merrill lynch reviews

Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Review (2024)

Merrill Lynch wealth management review, fee schedule, financial advisor investment account. Are Merrill Lynch fees high?

Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Review Highlights

• Investment-advisory and brokerage accounts are available at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.

• Some of the world’s most qualified investment advisors are working in Merrill Lynch’s Wealth Management program.

• Only investors with deep pockets can get into the Wealth Management program at Merrill Lynch.

Overview of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

Merrill Lynch’s Wealth Management division offers a wide range of financial services at competitive prices. However, the high qualifying requirements may exclude most investors.

Merrill Lynch Investments and Financial Planning

Merrill Lynch Investments Rating

Merrill Lynch provides a variety of investment options through its brokerage and managed accounts. This traditional full-service firm offers almost unlimited investing possibilities, including:

  • Precious metals
  • Annuities
  • Variable-rate demand obligations (VRDOs)
  • Stocks
  • Options
  • ETFs
  • Mutual funds
  • Closed-end funds
  • Fixed income
  • Initial Public Offerings (IPOs)

And alternative assets like:

  • Real estate
  • Hedge funds
  • Non-traditional Funds (NTFs)
  • Private equity
  • Commodity pools
  • Interval funds
  • Non-traded business development companies

Merrill offers a wide array of account types, including individual and joint accounts, as well as various tax-advantaged options like trusts, 529 plans, and retirement accounts.

Each client in the Wealth Management division is assigned a highly qualified financial planner. These advisors provide a wide range of personalized services including:

  • Personalized financial plan
  • Goal setting
  • Wealth accumulation
  • Managing health-care expenses
  • Buying a home
  • Generational planning
  • Vacation funding
  • Charitable giving
  • Retirement planning
  • Selling a business

To start with Wealth Management at Merrill, you'll need to choose an advisor at a nearby location.

merrill lynch wealth management fee schedule

Merrill Lynch Cash Management

Merrill Lynch Cash Management Rating

As part of Bank of America, Merrill Lynch offers extensive banking tools. All accounts under the same tax ID are automatically linked, making it easy to manage and transfer funds.

For Wealth Management clients, who typically have substantial assets, Bank of America Private Bank provides additional services including:

  • Art Services
  • Customized Lending
  • Endowments & Foundations
  • Family Office
  • Business Solutions
  • Family Wealth Services
  • Private Philanthropy
  • Trust & Estates
  • Wealth Planning

This Private Banking service, offered with a one-on-one relationship with a financial expert, is available only at select locations.

Merrill’s investment accounts can access money market mutual funds with attractive yields. Cash management also includes an FDIC-sweep program, where uninvested cash is moved into Bank of America for safety and interest accrual.

If needed, Merrill accounts can also use banking tools like debit cards and checkbooks.

merrill lynch wealth management review


Merrill Lynch Margin Rating

Margin is available in Merrill’s Wealth Management accounts. The cost of using margin varies based on several factors and is adjusted weekly.

Rates range from 8.6% for very large balances and loans to 13.8% for smaller amounts.

Merrill Wealth Management Fees

Merrill Lynch Fees Rating

The entry barrier for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management is high, generally starting at $250,000. Some specialized programs within the division have even higher requirements, such as $5 million for certain premium services.

While the investment minimums are high, the fees for advisory services are aligned with industry standards, capped at 1.75% of assets managed. Some programs offer even lower fees.

Brokerage accounts have annual fees ranging from $25 to $300, depending on the account type. Unlike managed accounts, brokerage accounts incur trading fees which can be quite high:

- Stock trades: Up to 5% of trade value
- Option trades: Up to 15% of trade value
- Bond trades: Up to 2% of trade value
- Annuities: Up to 4% of premium paid

Investment products like mutual funds also have their own minimum investment requirements.

Find a Financial Advisor

If you are looking for a professional money management service in your area, you can find a Financial Advisor on the Wiser Advisor (or read Wiser Advisor review).

Visit Wiser Advisor


Merrill Lynch Investing Rating

The Merrill Lynch website provides easy navigation and access to a wealth of resources under the Guidance & Retirement tab, covering everything from retirement planning to learning about investing.

Other tools include a branch locator and a free FICO score. Your Merrill accounts and any linked Bank of America accounts appear together on the dashboard.

merrill lynch wealth management fees

Mobile App

Merrill Lynch App Rating

Merrill's mobile app, MyMerrill, is available for both Android and Apple devices. It features direct communication with your financial planner, mobile check deposit, and document uploading capabilities.

Our Recommendations

Mutual Funds: Merrill’s Wealth Management is ideal for mutual fund investments. Alternatively, Firstrade offers commission-free investments in over 11,000 mutual funds.

Long-Term Investors & Retirement Savers: Working with a Merrill Lynch advisor provides excellent support for retirement and long-term financial planning. However, investing in low-cost index funds at Charles Schwab may yield better long-term returns.

Stock and ETF Trading: For frequent stock and ETF trading, Merrill Edge offers a more cost-effective solution.

Small Accounts: Small investors might find better options with Merrill Edge, which caters to smaller investment amounts.

Beginning Investors: New investors will benefit greatly from the personalized service at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.

Merrill Wealth Management Review Judgment

Merrill Lynch offers a competitively priced Wealth Management program well-suited to affluent investors. The quality of service largely depends on the financial advisor you choose, so it’s important to select wisely.

Updated on 6/26/2024.

About the Author
Chad Morris is a financial writer with more than 20 years experience as both an English teacher and an avid trader. When he isn’t writing expert content for, Chad can usually be found managing his portfolio or building a new home computer.