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Merrill Edge brokerage accounts


muscleman
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Has anyone used them?

I am leaving my current employer soon, so I am shopping for a IRA rollover. It seems like if I open the checking with BoA and rollover IRA with them, I will get the checking account's fees waived, and get up to 30 free trades per month. I think that is great! Is their trade execution good?

 

I checked some online reviews about this broker and it seems like the reviews are pretty bad. :(

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Haha. I've been following your posts on here in regards to if IB is good or not as well as dealing with captive choices in 401ks. I think almost everyone is giving IB the greenlight, but I have to ask them a few more questions since I'd like to setup no-fee power of attorney management of some family accounts through them too.

 

I was going to use Fidelity for everything, but their fees and the fact that they want to snail mail forms for every single account (and happen to send the wrong form) makes it a pain. I actually had to do power of attorney to then just ASK if a brokerage window was allowed on one account. I couldn't just do a hypothetical (I work for X employer) and get a response, even though I had passwords and account access up at the same time.

 

Anyway, Merrill Edge and also the Wells Fargo account that is similar are supposed to be awful. Most people that work at Wells Fargo don't even know about the account with free trades. I'd avoid both. If you want to use funds, then Fidelity is somewhat reasonable with their NTF and I think only a fee for the initial setup of a fund. Maybe additional payments to the same fund are free, as are selling.

 

IB looks to charge $15 one way. That's not bad and I'm not sure if someone charges less than that. They also say fund purchases are no-load only, so perhaps with a load of 5%, that's waived in IB's case. Not sure.

 

Anyway, thank for scoping out and generating these discussions :)

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Haha. I've been following your posts on here in regards to if IB is good or not as well as dealing with captive choices in 401ks. I think almost everyone is giving IB the greenlight, but I have to ask them a few more questions since I'd like to setup no-fee power of attorney management of some family accounts through them too.

 

I was going to use Fidelity for everything, but their fees and the fact that they want to snail mail forms for every single account (and happen to send the wrong form) makes it a pain. I actually had to do power of attorney to then just ASK if a brokerage window was allowed on one account. I couldn't just do a hypothetical (I work for X employer) and get a response, even though I had passwords and account access up at the same time.

 

Anyway, Merrill Edge and also the Wells Fargo account that is similar are supposed to be awful. Most people that work at Wells Fargo don't even know about the account with free trades. I'd avoid both. If you want to use funds, then Fidelity is somewhat reasonable with their NTF and I think only a fee for the initial setup of a fund. Maybe additional payments to the same fund are free, as are selling.

 

IB looks to charge $15 one way. That's not bad and I'm not sure if someone charges less than that. They also say fund purchases are no-load only, so perhaps with a load of 5%, that's waived in IB's case. Not sure.

 

Anyway, thank for scoping out and generating these discussions :)

 

Thank you! I read a few broker reviews and Merrill indeed look to be horrible. I think I will just stay with Fidelity for my current 401k then.

I am also lobbying the new employer's 401k admin and see if I can get that brokerage window option added.

In terms of free checking account, it seems hard to find one these days. All big banks want to charge a fee unless certain criterias are met. Small credit unions are nicer, but they have far less branches, which makes banking not so easy.

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Good luck on lobbying. I don't think it's possible. Oddball on here was only able to get his employer to add some low cost index funds which they should have already offered within his 401k. I've tried to get it added to a family member's account and even complete willingness to pay the piddling $500 fee didn't work. Of course it depends on the size/bureaucracy of your employer.

 

I think Fidelity has some banking actions within their accounts. However, I see that IB has the 2 stage authentication with the USB key. It's not like money in a bank is making anything worthwhile anyway, so I could see just putting cash in IB since it seems like identity theft is almost a non-issue with them.

