Merrill-Lynch

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Consumer Reviews and Complaints

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I needed a hardship withdraw to pay my daughter's college tuition. I had used Fidelity in the past so I was expecting a quick turnaround as they took 3 days and it was direct deposited but to be safe I started the process with 2 weeks to spare. They said it would take 5 to 7 business days...it took 12 and I missed the deadline and to top it off they give some phony excuse to send a check rather than direct deposit. Direct deposit is safe and secure. Check could possibly loss or theft. On top of this wonderfulness now I have a $200 additional fee to the school and they charged me to get my MONEY $45. BTW. Fidelity charged a fee but because it was a hardship withdraw it was waived... I have never had such a hard time or expense trying to get MY money back. Why companies still choose to set-up their 401K's with this company is beyond me... They are in a word...HORRIBLE.

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I called Merrill-Lynch and spoke to one of their people and he was so thick in the head that he kept arguing with me. Things escalated and finally out of frustration I used a swear word... And boy that's what the ** wanted. After we rang off and he had not answered my questions, the SOB called my boss and got me fired from a $100,000 dollar a year job. This was in 2009. I should have sued I suppose but when you lose your income like that you have little recourse. So beware... Merrill Lynch employs vindictive ice holes.

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My husband had his stock with Merrill Lynch for 28 years, when he went to sell it, he received nothing but a runaround. They have had us on wild goose chases which produced nothing. Before you invest with this company, think twice! When it comes time to sell, they don't want to let it go! We are still awaiting our payout! I always dealt with T. Rowe Price and never had a problem! Do not waste your time and money on this company. I always thought they were a reputable company, but in my opinion, they are the most unprofessional company I've ever seen!

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I'm a fairly reserved investor when it comes to my retirement fund. I have a couple of IRAs I tried to rollover to Merrill. I called and the associate walked me through the rollover process. When I asked whether corresponding information to confirm the transaction was correct, the associate said, "We'll find out in 2-3 business days." Fast forward 3 months later and nothing ever happened. I tried going to see a Merrill advisor and they pushed me to call. I called. They pushed me to the site. The site is unable to verify information in realtime so initiated transactions may never go through especially if an incompetent associate never follows up and everyone in the organization won't take blame. Save yourself the time and find a platform that actually hires professionals. Not a phone bank and a body to sit in a bank to click trade for you.

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I filled out a hardship request because I was facing eviction. I faxed everything in and was told my request was denied because they felt I didn't meet the hardship requirements. Seriously? I can't get my own money to prevent ending up on the street?

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I have had nothing but bad experiences with this company. It is truly ridiculous how inept (or deliberately incompetent) they are. I'm the Administrator for an Estate, and have submitted all the required legal paperwork (Affidavit of Domicile, Death Certificate(s), Letters of Administration from the Court) and all the necessary forms (IRA Beneficiary Claim form, Estate Account Application, Request to Transfer Assets from the Deceased account to the new Estate Account) and Merrill Edge has delayed, lost the forms, delayed, and found every reason possible NOT to honor their fiduciary duty with regard to these accounts.

It has been 37 days since they received the legal documentation noted above, and 28 days since they received the account forms noted above. I am still waiting. Every time I call, they tell me it will be another "five to eight business days". I am sending this same information as a complaint to FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority). I would suggest each and every person with complaints do the same.

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I filled out necessary paperwork for a Hardship Withdrawal and was approved. Check was sent to me and has been deposited with funds showing in my account. I get a call today that there was an oversight in the paperwork and they are doing a stop payment on the check. I already have funds coming out against that deposit now which is going to cause serious legal problems. I called to explain the issue and their last person I talked to said he would put in a work order to try and get a resolution. Never heard back. Is this even legal to do? I have proof of the approval and like I said, I have large payments coming out against the check funds. Absolute the worst service ever!

