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Are Merrill Lynch Advisors Fiduciaries?

“Are Merrill Lynch advisors fiduciaries?” is a question we often hear from clients and readers, especially those who are looking for a financial planner who will help them achieve their investment goals and deliver peace of mind as they pursue the life they want to live.

The insights you’ll discover from our published book will help you integrate a variety of wealth management tools with financial planning, providing guidance for your future security alongside complex financial strategies, so your human and financial capital will both flourish.

Clients frequently share with us how the knowledge gained from this book helped provide them tremendous clarity, shattering industry-pitched ideologies, while offering insight and direction in making such important financial decisions.

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It’s important to find a company that offers you a wide range of fiduciary services for your ultimate peace of mind. If you have liquid assets worth at least $5 million and above, you should ask for a free copy of our guide 7 Secrets to High Net Worth Investment Management, Estate, Tax, and Financial Planning.

The guide ideal for high-income earners and ultra-high-income earners who have $5 million to $500 million worth of liquid wealth. The guide introduces readers to the essentials of wealth management and financial planning, among other things and explains what you can expect from the best wealth management companies.

There’s no denying that management of high wealth comes with its own sets of complications. There are endless things to manage, plan, and oversee, especially if you wish to perpetuate that wealth for your retirement days.

Fortunately, you don’t have to do this alone.

The Pillar Wealth Management firm provides professional wealth and investment management services to high net worth and ultra-high net worth clients and reduce complexity to help them realize their most important financial goals.No matter where you’re located in the USA, we can help you with effective investment and wealth management solutions.

With 60+ years of experience in wealth management, investment management, tax planning, estate planning, business succession planning, and more, we’ve established a reputation for delivering reliable tailored solutions to high net worth and ultra-high net worth clients that have liquid assets between $5 million and $500 million. We use both active as well as passive management strategies.

This approach ensures that the best interest of every client is achieved. You can even book a no-obligation meeting with one of our team members to learn about all available options to safeguard and perpetuate your wealth for a safer and more comfortable retirement.

Till then, as a fiduciary wealth management firm, we’ll provide you with some insights about the Merrill Lynch Wealth Management firm. Some of the most frequently asked questions about the firm include:

  • Does Merrill Lynch have fiduciaries?
  • How do I know if my financial advisor is a fiduciary?
  • How do financial advisors get paid at Merrill Lynch?

Let’s get started.

Merrill Lynch Wealth Management: Background

Formerly known as Merrill Lynch, Merrill is a subsidiary of Bank of America and a financial management firm that works with high net worth and ultra-high net world clients to create wealth management plans for diverse needs, including financial planning services and investment guidance. Merrill is both a registered investment adviser and a full-service broker-dealer. The firm provides a vast range of investment and brokerage advisory products and services, including both discretionary and non-discretionary management of accounts.

Merrill uses its wide network of associates to help manage the financial portfolios of high net worth clients. Apart from helping them pick the right mix of investments, a Merrill advisor also guides client regarding crucial areas of wealth management to ensure they are on the right track. Use our $10million financial guide to learn how you can save $100,000/$10 million in assets.

One enrolled with Merrill Lynch, you should expect to get:

  • A devoted financial advisor backed by a competent team.
  • A tailored wealth management approach, entailing all financial aspects, such as your unique financial goals.
  • An extensive wealth and investment management plan along with continuous guidance based on your personal needs and requirements. 

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These are few of the services you can expect from Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. However, please note that it’s not the only company out there capable of offering these services. The seasoned investment and wealth managers at Pillar Wealth Management are highly qualified at minimizing financial risk and enhance investment performance with the help of holistic fiduciary services.  Set up a free meeting with us and find more about how we can enhance your investment results.

Now that you know a bit about Merrill Lynch, let’s move to a more imperative question: are Merrill Lynch advisors fiduciaries?

Are Merrill Lynch Advisors Fiduciaries?

Before we delve into whether Merrill Lynch advisors are fiduciaries or not, it’s first important to clarify what a ‘fiduciary’ is. In a nutshell, fiduciaries are legally bounded to work in the best interest of their clients. All their suggestions and advices revolve around their clients to ensure optimal outcomes without any fail. Thus, to truly live up to the fiduciary standard, an advisor should be fully aware of the unique needs and circumstances of each of their clients. This will enable them to create wealth and investment management plans based on each client’s special requirements.

It might be shocking to learn but several of the major brokerage firms out there aren’t fiduciaries since that type of service generally demands an independent specialist who knows the ins and outs of your basic financial goals.

As far as Merrill Lynch is concerned, not all of its financial advisors are fiduciaries. However, through Merrill Lynch Fiduciary Advisory Services, certain designated advisors can work with you to make your investment management plans more efficient and valuable.

So, the answer to the question “does Merrill Lynch have fiduciaries?” is: yes, they do. But it’s also worth noting that not all of them are fiduciaries.

If you’re hunting seasoned and reliable fiduciary advisors in the USA, don’t look far. Pillar Wealth Management’s experienced advisors are registered investment consultants who’ve been acting as fiduciaries to high net worth and ultra-high net worth clients for numerous decades. Pillar Wealth Management clients love their highly curated proprietary investment process and tailored financial solutions.

