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Merrill Lynch or Edward Jones??
Old 06-20-2012, 07:24 AM   #1
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Merrill Lynch or Edward Jones??

I officially notified my employer of my intent to retire on August 31st (at age 55!). I have been working with both Merrill Lynch and Edward Jones, and both have come up with almost identical plans, both of which are acceptable to me.

How do I choose? Does anyone have any bad or good experiences with either of these firms?

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 06-20-2012, 07:35 AM   #2
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They are both outrageously bad and expensive firms to work with. Are you baiting us to list all the reasons why they are so awful?

Really. Do yourself a favor and seek out better places to help you with your money. I'd start with reading some books. After all, you got another 40 years to live with the consequences of this decision. Good authors are Ferri, Swedroe, Bernstein, Bogle, and so on.
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Old 06-20-2012, 07:43 AM   #3
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Are you joking? What threads have you read since October 2009? Where have you posted over 80 times? Can you really afford to retire at 55 and support an FA for the rest of your life?
I suggest you post an outline of these "acceptable" plans and the associated fees and I am sure the wiser, calmer folk here will guide you.
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Old 06-20-2012, 07:55 AM   #4
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Interesting that both plans were "almost identical".

I suggest you call Vanguard and ask them to give you a plan. If it is similar to the others, why not go with the the one with the lowest fees (Vanguard). If it is significantly different (especially in terms of asset allocation), you have some research to do to determine which is actually the best for you.
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Old 06-20-2012, 07:56 AM   #5
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They are both outrageously bad and expensive firms to work with. Are you baiting us to list all the reasons why they are so awful?

Really. Do yourself a favor and seek out better places to help you with your money. I'd start with reading some books. After all, you got another 40 years to live with the consequences of this decision. Good authors are Ferri, Swedroe, Bernstein, Bogle, and so on.
+1
There isn't enough time or space to list the number of serious problems I have had with ML over the past 12 years as they mishandled my wife's 403b. This includes the recent 15+ hours of numerous phone calls and forms (multiple incorrect forms they said to fill out and then later said I had to refile since they were the wrong form) since December to have her money moved to Vanguard after her retirement. They also charged us an excessive amount of money to finally transfer the money electronically.

If there was someone I really hated and wanted to see financially screwed then I would recommend ML.

I tried to candy coat this post as much as possible.

Cheers!
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Old 06-20-2012, 08:18 AM   #6
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Are you kidding? You've been a member here for 4 years and this is your plan? Wake up!
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Old 06-20-2012, 08:19 AM   #7
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Neither! I cannot imagine choosing one of these firms. My DH has his 401k through EJones and I'm annoyed by them every time I think about the costs. I cannot WAIT for the moment he leaves and I can roll his account into the IRA he holds at Charles Schwab.

Yikes! Double yikes!
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Old 06-20-2012, 09:25 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by rdjrn View Post
I officially notified my employer of my intent to retire on August 31st (at age 55!). I have been working with both Merrill Lynch and Edward Jones, and both have come up with almost identical plans, both of which are acceptable to me.

How do I choose? Does anyone have any bad or good experiences with either of these firms?

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 06-20-2012, 09:27 AM   #9
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Interesting that both plans were "almost identical".

I suggest you call Vanguard and ask them to give you a plan. If it is similar to the others, why not go with the the one with the lowest fees (Vanguard). If it is significantly different (especially in terms of asset allocation), you have some research to do to determine which is actually the best for you.
+1

When DH retired (I had already retired) we were using a FA at Smith Barney. Last year, I added up how much we had paid in "advisor fees", showed it to DH and we moved our accounts to Vanguard. Wish I had done it sooner.
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Old 06-20-2012, 09:43 AM   #10
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Having had accounts at both, I'd give a slight edge to Edward Jones. But I fired ML in 2001 due to increase in fee structure and lousy service, fired EJ in 2007 as adding little value and higher fees. Now brokerage with T Rowe Price, retirement funds at Vanguard, have been considering moving everything to Vanguard as I do less with individual stocks and more ETF and mutual funds.

My advice: NEITHER
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Old 06-20-2012, 09:52 AM   #11
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Check the fees both are charging you and decide if the advice has been worth it and will continue to be vs. a low fee place like Vanguard.