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After dealing with an identity theft scam, information on my account has been changed without proper documentation to support the changes. Merrill-Lynch representatives have lied to my face and over the phone for over two weeks. Even worse, they claimed that cooperation with law enforcement agencies was assured. When I arrived with a police officer, the representative said it was a waste of time because he wasn't showing any information on the account. Members of the fraud department have been instructed not to cooperate with me and customer service representatives have been told to deny the existence of the account. Denial of the account has impeded the initiation of a criminal investigation and I believe this is deliberate.

After spending two weeks on the phone and being denied any kind of service from the fraud department, branch managers, or customer service representatives I am forced to hire an attorney to do something that could be resolved simply by viewing the documentation inside the account. Merrill-Lynch representatives have fouled up my account and now they plan to make things as difficult as possible to cover up how bad they messed up. If you have an account with Merrill-Lynch or Bank of America, BEWARE! They will completely deny your rights as an identity theft victim and will hold your account hostage, forcing you to spend thousands of dollars on attorneys and court fees. You have the right to a fair investigation from the fraud department of the bank and assistance from law enforcement. More importantly, you have the right to an expedient resolution if your account has been tampered with. Don't let them fool you!

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Extremely dishonest responses when I asked if my broker is a fiduciary or if it could be possible for me to work with one at the company. If you don't know what a fiduciary is, look it up. Not working with a fiduciary is the equivalent of having a doctor that won't prescribe you the medication that works best for you, but instead will prescribe a medication that the pharmaceutical company has basically paid them to prescribe. No wonder Wall Street has such a bad reputation!!

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I invested short term with this company. As I learned I had to cancel investments accounts, I called up the company in November 2016 to cancel investments. I thought I did so, with representative at the time of cancellation. To my dismay, the account was open for more than 6 months after 1st request of cancellation. Here it is you have a company of this size handling hundreds of multi-millions/billion of dollars daily, and they could not close an account with $.01. This is absurd, I am wondering how the compliance department handles an incident as such, knowing they pay custodial maintenance on each account, this one being a $.01. I felt because I was angry after that 1st request was not honored malice intent came into play. This was VERY unprofessional how my situation was handled.

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I am very dissatisfied in how ML handled my request for a distribution from my 401K. They delayed and tried to change my original request for a check to be mailed to me by sending me info on how to open another broker account. After waiting over a week for my check, I called them. They reviewed my original request and determined they were in error. After going back and forth they finally agreed to ship my envelope overnight using UPS at their expense. However they left my Apt. number off the shipping label. Creating more delays. They do not follow-up with any emails or other communications about the progress of customer requests and have a smug attitude. I will closing my acct. with them because I was very irritated to have to spend time arguing with the rep and now the delivery delay I find unacceptable. POOR SERVICE.

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First call: told I was eligible to cash out as my company allowed it and I met the criteria. Paid 25$ for UPS tracking and was told it would arrive in 3-5 business days. Second call: Tracking did not work for whatever reason. After 5 business days and no check I called back to see what was happening. I was told that I couldn't take out the money because I was required to take out a loan. After speaking with a supervisor I was told I could take out the money but would have to take out a 1000$ loan pay a 75$ fee and another 25$ for UPS tracking package. So I did that again. This was a Monday. I was told the check would arrive Friday.

Third call: tracking didn't work again! No check arrived Friday. Was becoming very upset as I was under contract for a house and was using the money as a down payment. I was told that the check had been delayed but had been mailed out as a cashiers check in standard mail with no tracking. Demanded to talk to someone that could actually help me. I was told that was all they could do. I wanted my money back for the tracking and UPS expedited shipping. This is still ongoing. I still haven't received a refund for the tracking for either time. There is no money in my 401k and the account has been empty since my first call two weeks ago. I am really starting to worry. This sucks and I will never use BAC or Merrill Lynch again. Will probably not contribute to a 401k either even with my new company. SUCKS SUCKS SUCKS. I have 0 ZERO power to do anything. Avoid at all cost!

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Over the course of approx. 2 years, the problems are numerous. I have went to great lengths to try to do business with them. An approx. of 2 years of trying to open a proper and correct account is ridiculous. It goes downhill from there. They have commingled funds from accounts that should not be. The financial implication... well, you can guess. I cashed out money nearly sixty days ago from another account to add to Merrill and reinvest in Apple. Huge loss for me as Merrill could not even complete a simple transfer after calling, emailing (no follow-up), and an offer to look at compensation for their lack of completing transfer.

