEN they stated that there would be an additional $10,000 early withdrawal charge. USURY!!!! At no time were we informed about the penalty, and for the measly %1 interest on the CD we would have NEVER gone with them. USURY!!! Since they have our money they are now bringing up charges, where the sales representative stated there were no penalties USURY!
Reviewed March 9, 2023
First, please note you have to be a US citizen or PR to be eligible for opening a Merrill account. If you don't have such a status, Merrill will not allow you to open an account with them, and actually, that is a GOOD thing for you because Merrill's products and services are really terrible. Without BOA's acquisition, I don't think Merrill would be alive right now. I found the following things after opening a Merrill account:
1. As many people complained here, although they claim to offer 24/7 service, it is IMPOSSIBLE to reach anyone by phone. They say "For time sensitive requests, please call us 24/7 at 877.653.4732.". It is a total joke. If this is really a time sensitive request, you would probably better give up cause you will be put on hold FOREVER.
2. Their financial advisors do not care about you if you open a self-directed account. The only way to look for help is via their phone service which is impossible to use.
3. Their fund offerings are terrible. Their NTF funds tend to be the most expensive ones.
4. Their website often has glitches.
5. Their tax forms can be delivered as late as March 15.
The above things are bad enough, but the deal breaker for me is they stole my dividends! I set automatic dividend reinvestment for some of my funds, and I found they took away my dividends but did NOT give me the new shares. How could it be legal? Of course I could not reach anyone to help me with this. Please stay away from this ** company!
Reviewed Feb. 13, 2023
I was calling Merrill to ask about options trade, before anything (john or josh) started asking me these questions: ss# (8 digits), spell my name and last name, dob, name of company I work for, name of my current position, my password to access my account and my personal ID, that is crazy!
Reviewed Jan. 7, 2023
I have been banking with Bank of America for many years, so when I decided to roll over my 401k, I signed up with Merrill Lynch (owned by BOA). That was a mistake, and I will never use this company again.
1) Impossible to reach. You will be put on hold for 1hr or longer each time you call.
2) They pay your cash position the worst possible rate. I had my account with them for 3 years. Due to a surgery, I did not check the account balance for a while. I have a IRA with Fidelity which pays normal market interest for cash positions, I have 3 times more funds in Merrill, and in 3 years time, they only paid $8 for my funds, which means Merrill scammed about $4,000 in interest alone.
3) I decided to get all my funds transferred to fidelity. I filed the first request, it took Merrill 20 days to tell me they declined the transfer, so I filed another request. This time, they charged me $49.95 to transfer my funds to fidelity, which I was not made aware when I signed up for the account. I was told because I am a platinum honor client with BOA, they will waive many fees, but that is not case.
4) Merrill has one of the worst investment selection around. Their IRA does not allow reverse ETFs or options. You basically can only buy, usually at the worst prices possible, without any risk management tools to protect your investments.
I will NEVER used Merrill again, worst investment experience.
Reviewed Dec. 10, 2022
Danger, Will Robinson. ML controlled money for years belonging to my kids that was left by their mother who died of colon cancer. Merrill Lynch has charged thousand of dollars in fees per year per child for each account worth around $40k. The kids have requested funds be released as early as possible, that we be allowed to move the funds to another financial firm, that a specific Cincy financial advisor be removed from the account and that a full accounting of fees be provided.
Merrill Lynch not only ignores their requests, but even withheld monies during the pandemic stating they weren't required to release funds then. Imagine the audacity of keeping monies from children ages 13 & 11 who just lost their mother to colon cancer. Each time we've tried moving money to another financial firm, Merrill Lynch gets involved and we're unable to do so. After countless letters & over 10 years later, we've given up on ever seeing that money, nor working with Merrill Lynch. Our money is truly lost in space.
Reviewed Oct. 4, 2022
I moved my IRA over.. It’s a substantial amount and now they do not want me to use it. I am retired and I really need the income. I think they want to keep my balance high so they can charge more fees. I notice they take fees out all of the time. So far they have lost $30k and charged me 3 times is three weeks. It might be a coincidence but they charge the fees when the market is up. I have already paid $1500 for 3 weeks of management. I will be changing companies if this continues.
Merrill Company Information
- Company Name:
- Merrill Lynch
- Year Founded:
- 250 Vesey Street
- New York
- Postal Code:
You’re signed up
We’ll start sending you the news you need delivered straight to you. We value your privacy. Unsubscribe easily.