Morgan Stanley Review

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Morgan Stanley customer reviews, ratings, wealth management fees, pros and cons. Morgan Stanley brokerage managed accounts, investment advisor service complaints.

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Morgan Stanley Customer Reviews

by Reluctant Investor, 5/23/2020

Pros: 3rd broker (Ripley, W. Virginia) was honest and intelligent. If I won PCH, I would call him.

Cons: (Columbus, Ohio & Brea, Calif) No fiduciary responsibility to client. Shady? Dishonest? Could get the same treatment at the used car lot.

First encounter: I was one of the beneficiaries of a living trust (grandfather). They did not give me any accounting or money or evidence of why. I would like to have known what stocks he bought and when and why he did. Second encounter: Inheritance (mother) Columbus, Ohio: They had me sign a paper, and I stated, "only if I get a copy". Once signed, the other man witnessed and notarized and then left and the first man refused to give me a copy. I called and called, but he would not talk to me or send it. Several weeks later, he sent me the original, to initial what he ADDED. He had added a number of things, which I hadn't agreed to and he asked me to initial and return the ORIGINAL to him. They deleted my middle name and changed every single thing I had answered. As I have a common last name, I believe one man was trying to set me up for identity theft. (The other man seemed fine.) Everything I told him was ignored, and he did not open my account, but waited until after the corona virus tanked the market and then opened my account, although allowing the congressmen to cash in theirs. Told him to use PO box only (privacy) and he sent everything to the house. He would not give me my account number as "it is a secret" and when he did, it was incorrect. I KEPT THE ORIGINAL PAPER he asked me to initial and switched my account to the second broker. who was just as bad (Brea, California) I asked them to correct the errors that the first had plastered about me over the internet and credit bureaus, but they did not. Again, many things were wrong. I was incorrectly told there was no interest, so took out $16,000 to receive .02 interest the next day on the $200. I left in there. i told them not to buy or sell anything and he actually said he could empty out both my checking accounts and buy and sell whatever he wanted. In changing to another company, they assessed multiple fees without advising me and overdrew my brokerage account cash. When calling the head office, they said I had to talk to the manager, but would not give me the name of who that was. BAD BAD BAD. Almost everything both brokers (Ohio and California) did was WRONG. Dividends came in and then amounts were deducted, and both entries deleted, indicating a small dividend, instead of original real dividend and no mention of where the money was going. I do not know anything about stock, but it appears to me to be theft but I don't know for sure.. I interviewed a 3rd broker (Point Pleasant, WV) and he said "Details of a living trust cannot be altered." "He only makes money by buying and selling." "He suggested I would be happier at Schwab." Although I did not switch to the third one, these were true statements that I was unaware of. I felt the 3rd man was smart and honest, but all I wanted was to get my account safely away from Morgan Stanley. I did not want to buy or sell, but get used to what I already had.

by Alan Adams, 5/7/2020

Pros: None

Cons: Poor Customer Service, Arrogant, Inept

I invested a portion of my 401k retirement with Morgan Stanley Wealth Management to supposedly receive their expert financial knowledge and advice. However, they made a blatant error when they received the rollover check from my Employee 401k administrator. Prior to requesting the check, I participated in a conference call with my Morgan Stanley Account Exec and my Employee 401k plan administrator. During that conversation we discussed that a portion of the rollover check would include "After Tax Funds" and would therefore need to be handled differently. Then when Morgan Stanley actually received the check, it also clearly indicated the "After Tax Funds" were included. However, they deposited the "After Tax Funds" into a Traditional IRA account instead of a Roth IRA account.....which meant that upon withdrawal of those funds I will now incur additional tax liability. When I brought this to their attention, their response was that they couldn't make changes once the funds were deposited and that I would need to hire a "Qualified Tax Professional" for advice on how to handle this additional tax liability that they had caused.

I escalated this matter through their entire executive management team and even their legal counsel and their only response was to somehow blame me for their error.

Just look at the extremely high percentage of "1 Star" ratings from the other customer reviews and you'll know that investing in Morgan Stanley Wealth Management is a terrible idea and a losing proposition.

by Washington State Skier, 1/9/2020

Pros: Friendly,Knowledgeable, Responsive, Fiduciary relationship!

