Merrill Lynch to Edge

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DTalos
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Merrill Lynch to Edge

Post by DTalos »

I have a Merrill Lynch account with an advisor that isn't actively managed. However, all trades have to go through the advisor. If I were to open an account with Merrill Edge and transfer some money in the "sweep account" at Merrill Lynch to Merrill Edge, would the advisor be altered and then wonder what's goin on? I don't want to terminate my ML account with the advisor, but I would like to do some trading on my own, hence wanting to sign up for Merrill Edge so I can move money from my ML to Merrill Edge. Alternatively, I could fund a Merrill Edge account via a transfer from an account I have at a megabank.
cowbman
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Re: Merrill Lynch to Edge

Post by cowbman »

It's probably more of a headache than you are looking for, but you could open an account almost anywhere else (and get a bonus), such as E-trade, Schwab, Fidelity, etc.
Topic Author
DTalos
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Re: Merrill Lynch to Edge

Post by DTalos »

cowbman wrote: Wed Nov 25, 2020 12:37 am It's probably more of a headache than you are looking for, but you could open an account almost anywhere else (and get a bonus), such as E-trade, Schwab, Fidelity, etc.

Yes it is. I'd rather stay within the same company.
MikeG62
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Re: Merrill Lynch to Edge

Post by MikeG62 »

DTalos wrote: Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:52 pm I have a Merrill Lynch account with an advisor that isn't actively managed. However, all trades have to go through the advisor. If I were to open an account with Merrill Edge and transfer some money in the "sweep account" at Merrill Lynch to Merrill Edge, would the advisor be altered and then wonder what's goin on? I don't want to terminate my ML account with the advisor, but I would like to do some trading on my own, hence wanting to sign up for Merrill Edge so I can move money from my ML to Merrill Edge. Alternatively, I could fund a Merrill Edge account via a transfer from an account I have at a megabank.
You have a number of reasonable options.

One is call your advisor and let him/her know you plan to open and transfer "a portion of the funds" in your Merrill account to a ME account as you'd like to be able to do some online trading on your own (without the need to call to get the trades executed and without interest in a second opinion on the trades). I don't see serious push back here - especially if there is no AUM fee on the Merrill account (although he/she may lose any fee charged for executing trades on your behalf)- as you are not closing/shifting the entire account.

Another is to call Merrill Edge and open the ME account and ask the ME rep to shift some funds from your Merrill account. However, I think it likely your advisor will find out and might reach out to you anyway. So not likely to avoid that interaction.

A third (and perhaps the best) option is to open a ME account and transfer in enough in "new funds" into ME to qualify for a transfer bonus. Once the bonus posts you can then consider some sort of consolidation of the accounts. If you go this route, I'd wait until they juice the current offer (they routinely increase it by 50% or more from the standard offer).

Since you have a relationship with Merrill, do you also have the BofA Premium rewards (or the no fee cash rewards) CC? With $100K in assets at Merrill/ME, you would qualify for the top tier cash back level (2.625% on all purchases on the PR card and up to 5.25% on the cash rewards card for certain types of charges).
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Topic Author
DTalos
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Re: Merrill Lynch to Edge

Post by DTalos »

MikeG62 wrote: Wed Nov 25, 2020 8:08 am
DTalos wrote: Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:52 pm I have a Merrill Lynch account with an advisor that isn't actively managed. However, all trades have to go through the advisor. If I were to open an account with Merrill Edge and transfer some money in the "sweep account" at Merrill Lynch to Merrill Edge, would the advisor be altered and then wonder what's goin on? I don't want to terminate my ML account with the advisor, but I would like to do some trading on my own, hence wanting to sign up for Merrill Edge so I can move money from my ML to Merrill Edge. Alternatively, I could fund a Merrill Edge account via a transfer from an account I have at a megabank.
You have a number of reasonable options.

One is call your advisor and let him/her know you plan to open and transfer "a portion of the funds" in your Merrill account to a ME account as you'd like to be able to do some online trading on your own (without the need to call to get the trades executed and without interest in a second opinion on the trades). I don't see serious push back here - especially if there is no AUM fee on the Merrill account (although he/she may lose any fee charged for executing trades on your behalf)- as you are not closing/shifting the entire account.

