Merrill Edge Guided Investing FAQs

About Merrill Edge Guided Investing

How do I know if Merrill Edge Guided Investing (MEGI) is right for me?

Merrill Edge Guided Investing may be right for you if:
  • You're looking for an easy, low-cost way to invest for your goal online through a professionally-managed portfolio vs. doing it yourself.
  • You want an investment strategy built and managed by investment professionals in portfolio construction and investment selection by the Global Wealth and Investment Management Chief Investment Office (GWIM CIO).

What types of accounts can I open?

Currently you can open a Merrill Edge individual brokerage account or a Traditional or Roth IRA. You can also roll over a 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement plan. Be sure to review your Rollover IRA choicesBe sure to review your Rollover IRA choices
Merrill Edge Guided Investing does not yet offer these types of accounts: Joint, custodial, trusts or inherited IRAs. These accounts will be offered in the future. Please note that Guided Investing accounts do not allow power-of-attorney access. For any other types of accounts, please contact us or go to Open an account

Is there a minimum required to invest in a Guided Investing account?

Yes. There is a $5,000 minimum for each Guided Investing account.

What are the costs for the Guided Investing program?

You can get started with Guided Investing for as little as $5,000. There is a low 0.45% annual fee, which is charged monthly. For example, if your month-end balance is $10,000, next month's fee would be just $3.75. Other fees may apply.*
There are no trading commissions when our portfolio managers buy or sell ETFs in your account's portfolio. However, there are exchange fees charged by third parties, such as a transaction fee of between $0.01 to $0.03 per $1,000 of the principal for sell orders. In addition, there are fees associated with investing in ETFs, which are listed in each ETF prospectus under "Expenses and Charges." For more details about fees, please review the Program Brochure (PDF).
*Other fees may apply. Sell trades are subject to a transaction fee of between $0.01 and $0.03 per $1,000 of principal. There are costs associated with owning ETFs. To learn more about Merrill Edge pricing, visit merrilledge.com/pricing

How do I track my portfolio's performance?

Once you're enrolled, you can track the performance of your portfolio on your Guided Investing dashboard.

Investment Strategy and Portfolio Management

How is Merrill Edge Guided Investing different from robo advisors that make purely computer-driven investment decisions and other online investing programs?

Many online investment advisory programs use technology to make automatic, computer-driven portfolio adjustments based on mathematical rules or algorithms, which is why they are sometimes called "robo advisors."
Merrill Edge Guided Investing takes a different approach that combines:
  • The efficiency and power of technology to both recommend an investment strategy (which is based on your goal, risk tolerance and investment time horizon) and quickly process the investment decisions our investment professionals make on your behalf
  • Management by Merrill Lynch investment professionals who use a disciplined approach to asset allocation, portfolio construction and investment selection
  • Online access so you know where your portfolio is positioned at all times

How are investment strategies determined for Guided Investing accounts?

While technology can simplify investing and deliver real-time information, it's no substitute for human insight and skill. That's why Merrill Edge relies on the investment professionals from the Global Wealth and Investment Management Chief Investment Office (GWIM CIO) team to manage the portfolio strategies and investment selection for all of the Guided Investing accounts.
The GWIM CIO investment professionals focus on asset allocation, investment analysis and portfolio construction for Merrill Edge Guided Investing accounts. Their work involves:
  • Creating strategic asset allocation models
  • Building the investment portfolios
  • Making short-term tactical adjustments
  • Review and selection of ETFs for the strategies
  • Strategy review and oversight

How do you determine the right investment strategy for me?

First, you'll select a goal and answer some questions online about how much you want to invest and when you think you'll need to access your funds. Next, you'll answer questions to determine the risk tolerance for your goal. Finally, you'll review the strategy based on the information you provided. If you agree, you can then go ahead and open your account.

How is Guided Investing different from working with a Merrill Edge Financial Solutions Advisor™?

Guided Investing strategies are built and managed behind the scenes by our investment professionals in the Global Wealth and Investment Management Chief Investment Office (GWIM CIO). This approach allows us to combine innovative technology with professional guidance to offer a low-cost investment account.
Although you won't work one on one with a specific advisor, you can always call us 24/7 to talk with an investment specialist if you have questions about your account.
If you prefer one-on-one advice, you can work with a Merrill Edge Financial Solutions Advisor at a Bank of America financial center near you. Find a local Merrill Edge Financial Solutions Advisor

What is an ETF and how are ETFs selected for my portfolio?

Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) offer diversified exposure to a group of securities made up of stocks or bonds. ETFs trade like a stock, so prices change throughout the day. Investors can buy and sell at any time during market hours, providing more liquidity and flexibility.
The ETFs selected for Guided Investing portfolios must pass a rigorous screening by the Global Wealth and Investment Management Chief Investment Office (GWIM CIO). Our investment professionals choose exchange traded funds (ETFs) that fulfill the asset allocation for each strategy. Our goal is to look for ETFs in each asset class that have the potential to contribute to the portfolio's returns.

Does my Guided Investing account balance count toward my Preferred Rewards tier balance requirement?

Yes. Preferred Rewards lets you enjoy real benefits and rewards with your Merrill Edge and Bank of America® account balances. Learn more about Preferred Rewards

How and when is my account rebalanced?

Merrill Edge Guided Investing strategies are actively managed and are not rebalanced on timed intervals or periods. Merrill Lynch may update your strategy's allocation based on overall market conditions and potential opportunities to lower or take on more risk.
Like all securities, the value of the ETFs in your account will rise and fall over time. Our portfolio managers will monitor your account for any changes from your strategy's target asset allocation and rebalance your account as needed. Your account may also be rebalanced due to contributions or withdrawals or other flows of assets into or out of your account.

Help when you want it
Turn to us when you have questions or need help getting the most out of your investing experience. Learn more about Merrill Edge Guided InvestingLearn more about Merrill Edge Guided Investing
Call
Call 24/7
855.488.5245
Call 24/7
855.488.5245
Asset allocation, diversification and rebalancing do not ensure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets.

Please review the Merrill Edge Guided Investing Program Brochure (PDF) for important information including pricing, rebalancing, and the details of the investment advisory program.

Your recommended investment strategy will be based solely on the information you provide to us for this specific investment goal and is separate from any other advisory program offered with us. This program is not offered through an advisor.

Securities transferred to fund this account may be liquidated before they are invested in Merrill Edge Guided Investing. Please review the MEGI Investment Advisory Agreement for additional information. Be sure to consult your tax advisor if you have questions before completing this transaction.

Merrill Edge investment advisory programs are offered by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (MLPF&S).

MLPF&S and Managed Account Advisors LLC (MAA) are registered investment advisers. Investment adviser registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training.

You may be able to roll over to a Traditional or Roth IRA, roll over to a 401(k) at a new employer, take a distribution, or leave the account where it is, depending on your unique financial needs and retirement goals. Each option presents different benefits and limitations with regard to available investment choices and services, fees and expenses, withdrawal rules, required minimum distributions, tax treatment, and protection from creditors and legal judgments. Additionally there are limits to how often and when you can roll over your account. Be sure to review your Rollover IRA choices.

Based upon IRS interpretation of an existing rule, you can make only one rollover from an IRA to another (or the same) IRA in any 12-month period, regardless of the number of IRAs you own. You can, however, continue to make as many trustee-to-trustee transfers between IRAs as you want. You can also make as many rollovers from traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs ("conversions") as you want."

There is a single, 5-year holding period when determining whether earnings can be withdrawn federally tax-free as part of a qualified distribution from a Roth IRA. This period begins January 1 of the year of the first contribution to any Roth IRA account.

Neither Merrill Lynch nor any of its affiliates or financial advisors provide legal, tax or accounting advice. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions.

AR489NRM-EXP091218
Connect with us:
LinkenIn
Twitter
YouTube
Connect with us:
LinkenIn
Twitter
YouTube
Investing in securities involves risks, and there is always the potential of losing money when you invest in securities.

Neither Merrill Lynch nor any of its affiliates or financial advisors provide legal, tax or accounting advice. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions.

Merrill Edge is available through Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (MLPF&S), and consists of the Merrill Edge Advisory Center (investment guidance) and self-directed online investing.

Banking products are provided by Bank of America, N.A. and affiliated banks, Members FDIC and wholly owned subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation.

Investment Products:
Are Not FDIC Insured Are Not Bank Guaranteed May Lose Value


MLPF&S is a registered broker-dealer, Member Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC)Member Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) and a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation.

© Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved.