Merrill Edge is a low-cost robo advisor that offers investors access to investment advice and guidance without the need for human interaction. It is one of the most popular robo advisors in the market, with over $3 billion in assets under management.
Merrill Edge Guided Investing Review 2021 is a low-cost robo advisor that provides investors with the ability to invest their money in an automated manner.
Investing, let’s face it, can be a time-consuming task. There’s a lot that goes into a good investment plan, from keeping on top of market developments to rebalancing your portfolio. As a result, many individuals find that using a robo-advisor, such as Merrill Edge Investing with a Plan, is a good option.
Is Merrill Edge Investing with a Plan, on the other hand, suitable for you?
We’ll go over all you need to know about Merrill Edge Guided Investing’s professionally managed portfolios in our Merrill Edge Guided Investing review so you can discover the best investment plan for your requirements.
What Is Merrill Edge Guided Investing, and How Does It Work?
Merrill Edge (a Bank of America subsidiary) is one of the biggest and most well-known online brokerages in the business. Merrill Edge Guided Investing, a revolutionary new account type that provides a simple method for anybody to invest with minimum fuss, was introduced in 2019.
Merrill Edge Guided Investing is a robo-advisor that creates high-quality portfolios with the use of human expertise. As a result, it’s a popular choice for those who desire a professionally managed portfolio without paying the hefty costs associated with many professional financial advice services.
Merrill Edge is the source of this information.
Also see: 12 Best Robo-Advisors to Help You Automate Your Investments
What Is Merrill Edge Guided Investing and How Does It Work?
The method of investing with Merrill Edge Guided Investing is simple. Here’s a short rundown of how everything works:
Types of Investing Accounts
You may choose from a variety of account options with Merrill Edge Guided Investing. While the account type you select will be determined by your financial objectives, you have the following options:
- Brokerage services for individuals and groups (taxable)
- Traditional Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)
- Roth IRAs are a kind of IRA that allows you to
- IRAS THAT ARE EASY TO MANAGE
- IRA Rollovers
- Custodial accounts at the UGMA and UTMA
Creating a Bank Account
It’s time to establish an account after you’ve decided which kind of investment account is best for you.
To establish an account with Merrill Edge Guided Investing, go to their website and fill out an online application. It’s worth mentioning, though, that accounts are presently only accessible to citizens of the United States.
You’ll be asked a few questions about your risk tolerance and financial objectives throughout the application process. The brokerage will develop your customized investment plan once you input this information.
After that, you’ll go through this suggested investment plan to make sure it’s appropriate for you. If that’s the case, you’ll accept the suggestion, fund your account, and then relax while your portfolio is handled for you.
Features of Merrill Edge Guided Investing
You receive a feature-rich managed portfolio with Merrill Edge Guided Investing. With an account, you’ll be able to take use of the following features:
When you establish a Merrill Edge managed portfolio account, you’ll need to select which portfolio management method is best for you.
Guided Investing, the first option, is basically Merrill Edge’s DIY robo-advisor account. You’ll need a minimum balance of $5,000 to open this account. These accounts come with an online dashboard where you can establish objectives and evaluate the investment strategy of your portfolio.
The stand-alone Guide Investing service, unlike the second account management option (Investing with a Guided Advisor), does not offer direct access to a financial advisor. This is the ideal choice for those who are more comfortable using internet tools but want a managed portfolio that is aligned with their financial objectives.
Investing with a Guided Advisor
Merril Edge’s Guided Investing with an Advisor accounts have all of the same excellent benefits as a regular Guided Investing account.
The difference is that with this account type, you’ll have unrestricted access to an expert financial adviser who will provide you one-on-one guidance and help you set your objectives.
This account requires a $20,000 initial deposit and has higher fees than the non-advisory account. However, it may be a good option for individuals who want someone to guide them through the whole investment process.
Asset Allocation & Portfolio Creation
You’ll be asked questions about your risk tolerance and financial objectives when you create an account with Merrill Edge Guided Investing.
As a result, Merrill Edge will be able to build a portfolio that is tailored to your specific requirements. The majority of Merrill Edge Guided Investing portfolios are made up of Vanguard, iShares, State Street Global Advisors, and Charles Schwab ETFs and mutual funds.
Merrill Edge does not manage its own ETFs or mutual funds, which is worth mentioning. As a result, the brokerage and the funds it recommends for its managed portfolio customers have no clear conflict of interest.
When you establish your account, you’ll have the opportunity to examine the recommended portfolio allocation that Merrill’s Chief Investment Officer has developed for you (CIO). The CIO will then manage your investment plan, but you won’t have direct interaction with them unless you choose the Guided Investing with an Advisor program.