I received a call next day that they would not compensate me due to a certain box "I" checked. The box was checked at their direction. They do not respond to emails, they do not follow up on requests, but, most of all, they lie... Don't bother to request management as it is only worse... Promises of follow up and "sorries", but no fulfillment and more lies.

I had a small amount left to divest in one account (less than $50,000). After reviewing all correspondence, this should have been done nearly 18 months ago. They have now, in the last 60 days, had me jumping through hoops, getting them new forms, drivers license, name changes, blah, blah, blah. NO transfer to date. In a call, a supervisor was argumentive and also lectured me about what I did wrong. This person was purely uneducated, and he/she should not be in management most certainly. I suggested they read their own website or the IRS code.

Furthermore, in this person's lecture to me regarding what I did wrong, I informed Merrill that their information as to their direction was incorrect, and, furthermore, based on legal counsel. Yeah, when they want, they give a mouthful of advice, but when they don't want to answer, they pawn it to a financial counselor or a legal counselor. In this instance, it shut the person up and stopped the bullying after letting them know that counsel had been involved. Make sure you are educated if you try to do business with them as they are not.

I finally gave up on transferring any additional monies to Merrill, and it was done in nearly a half hour at another firm. It may sound easy to do business with them if you have a Bank of America account which is the ONLY reason I picked Merrill. There is no good reason that I can see to do business here at Merrill after having THE MERRILL EXPERIENCE. You should beware. They get 0 stars if I could make that selection.

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My mother passed away and left me the Executor of the will. My probate attorney told me that I should use the Merrill Edge account to pay taxes and debts. I talked with the guy assigned to our transactions and he sent paperwork (Affidavit of Domicile) to be filled out and told me to send it by email so I sent it with an electronic signature. He called and said the electronic signature would not do, so I offered to sign with my digital pad, but he said that it could not be digital. I was told it had to be a "wet" signature and that I should copy it and fax it to him. I explained that if I copy it or fax it the signature was no longer "wet" and that it was technically again a digital signature. So I told him I would mail it certified and did through USPS as he had told me to mail it to the address on his emails.

I sent it certified mail but it didn't get there. I used tracking and found it was undeliverable as addressed. I ended up finding because there was no suite number on the address (same as his emails) it could not be delivered. Some things in phone conversation and emails was making me feel like I was being put off. So sent an email with a CC to our attorney, and all of a sudden he wanted everything we conversed in emails to be encrypted emails, even after I told him I was mailing it to him. I mentioned in one of my emails it might help if he would put his suite number with the address on his email signatures. I did this to help him and future customers, but he got huffy and told me that they had their own mail room and that the suite number did not matter. (More than likely it was their mail room that said it was not deliverable. I retired from the Postal Service and I know suite numbers do matter.)

After a while of doing the encrypted email thing back and forth, I changed the subjects and emailed him a few regular emails and got no response at all. I finally was told that their attorneys had to qualify me as the Executor of which was confusing when the State of Texas had already qualified me as the executor, and that it would take about 2 weeks for the attorneys to do so. Finally the attorneys agreed and I am told I had to open an account with Merrill Edge to transfer the funds to. I told him I had an account with Neighborhood Credit Union that was the Estate account I wanted the funds transferred to, but I was told that the he could not do that because the funds are assigned to my mother Social Security Number not mine.

I told him as the Executor I represent my mother's social security number and it was not necessary to open another account just to transfer the funds to an existing account, but he insisted so I opened the account. He told me that it would take 2 business days to make the transfers, so I told him I would call on Tuesday then and he said that would be fine. I called Tuesday and could not get him after making several calls to his extension he had given me, so finally I spoke with someone else who asked security questions and that is ok, but then he informs me that the funds are held up now in the distribution department and not to call back until Friday at which time the funds would be in the account. Am I supposed to believe that???

