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Merrill Lynch

Merrill Lynch

 3.9/5 (388 ratings)
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About Merrill Lynch

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.

Overall Satisfaction Rating

  • 5 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 3 stars
  • 2 stars
  • 1 stars

Pros

  • Comprehensive services
  • Vast network of advisors
  • Online portal

Cons

  • Some high account minimums
  • No set-fee pricing

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.

Top Merrill Lynch Reviews

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Rated with 5 stars
Verified

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...

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Rated with 5 stars
Verified

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...

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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 and option trades0.45% annual program fee; 0.85% annual program fee with advisorCustomized
Merrill Edge Self-DirectedNoneUnlimited $0 online stock 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?
  • 3,430,476 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.
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Page 1 Reviews 0 - 5
Rated with 5 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 13, 2021

Especially during these difficult time, my financial advisor is always available. I don’t have to worry about dealing with technology and press this button to get an automated system that is not helpful. It's great to speak to a human being and get advice and guidance from an actual person.

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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.

    2 people found this review helpful
    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 4 stars
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Oct. 22, 2021

    Have been w/ ML since the '80s. Have had other co.s also. Basically had one contact all those years. He has retired. Your contact people make the difference in any company. If you still have same broker and are more than pleased, stay there.

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

    I filled out a Beneficiary Required Minimum Distribution Service form on their website. The copy they sent back to me was incorrect, and they refused to fix it. They said I have to call back another day to cancel the first form and start all over. I've already wasted an hour of my time filling out the first form online and trying to get it corrected by phone. So much for 24/7 customer service.

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    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Oct. 3, 2021

    OK we just changed my password and you made me pick a different one than I am used to. Now I try to get in to my account to access the money I am desperate for to pull my teeth at the dentist and you lock me out my account then say the only way to fix it is call customer service!?!? You are also closed on Sunday so no customer service at all! Great. Thanks a lot!!!!

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    Rated with 1 star
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    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Sept. 25, 2021

    I applied for a hardship withdrawal. To prevent an eviction. My landlord raised my rent $400.. and on top of that, I ended up having a serious health issue. It's been 3 weeks, and I still don't have a diagnosis yet. I'm mid 40s, and have a very physically challenging job, working in a constant subzero (-25°f) environment. So when my health began to decline, I tried to push through it.. but I can't.. It started a few months ago. For the last 5 years I've been working 5 to 6 days a week, 9 to 11 hours each day. Because where I work, you're scheduled 3 days on, 4 days off. However, we have never been able to keep the staff at more than about 70% of what's needed. Roughly, that's about 250 people less than a full staff. Even worse, that 70% usually only lasts a couple of months.

    But even at my age, working that many hours, I was still completing a majority of my tasks in less time than was given. We make a bonus for completing tasks in less time than allotted. So at my pay rate, I was making over 70k a year. Then 3 months ago, while getting ready for work, I passed out and woke up on my bathroom floor. The last thing I remember was my nose started bleeding for no reason.

    It's been a tough 3 months. I've gone from being able to work 60+ hours a week at $35/hr plus overtime, to barely being able to work 2 or 3 6 hour days, if that. The last two weeks, I was only able to work 11 hours. My PTO is gone, I don't have a diagnosis so Sedgwick won't approve leave for me yet. The only reason I still had a job, was because I built a reputation as someone who's ALWAYS THERE. In 5 years, there has only been 3 times they called me at home to come in, and I said no. Twice I was working on my vehicle, once was my niece had her baby.

    Surprisingly, my boss has been beyond understanding. People don't typically last more than 3 or 4 years. Out of the 55 people in my areas and the area next to mine (we share people back and forth as necessary), I'm the 5th most senior with 5 years. Over half our crews are new, 1 year or less. So they really want to keep me on, and have been very supportive and understanding. However, I've gone from clearing about $2300 every two weeks, to $500 if I'm lucky.

    And if you think that sounds bad, also.. I got married in the Philippines Feb 2019, and my wife and our baby has been stuck there because of the pandemic, I have 2 traffic fines I was supposed to pay off last month, but couldn't.. and they sent me a notice saying I had 15 days to make a payment or a FTP warrant will be issued for my arrest (no way I can pay it on time), I have 2 prescriptions I was supposed to pick up 2 weeks ago, but can't afford to, it's a 50/50 chance I have enough gas to make it to work and back 1 more day before my tank is empty, I don't have more than a couple days of food, I still owe $400 on last month's rent, my bank account got closed (not that there was any money in it)..

    Also next month's rent is due in less than 2 weeks, I still owe ALL the rent for this month ($1395) plus $400 from last month ..and I have right now, at this very moment, $1 and 18 cents total in my pocket... and next week when my paycheck comes it will be for $365. Merrill Lynch denied my hardship claim because they didn't feel my circumstances qualified as a hardship. What? I'm sorry, what?!? It clearly states, hardship withdrawals allowed to prevent an eviction. I clearly gave you a copy of my eviction notice. Maybe they felt that since I was about to have warrants issues for my arrest, that meant I had somewhere else to go. I told my landlord I was taking a hardship withdrawal, so she would hold off on locking me out. Now what am I going to do?

    I'm going to lose my home, I have nowhere to put my things, I can't afford a storage locker. More importantly, if I lose my home, I won't be able to keep my job. And when I lose my job, I'll lose my insurance. There's something seriously wrong with my health, and I don't even have a diagnosis yet...Now I have to worry about losing my insurance? Not to mention, when I lose my job I'll be cashing out ALL of my 401k anyways. Not that it'll help, since they will be sending the check to an apartment I was evicted from, a month before they even send it! These people should be held accountable for falsely denying hardship claims. It clearly states hardship withdrawals allowed to prevent an eviction, I am facing eviction and have no other recourse. How is that not a breach of contract?

    I give up, you work your whole life just to try and break even, and when you need it the most, they won't even give you your own money when you clearly meet the necessary qualifications to do so. They're so worried about disbursing $1288, that they are going to end up forcing me to cash out tens of thousands when I end up losing everything.. including my job.

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    Rated with 5 stars
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: July 29, 2021

    My financial advisor has been with me for over 10 years. He is attentive, responsive and always puts my needs first with an excellent plan. I trust him completely and have referred several friends who have also been very pleased.

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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