Welcome to my Merrill Edge IRA Review. By the time we are getting to the end, I hope I will have helped you understand whether this IRA is one that you can rely on for whatever reason or is one that you should stay away from completely.
Table of contents
- Merrill Edge IRA Review ( What is it about?)
- Who a Merrill Edge IRA Best for?
- The Individual Retirement Accounts offered
- What are the available investment options with Merrill Edge IRA?
- The features on Merrill Edge IRA
- How is customer support offered to customers who have Merrill Edge IRAs?
- Is Merrill Edge IRA Genuine or Is It a Scam?
- Pros and Cons
Name: Merrill Edge IRA
Official Website URL: https://www.merrilledge.com/
Overall Rating: (3.1 / 5)
Recommended: Not the very best option (see further down in review)
Important to mention before we go into more details of this review:
We always strongly recommend to do your research online before you choose a company to invest with. There are so many reviews online of clients being ripped of and scammed. So please investigate thoroughly before you make your decision.
With that being said, let´s continue with the review on Merill Edge!
Merrill Edge IRA Review (what is it about?)
Merrill Edge exists as a platform that’s owned by the very popular investment company known as Merrill Lynch, which is at the moment owned by the Bank of America. This makes Merrill Edge a suitable option for investors because their accounts are opened either with Merrill Lynch or Bank of America. Most of the investors who choose to grow their money through Merrill Edge do so because they have access to wealth management options and traditional banking through this very able financial powerhouse.
Merrill Edge is somewhat similar to Charles Schwab, in the way that it assists customers with their banking and wealth management needs. This firm attracts customers by giving them generous sign-up bonuses to entice them to open accounts. For instance, investors who invest $20,000 upon opening their account usually receive an extra $100. Merrill Edge also has tiered bonuses.
Who Merrill Edge IRA is best suited for
Merrill Edge is generally a go-to option for those investors who would like to invest their money through one of the giant financial institutions in the entire world. It’s also very ideal for customers who would like to take advantage of the generous bonuses, do all their trading on an online platform, and work with a financial advisor without incurring any ridiculous fees and charges.
Merrill Edge IRA is not a good fit for investors who prefer to invest in non-traditional assets. Merrill Edge offers its customers self-directed IRAs but unfortunately lacks the non-traditional investments that most customers are looking for in today’s world, such as tax liens or even private placements.
Here’s the investment cycle that investors who choose Merrill Edge should follow to get started and begin investing:
The Individual Retirement Accounts offered
Merrill Edge offers the following IRA types:
- Traditional –These are ideal for those investors who plan on being in the lower tax bracket upon retirement.
- Roth –These accounts are the opposite of the Traditional IRAs.
- Rollover – these are perfect for savers who want to consolidate their plans into a single IRA,
- SEP and SIMPLE IRAs – these designed for self-employed people and small businesses.
What are the available investment options with Merrill Edge IRA?
This broker makes it possible for investors to access the traditional investment options. Some of the main assets you can access include:
- Stocks and equities
- Mutual funds
- Stock options
- Target date funds
- Bonds/ fixed-income investments
Merrill Edge also makes it possible for customers to access robust trading tools, as well as a collection of financial education resources. Therefore, investors can therefore do their research comprehensively, before picking an investment that matches their wealth-generation needs. Unfortunately, Merrill Edge does not offer a collection of alternative assets as other custodians do.
The features on Merrill Edge IRA
Merrill Edge happens to offer some of the most affordable investment options with the lowest fees for various investment products. investors are for instance charged a standard fee of $6.95 per trade (whether they are trading their stocks, options, or ETFs). Do not forget that ETFs and mutual funds usually have expense ratios that range between 0.03% to 2% on an annual basis.
Its usually advisable to keep the fees as low as possible, since they can erode investors’ nest eggs. Even the expensive and actively managed funds usually end up underperforming market indexes such as S&P 500. It’s therefore quite essential to have a look at the fees and related performance metrics before investing your money.
Merrill Edge also charges an extra $0.75 per options contract. Those who open mutual funds in their self-directed IRAs also get charged a fee of $19.95. Investors can, fortunately, access commission-free mutual funds. If anything, you’ll always have upfront disclosures for any charges you’ll incur for any trade.