I have dealt with several banks and mutual fund companies including Ally and Synchrony and have had nothing but great service and ease to deal with them, but Merrill Edge has been a total nightmare and after seeing the 227 Top complaints (meaning there are a lot more) I can see this is probably common practice so my next complaint will be with the Federal Trade Commission. It is the 29 of the month now and I believe they are stalling to get interest for their selves on the first of next month.

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I would first like to say that when I invested, I was very young with no knowledge of stocks or bonds. I invested with Merrill-Lynch for 2 years. I have now been audited by the IRS for both years because I never received tax paperwork from Merrill-Lynch. I had no idea what to file or how. They took responsibility that one of their members had given me tax advice. Let me spell it out, their financial advisor, that couldn't give tax advice, gave me tax advice!!! I didn't know at the time, that this was wrong because I was ill experienced. So now the IRS is after me, all the money I gained from the "INVESTMENT" will go to CPAs and returns, and they acknowledge they did wrong but refuse compensation. Thank you Merrill-Lynch for an awful investment experience. I will never use you for any future investments. My friends and family also will never use you as well.

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First I would like to start off by saying that I wish there was a half a star to describe Merrill Edge. The company is the worst. I have been trying to open up a business trading account for a month and a half and they have nothing excuses and nonsense question that can be answered if they weren't so lazy. I have a BofA account and wanted to the ease of transferring funds to my Merrill Edge account, but they are making it more difficult than it needs to be. I opened an account at TD in less than 5 days for my business. DO NOT GO TO MERRILL EDGE. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

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Recently I transferred funds into this bank and was told to do a CMA since I would be withdrawing money as well as purchasing stocks. From the first time I tried to use my atm card it was immediately declined. And each time after. I called the Visa Authorization and was told that I had to contact them before using the atm, due to it being a new account. So, after being declined numerous times and constantly calling them to figure the issue out. My account became completely locked. They never informed me, I had to contact them. And now was informed that my account was sent to fraud dept. I had to go to the bank and provide my id as well as a utility bill. Then although they informed me it would be corrected immediately. It has been over a week and still no resolution. I contact them about the situation and they refuse to speak to me.

They state my account is in the back office due to high risk... due to me calling repeatedly, they say it raises red flags. But it's my money!! And through all this I found out that each time I was declined they showed it as being taken out of the account. And when I inform them that I was declined and never received that money, they try and tell me that I was never declined! And that the only way I would be declined is if the funds was not in there! I can't believe the audacity of them! They have taken at least 3000.00 from the declines alone. This is not some change! And here it is almost two weeks later without any type of resolution and I opened the account in the end of Dec 2016. This is a horrible look! I just want my money and the stocks that I purchased!! What's so hard about that?! And wouldn't you call on a daily basis when your money is being held hostage???

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Investors beware of Merrill-Lynch's employees forging letters of authorization for wire transfers and insider notaries working on the inside. I recently reported these frauds to the compliance department and received a letter stating that these documents were proprietary or that they were not forged. They failed to investigate or chose not to follow up. ML employees at the main line office are criminals and so are the ML superiors that should be their oversight. Read your statements and scrutinize all transactions. Hope this catches your attention and ML and Bank of America. The FBI has been notified and will take the proper action since ML does not have the legal balls. ML thinks they are untouchable... think again, idiots at BOA and ML!

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I could not be more disgusted with a company than Merrill Edge brokerage where I have a small IRA. I actually use to be in the stock and trade business as a financial advisor and have held various accounts for over 40 years in various places but I only opened this account because it was connected to Bank of America. What SCUMBAGS. They do not disclose any fees on self directed accounts at the TIME OF SELL like they are suppose to. Then they try to justify it on the phone by saying it was available if you looked hard enough on the web page. WHAT CRAP. Freaking 9% fee to sell a small mutual fund. I am transferring my account and will never use them again. STAY AWAY from Merrill Edge and Merrill-Lynch.

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For a company claiming professionalism they are atrocious. How can you trust a company with your funds if they are SOOOO Incredibly disinterested in answering simple questions. And by the way, try getting your money out of their iron-fist once they have it. Good Luck. Run away now while you can.