DH has a small inheritance he left at EdwardJones the past year (I think they are the brokerage of choice for small towns, where his parents lived). Not only has it been pretty stagnant, he gets e-mails and the occasional snail mail from the agent about stocks and funds to move the assets around to, which would result in nice little fees for EJ.
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Old 06-20-2012, 10:11 AM   #12
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I think a better comparison would be Vanguard vs Fidelity. THAT would interest me. Otherwise, it is kind of like discussing the merits of high-school cafeteria food vs prison food. Of course, that's just my opinion. YMMV
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Old 06-20-2012, 12:00 PM   #13
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I have been working with both Merrill Lynch and Edward Jones, and both have come up with almost identical plans, both of which are acceptable to me.
How do I choose?
If this is some kind of troll or joke, it ain't funny. I'm going to treat it as a serious question.

I have to admit that I'm genuinely curious why the flying $%^& you're asking that question of the posters on this discussion board.

First, you'll be paying enough to both of those companies that they should be able to recommend which discussion boards will be receptive to that sort of question. They should sign you up, type the post for you, and bring the laptop over to your house for you to read the commentary. In fact they should give you the laptop, too.

Second, your question indicates that you have paid scant attention to the advice you've been reading here. You've asked us dozens of questions about retirement plans, and now you want us to recommend one of these firms as a retirement planner? What makes us think you're going to pay any attention to our response now?

Third, the fact that you're letting those companies advise you on your retirement indicates that you're not going to follow our advice anyhow. So why bother asking us in the first place?

Go back and check your FIRECalc runs. If FIRECalc is good enough for retirees without a military pension and Tricare, then FIRECalc is probably good enough for veterans. And the advice you get on this board is far & away better than the advice you'd get from those firms.
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Old 06-20-2012, 12:07 PM   #14
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They are both outrageously bad and expensive firms to work with........
Oh great. I suppose Ameriprise is out, too?
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Old 06-20-2012, 12:13 PM   #15
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My neighbor worked for ED for almost 8 years. He left due to the pressure of getting clients to buy what paid the best commissions - I doubt that has changed... He now works for Fido and they do not present the same pressure (they do have a bonus system for bringing in new money though)...

Myself I use Fido and Vanguard - I used to use Scottrade until they made so many mistakes that I had to get my money out before they lost it... Took them 10 days to find $5,000 I deposited once from a wire transfer... Then another time I found calculation errors in my trading account and that took almost 3 weeks to correct... That was when I moved my account to Fido...
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Old 06-20-2012, 12:46 PM   #16
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As advisors, I'm not sure either one of them is any better or worse. You need to make your own decisions.

Having said that, my wife and I have been relatively pleased with the advice we've received from the local EJ guy who handles my employer's 401(k). We had some accounts at ML and left for the reasons others point out. We had accounts at Wachovia Wealth Management and left because of lousy service and high fees. So far, over about 5 years, EJ has been better than any of the others we've dealt with, but it might just be the local EJ guy we deal with.

By the way, we developed the plan and let them hold assets. We're aren't big traders. They aren't charging us any fees except when we buy or sell, which isn't often.
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Old 06-20-2012, 12:54 PM   #17
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As advisors, I'm not sure either one of them is any better or worse. You need to make your own decisions.

Having said that, my wife and I have been relatively pleased with the advice we've received from the local EJ guy who handles my employer's 401(k). We had some accounts at ML and left for the reasons others point out. We had accounts at Wachovia Wealth Management and left because of lousy service and high fees. So far, over about 5 years, EJ has been better than any of the others we've dealt with, but it might just be the local EJ guy we deal with.

By the way, we developed the plan and let them hold assets. We're aren't big traders. They aren't charging us any fees except when we buy or sell, which isn't often.
Thank you for the response. This is the first mature response to my question that I've received, and I appreciate it!
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Old 06-20-2012, 12:55 PM   #18
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Thank you for the response. This is the first mature response to my question that I've received, and I appreciate it!
I'm sorry you think the "none of the above" responses are automatically dismissible as "immature."
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:01 PM   #19
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Apparently there are many levels of mature responses.
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:03 PM   #20
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Thank you for the response. This is the first mature response to my question that I've received, and I appreciate it!
Wow. Have you been reading the same posts I've been reading?
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