We read of a broker at Merrill Lynch who left the firm because, and we quote:
“Under Merrill Lynch One, fees were going to go up for my clients by 30% to 40% on average.”
Wow, that’s a lot!
Account fees have always been a sore spot for us at Korving & Company, which is why we use Charles Schwab as our custodian. They don’t charge account fees.
Merrill is getting some negative reaction from the financial press. Here’s one from Forbes (Merrill’s Fee Debacle:
You’re near the top of your industry and a cash cow for your parent (Bank of America). The future looks bright as the financial crisis of 2008 fades. So, what do you do? You announce a complicated new fee structure that on the surface looks like it may increase fees for many of your top clients in a fast growing (fee-based) business. Then you explain it in murky terms. Not, in my opinion, too smart!
These fee changes are part of a platform restructuring that merges five separate managed account platforms on to a new one called Merrill Lynch One (set to rollout in September).
The author criticizes Merrill Lynch for creating confusion and a lack of clarity on how this is going to affect the clients and the brokers at Merrill.
If you have an account at Merrill Lynch, you may want to check out our clear, easy to understand and fully transparent fee structure.