 

Maybe just get an online bank. A lot of them actually will pay the ATM fees wherever you get cash. I actually try to do everything electronically nowadays if possible since you have to waste time and gas to deposit and take stuff out of banks :P 

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Good luck on lobbying. I don't think it's possible. Oddball on here was only able to get his employer to add some low cost index funds which they should have already offered within his 401k. I've tried to get it added to a family member's account and even complete willingness to pay the piddling $500 fee didn't work. Of course it depends on the size/bureaucracy of your employer.

 

I think Fidelity has some banking actions within their accounts. However, I see that IB has the 2 stage authentication with the USB key. It's not like money in a bank is making anything worthwhile anyway, so I could see just putting cash in IB since it seems like identity theft is almost a non-issue with them.

 

Maybe just get an online bank. A lot of them actually will pay the ATM fees wherever you get cash. I actually try to do everything electronically nowadays if possible since you have to waste time and gas to deposit and take stuff out of banks :P

 

I have considered just doing online banking, but it doesn't seem that easy. Sometimes I do get cash to deposit to my bank account.

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Has anyone used them?

I am leaving my current employer soon, so I am shopping for a IRA rollover. It seems like if I open the checking with BoA and rollover IRA with them, I will get the checking account's fees waived, and get up to 30 free trades per month. I think that is great! Is their trade execution good?

 

I checked some online reviews about this broker and it seems like the reviews are pretty bad. :(

 

 

I use MerrillEdge for my IRA and CMA. Its great and works out for me. I dont use much margin so its fine and rarely trade so i might not be using all the services they provide but the execution and 30 free trades that i get more than enough for me. I am not able to do lending shares and other stuff IB does but for me i dont need those things. I would say it all depends on what you need. If you use margin IB has great rates and you can also have lot of felxibility with foreign trades with Fidelity and IB.

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Has anyone used them?

I am leaving my current employer soon, so I am shopping for a IRA rollover. It seems like if I open the checking with BoA and rollover IRA with them, I will get the checking account's fees waived, and get up to 30 free trades per month. I think that is great! Is their trade execution good?

 

I checked some online reviews about this broker and it seems like the reviews are pretty bad. :(

 

I used it and can confirm that it's crap. ...but it's worth the $0 trades. :)

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Various brokerages offer various goodies. Some offer free LEVEL 2 quotes (TD Ameritrade), some offer stock lending (IB), some offer free trades (Merrill), some offer access 25 countries (Fidelity). Just depends on what your needs are, what matters to you the most, etc.

 

Of course, nothing's stopping you from opening accounts at ALL majors brokerages :P

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Has anyone used them?

I am leaving my current employer soon, so I am shopping for a IRA rollover. It seems like if I open the checking with BoA and rollover IRA with them, I will get the checking account's fees waived, and get up to 30 free trades per month. I think that is great! Is their trade execution good?

 

I checked some online reviews about this broker and it seems like the reviews are pretty bad. :(

 

 

I use MerrillEdge for my IRA and CMA. Its great and works out for me. I dont use much margin so its fine and rarely trade so i might not be using all the services they provide but the execution and 30 free trades that i get more than enough for me. I am not able to do lending shares and other stuff IB does but for me i dont need those things. I would say it all depends on what you need. If you use margin IB has great rates and you can also have lot of felxibility with foreign trades with Fidelity and IB.

 

I don't use margin and I rarely trade as well, so that is not a problem for me.

Fidelity 401k cannot trade international stocks, so if we compare these two companies, is there any other advantage of Fidelity?

 

I did some research online, and people were saying that Merrill was horrible that even the web pages do not function properly. They don't even show the correct ticker price. Is that true?

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Has anyone used them?

I am leaving my current employer soon, so I am shopping for a IRA rollover. It seems like if I open the checking with BoA and rollover IRA with them, I will get the checking account's fees waived, and get up to 30 free trades per month. I think that is great! Is their trade execution good?

 

I checked some online reviews about this broker and it seems like the reviews are pretty bad. :(

 

I used it and can confirm that it's crap. ...but it's worth the $0 trades. :)

 

What do you dislike about it?

