Merrill Lynch Competitors

2022 top Merrill Lynch competitors: Edward Jones, UBS, Morgan Stanley, and Chase. Investment wealth management, financial advisor firms, full service brokerage competitors.

This article will list Merrill Lynch's wealth management service competitors. To see Merrill Lynch's discount brokerage (Merrill Edge) competition go to Merrill Edge competitors »

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Merrill Lynch Competitors

Full Service Brokers Overview

An investor has two primary choices when it comes to investing their money and choosing a broker. The first, and cheaper option, is using a discount broker. Discount brokers provide the ability to buy and sell stocks, bonds, options and other financial products without any financial advice tied to those services. As the name implies, discount brokers offer brokerage services a much lower fees.

Full service brokers on the other hand have much higher fees to buy and sell securities, but those fees cover research and advice provided by financial advisors that guide investors in their investment and financial decisions. The most common examples of full-service brokers can be found within the big banks including Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch.

Services Provided by Full-Service Brokers

Full-service brokers earn their money by providing advice on a number of different financial topics, including investment selection, retirement planning, tax advice, and regular performance monitoring. In addition, full service brokers will facilitate the actual process of buying and selling of securities for your investment account.

The value proposition of a full service broker is that they help investors without the time or inclination to manage their financial affairs for themselves. Full service brokers will guide you through the whole process, including keeping steady during volatile markets, not selling at the worst times, or buying into market frenzies.

Here is a summary of what a full-service broker can provide to their clients:

Merrill Lynch Competitors

Determine Your Investment Objectives

A good full-service broker will work with you to determine exactly what you are trying to achieve as an investor, including balancing multiple priorities. For example, they can help with saving for a child’s education as well as your own retirement. These can be two conflicting priorities and an experienced broker can offer solid solutions to making this work.

Select Investments

Determining what assets to invest in is difficult given the huge choice available. A full-service broker can help you navigate the sea of investment products to pin-point the exact one that meets your needs. Just make sure they are putting you into the lowest cost option, as those fees can really eat into your returns.

Help You Stay the Course

A key service provided by a full-service broker is they will help you make unemotional decisions. Managing money brings out the worst of our human behaviors; we act instinctively and emotionally to decisions that must be made without emotion. A good full-service broker will keep you on your plan no matter what the market does. Thousands of investors sell at the worst possible times, including when the market is crashing. This is not a good time to sell. Staying the course and even investing more is a better path a broker should be able to help you with that.

The Bottom Line

All Merrill Lynch competitor full-service brokers differ from discount brokers in the hand-holding clients receive. Whereas a discount broker offers cheap trades without any advice, a full-service broker charges more money but in exchange for specific advice and guidance that is specific to your financial needs. It is a viable option for those people who don’t have the time nor the inclination to manage their money on their own.

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.