Merrill Lynch

Merrill Lynch

 2.8/5 (678 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

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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?
How do I know I can trust these reviews about Merrill Lynch?
  • 4,114,109 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 2 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: 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.

4 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 23, 2022

Merrill has become impossible to reach by phone and the website is malfunctioning, They have my funds and are controlling them, but I can't contact them. And I am having difficulty removing my funds from their care. I do NOT recommend doing any type of business with Merrill.

11 people found this review helpful

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    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Aug. 10, 2022

    We are first time homebuyers and my husband's 401k is allowed to be used for a down payment under a hardship withdrawal. We have been waiting 22 days for the money. We literally only need this check to be able to close on the house we are purchasing and underwriting has been complete for 19 days. I can’t imagine if we had a true hardship (god forbid such as a death) and needed the money urgently. They refused to direct deposit it. And now Wells Fargo will no doubt put a hold on the check. Our withdrawal has been approved since last Thursday (even though it shouldn’t take that long) and we were assured they would next day us the check. The check was not mailed until mid day Tuesday and they didn’t even send it urgently. Now it may arrive up until 7pm. Merrill Lynch has the worst practices of any banking entity that I have ever experienced.

    9 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: July 27, 2022

    My father passed away in January. He had several accounts with this company. My mom is hard of hearing pretty much deaf so I have to handle all her affairs. We have reached out to the associates that opened up my fathers accounts since his passing and it’s impossible to reach anyone. They never answer almost never return voicemails I leave. I have emailed and faxed all documents they requested, even took them into the bank as well and still have not heard back from anyone. It has been months with no answer. As I type this I am literally trying to get through to the estate unit and have been on hold over an hour and fifteen minutes. This is horrible that both of my parents have accounts with this company yet this is how they treat their customers. I would never recommend this company to anyone ever. I have even reached out to supervisory office and of course no one answers.

    10 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: July 16, 2022

    You do not get true advice and support. Everything done by the agent was to get credits for self-earnings including bank transactions usually done for free. For example, transfers between the existing accounts in the same bank of America. My adviser was able to take my money and after $23,000.00 was lost in three months, she was able to transfer it back to my bank account. No actual advice was received regardless the money paid for it. Just to add, I invested with Merrill Edge because no one responded when I was trying to invest with Fidelity. It was disappointing three months ago, but now I understand that not taking money at that time was the best advice. I am sorry, I used Merrill Lynch Edge.

    5 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: June 8, 2022

    I retired Jan. 1 2021 and had all my retirement money under advisement. $1.4M was transferred in Feb 2021. I sent email April 2021 asking why positions not taken. Finally, in May $300K was invested, then $400K in Sept, then $700K in Nov. I was now pretty much screwed having most of my funds invested at market all time high. When I sent inquiry/complaint, they said they did nothing wrong and matter was closed. Thank God I closed my accounts and now repairing damage. Beware!! - they are not looking out for your best interest. You are a number, nothing more.

    16 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: May 24, 2022

    I closed my Merrill Edge 401K account because I reside in/am a citizen of Australia. I asked Merrill to wire the funds to my Australian bank because not a single Australian financial institution will accept a check denominated in US$. So Merrill sends me a check in US$ that is literally worthless because I can’t cash or deposit it in Australia. I have spent 10+ frustrating and expensive hours on the phone from Australia trying to get customer service to solve the issue, but instead get transferred repeatedly (even when the agents tell me they won’t transfer me) or give me useless advice like "google how to deposit the check" or "open a bank account in the US" or “use the app”. Is there anyone out there in Merrill world who can help me escalate and solve this? I need my money here in Australia … And it cannot be in the form of a check in US$!

    10 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: May 19, 2022

    I have been trying to work with Merrill Lynch to assist my elderly mom with getting critical items handled so that we can use her IRA to pay her bills. The wait times are unacceptably long. One day we waited 40 minutes only to be cut off, then called back and waited 2 hours and 7 minutes before hanging up. This is not an unusual occurrence. When we finally do get through, we are given conflicting information from different representatives. I have spent anywhere from 7-12 hours this past month either trying to get through, or trying to re-explain our issues and still have not resolved the problem. We may try to move her accounts altogether due to their incompetence and complete lack of customer care.

    7 people found this review helpful
    Customer increased Rating by 3 stars!
    Verified Reviewer
    Resolution response: April 18, 2022

    After discussing the situation with the broker, I feel better - he explained the market conditions and the misleading information that appears on their web app. By showing me detailed data, the damage is less than what appeared and their choices of options turns out good in comparison with the market in general.

    Original review: April 14, 2022

    Do not use this firm. I invested my life savings with them and for 2 years they bought and sold stocks showing a realized gain of about 5% each year, sounds great, but they kept the "losers" in unrealized gains and are now selling those stocks at a huge loss of about 10% for this year so far. I understand the market goes up and down, but the reason for me choosing them was because they are supposed to know more than me. They apparently know how to make money for themselves. Now each year we paid taxes on those gains, and this year we will incur losses, but the government does not allow writing off more than $3,000 of losses per year. At this rate we will be dead before we can write off this amount of losses. They know this but I was just informed by my accountant who I also had to pay for his time to do our tax return with all these stupid trades. NEVER use this firm!

    11 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: April 1, 2022

    This company has the customer service I’ve ever came across. I’ve had to call for a number of times a week for month just have them address one issue. If you don’t call to follow up the they will assist you. Extremely long hold call times.

    5 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