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Have you considered etrade, to take advantage of their $200-$600 cashback promotion (depending on the rollover amount) + 2 months of free stock and options trades?

 

After receiving the bonus, you can always transfer to another brokerage of your preference. 

 

 

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Have you considered etrade, to take advantage of their $200-$600 cashback promotion (depending on the rollover amount) + 2 months of free stock and options trades?

 

After receiving the bonus, you can always transfer to another brokerage of your preference.

 

Merrill Edge currently have a similar promotion, and I need a free checking account.

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Have you considered etrade, to take advantage of their $200-$600 cashback promotion (depending on the rollover amount) + 2 months of free stock and options trades?

 

After receiving the bonus, you can always transfer to another brokerage of your preference.

 

Merrill Edge currently have a similar promotion, and I need a free checking account.

 

Makes sense.  The etrade promotion seems to be a bit easier/better regarding deposit bonus on a bonus/min deposit requirement level, but they do have higher fees post promotion and no free checking.  Perhaps rollover to etrade first, get their bonus, then transfer to merrill edge afterwards and get their bonus too?  Of course, the promotion may be gone at that point.  Sorry, don't mean to be some etrade fanboy here!  Wish you well on your brokerage hunting!

 

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Have you considered etrade, to take advantage of their $200-$600 cashback promotion (depending on the rollover amount) + 2 months of free stock and options trades?

 

After receiving the bonus, you can always transfer to another brokerage of your preference.

 

Merrill Edge currently have a similar promotion, and I need a free checking account.

 

Makes sense.  The etrade promotion seems to be a bit easier/better regarding deposit bonus on a bonus/min deposit requirement level, but they do have higher fees post promotion and no free checking.  Perhaps rollover to etrade first, get their bonus, then transfer to merrill edge afterwards and get their bonus too?  Of course, the promotion may be gone at that point.  Sorry, don't mean to be some etrade fanboy here!  Wish you well on your brokerage hunting!

 

Thank you!

I am thinking about Fidelity, Merrill and IB.

I already have my individual account in IB and it is pretty good.

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Has anyone used them?

I am leaving my current employer soon, so I am shopping for a IRA rollover. It seems like if I open the checking with BoA and rollover IRA with them, I will get the checking account's fees waived, and get up to 30 free trades per month. I think that is great! Is their trade execution good?

 

I checked some online reviews about this broker and it seems like the reviews are pretty bad. :(

 

I used it and can confirm that it's crap. ...but it's worth the $0 trades. :)

 

What do you dislike about it?

 

I meant to say use* it.

 

The platform is terrible. It's a bit slow and just unorganized in general. The customer service reps don't seem to know much. You might have a question for them and they will transfer you a few times or keep you on hold until they find someone who knows the answer. Certain issues they have never been able to solve for me. Such as: I wanted to get my stocks listed under my name rather than street name so that I can receive annual reports in the mail, and nobody seemed to have a clue as to what I was talking about.

 

Even calling in is a headache because you have to give your account #, last 4 of ss, and zip code to the automated operator first, then you have to choose your type of inquiry from a menu of items, and then when you finally get a rep on the line you have to give certain details of your recent trading activity in order to confirm that it's really you. You have to do all this for even basic questions that shouldn't require security protocol.

 

Their trade execution is fine. Even with a tiny OTC security like glacier, I was able to fill pretty quickly. However there is an added security measure if you want to trade OTC stocks or preferreds such as Fannie. They send you a card which you can click on and it generates a random number that you have to type in before each trade you make, which I find annoying.

 

Overall it's an annoying experience but since I trade infrequently I don't mind it given the free trades. If I was a short term/momentum guy, I don't see myself using it.

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Honestly, I'd be willing to pay a little extra for IB in general. I've sent them a few emails and actually gotten reasonable responses. I can't stand a company that makes you call to get anything done.

 

I think this was on another post, but you can take currencies from IB and wire them to Fidelity for the exchanges that IB doesn't cover. Save 2% plus right there.

