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Merrill Edge, Now with Hundreds of Billions in Assets, Will Get a Massive Injection of Advisors

By Alex Padalka September 13, 2018

Bank of America’s digital advice platform appears to be a success for the parent company of traditional brokerage Merrill Lynch. Assets on Merrill Edge, as the platform is called, have crossed the $200 billion mark, according to a press release from Bank of America.

That represents growth of 54% over the past three years, the bank says. The platform now has more than 2.5 million accounts, according to the press release. And Bank of America plans to further support growth on the platform by adding 600 more investment centers by 2020, which would bring the total to 2,800, the company says.

In all, the firm plans to have more than 4,000 financial solutions advisors available through the platform by 2020, according to the press release. Merrill Edge clients have the option of self-directed investing or working with the advisors, the company says.

The firm is also touting recent new innovations, such as a redesigned mobile app that lets clients trade stocks, ETFs, mutual funds and options. In addition, Merrill Edge gives clients access to investment strategies devised by its global wealth management chief investment office rather than an algorithm, according to Bank of America.

Merrill Edge, however, faces competition from discount brokerages as well as traditional wealth management firms.

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JPMorgan announced last month it’s rolling out an investment app with no minimum account requirements and 100 free trades in stocks and ETFs in the first year to anyone who downloads its app.

Merrill Edge, meanwhile, only offers 30 free trades, and only for accounts of $50,000 or more, while others pay $6.95 per trade, CNBC wrote last month.