Bank of America has expanded its suite of investing tools for its mass-affluent do-it-yourself customers.
To help them cut through the clutter of ETFs on the market, the banks Merrill Edge program devised a list of 61 high-quality ETFs from which they can build their own portfolios.
The new Merrill Edge Select ETFs, which are organized into 21 categories, have been screened on the basis of their expense ratios, liquidity and other factors, said Alok Prasad, head of Merrill Edge, an investment management program for mass-affluent investors with $50,000 to $250,000 in investable assets.
We are giving them suggestions on the ETFs that may fit their needs, said Prasad. The intent was to make it easy for those who want to do it themselves to manage their assets without having to worry about having the depth of knowledge of an active trader, he said.
For the vast majority of the mass affluent customers that we serve, there can be a bit of paralysis with regard to how do I identify and split these lists of funds in a way that would produce good, strong results, added Paul Riley, managing director of Merrill Edge Product Solutions. This is a way that weve simplified that for the client.
Customers can buy and sell the ETFs online for $6.95 per transaction. Customers with more than $50,000 in account balances have 30 free online ETF and equity trades per month.
Were excited about launching this. We are very confident that adoption will be strong, said Prasad.
While it was too early to provide a breakout of inflows into the new ETFs, which launched Aug. 23, Prasad noted that the Merrill Edge program continued to grow and gain momentum. At the end of August, the program had $87 billion in assets under management, up 17% year-over-year.
Were seeing strong growth from a business perspective and we feel confident that our value proposition of simplicity is resonating with our clients, Prasad said.