In our August issue (and in several earlier web stories), we wrote about Merrill Lynch's improved online offering for do-it-yourself investors. The theory, ML executives said, was let's get assets from other DIY platforms, such as e*Trade, Schwab, TD Ameritrade and other platforms. The other theory was: In so doing ML could cultivate the Gen Y investor, the guy who isn't rich--yet--but might be someday; let's talk to the young, upwardly mobile in language they understand, namely, the internet. Merrill FAs we spoke to hated the idea, describing Edge as “anti-advisor.” "Do we want to be like Goldman Sachs, focusing on high-net-worth clients or be like a discount broker?" one FA asked me, rhetorically.
Well, here is one Merrill Edge users assessment of the upgraded web-trading platform, that it sucks. Posted on DON’T TALK TO CHUCK
"I've been a customer of BofAInv. Servcs. Inc. for couple years. And I got used to their platform and style. Even though it was MUCH WORSE than the one TD Ameritrade and Scootrade had at that time, I just got used to it after couple weeks. Now... with the "new" Merrill Edge it's just mission impossible. Website is not legible at all! Horrible fonts, unbelievably bad website design and lots of not needed links. The most important links are burried somewhere in many other options which it takes time to find. Telephone service is just horribly BAD! Wait times are beyond sanity. Customer service is just horrible and simply put - RUDE. But the worst of all. TRADE EXECUTIONS. The other day I've seen the ask price "on the tape" was 59.60 and I placed the order to buy 100 shares at 59.60. Guess what... It didn't fill it. Oh. Excuse me "execute it" - as specialists from Merrill call it now. Also when you short the stock and you also have some long position, the system won't let you cover it! It shows an error and instruct you to call associate. Then you wait approx. 20 minutes. I don't have to tell you what can happen within that time. Your position can loose even couple Ks. When I talked to the supervisor (upon request I give you her name) she apologized and said she didn't know when this thing gonna be fixed. And also she mention that not many people go short and long in the same time!!!! Give me a break! All I wanted is to fill the order as I wanted it to place. Now I am short 100 shares of KO and long 100 shares of KO and greaty Merrill Edge shows that I have 0 SHARES!!! (Upon request I'll send a screen pictures.) Enough said. If they don't bring back the old Banc of America ISI website I am going to Scottrade or TD! Amen!"
What do you ML advisors think about Edge's execution? What are you hearing from your clients? I'd love to know.