Bank of America Merrill Lynch launches customizable client report videos
Bank of America Merrill wants to turn client reports from a boring stack of papers into something more modern and personal.
Where Merrill Edge Shines
Integration with Bank of America: Merrill Edge is a product of Bank of America’s purchase of Merrill Lynch, as well as it’s clear that the parent business has actually made the effort to create a smooth experience for clients who utilize both services. You can watch Bank of America accounts and Merrill Edge accounts with a single login, and also real-time transfers move cash between accounts instantly. The exact same integrated experience is available on mobile, as well as you can also view your Merrill Edge financial investment account balances on Bank of America ATMs.
Preferred Benefits program: Merrill Edge customers with Financial institution of America accounts may qualify for Merrill’s Preferred Rewards program, which offers accessibility to a selection of price cuts as well as promos, consisting of greater rates of interest on savings accounts, lowered rates on auto loans and also discount rates on mortgage origination fees.
To certify, you should have a qualified Financial institution of America examining account, plus a three-month typical consolidated equilibrium of $20,000 or more in Financial institution of America deposit accounts and/or certified Merrill Edge and Merrill Lynch investment accounts.
Research study: The company offers study from its own BofA Global Research, as well as third-party carriers, consisting of Morningstar, CFRA, Trefis and Recognia. Mutual fund testimonials and positions originate from Morningstar as well as Lipper, and also the business compiles a listing of Merrill Edge Select ETFs and also Merrill Edge Select Funds, with the leading funds in each group as examined by Merrill Lynch investment professionals. Merrill Edge’s web site additionally has a lot of instructional sources, consisting of video clips, training courses, webinars and write-ups, all searchable by investing experience or topic. Morningstar’s investing class is readily available on the site, as well.
With Merrill Edge’s “Fund Tale” attribute, you can research a mutual fund’s holdings (that is, what it’s investing in), the markets it covers, its historic efficiency, third-party expert scores and even more. And also, the fee analyzer illustrates the cost of owning the fund with time. In a similar way, Merrill’s “Profile Tale” as well as “Stock Story” deal described info on your own financial investment profile, and specific stocks, specifically, done in an easy-to-follow style.
Customer experience: Merrill Edge has actually remained to buy the consumer experience, causing two remarkable new offerings for 2021: “Dynamic Insights” and also “Suggestion Home builder” tools. Dynamic Insights is a customizable dashboard that offers analysis of your profile, information as well as research based upon your holdings and individualized understanding on efficiency and the market.
Idea Building contractor offers a brand-new means to find investment possibilities– look for investments by “ideas,” instead of specific firms, performance, market or other typical requirements. There are lots of suggestions to sort through, however a couple of include Aging, Big Information, Environment Change and also Warren Buffett stocks. From here, you can buy shares in noted business in a couple of clicks. This is especially handy for ESG (environmental, social, administration) financiers seeking a straightforward means to sort as well as compare socially accountable investment opportunities.
Trading platforms: Like numerous brokers, Merrill Edge supplies internet site trading and also an active investor system, called Merrill Edge MarketPro. The firm’s web site is clean and instinctive and also offers a number of screeners so you can swiftly arrange via supplies, mutual funds, ETFs and bonds. There’s also a “fast profession” feature that allows you make supply and also ETF professions from almost any web page on the internet site.
The MarketPro platform, readily available to all Merrill Edge customers, is likewise robust, with much of what energetic traders expect: interactive graphes, alerts, Degree II quotes (which reveal real-time quote and also ask prices for Nasdaq stocks), an adjustable control panel, as well as streaming data and news.
Where Merrill Edge falls short
Fewer types of safeties: While many investors will certainly discover Merrill’s choice of stocks, bonds, alternatives, ETFs and mutual funds more than appropriate, energetic traders excited to invest in futures or foreign money exchange (foreign exchange) will require to go in other places. Regardless of your experience as a capitalist, there’s a likelihood this broker has much of what you would need– high-grade study, a good financial investment option, helpful customer support as well as an ingenious customer experience. The business places among the top of the area when it pertains to on the internet brokers.
Digital Wealth Overview Feature
With the new Digital Wealth Overview feature, Merrill financial advisors can pull data automatically from a client’s bank, brokerage, investment advisory and held-away accounts into an animated video that includes charts, graphics and narration from ERICA, Bank of America’s virtual assistant.
The videos are delivered securely through the My Merrill digital client portal. Clients can pause the video and click to dive deeper into asset allocation strategies or performance. At the end of the clip, clients are given prompts for additional action, such as how to better track their spending, download the Merrill app, sign up for paperless enrollment or schedule a meeting with their advisor.
The program has been in pilot since August, with Merrill using feedback to balance making Digital Wealth Overview customizable with making it easy to send across an advisor’s entire book of business, says Carl Swanson, head of advisor and client experience in Bank of America’s investment solutions group.
“[Advisors] can send to a single client in just a few seconds, or create a list of clients they would like to send it to in a couple of minutes,” Swanson says. “Every single will be personalized; no two would be the same.”
The firm has “big plans” for how advisors can use these videos in the future, Swanson adds. For example, Merrill wants to give advisors more options for the end-of-video prompts, such as information on new account types relevant to the specific client.
There is also an opportunity to give advisors more control over the videos to tailor them to prospects, introduce clients to banking and lending products, or discuss progress towards financial goals, Swanson says. The firm hopes that providing a comprehensive look at assets will encourage more clients to take advantage of account aggregation capabilities.
But the core goal is to foster more interaction between advisors and clients, he says.
“This will serve to complement the ways advisors currently serve clients rather than replace [annual meetings],” Swanson says. “Nothing will be as good as a conversation.”
Digital Wealth Overview is part of an overhaul of the existing reports Merrill sends in welcome kits and annual reviews. Advisors who don’t want to send clients a video can access Personal Wealth Summary, new static reports that can also incorporate a client’s non-managed investment accounts and assets held at other financial institutions — information existing reports omit.
Wealth management firms are realizing the value of digital content like videos for communicating with clients, says Bill Finnegan, managing director of financial services marketing at technology firm Seismic. Investors expect not only a more personalized experience, but also immersive, interactive content instead of traditional text-only materials.
“Firms should be seeking ways to integrate interactive components into client materials as often as they can – whether those are videos, quizzes, calculators, assessments and more,” Finnegan says. “It’s a win for clients looking for more engaging content from their advisors, and it’s a win for advisors who want to see how their clients are consuming the content.”