Cons: None

I get good service from the Ann Arbor MI Huron group. Earnings pay my monthly withdrawal, and pays the fees while growing. I stay on top of my portfolio so I know what's going on. If I have questions they get answered. When the market is down of course I lose too, but it's unrealized loses. I don't get too worried as long as it eventually turns around.
I'm in for the long haul, as long as this scenario keeps up.

by Bree, 12/30/2019


Cons: Sorry plain sorry

Paul answered the phone. Very unconcerned now why would I even speak to a loser that doesn’t care about my finances

by R. Waldo, 11/25/2019


Cons: Brokers and customer service do not care about their investors

Opened an investment in 1997, and out of the blue in November 2019, they closed the account. They claimed they sent a letter, but I never received it. All they could say is that they have the right to close accounts.

by DL, 11/23/2019

Pros: No choice, required by my employer

Cons: Fees are out of control, "overnight check delivery" is 2-5 "business" days, minimum

You provide an option for check delivery as "overnight", but AFTER I place the order I find that when it doesn't show up the next 24 hours, your transaction details now show "Morgan Stanley will send your proceeds on settlement date (two business days after trade execution), for a fee. US-based participants should receive their check 4-5 business days after the trade execution date, delivery to non-US locations may take longer depending on the location."

This is not only fraud, there is literally no reason to select this ridiculous option because it takes 4-5 business days without the asinine $25 fee! Never again! Corruprorate America at its worst.

by David, 10/23/2019

Pros: None

Cons: Not worth it

I can’t believe that these guys can stay in business. I had a Morgan Stanley “ financial advisor” looking after my portfolio for about 4 years. He charged me a little over 1% a year for his services. I don’t really think he did anything except pass on platitudes such as “ Stay the course” that obviously came from corporate headquarters. I had about 1 million in my account and that means that he felt entitled to around $10,000 a year for basically doing nothing. And the nerve of this guy, posting social media pictures of his trips to Bali, etc.
I switched to Vanguard and I pay about $3000 a year for a great service. There’s no smoke and mirrors, they are knowledgeable and friendly and I trust them that they truly are looking out for my interests at a reasonable cost

by Ken Mataya, 10/22/2019

Pros: none

Cons: Poor management, expensive tranfer fees

After a hard sell, I decided to let the Wolfslau group handle my retirement accounts in 2017 to reduce the amount of time I needed to spend managing my money. They basically matched the market and my accounts were up about 8%, then the market turned down at the end of 2018, my accounts lost 12%. Their explanation was that these were unrealized gains - they were certainly unrealized at that point! I would have been far better off investing in Vanguard ETFs. I transferred my accounts to my Merrill account and now I handle my own "management". However, getting the last of the cash out of my accounts took months - AND they charged me $170 to transfer the accounts. Absolutely the worst broker experience i've ever had.

by Callie Struppeck, 10/6/2019


Cons: Bad to invest your retirement with them

My father lost all his money. We ended up having to move he we ended up on social security just to get by. Then they lied about stealing our money. We never got what was stolen from us. This is definitely not a firm to trust with your money

by AM, 10/2/2019

Pros: None

Cons: everything

I have a traditional IRA with Morgan Stanley. I wanted to roll it over to my current employer plan. After 1 month of back and forth, Morgan Stanley still has my money.

My employer's 401K requires a rollover form to be completed. Morgan Stanley requires a roll-over form to be completed also. Both forms were completed. I talked to a MS representative and they assured me that the two forms will be sufficient to get my money out of the IRA into my 401K. Then, Morgan Stanley said that I need a "Letter of Acceptance". I asked what information needed to be in a "Letter of Acceptance". They said that it's a standard letter required by IRS (which is not true because my husband just roll over his IRA to his employer's 401K and no letter of acceptance was needed). So, I called my employer's 401K company, They said that they have never heard of such requirement. But they generated a letter of acceptance for me to send to MS. I sent that to MS. Then they came back said that it's insufficient because it's missing information. They listed the information needed in a letter to me. All of the requested information is in the roll-over form. So, I called MS back and asked that they use the roll-over form in conjunction with the acceptance letter. They said that the form information cannot be used and it has to be explicitly stated in a acceptance letter. I feel like that they just don't want to release my money and they keep changing the target to prolong this process!!!!