Another is to call Merrill Edge and open the ME account and ask the ME rep to shift some funds from your Merrill account. However, I think it likely your advisor will find out and might reach out to you anyway. So not likely to avoid that interaction.

A third (and perhaps the best) option is to open a ME account and transfer in enough in "new funds" into ME to qualify for a transfer bonus. Once the bonus posts you can then consider some sort of consolidation of the accounts. If you go this route, I'd wait until they juice the current offer (they routinely increase it by 50% or more from the standard offer).

Since you have a relationship with Merrill, do you also have the BofA Premium rewards (or the no fee cash rewards) CC? With $100K in assets at Merrill/ME, you would qualify for the top tier cash back level (2.625% on all purchases on the PR card and up to 5.25% on the cash rewards card for certain types of charges).

Thank you for your response. If I do the 3rd option, do you think the advisor will know that I opened a Merrill Edge account and will he/she care?

My ML account with the advisor is not actively managed. I make the decisions myself (the advisor gets a commission for each trade). If I wanted to, I can move money in/out of the "sweep account" portion of it on my own free will. If I wanted to, I can even pay bills with the "sweep account" (don't know the exact term for the part of the account that holds cash). If I started paying bills with it, would the advisor know each time I pay a bill? Seems eerie. The only time I am contacted by the advisor other than during greeting card season is when a stock in my account provides an option for a divided to be distributed in cash or stock. I then have to communicate to the advisor my choice. I assume the advisor is alerted by an internal software program of this option vs looking at my account each week.
MikeG62
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Re: Merrill Lynch to Edge

Post by MikeG62 »

DTalos wrote: Wed Nov 25, 2020 12:54 pm
MikeG62 wrote: Wed Nov 25, 2020 8:08 am
DTalos wrote: Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:52 pm I have a Merrill Lynch account with an advisor that isn't actively managed. However, all trades have to go through the advisor. If I were to open an account with Merrill Edge and transfer some money in the "sweep account" at Merrill Lynch to Merrill Edge, would the advisor be altered and then wonder what's goin on? I don't want to terminate my ML account with the advisor, but I would like to do some trading on my own, hence wanting to sign up for Merrill Edge so I can move money from my ML to Merrill Edge. Alternatively, I could fund a Merrill Edge account via a transfer from an account I have at a megabank.
You have a number of reasonable options.

One is call your advisor and let him/her know you plan to open and transfer "a portion of the funds" in your Merrill account to a ME account as you'd like to be able to do some online trading on your own (without the need to call to get the trades executed and without interest in a second opinion on the trades). I don't see serious push back here - especially if there is no AUM fee on the Merrill account (although he/she may lose any fee charged for executing trades on your behalf)- as you are not closing/shifting the entire account.

Another is to call Merrill Edge and open the ME account and ask the ME rep to shift some funds from your Merrill account. However, I think it likely your advisor will find out and might reach out to you anyway. So not likely to avoid that interaction.

A third (and perhaps the best) option is to open a ME account and transfer in enough in "new funds" into ME to qualify for a transfer bonus. Once the bonus posts you can then consider some sort of consolidation of the accounts. If you go this route, I'd wait until they juice the current offer (they routinely increase it by 50% or more from the standard offer).

Since you have a relationship with Merrill, do you also have the BofA Premium rewards (or the no fee cash rewards) CC? With $100K in assets at Merrill/ME, you would qualify for the top tier cash back level (2.625% on all purchases on the PR card and up to 5.25% on the cash rewards card for certain types of charges).

Thank you for your response. If I do the 3rd option, do you think the advisor will know that I opened a Merrill Edge account and will he/she care?

My ML account with the advisor is not actively managed. I make the decisions myself (the advisor gets a commission for each trade). If I wanted to, I can move money in/out of the "sweep account" portion of it on my own free will. If I wanted to, I can even pay bills with the "sweep account" (don't know the exact term for the part of the account that holds cash). If I started paying bills with it, would the advisor know each time I pay a bill? Seems eerie. The only time I am contacted by the advisor other than during greeting card season is when a stock in my account provides an option for a divided to be distributed in cash or stock. I then have to communicate to the advisor my choice. I assume the advisor is alerted by an internal software program of this option vs looking at my account each week.
What is the benefit to you of having the advisor? How often do you speak with him/her?

