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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Investor Alley => Topic started by: expectopatronum on June 25, 2015, 09:00:54 AM

Title: Merrill Lynch smooth talk
Post by: expectopatronum on June 25, 2015, 09:00:54 AM
I went to transfer my Roth IRA from Merrill Lynch / Edge (about $6K) to my Roth IRA at Vanguard last week. I got all the way to the end of the form, then called Merrill Lynch to make sure that there wasn't anything additional I had to "authorize" in order to complete the transfer (something the Vanguard website seemed to suggest?).

What I got was, obviously, a "please don't break up with us" plea from ML that confused me.

My funds are currently in a BlackRock high yield (BHYCX) and BlackRock Large Cap (MCLRX) and overall the Roth has gained about 20% in 2 years, something I knew before I went to transfer.  The ML guy told me, "The funds you are holding in have done really well! And you're a Platinum Privileges client, so you have those benefits too!" I told him that I was also paying a crazy 1.8% fee, and that the stock market in general has done really well for the past two years. He said they could "move the funds if I"m really fee-conscious". I also asked if he could explain, exactly, what the PP benefits were worth to me. I never really got clear answers.

Here are my questions, then:


Here are the other threads I found, for reference.
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/investor-alley/merrill-lynch-ira-roll-over-tooooo/msg233735/#msg233735
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/merrill-lynch-personal-manager-service-or/msg666810/#msg666810
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/09/the-final-days-of-merrill-lynch/307621/ <-- not a thread, but scary stuff that's concerning when you're thinking of building a portfolio somewhere
Title: Re: Merrill Lynch smooth talk
Post by: forummm on June 25, 2015, 09:50:30 AM
If you can buy Vanguard funds at ML, ML will probably still be charging you account fees on top of Vanguard's, and purchase fees too.

There's no advantage to having the ML account. If they are giving you extra benefits for having accounts with them it's because you're getting charged for them. Vanguard doesn't give out free car washes because they aren't charging you for them.
Title: Re: Merrill Lynch smooth talk
Post by: expectopatronum on June 25, 2015, 10:19:46 AM
Oh, as a note, the Platinum Privileges client thing is a result of having money at Bank of America, which of course he couldsee. The funny thing is, it's actually because of a family member's account that I'm listed on (but never touch).

But there's no such thing as a free lunch, so even if it's not paid out of ML fees, then it comes from SOMEWHERE...

Initiating transfer.
Title: Re: Merrill Lynch smooth talk
Post by: Cheddar Stacker on June 25, 2015, 10:23:55 AM
I had some funds at ML for many years with an advisor, and I cashed them out last fall. There's nothing special about ML, other than the high expense ratios.

I wouldn't worry about Vanguard going under. Even if they do you own pieces of the underlying companies the Vanguard indexes are invested in. Nothing to worry about.
Title: Re: Merrill Lynch smooth talk
Post by: Heckler on June 25, 2015, 10:54:12 AM
I went to transfer my Roth IRA from Merrill Lynch / Edge (about $6K) to my Roth IRA at Vanguard last week.

...


All I'm hearing is "But you have a lot of money with us and we don't want you to move it to another place", but no reasons WHY they're the best option.

Did you miss a zero or two?

Any time I've transferred funds from one institute to another, the receiving institute takes care of everything.  No need to talk to the sending institute at all.
Title: Re: Merrill Lynch smooth talk
Post by: NoraLenderbee on June 25, 2015, 11:57:19 AM
You aren't missing anything. There is no benefit for you if you keep your account at Merrill Lynch. Don't call them back; just file the form with Vanguard and let them take care of the transfer.
Title: Re: Merrill Lynch smooth talk
Post by: expectopatronum on June 25, 2015, 12:06:35 PM
I went to transfer my Roth IRA from Merrill Lynch / Edge (about $6K) to my Roth IRA at Vanguard last week.

...


All I'm hearing is "But you have a lot of money with us and we don't want you to move it to another place", but no reasons WHY they're the best option.

Did you miss a zero or two?

Any time I've transferred funds from one institute to another, the receiving institute takes care of everything.  No need to talk to the sending institute at all.

Sadly nope, they're looking at a relative's money held at BoA. I thought it was funny he put up a fight over $6K.

That's ultimately what he told me too - to do it with the other institute. I just thought I'd check in advance. Look how effective that was!

Thanks everyone!
Title: Re: Merrill Lynch smooth talk
Post by: StressLess on June 25, 2015, 12:06:47 PM
Regarding if someplace goes belly up, check out:

you should read up on SIPC on finras website

https://www.finra.org/investors/alerts/if-brokerage-firm-closes-its-doors

it's kind of like FDIC for accounts with securities up to 500k per account.  I don't think most people pay much mind to this as the chances of a place like vanguard going under are very very very small.

but if you are the paranoid type, i suppose you could use fidelity or t rowe price as they have lower fees than most (besides vanguard of course!) 

Title: Re: Merrill Lynch smooth talk
Post by: Indexer on June 26, 2015, 04:11:43 PM
Mutual funds go to zero when A. people take the majority of their money out and it closes or is merged with another fund.  & B.  when the investments go to zero.

In the case of A you left already, who cares?   In the case of B that is really unlikely with a well diversified fund, especially a total market index fund.

Example:  VTSAX has over 400 billion in assets spread across 3800 different stocks.  The odds of it going to zero aren't just small... the odds of it going to zero are about equal with the odds that an asteroid wipes out all human life.


Merrill Lynch:   Move it.  You seriously don't even have to talk to Merrill.  Call Vanguard.  They will move it for you if you complete a transfer form.  There is no benefit to having a vanguard fund at Merrill over Vanguard.  I can think of a few benefits to just having it at Vanguard.  Starting with free trades, and depending on your assets access to closed funds and free advice from financial planners that focus on index funds. 
Title: Re: Merrill Lynch smooth talk
Post by: TomTX on June 28, 2015, 09:47:34 AM
0) You may have to liquidate your Merrill investments inside Merrill. You do need to know the value.

1) Get out your latest statements from Vanguard and Merrill Roth accounts.

2) Call Vanguard Concierge Services and tell them what you want to do. They will ask for account numbers.

3) Sign the pre-filled forms VCS emails you. They should still be on the phone.

4) Mail the forms to Vanguard.

5) Wait 8 weeks while Merrill drags their feet on the transfer.

Done.