Merrill Edge usually charges its customers trading fees for some fixed income products such as bonds, which range from 0 to 1$. Investors can trade most of the short term debt free investments such as US treasuries without getting charged any commission. Many bond investors usually buy “round lots”. These represent 100 bonds. Bonds generally have lower risks and low returns, which explains why investors are necessitated to invest a large amount of money on them to make big enough profits.
Investors can utilize the trading tools and the research resources to make their profits. They can also turn to financial advisors to advise them on how to pick the most suitable investments.
N.B: Getting help from a Merrill financial advisor comes at a fee, and may necessitate you to have a higher account balance.
How is customer support offered to customers who have Merrill Edge IRAs?
Merrill Lynch has great customer support that is offered through its various branches. Customers can make calls or reach out to them online, to get their issues sorted.
Is Merrill Edge IRA Genuine or Is It a Scam?
Merrill Edge is, in my opinion, genuine. Merrill Lynch, which works under Bank of America, has managed to build a name for itself already, and quite a significant number of customers trust it for the management of various assets.
Merrill Edge IRAs are generally not the very best in the market, as we can see from the poor customer ratings so far, in comparison with the best IRAs. The Merrill IRAs have only a (3,1/5) rating on Trustpilot for example.
Also, when looking at the BBB (Better Business Bureau) you find that Merrill is NOT an accredited business by them and the overall rating is not good at all:
Rating: (3.1 / 5) (out of 6 customer reviews) click here for details (opens in new window)
Rating: (1.1 / 5) (out of 407 customer reviews!) click here for details (opens in new window)
P.S. Merrill is NOT an accredited business by the BBB
As you can see from above I consider Merrill Edge to be a legit company, however, if they are your best alternative out there is a whole other story, and a decision you have to make yourself of course…
The rating is certainly not the very best, as you can tell by comparing it with some of the 5-star ratings from investors who do not rely on traditional assets to build their wealth for their retirement years.
I would strongly recommend that you look at other alternatives and compare them against eachother to get the best deal possible.
**See conservative investors top 5 recommended gold & silver IRA companies on this page instead instead
Pros and Cons
It is always a good idea to compare the positives against the negatives to get a better overall view of something, right? As always in our reviews on this website we provide you with some clear points on both sides of the spectrum:
- Sufficient customer support
- Trading portal offered
- Access to expert financial advisors
- Low fees
- There’s no minimum balance for the self-directed IRAs
- Bonuses for signups
- Not accredited by BBB + bad ratings from customers
- It does not offer non-traditional investments (only focuses on the standard options)
- The fees are low but not the lowest in the industry
- Those who want to work with financial advisors have to meet account minimums
- Expensive fees for the financial advisory services
Do You Own or Represent Merrill Edge?
If you are a representative, or associate of Merill Edge and have found something not to be correct in this review please, feel free to tell and I will make sure to update the info on this post. The easiest way to do it is in the comment section below or simply by sending an e-mail to email@example.com
Final Words and Verdict
Verdict: Not recommended!
Overall Rating: (3.1 / 5)
This is a legit company, however, it is not one I would recommend as there are plenty of alternatives with much better reputation. Merrill Edge IRAs offer a good investment vehicle for investors who are mainly comfortable with paper assets. There’s nothing like taking advantage of the non-traditional assets since they’re not offered. Despite offering significant safety to investors, the underlying assets may not do the very best job at withstanding market forces such as inflation. If you are out to safeguard your nest of retirement investments in the best manner possible, then the best alternative you have might be to invest in the one thing that cannot bend the knee to inflation – gold.
That’s all for this review of what Merrill Edge IRA entails, and what you can expect from it. I hope it was helpful and that you now know if it’s one that you can use to ensure that your retirement years are not stressful. You can make things even less stressful for yourself by hedging against the loss in value of your investment by purchasing precious metals and placing them in a self-directed IRA- check the recommended read in the link above.
I wish you well,
Eric, Investor and Team Member at Gold Retired!