To your questions, I don't know if he/she will see the asset transfer or not. But I would not worry about it. If he/she called, I would simply say I wanted to use their discount brokerage (DIY) platform for some of my assets and pick up the transfer bonus. What's wrong with that? If they gave me a hard time it would push me to close out the advisor relationship.

WRT using their bill pay service, I suppose he could see it if this involves funds on the full service platform. However, why do you care? And if my advisor called to ask me about any bills I was paying on his site, I'd ask him why he is looking at this and then tell him it's none of his business.
Real Knowledge Comes Only From Experience
Franklin
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Re: Merrill Lynch to Edge

Post by Franklin »

I have the exact same situation. Here is what i did. I called my ML advisor and told them I wanted a certain % of my tax deferred accounts (401k etc) placed in an EDGE 401K that they call "self managed". It shows up in all my ML sites but I am the only one who can buy/sell. The trades are free and there is no 1% type management fee. Of my ML accounts this represents about 20% of my balances. All it took was a phone call. My advisor and the EDGE banker took care of the rest. I still have an EDGE "after tax" account but I use the 401K self managed account to avoid taxes on the multiple trades (until I take it out). Easier than u think.

Good luck. Like u I didn't see a need to pay them for my own investment decisions.
Lastrun
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Re: Merrill Lynch to Edge

Post by Lastrun »

I am honestly scratching my head here a little.

If you want to trade some of your money on your own, I don't think your advisor should have an issue with it. Even the BofA Private Bank folks acknowledge this. See here: https://www.merrilledge.com/private-bank

But I suspect he/she will be able to see it as the ML platform is pretty seamless at this point. Once when I was on the phone with ME looking for a bonus the advisor noted I had moved money from Ally recently and whether there was any more there to move over to increase my bonus.

So if you want anonymity from the advisor, I think you will need to take the sweep money out to another brokerage.

I did something similar with my advisor years ago effectively trying to freeze what he had under management and take the "growth" out of the portfolio away from the AUM arrangement. He was a business associate and friend so I was reluctant. Eventually, I saw what I needed to do and completely ended the relationship. Best think I ever did.

From what you keep saying it looks like you are NOT paying an AUM fee.

Good luck.
bob60014
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Re: Merrill Lynch to Edge

Post by bob60014 »

My wife has a similar account set up at Chase and it's not a issue. Besides it's your money, your decision. Who cares what the advisor thinks, they advise not control.
tomsense76
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Re: Merrill Lynch to Edge

Post by tomsense76 »

DTalos wrote: Wed Nov 25, 2020 12:54 pm
MikeG62 wrote: Wed Nov 25, 2020 8:08 am
DTalos wrote: Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:52 pm I have a Merrill Lynch account with an advisor that isn't actively managed. However, all trades have to go through the advisor. If I were to open an account with Merrill Edge and transfer some money in the "sweep account" at Merrill Lynch to Merrill Edge, would the advisor be altered and then wonder what's goin on? I don't want to terminate my ML account with the advisor, but I would like to do some trading on my own, hence wanting to sign up for Merrill Edge so I can move money from my ML to Merrill Edge. Alternatively, I could fund a Merrill Edge account via a transfer from an account I have at a megabank.
You have a number of reasonable options.

One is call your advisor and let him/her know you plan to open and transfer "a portion of the funds" in your Merrill account to a ME account as you'd like to be able to do some online trading on your own (without the need to call to get the trades executed and without interest in a second opinion on the trades). I don't see serious push back here - especially if there is no AUM fee on the Merrill account (although he/she may lose any fee charged for executing trades on your behalf)- as you are not closing/shifting the entire account.

Another is to call Merrill Edge and open the ME account and ask the ME rep to shift some funds from your Merrill account. However, I think it likely your advisor will find out and might reach out to you anyway. So not likely to avoid that interaction.

A third (and perhaps the best) option is to open a ME account and transfer in enough in "new funds" into ME to qualify for a transfer bonus. Once the bonus posts you can then consider some sort of consolidation of the accounts. If you go this route, I'd wait until they juice the current offer (they routinely increase it by 50% or more from the standard offer).

Since you have a relationship with Merrill, do you also have the BofA Premium rewards (or the no fee cash rewards) CC? With $100K in assets at Merrill/ME, you would qualify for the top tier cash back level (2.625% on all purchases on the PR card and up to 5.25% on the cash rewards card for certain types of charges).

