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Financial Advisor Issues - Merrill Lynch

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Financial Advisor Issues - Merrill Lynch

Old 02-12-2015, 04:22 PM
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Default Financial Advisor Issues - Merrill Lynch

I'm having some issues with my financial advisor and not sure whether I should make a change. I feel some loyalty as the advisor has handled my grandmother and mothers accounts. I consider mine on the low end with Merrill ($300,000) and am wondering if "I don't matter". I emailed him on 1-28 (Wedneday), requesting we get together soon to discuss 2015 plans. He responded back 2-5 (Thursday) and I followed up with a game plan on certain securities. He emailed back that he'll respond when he get's a few minutes (Thursday). I hear from him on Saturday (2-7) via email that he'll reach out to me on Monday (2-9).
As of today 2-12........nothing!
Should I move on or give him a few more days?
Old 02-12-2015, 04:29 PM
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Shoot him that exact same note (cleaned up version) and ask him what gives?

Depending on what he does for you should drive where you go.

Good luck,

J
Old 02-12-2015, 04:29 PM
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Move on. I would expect better service than what he/she is providing. I also deal with Merrill Lynch and have a fantastic adviser.
Old 02-12-2015, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyme2fish View Post
Move on. I would expect better service than what he/she is providing. I also deal with Merrill Lynch and have a fantastic adviser.
I can't imagine someone taking that long to respond. I respond the day I receive an email unless I am out of town (unless you count out of office reply). Since he was advising your parents, is he in the twilight of his career and out playing golf?
Old 02-12-2015, 06:08 PM
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I bank with Merrill and get stellar service. Think its advisor specific though.
Old 02-12-2015, 06:39 PM
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Im with rj and just switched advisors. First guy came highly recommended gave him 6 months of poor performance didnt like his attitude when we talked to him so we switched it all to one the wife had used before and she has already recovered the losses i incurred from the previous advisor.
Old 02-12-2015, 06:50 PM
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He's not making any money off an account your size. Depending on his practice he may have to ignore you.
Old 02-12-2015, 06:55 PM
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Move on. Your story is EXACTLY my story. I had a ML guy who took care of my Grandfather. I handled the estate when he passed and came to respect the ML guy in the process. Of course, my account wasn't as $$ as Pop's was... and in short order I was dealing with exactly what you are experiencing.

I found a young guy at another firm who was great, and helped me grow my account to almost the level the first guy would have wanted.
Old 02-12-2015, 06:58 PM
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My wife and I had the similar issue with a ML office, we moved on to Bank of America Investing and Financial but it is still with ML. We are happy with them so far.
Old 02-12-2015, 07:00 PM
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Draft an email to him about this. Don't send it and review it an hour later then send it. This is a very busy time for FAs. If you have liked him thus far don't run based on this. If you don't care for him move on.
Old 02-12-2015, 07:08 PM
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Move on, ML recently changed commission compensation. Accounts 250k and under get 0 commission.
Old 02-12-2015, 07:11 PM
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0 commission = 0......
Old 02-12-2015, 07:27 PM
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I really doubt the $0 commission bit. Most firms focus on the 100k and up crowd as most people have more money else where. $250k in a managed account pays around $3k per year in fees. That's $1500 to the broker for a few hours of their time each year. Not huge money but also not something you want to pass up.
Old 02-12-2015, 07:32 PM
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Move on to someone who cares as much as you do. Maybe he's too big or much older and cares less as someone else suggested. Not an ML issue, more of an advisor specific problem. I have many friends still there and they do a fine job. Regardless of size, you deserve better service.
Old 02-12-2015, 10:31 PM
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i have slightly more liquid net worth than you - i am young (30) and my financial advisor calls me and bugs me to get things done (wills/trust etc) that i would otherwise put off. He is active in many decisions and have found over time his advise to be spot on. I never feel like the small fish that i am - my calls are answered promptly they have a lawyer on staff that can review things if need be. Its truly a wonderful all around experience... Many of these big firm guys guys want AUM and to hell with the rest. I wanted someone who took a more active role in sorting out my goals and a clear path to reach them while protecting my family should something happen to me.
Old 02-12-2015, 10:41 PM
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I am lucky to have my brother as my financial advisor at ML. Ill get some insight tomorrow from him. I know that It is true that if they are not making commission off you, you are dirt to some.

If he has not answered you by now, move on please. It's very easy to change. Nothing makes me more mad then being ignored for services YOU are paying for. I give it a week depending on what the task is.. then good bye. No time to waste, you shouldn't be treated like that.
Old 02-13-2015, 04:26 AM
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Personally, I'd be more concerned about the numbers than whether or not he was waiting up in front of his computer for my emails.
Old 02-13-2015, 04:29 AM
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He's keeping his priorities in order. His number one priority is to make money for Merrill Lynch.
Old 02-13-2015, 05:39 AM
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I've been patiently watching the replies before posting.

Here's my somewhat biased view as a fee-only advisor.

It is important for you to work with someone who works with clients like you. If the majority of their clients are $1M+ or $50K, you don't fit. Age matters too. You can't judge the individual by the company they work for. Merrill Lynch has good and bad advisors. While they are guided by ML to their recommendations, they are individuals.

The first step is to define what you expect in terms of services and service. If all you need is asset allocation and investment implementation, you can get that cheap from a firm like Vanguard. If, on the other hand, you want someone who can guide you on matters such as estate planning, tax planning, family wealth transfer, you need to work with someone who specializes in it. In this latter situation, you should view the fees as being for the overall advice, not the investments. Investments should be cheap. They are a commodity. The value is in the advice.

I'd start by re-evaluating what you are looking for and decide if your current advisor is a good fit. If he is, then express your concerns. If he is not, the switch is very easy. If after thinking this through you decide to make a switch, feel free to PM me and I can give you some advice on how and where to find someone who is a better fit for your needs.

My practice is very focused and I average 1-2 new relationships a year. I probably refer 10-12 prospects a year to other advisors because they are not a good fit.
Old 02-13-2015, 05:50 AM
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Sprockets- spot on post. Curious, what is a good fit for your practice? Are you on your own or with a familiar firm?

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