One of the five main categories will be represented in the portfolio that the CIO builds for you. Based on your specified objectives, each of these categories is intended to distribute your money to certain kinds of investment products (e.g., stocks and bonds).
You may anticipate your portfolio asset allocation to be one of the following as a preliminary estimate:
- Stocks comprise less than 15% of the portfolio.
- The portfolio is somewhat conservative, with 40% equities and 60% bonds.
- Stocks make up 60% of the portfolio, while bonds make up 40%.
- 80 percent equities and 20% bonds – somewhat aggressive.
- 90 to 100 percent invested in equities is considered aggressive.
Your specific circumstances will determine the precise proportion of money allocated to funds that invest in stocks, bonds, and other investment products. However, your portfolio allocation should be comparable to what is shown above.
Investing for a Social Purpose
Merrill Edge is unusual in that it allows account holders with managed portfolios to choose to invest in socially responsible ways (SRI).
SRI is a form of investment in which you only invest in businesses that have strong environmental and social policies. This may imply investing in green energy businesses. It may also mean avoiding investing in businesses with a poor human rights track record.
You can match your portfolio with your values with Merrill Edge Guided Investing.
Merrill Edge is the source of this information.
Also read: The 7 Best Micro-Investing Apps
Rebalancing Your Portfolio
You won’t have to worry about changes in your account’s asset allocation since Merrill Edge Guided Investing is a robo-advisory service. Because your account includes portfolio rebalancing, you can be certain that your investments are on track.
Unlike other robo-advisors, Merrill Edge Guided Investing does not automate this procedure.
Because Merrill Edge’s investment strategists will rebalance your account as required, depending on their analysis of market patterns. This may happen weekly, monthly, or quarterly, depending on market circumstances. If all goes according to plan, it could happen quarterly.
Banking Services Availability
Because Merrill Edge is a Bank of America affiliate, a Guided Investing account gives you access to banking services.
While you’ll need to apply for and establish separate Bank of America accounts and loans, your Merrill Edge Guided Investing account makes it simple to get started.
You may also use a single platform to access your Merrill Edge and Bank of America accounts. As a result, you’ll have no trouble transferring money between your investment and banking accounts.
Self-Directed Investing is now available to you.
While this article focuses on Merrill Edge’s managed portfolios, self-directed investing accounts are also available. This means you’ll have access to self-directed brokerage accounts via your Guided Investing account, giving you complete control over your investments. To discover more, read our Merrill Edge review in its entirety.
Although self-directed investing isn’t for everyone, it’s simple to get started with your Merrill Edge account if you want to go it alone and learn more about portfolio management.
Merrill Edge is the source of this information.
Also see: The 12 Best IRA Accounts
Fees and Pricing for Merrill Edge Guided Investing
Whether you choose an account with access to a financial adviser will affect the price and cost structure of your Merrill Edge Guided Investing account. Here’s what you should be aware of:
To establish a Guided Investing account with Merrill Edge, you’ll need a $5,000 minimum initial amount. The yearly cost for these accounts is 0.45 percent, which is a little expensive given that you don’t have access to a financial adviser.
However, depending on your Merrill Edge Preferred Rewards level, this management charge may range from 0.40 percent to 0.30 percent. Your Preferred Rewards status is determined by your total Merrill investment and/or Bank of America account balances, with discounts beginning at $20,000 in balances.
Guided Investing with an Advisor
If you choose a Guided Investing account with an adviser, you must have a minimum balance of $20,000 in your account. A 0.85 percent yearly fee is also charged when working with an adviser.
This account type, like the non-advisory accounts, offers a management fee reduction depending on your Merrill Edge Preferred Rewards level. Your yearly charge may range from 0.80 percent to 0.70 percent with this reduction.
Fees for Other Accounts
Merrill Edge Guided Investing accounts include a limited number of additional account fees in addition to minimum account balances and yearly management fees.
Charges for wire transfers and canceling your account are among these costs, which are typical in the business.
It’s also worth noting that ETF sales in a Guided Investing account are subject to a $0.01 to $0.03 transaction charge every $1,000 traded. This is a tiny transaction charge, but it’s not something you’ll see with most managed portfolios or robo-advisors.
Merrill Edge is the source of this information.
Also see: 12 Best Investing Apps for Beginners and Experts
Merrill Edge Guided Investing Security is a service provided by Merrill Edge.
You’ll want to know that if you commit your money to a stockbroker, your assets will be kept safe and secure.