Thank you for your response. If I do the 3rd option, do you think the advisor will know that I opened a Merrill Edge account and will he/she care?

My ML account with the advisor is not actively managed. I make the decisions myself (the advisor gets a commission for each trade). If I wanted to, I can move money in/out of the "sweep account" portion of it on my own free will. If I wanted to, I can even pay bills with the "sweep account" (don't know the exact term for the part of the account that holds cash). If I started paying bills with it, would the advisor know each time I pay a bill? Seems eerie. The only time I am contacted by the advisor other than during greeting card season is when a stock in my account provides an option for a divided to be distributed in cash or stock. I then have to communicate to the advisor my choice. I assume the advisor is alerted by an internal software program of this option vs looking at my account each week.
Will they get notified? IDK

Can they see the account exists if they look? Yes

That said, they can't see anything inside the ME account. Was at BoA recently for something else. Since I needed to sign some boilerplate acknowledgement form for ME, asked the Merrill Rep at BoA to print out the form for me so I could handle both errands in one visit. However they were unable to as they couldn't see anything inside the ME account. The could only see that it existed. I don't recall if they could even see the balance. The Rep explained to me that once the ME account is open they can't do anything with the account. Instead one needs to call in.

Anyways like other posters have said, I wouldn't worry about what the advisor thinks about this account. Honestly if the advisor gave me grief over this account, I'd remind them that this is my money and I'm deploying it how I see fit. That should get them to back off. If not, agree with others that it would be time to sever ties with that advisor.

HTH. Best of luck :sharebeer
"Anyone who claims to understand quantum theory is either lying or crazy" -- Richard Feynman
Finance Nerd
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Re: Merrill Lynch to Edge

Post by Finance Nerd »

I strongly recommend ML Edge, and personally I think its not a big deal to just let the Advisor know, that you have some self directed assets you want to keep at ML, rather than at Brand X, (as a way to help them save face but let them know). I have had both advisor, plus primarily edge accounts with Merrill. I have had a good experience in 10+ years w/ Edge. Customer services, and features, analytics (portfolio returns etc), etc is shockingly good IMO. Actual time weighted account returns vs multiple benchmarks. And the ease of journal-entry transferring etc between ML accounts is a big benefit. You may have to call them, to be able to see all accounts "linked" to a single on-line user ID, if you want that. I've had a few accounts at other firms (including Vanguard) which have comparatively lousy web interfaces & analytics.
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DTalos
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Re: Merrill Lynch to Edge

Post by DTalos »

I have transferred funds electronically from my checking account at a megabank to my ML account with the advisor in the past.

The ML account online also has an option to transfer funds from the ML account to my checking account at the megabank. I went through 3rd party verification on ML website to confirm I am the owner of both accounts.

If I were to transfer funds electronically from my ML account to my checking account at the megabank, would the advisor be alerted, and then ask me what I'm doing?


I don't know why ML has brokerage accounts with financial advisors if the financial advisors don't actively manage them. This account has a couple of stocks that I don't intend to sell for a very long time and some cash, so other than the nominal annual fee ML charges per year to have the account, I don't know how the advisor makes any money with my account since there is no active management to which advisor can charge a % of assets fee. The only other way the advisor can make money on this account is if I start buying and selling stocks on this account because all trades have to go through the advisor. However, if I don't use the advisor for active management or for buying/selling stocks, I wonder why the advisor still wants my account?
Stubbie
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Re: Merrill Lynch to Edge

Post by Stubbie »

DTalos wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 4:36 am I have transferred funds electronically from my checking account at a megabank to my ML account with the advisor in the past.

The ML account online also has an option to transfer funds from the ML account to my checking account at the megabank. I went through 3rd party verification on ML website to confirm I am the owner of both accounts.

If I were to transfer funds electronically from my ML account to my checking account at the megabank, would the advisor be alerted, and then ask me what I'm doing?