Don't ever use Morgan Stanley IRA if you ever want to get your money out.

by Bobo, 9/25/2019

Pros: None

Cons: They said it ALL above.... 2000-2010

Would give "0" star if available.. Lost me more than 100$ K

by David Donaldson, 7/17/2019

Pros: Friendly (AT FIRST)

Cons: Ethics,dishonesty and absolutely misleading.

Invested with them from 1996-2019. First few years good. After that they leave your stocks to LOSE money. Morgan Stanley office in DALLAS is worthless. From October 2018 to January 2019 they let my accounts lose over 60,000.00!!! Did nothing but ignore me during this disaster. I told them to sell/pull back. (WAS IGNORED) I complained and accounts were terminated by SUNNY PATEL and MARIA NICHOLAS. I hope this helps others in there search for HONEST FIRMS. If I could give zero stars I would.

by Bye bye hard earned money, 5/25/2019

Pros: Unknown

Cons: Extremely difficult (impossible?) to get money out

I had an old 401(k) account which was rolled over to a Morgan Stanley IRA. I wanted to roll it over to my current employer plan. To do so I had to fill out a 6 page form AND get an approval letter from the receiving financial institution. After contacting my HR department and put in contact with my new plan they do not even know what Morgan Stanley wants and have not provided this information before. All this time they are still charging their fees of course and restrict my account to only cash. This is criminal.

Even spending hours on the phone with new brokerage firm on the phone with Morgan Stanley I still do not have my rollover.

Only use Morgan Stanley if you do not want to see your money again.

by AC Walker, 5/17/2019

Pros: Lots of options

Cons: They do nothing unless you are a major investor and then impede taking your business elsewhere

As a young worker I opened an IRA with Morgan Stanley about 10 years ago--I was set up with a good, proactive advisor and was very happy in spite of the fact that I was a relatively low-income, low-volume customer. Then, a few years ago, I was informed my holdings no longer entitled me to a personal advisor and was automatically switched over to their robo-investors (or whatever it is). In that time they have done NOTHING with my account except take their cut. Inexplicably they have been maintaining over a third of my money in cash reserves where it has earned nothing, and their website is a joke--it makes it impossible to actually make your own buys without calling them and sitting on hold for 10 minutes. Finally, fed up with the fact that my ROI is significantly lower than with any other account I have, I moved to do a direct rollover to another company that offers electronic bank-to-bank--and then got a call from MS insisting that they would not release without a "wet" signature and paper forms sent by mail. So now I can wait a month or so to see what the next hurdle is that they throw at me. Bottom line, if you are not a multimillionaire, move your business from Morgan Stanley. They don't care about it.

by Scott, 4/25/2019

Pros: Awesome people

Cons: None

I deal with Morgan Stanley Wealth Management in Cincinnati OH. They give me great advise and when things go a little south they will call me and give me a legit reason why and what they think it will do next. My guy Chris V invest my money like he would if it was his. He is very knowledgeable and I trust him a lot. All the negatives I have been reading must be from another location because I cant say enough good about mine.

by Wilnot McGinis, 4/17/2019

Pros: Absolutely None

Cons: Dishonest and would not make changes that I requested. I lost $80k due to them doing nothing with my accounts.