Schedule a free conversation with one of our top financial advisors to learn what our proprietary investment process suggests for your investments, and how it can offer you complete peace of mind regarding your financial footing. All our advisors have years of experience in serving high net worth and ultra-high net worth individuals and families. Or you can download our guide 7 Secrets to High Net Worth Investment Management, Estate, Tax, and Financial Planning for some useful insights

How Do I Know If My Financial Advisor Is A Fiduciary?

By now you should already be well aware about who is and is not a fiduciary. But in case you still feel lost, here are some points to keep in mind when finding a fiduciary:

  • The simplest way to identify whether a financial advisor is a fiduciary or not is to ask them. A reliable and honest advisor will provide an unequivocal “yes” and put it in writing. If not, take it as a red flag.
  • When you are searching for a fiduciary advisor in the market, ensure to perform your research on the kind of company they work for, and consider asking the following questions:
  • Is your company independent?
  • Is your company a Registered Investment Advisor or not?
  • Do you fulfill fiduciary obligations to your clients?
  • How are you compensated for your services?
  • What portion of compensation do you get from advice fees vs. commission?
  • Do you receive commissions or any other kind of compensation from third-parties?
  • Under what circumstances do you act as a fiduciary, and under what circumstances do you not?

Although there several wealth and investment management firms out there, it’s important to understand that when it comes to high net worth and ultra-high net worth investors, custom solutions are what actually matter. Getting the most out of your money is all about personalization and knowing what your financial needs are vs. being just another addition to a client list. Moreover, it’s also about what you expect, demand, and deserve to receive from the best financial advisors.

Remember, each wealth management company is unique in its services and offerings. Therefore, deciding which company is the best can be rather be a very personal choice. Nonetheless, the best advisors work closely with all their clients to identify and understand their unique financial goals and develop comprehensive plans to accomplish them accordingly. Remember, singing up with a wealth or investment manager is one of the most crucial financial decisions you’ll ever make; thus, handle it with care. After all, you’ll be spending huge sums of money in commissions or fees on them for their level of service.

 Get in touch with our team today for a free one-on-one consultation to learn how Pillar Wealth Management financial advisors can help.

How Do Financial Advisors Get Paid at Merrill Lynch?

At Merrill Lynch, clients get the option to work one-on-one with a financial advisor to build an extensive financial strategy in return for an asset-based charge for a per trade fee in a brokerage account or for an investment consultancy program, depending on a client decides to work with them.

Contingent on the qualifications of every financial advisor, clients have access to various investment advisory programs and investment solutions. For instance, if you choose to work with a Financial Advisor, Wealth Management Advisor or Private Wealth Advisor, you’ll receive access to a complete set of brokerage solutions, the most comprehensive set of managed investment strategies along with other investment solutions. On the other hand, if you choose a Merrill Financial Solutions Advisor (MFSA), you’ll be able to access certain investment programs, including the Merrill Lynch Investment Advisory Program, manage investment strategies and engage in restricted brokerage transactions.

When working with Merrill Lynch financial advisors, it is important to know how much money you’ll have to spend on advisory services. At Pillar Wealth Management, we believe the better informed you are, the better decisions you can make about what’s right for you. The most common Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor fee per year is $68,332. Moreover, their salaries at Merrill can range from $9,908 to $283,536/year.

Get Started with Pillar Wealth Management…

Merrill Lynch Wealth Management provides an array of investment and wealth management services to clients, including high net worth or ultra-high net worth individuals and families. However, they are not the only players in the market holding this prowess. Unlike several wealth managing firms, Pillar Wealth Management offers a more holistic approach to investors regarding the management of their wealth. Set up a free in-person consultation with one of our seasoned wealth and investment managers to see how they can assist you in accomplishing your financial goals.

Founded in 1988, we provide expert fiduciary wealth management services to high net worth and ultra-high net worth clients. Prioritizing the needs of every client and ensuring their wealth and financial goals are achieved is their motto. We believe Pillar Wealth Management is one of the top high net worth wealth and investment management firms in California, US. Our expert wealth managers will protect your long- and short-term financial interests. Under the guidance of our co-founders, Hutch Ashoo and Chris Snyder, who collectively have over 64 years of experience in wealth management, the company has facilitated several high net worth and ultra-high net worth individuals and their families in maximizing their wealth for a more comfortable and secure future. At Pillar Wealth Management, we offer professional, qualified wealth planning services, such as wealth management, investment planning, tax planning, estate planning, business succession planning, and more. However, we specialize in services for investors from $5 million to $500 million. The priority of our investment managers is to deliver a reliable, personal, and reassuring experience to leave clients safe in the knowledge that their hard-earned wealth is in the right hands.


To be 100% transparent, we published this page to help filter through the mass influx of prospects, who come to us through our website and referrals, to gain only a handful of the right types of new clients who wish to engage us.

We enjoy working with high net worth and ultra-high net worth investors and families who want what we call financial serenity – the feeling that comes when you know your finances and the lifestyle you desire have been secured for life, and that you don’t have to do any of the work to manage and maintain it because you hired a trusted advisor to take care of everything.

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