 

Level 2 quotes, I have to ask, is this only a domestic/US thing or are there level 2 quotes for overseas exchanges too? Any free or paid resources for level 2 quotes aside from datafeeds from IB (and are these datafeeds even for level 2)?

 

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I'm thinking now that IB may actually be better even in terms of cost, if I can lend out my sears shares for interest and because it has cheaper options trading (I think) than Merrill.

 

Actually, what I am looking for is a decent rollover IRA account.

IB cannot lend out shares in IRA accounts, and they charge $7.5 per quarter, which is not big fee though.

I think the only advantage for IB's IRA account is that its foreign stock trading is quite nice.

 

By the way, in Merrill, if you sell a stock, would you be able to use that unsettled cash proceeds to buy a stock? I can do this in Fidelity cash account, but for IB, I must have a margin account to do this. What about Merrill?

 

BTW2, What about Merrill's international stock trading? Do they have  that?

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I'm thinking now that IB may actually be better even in terms of cost, if I can lend out my sears shares for interest and because it has cheaper options trading (I think) than Merrill.

 

Actually, what I am looking for is a decent rollover IRA account.

IB cannot lend out shares in IRA accounts, and they charge $7.5 per quarter, which is not big fee though.

I think the only advantage for IB's IRA account is that its foreign stock trading is quite nice.

 

By the way, in Merrill, if you sell a stock, would you be able to use that unsettled cash proceeds to buy a stock? I can do this in Fidelity cash account, but for IB, I must have a margin account to do this. What about Merrill?

 

BTW2, What about Merrill's international stock trading? Do they have  that?

 

I saw you mention trading on "unsettled cash proceeds"...

 

You might want to learn about "limited margin" for your IRA account -- yes, I did just use the words "IRA" and "margin" together.  This is from the Fidelity website:

 

https://www.fidelity.com/viewpoints/active-trader/how-to-use-margin

 

Limited margin

 

Limited margin allows a client to trade on unsettled funds without triggering certain trading restrictions, such as good faith violations in an IRA account. Good faith violations occur when an account purchases a position on unsettled funds, and sells the position before the settlement date of the sale that generated the proceeds.

 

Limited margin does not allow for borrowing against existing holdings, account leverage, creating cash or margin debits, short selling of securities, or selling naked options. At Fidelity, limited margin is available only for traditional, Roth, rollover, SEP, and Simple IRAs. IRA accounts with an FDIC core are ineligible. So, if clients want limited margin, they may need to change their core for that account. Moreover, clients must have an investment objective of “most aggressive” and should be aware that all day-trade rules will still apply with respect to requirements and liquidations. This includes the $25,000 minimum equity requirement.

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I'm thinking now that IB may actually be better even in terms of cost, if I can lend out my sears shares for interest and because it has cheaper options trading (I think) than Merrill.

 

Actually, what I am looking for is a decent rollover IRA account.

IB cannot lend out shares in IRA accounts, and they charge $7.5 per quarter, which is not big fee though.

I think the only advantage for IB's IRA account is that its foreign stock trading is quite nice.

 

By the way, in Merrill, if you sell a stock, would you be able to use that unsettled cash proceeds to buy a stock? I can do this in Fidelity cash account, but for IB, I must have a margin account to do this. What about Merrill?

 

BTW2, What about Merrill's international stock trading? Do they have  that?

 

I'm not sure about the unsettled cash thing, since I have an untapped margin account. And I'm 99% sure they don't have international trading.

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I'm thinking now that IB may actually be better even in terms of cost, if I can lend out my sears shares for interest and because it has cheaper options trading (I think) than Merrill.

 

Actually, what I am looking for is a decent rollover IRA account.

IB cannot lend out shares in IRA accounts, and they charge $7.5 per quarter, which is not big fee though.

I think the only advantage for IB's IRA account is that its foreign stock trading is quite nice.