I moved my money to Morgan Stanley and they were difficult to work with at first. I ask for a Morgan Stanley investor, who a friend recommended, and they would not allow me to work with him. They wanted to give me a new employee for a $1 million dollar account. After, many weeks of asking for someone with experience, they gave a guy called Robert Stan Nelson, who was very nice at first and screwed me over later. The market was having problem and I wanted to roll the accounts into a different account, which I was told from the very beginning could easily be done. They will tell you any thing you want to hear and then not do it. He did not move the accounts for over 3 months and I lost 80K. When he finally moved it, the market was at the bottom of the tank and coming up the next week. I could not believe he did this. I was desperate to stop losing large amounts of money and stress, because he did not listen to me 1,2, and 3 months prior. I had a good feeling that the market was going to go south and he disagree with me and told me to just do nothing. He gave me his personal cell number. I called it and he would then take my conversations and translated them into his version of the conversation to make it look like he as doing nothing wrong. This is illegal to do. I would call him and he was always out of town on vacation or at the gym working out and had no time for me. When I did get his attention, he would not follow my directions and said to just leave the funds alone. I paid him 1.5% and he and Morgan Stanley did nothing to provide a service or make me money, but lose it. All the laws that are to prevent this type of situation from occurring are not working today. President Obama had plans to fix this, but now no one is held responsible anymore. We are going back to the 2009 era when the financial mortgage accounts, held by Morgan Stanley were not being watched by our government and it caused the banks and financial market to fail worse than any time in history. And no one was held responsible or arrested for their actions. I went to another financial institute that agrees with this. We are no better off than we were in 2009 when the US bank industry failed. It will happen again guys. Our government is sitting on there buts and doing nothing. Do Not trust Morgan Stanley, because they will make you pay for their bad behavior, unprofessional attitude and loss of investment errors.

by Dave, 4/3/2019

Pros: Friendly (AT FIRST)


Great in the beginning. If markets lose or poor decisions are made it never there fault! If you complain or question your accounts will be terminated. Racial issues exist there I feel too. Use caution when dealing with them! Dallas offices and des Moines office as well. I say des Moines because I attempted to transfer and because of one individual (SUNNY PATEL) That office refused.

by tom, 1/3/2019

Pros: Friendly.

Cons: Non-communicative, poor with transitions

I sign up for a couple of accounts with MS. Just after I fund the accounts, my personal broker doesn't communicate with me. I called and emailed, then tried again but got bounced. I emailed someone else who was working with my broker at MS and he said the broker has left MS and they will be reassigning me someone soon. That never occurred. I send an email to whoever would receive my intra-system email - no reply...sent a follow up after a couple weeks. Got a reply, where the person said he had no record of the first email. Doesn't do anything to help the broker situation. Meanwhile I have money that they haven't invested for me but are charging fees on. I get the intra-system email guy to say he would refund the fees and the secretary would help with closure. The first account is refunded but not the second account. I wait a few weeks, then send a follow-up. They refund the second one and tell me that they will transfer the funds to a linked account. A week goes by and nothing happens. I send the secretary and email asking for the status. And then she tells me that she has to have documents signed and speak to my wife because she is on the account. That is not unreasonable but I cannot fathom why I wasn't told this in previous emails or when I spoke to the secretary on the phone. And even if she did not realize the situation at the moment, she should have at least emailed me later, instead of doing nothing while I wait. Never using them again.

by carter, 1/2/2019

Pros: nice to talk to

Cons: never calls and recommends to change, its up to you .I lost quite a bit of money.

When I closed my account with MS to go to Vanguard, the MS person gave only one account number. I had three. Slowing the process. My MS financial advisor had nothing good to say about VanGuard. The company that I worked for, for many years had our 401K with VanGuard and everyone was happy with their performance.

by Linda L, 12/10/2018

Pros: NONE

Cons: We repeatedly wrote letters requesting changes. MOrgan Stanley did not do what we and our lawyers requested. Stocks are losing money.. one of them is losing money on an average of 1000 a month.

Their estate department which they only recently started does not know how to process a successor trustee request.
REfuse to give physical address in which to send information. Told us not to come to their office. Very suspicious behavior.

by HS Im, 9/11/2018

Pros: NONE


I had countless troubles with Morgan Stanley. Everyone here knows them.

