These days, bank advisory programs focus more and more on mass-affluent or higher on the socioeconomic scale. That is, the richer people. Some of this is a question of emphasis in the marketing, but other providers are more explicit.

Last year, for example, Merrill Lynch announced it would reduce payout to advisors who served clients with less than a $250,000 account. It turns out that the firm's well-touted online platform, Merrill Edge, has become the repository for the not-so-affluent clients of their wealth management division.

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