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I have a Merrill Edge account for over 4 years. All of a sudden they decided to liquidate my accounts. When I ask for a specific reason they refused to give me a reason. This is the worst experience. All they keep telling me is their policy. Does not make sense to me at all. Worst ever.

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They are thieves and I have been recording every conversation with them. They refuse to let me into my account and they will not send me a copy of my contract!!! I hate them! They set you up to fail!!!

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I opened an account 1 year back when they promised $100/ new account and zero trading fee. You don't get good prices if you are buying market price. When you short a stock and sell the put on option expiry day, they don't get assigned automatically even when they are in the money. I realized after 3 months that they were making me pay $1000 interest on the margin money since they were not automatically assigning the stocks on expiry day. It has cost me more than $2200.00, due to their misinformation and ignorance. I am still fight since 2 months. They apologize and credit your account and then they withdraw it hoping you forget it. I am sick of trading with ML. I strongly advise be away from ML. Go with TD-Ameritrade despite their fees, you will avoid headache.

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Very dissatisfied. I worked for Walmart and quit a month and they said I would have to wait a month for my 401k to be cashed out. OK. Waited a month and Nov 9 2016 was my cash payout for my 401k check and they didn't tell me that I had to wait a couple of days thinking my check was supposed to be here this week. Then the Merrill-Lynch representative said it was $2900 but called today and they said it takes a couple of days to process it and they didn't tell me that the first time. They said they mailed the check yesterday and it should be there from 7 to 10 business days and I thought it was gonna be there sometime this week. They are a bunch of lying criminal scumbags that need to lose their jobs and their income for the problems and heartache they cause people. Eventually they will meet their own karma. What you dish out will come back to you. They better remember that.

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We have had Merrill-Lynch as our financial institution for years. It was simple. At first we just paid an yearly fee, and got very good service from our broker. Then as the account grew we charged commissions on transactions that our broker always recommended but asked us first if it was ok, but the fees were not broken down. They were hidden in the cost and profit of the investment, so again I asked about how much we are paying. Never got a straight answer but still got good service. Well then after a while we heard less and less from our broker and we contacted him and he said that he has many accounts to manage and he recommends that we switch to an account that gives him the authorization to buy and sell without our authorization because he could get better rates if he was dealing in a larger group of customers. So with a sinking feeling in my stomach and against my better judgement we did this.

Well we are getting trade transactions for buying and selling mostly bond funds and municipal bonds at least 10 or more times a month. Still no breakdown on how much we are paying him. It seems like our money is not growing like it was and that he is making more than us. Is there a way I can found out exactly how much we have paid him in fees over the years or at least on a yearly basis?

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These people SUCK!!! The only reason I selected Wilshire Credit was because the loan could be paid off with a credit card. The contract that I agreed to states this as well as the back side of your billing statement. Quote checks and credit card payments made using the automated phone system or online will charged a $5.00 processing fee. I asked this question directly before agreeing to the loan. Now when I attempted to pay the loan off in full with one of my credit cards, SECURED credit card they tell me they no longer accept credit card payments. LIARS CHEATS BASTARDS, these words I would use to describe my experience with WILSHIRE CONSUMER CREDIT. WILL POST EVERY DAY UNTIL MY CONTRACT LANGUAGE IS RESPECTED.

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Yesterday, I met with the VP of Merrill Edge for Financial Solutions Advisor at the Bank of America local branch. Within minutes of our conversation, he assured me that I could open a Roth IRA for my son, who is 21 years old and works for a company that does not have a retirement plan. I told him that I would like to make the annual maximum contribution to his account from my BOA and he assured me that would be no problem once he sets up the account and I will have to answer some questions online when I get home and to answer the questions as if he was answering the questions. While in his office, I got a call and told him that I am unable to talk to him because I am at the bank opening a retirement account for him.

When I got home, I did exactly what I was told and had difficulty linking my account to transfer funds to the newly established Roth IRA account for my son. I called the 1-888 Investment Center Representative toll free number and after over 45 minutes of conversation and placed on hold several times, I was told that the Roth IRA cannot be open without his presence and as a result, I cannot transfer funds from my BOA to his Roth IRA account.