I don't know why ML has brokerage accounts with financial advisors if the financial advisors don't actively manage them. This account has a couple of stocks that I don't intend to sell for a very long time and some cash, so other than the nominal annual fee ML charges per year to have the account, I don't know how the advisor makes any money with my account since there is no active management to which advisor can charge a % of assets fee. The only other way the advisor can make money on this account is if I start buying and selling stocks on this account because all trades have to go through the advisor. However, if I don't use the advisor for active management or for buying/selling stocks, I wonder why the advisor still wants my account?
It sounds like this advisor is not doing anything for you except intimidating you. I would transfer the whole account to Merrill Edge and be done with them. Make sure to see if you qualify for the bonus.
UpperNwGuy
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Re: Merrill Lynch to Edge

Post by UpperNwGuy »

DTalos wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 4:36 am If I were to transfer funds electronically from my ML account to my checking account at the megabank, would the advisor be alerted, and then ask me what I'm doing?
Yes, your advisor will know. If you want to trade without the advisor knowing about it, do it at a different broker that is not connected to Bank of America.
Topic Author
DTalos
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Re: Merrill Lynch to Edge

Post by DTalos »

UpperNwGuy wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 5:53 am
DTalos wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 4:36 am If I were to transfer funds electronically from my ML account to my checking account at the megabank, would the advisor be alerted, and then ask me what I'm doing?
Yes, your advisor will know. If you want to trade without the advisor knowing about it, do it at a different broker that is not connected to Bank of America.

My account at ML with the advisor also has check writing abilities. If I write a check on that account, will advisor know?
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goingup
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Re: Merrill Lynch to Edge

Post by goingup »

DTalos wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 4:36 am However, if I don't use the advisor for active management or for buying/selling stocks, I wonder why the advisor still wants my account?
I think anyone who has read this thread wonders why you want to keep the advisor. You could slide all your holding to Edge and cut the advisor loose. Or you could notify the advisor you’re opening a self-directed account apart from what he/she manages.

You haven’t been very forthcoming about why you care about what the advisor knows about your actions. Are you concerned your advisor will cut you loose? Do what you want to do. It’s your money. :beer
Tattarrattat
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Re: Merrill Lynch to Edge

Post by Tattarrattat »

I initially found the relationship with the Advisor a little uncomfortable but the fact that he also has check writing abilities? With your money? Now it's downright disturbing. Personally, I would make a 100% clean break, either to Edge, if you really want to stay in the BoA ecosystem, or else to Schwab.
123
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Re: Merrill Lynch to Edge

Post by 123 »

goingup wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 3:38 pm ...You haven’t been very forthcoming about why you care about what the advisor knows about your actions. Are you concerned your advisor will cut you loose? Do what you want to do. It’s your money. :beer
I would suspect that the OP has some kind of "history" with the advisor and it could be awkward to get out of it (advisors love those kind of situations). Perhaps the OP was lead to the account or advisor by a close friend or family member. Sometimes it's just easier to let static holdings lie in an inactive account so that there is no "rocking of the boat" and proceed with new/additional investments elsewhere.
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Re: Merrill Lynch to Edge

Post by drk »

DTalos wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 12:30 pm My account at ML with the advisor also has check writing abilities. If I write a check on that account, will advisor know?
These seem like good questions to ask your advisor. If you're not comfortable doing that, maybe it's time to reevaluate the business relationship.
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DTalos
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Re: Merrill Lynch to Edge

Post by DTalos »

Tattarrattat wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 4:19 pm I initially found the relationship with the Advisor a little uncomfortable but the fact that he also has check writing abilities? With your money? Now it's downright disturbing. Personally, I would make a 100% clean break, either to Edge, if you really want to stay in the BoA ecosystem, or else to Schwab.


No, the advisor does not have check writing abilities. Only I do. I also have the option to pay my bills electronically from that brokerage account. The advisor does not have any monetary control over the account. Only I do.
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DTalos
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Re: Merrill Lynch to Edge

Post by DTalos »

123 wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 4:26 pm
goingup wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 3:38 pm ...You haven’t been very forthcoming about why you care about what the advisor knows about your actions. Are you concerned your advisor will cut you loose? Do what you want to do. It’s your money. :beer
I would suspect that the OP has some kind of "history" with the advisor and it could be awkward to get out of it (advisors love those kind of situations). Perhaps the OP was lead to the account or advisor by a close friend or family member. Sometimes it's just easier to let static holdings lie in an inactive account so that there is no "rocking of the boat" and proceed with new/additional investments elsewhere.

I think you provided a very good summary of the relationship. The "history" is pleasant.
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