 

By the way, in Merrill, if you sell a stock, would you be able to use that unsettled cash proceeds to buy a stock? I can do this in Fidelity cash account, but for IB, I must have a margin account to do this. What about Merrill?

 

BTW2, What about Merrill's international stock trading? Do they have  that?

 

I saw you mention trading on "unsettled cash proceeds"...

 

You might want to learn about "limited margin" for your IRA account -- yes, I did just use the words "IRA" and "margin" together.  This is from the Fidelity website:

 

https://www.fidelity.com/viewpoints/active-trader/how-to-use-margin

 

Limited margin

 

Limited margin allows a client to trade on unsettled funds without triggering certain trading restrictions, such as good faith violations in an IRA account. Good faith violations occur when an account purchases a position on unsettled funds, and sells the position before the settlement date of the sale that generated the proceeds.

 

Limited margin does not allow for borrowing against existing holdings, account leverage, creating cash or margin debits, short selling of securities, or selling naked options. At Fidelity, limited margin is available only for traditional, Roth, rollover, SEP, and Simple IRAs. IRA accounts with an FDIC core are ineligible. So, if clients want limited margin, they may need to change their core for that account. Moreover, clients must have an investment objective of “most aggressive” and should be aware that all day-trade rules will still apply with respect to requirements and liquidations. This includes the $25,000 minimum equity requirement.

 

Thank you Eric. I currently have the 401k with Fidelity, and I assume it is a cash account because I got one good faith violation this year.

But with this cash account, I am able to use unsettle proceeds to buy stocks, and that is sufficient for me. I am not day trading and I won't have too many good faith violations anyway.

 

I suppose you are using Fidelity IRA? Are you able to trade international stocks in it?

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I'm thinking now that IB may actually be better even in terms of cost, if I can lend out my sears shares for interest and because it has cheaper options trading (I think) than Merrill.

 

Actually, what I am looking for is a decent rollover IRA account.

IB cannot lend out shares in IRA accounts, and they charge $7.5 per quarter, which is not big fee though.

I think the only advantage for IB's IRA account is that its foreign stock trading is quite nice.

 

By the way, in Merrill, if you sell a stock, would you be able to use that unsettled cash proceeds to buy a stock? I can do this in Fidelity cash account, but for IB, I must have a margin account to do this. What about Merrill?

 

BTW2, What about Merrill's international stock trading? Do they have  that?

 

I'm not sure about the unsettled cash thing, since I have an untapped margin account. And I'm 99% sure they don't have international trading.

 

Thank you. So Merrill is more like a Scottrade type of broker for ordinary mom and pop.

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I have accounts at Fidelity, Vanguard, Sharebuilder, and Schwab.

 

Sharebuilder and Schwab suck, I opened both to take advantage of promotions and to get a feel for the platform, I dislike both.  I forgot I even had money at Schwab until this post, I need to go rescue it, I'm expecting a nasty transfer fee..

 

Vanguard is fine if you trade infrequently and watch their index funds.  My wife's IRA is there, I have some trouble purchasing smaller OTC stocks though.

 

I like Fidelity, I use them for all our banking as well.  They have a no-fee cash management account, a debit card, unlimited free checks etc.  You can withdrawal cash from any ATM in the world with it without a fee.  I was pleasantly surprised when in Spain I used it to withdrawal Euros and wasn't docked any fees, the exchange rate was attractive as well.

 

You mention wanting a brick and mortar bank, but need free checking.  Why are you limiting yourself to just credit unions?  There are thousands of small community banks that offer free products.  I would suggest opening a brick and mortar account for any transactions that need to happen in person, then pairing it with something like Fidelity, that's what we do.

 

Eric pointed out something very attractive about Fidelity.  In all accounts they will extend a temporary margin allowing you to trade unsettled funds.  Most brokers force you to wait three days for the trade to settle.  This is a pain if you want to sell something to immediately purchase something else, a limited opportunity.  I've had it happen a few times where if I had to wait three days after selling to free up cash I would have missed out on a few great purchases.

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