The investment minimums required for this service generally restrict accounts to high net-worth individuals, government entities, corporations and financial intermediaries. This includes such products as equity, fixed income, real estate, commodities and international investments.
When individuals deposit money into the account, it is placed into a money market fund that offers a greater return that can be found in regular savings and checking accounts. Account holders can choose between Federal Deposit Insurance Company-backed (FDIC) funds and non-FDIC funds. The added benefit to account holders is all of their banking and investing needs can be serviced by the same institution rather than having separate brokerage account and banking options.
This is to fulfill the needs of clients who wish to pursue banking and investment options with one vehicle, under one roof.
The account gives investors access to a personal financial advisor. This advisor offers advice and a range of investment options that include initial public offerings (IPO) in which Merrill Lynch may participate, as well as foreign currency transactions.
Interest rates for cash deposits are tiered. Deposit accounts can be linked together so that all eligible funds aggregate to receive the appropriate rate. Securities held in the account fall under the protective umbrella of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). SIPC does not shield investor assets from inherent risk but rather protects those assets from financial failure of the brokerage firm itself.