Merrill Edge offers top-notch security to its customers. This includes account encryption, multi-factor authentication, and ongoing fraud detection services.
Furthermore, although it is possible to lose money while investing, Merrill Edge is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). As a result, in the case of a brokerage collapse, your assets are covered up to $500,000 ($250,000 cash).
Pros of Merrill Edge Guided Investing
- The ability to invest in a socially responsible manner
- There are many account kinds to choose from.
- Financial analysis is performed using both computer-assisted and human-assisted methods.
- With larger account balances, there’s a chance of lower management costs.
- The majority of ETFs are inexpensive.
- Customer service and assistance are available around the clock.
- Bank of America banking and financial services are easily accessible.
- Investing with a Guided Advisor gives you access to limitless expert financial guidance.
- There are no conflicts of interest since all ETFs are non-proprietary.
- There are many excellent instructional resources available.
Cons of Merrill Edge Guided Investing
- A minimum balance is required for all accounts.
- A transaction fee is charged on ETF sales.
- There’s a little chance you’ll be able to manually modify your portfolio.
- There is no provision for tax loss harvesting.
- Non-residents of the United States are not eligible for accounts.
Alternatives to Merrill Edge Guided Investing
While Merrill Edge Guided Investing is an excellent choice for many individuals, it is not for everyone. If you don’t think the brokerage’s managed accounts are appropriate for you, try these two alternatives:
Betterment is an AI-powered robo-advisor for hands-off investors and is one of the biggest robo-advisors in the United States.
Betterment’s robo-advisory service, similar to Merrill Edge Guided Investing, provides a variety of managed portfolios. Betterment, on the other hand, has a lot of things that Merrill Edge doesn’t, such as tax-loss harvesting.
Betterment also offers reduced yearly costs (0.25 percent to 0.40 percent), no investing minimums, and the option to talk with a financial advisor if you choose the premium account. As a result, it may be preferable for those who want to start investing with a modest amount of money.
To discover more, read our complete Betterment review.
SoFi Automated Investing is a service provided by SoFi.
SoFi Automated Investing is a new robo-advisory service aimed for those who wish to reduce their investment costs to a bare minimum.
SoFi’s robo-advisers build and maintain portfolios, but you’ll still have access to human financial advisors if you have any questions or concerns. SoFi, on the other hand, does not provide socially responsible investment or tax loss harvesting.
Despite this, SoFi has a distinct edge over the competition in that it charges no account maintenance fees and has no account minimums. However, it invests in a considerably smaller number of ETFs, many of which are SoFi’s own newly launched funds.
As a result, SoFi Automated Investing is a good option for investors who want to avoid advising fees but aren’t choosy about which funds they put their money in.
To discover more, read our complete SoFi Automated Investing review.
Who Should Join Merrill Edge Guided Investing, and Who Should Stay Away?
Merrill Edge Guided Investing is an excellent option for someone who wants to keep their finances under their control.
It’s a good choice for those who want to keep track of their money but don’t want to actively manage their assets because of its simple platform. If you want to work with a financial adviser, Merrill Edge Guided Investing is a good option.
However, since Guided Investing has very large account minimums and management costs, it is not suitable for those with little funds. At the same time, apart from choosing a socially responsible portfolio, it doesn’t provide you many options for customizing your investments.
Finally, Merrill Edge Guided Investing is ideal for passive investors with a little amount of money who desire a fully managed portfolio on their behalf.
Frequently Asked Questions about Merrill Edge Guided Investing
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Merrill Edge Guided Investing:
Is Merrill Edge Guided Investing Suitable for Novices?
Merrill Edge Guided Investing’s high account minimums make it unsuitable for new investors with little funds. Merrill Edge’s advisory service, on the other hand, is a straightforward and convenient method to get started as a new investor provided you can satisfy the account minimums ($5,000 to $20,000).
Merrill Edge Guided Investing is a simple method for individual investors to manage their money. However, the brokerage’s large minimum investments may not be suitable for those seeking to get started with a lesser sum of money.
Merrill Edge Guided Investment, on the other hand, has a lot to offer, including a simplified asset allocation process, a simple platform, and possibilities for socially responsible investing.
Merrill Edge is a low-cost robo advisor that offers an automated investing service. It has been in operation since 2001 and has seen its fair share of ups and downs. Reference: merrill edge guided investing performance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Merrill Edge have robo advisor?
Merrill Edge does not offer a robo advisor service.
Does Bank of America have a robo advisor?
No, Bank of America does not have a robo advisor.
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