Today I got a call and the representative left me a voice message that they have to close my Roth IRA account because, the VP of Financial Solutions Advisor was fraudulent in setting up the account originally without the presence of my son. The voice message also said that he conferred with his supervisors and managers and that is their policy to have the person present to open the account. The VP of Financial Solutions knew that my son was in Charleston and was in the middle of evacuation before the Hurricane Matthew in Charleston.

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Arbitrary fees galore. I recently opened an LMA account. (It's a loan for God's sake). Shortly after opening the calls from an assigned broker began hounding me to move all of my assets over, to purchase an annuity etc. After the ninth "NO"! I started to get hit with fee notices. These notices stated "Your account has been assessed a fee... etc. No specific reason, simply an arbitrary fee. I'm afraid my good credit will be harmed. I'm thinking about informing the S.E.C. This is OUTRAGEOUS!

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We have a BOA account and therefore transferred some money into the Merrill-Lynch account to buy some investments. I am desperately surprised when I bought a 4000$ security which has a yield of ~ <2.0%, I was charged 2% markup. This means after you hold it for one year, your return is negative. The worst part is that Merrill-Lynch/Edge will never tell you you are charged a huge amount of commission. Merrill-Lynch/Edge has been sued twice because of their discarding, illegal, greedy and unconcealed dirty behavior.

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I Sat with the advisor and filled out paperwork, signed papers, and he told me the objective is to get the 2 stock accounts changed to my name and then reinvest it with Merrill Lynch. Merrill Lynch would give me the medallion signature needed to do so. He also claimed he has a ton of paperwork to fill out with this. A month goes by so I show up and he acts as if we never filled out papers.

We once again fill out papers and I bring him account statements from Pimco and Putnam. This time he made phone calls to Pimco and Putnam and they say that a medallion signature is needed to change the stock accounts to my name. There's a section that I point out to him on the paperwork that needs to be filled out by Merrill Lynch and he claims he'll fill it out later, before he sends any of it in to Merrill Lynch for the Medallion Signatures.

I ask, what happens next. He says he sends in the paperwork to his head office for the medallion signature. Than gets it back and sends it to both Pimco and Putnam. I ask, "how long do I wait to call you or you call me." He says in one month he'll call me. I waited longer, I call him, and he claims that I will receive something from Pimco and Putnam in the mail. More time goes by. I call him. He says he'll find out and call me today or tomorrow. Days go by. I go in person to see him and he claims they never got the paperwork so he sent it in the night before 8/15/2016 with FedEx overnight and he put both Putnam and Pimco in the same envelope since the location for both are at the same address.

2 days go by, I call up both places and they haven't received it yet. I ask for the tracking #. He now says it's U.P.S. and he has none. I call the bank manager and tell her my concerns and to ask him the tracking #. He calls and tells me 2. Turns out he did send them separately. On 8/19 the paperwork is delivered. With no medallion signatures on the paperwork. It's worthless. Very frustrated.

I go in person to talk to him. He claims that he never intended to send paperwork to Merrill Lynch for medallions. He says that the medallion signature is required after the stocks are changed to my name. This is nonsense. Once it's in my name I can do what I want. It's mine. No longer the deceased. There's no purpose for a medallion signature once it's mine. Because it's mine. In my name.

He never filled out the portion of investor information on paperwork that was sent in. I learned that when a human being lies, the human being can't keep track as well as when it's the truth. They can't keep up with the lie and lie some more. It's impossible to lie and not lie some more in order to convince another human being that it's true.

Expert Review

Barbara FriedbergPersonal Finance Contributing Editor

Barbara Friedberg, MBA, MS is a former investment portfolio manager with decades of financial experience. Friedberg taught Finance and Investments at several universities. Her work has been featured in U.S. News & World Report, Investopedia, Yahoo!Finance and many more publications.    More about Barbara→

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.

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Merrill-Lynch Company Profile

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