One additional thing that showcases their tricky behavior - I can only ADD external account to Morgan Stanley profile, but there seems NO WAY TO REMOVE those external account from there. Why do they want my information so badly? Will they make any money out of holding onto that information? If not, are they simply dumb? Online search gives me no hint. Am I the only one who cares this? I do not want a company I cannot trust to have any additional information of mine any longer. This company is evil.

by HS IM, 9/10/2018

Pros: None

Cons: Nothing works as expected, no one would help

I sold my company stock award, thinking of investing the money to diverse companies. I chose the option to send my proceeding to a Morgan Stanley account. Now the transaction history says it is settled, but I have no way of finding out where my money is. My "REG" account show noting, my StockPlan Connect account says noting about the money. It essentially disappeared! I have to call the company's customer service. Wake up, Morgan Stanley - It is way past the beginning of the Internet era.

Realizing the "REG" account is not for stock trading the way I want, I had to call in to open a brokerage account. The agent asked all kinds of questions that seemed unnecessary before finally opening an account. He than said he will need to call me (I was talking to him on the phone!) to leave me the account number. He didn't leave me a voice message. When I called him, he claimed he left voice message. No, he didn't.

I asked him how I can add the new account to my existing account, and he never answered my question.

I was so disappointed, and told him that I will move my money to Fidelity.

Next day, I asked him to leave me the account number, with instruction on how I can add that to my existing account. He said he "CLOSED" my account! What a xxxxx. I was saying that I will move my money to Fidelity, and he closed my account on his own? What financial company would do such irrational thing? Closing a customer's account without telling, without getting consent from the customer?

I just opened a Fidelity account online. No hassle. Noting asked. They used all my existing information to open a new account. And I was given the account number right on the confirmation page. That is how things should be done!

I now understand why everyone, almost everyone here is giving Morgan Stanley a single star. I believe everyone wanted to give NEGATIVE points, if they could. This company should go out of business, saving people from their misery of handling incapable, unwilling, nonsense people.

by Dan, 9/6/2018

Pros: Pleasant

Cons: Can't get a straight answer.

The fees are outrageous. Also cost per trade is much to high!

by Disgusted, 8/26/2018

Pros: Friendly and warm on the surface

Cons: Manipulative to trusting people

If anyone reading this wants to protect themselves and their family then Please, Please, Please, make sure your financial advisor or planner is certified. If they are, they will have a trademark and the credentials after their name. This also means that they must conduct their business in an ethical manner and in the client's best interest or they will be liable. Unfortunately, my parents are learning this the hard way but believe their uncertified financial advisor is the salt of the earth while he is scamming them right under their noses and continues to make more money off their millions. It makes me very sick to my stomach.

by kitkat, 7/18/2018

Pros: Seems knowledgable

Cons: Morgan Stanley

My father passed away and my siblings and I are trying to disperse funds from an IRA account into inherited IRA's and to get his other, larger account placed into a trust account which would then be split 4 ways. We have all filled out the paperwork and, after several months, still can't get the IRA dispersed. My sister has hired a lawyer to work on our behalf to get the other account placed into the trust. I was going to use these people to manage my money but after dealing with them and having them "lose" paperwork and be unwilling to follow the law and, after reading all these reviews, I will not. Thank you all for posting. I thought it was just us.

by Ripped-OFF, 6/28/2018

Pros: out of my life

Cons: unlawful acts on 401k plans

I had a small amount invested in a 401 k , I have been disabled for years. Tried working for a company that had a 401k plan set up with Morgan Stanley. I got laid off approximately two months in. I was told by Morgan Stanley I had $375 and they were going to send me that in a check. When I received the check it was for $37.55, I called the broker back thinking it was an error and was told the company I worked took their money back they had put in $120, the remainder of my money was taxed at 30% and I had to pay an early termination fee of $50 and an annual fee of $70. Morgan Stanley taxed my money and then turned around and kept it.

by No More Excuses, 6/27/2018

Pros: none

Cons: unethical, dishonest,

I have been trying to resolve an estate issue without success for months. I speak to someone different each time and am told 24-48 hours the issue will be resolved. I am promised call backs which never transpire.

A different excuse is given each time: someone was on vacation to they have no idea why it is not resolved. I am wondering if the money from my Mother's estate even exist. Without this money her ashes cannot be buried, her house taxes cannot be paid. She was a 90 year old widow that entrusted in this company.

Shame on this company. They are unethical and dishonest. They are charging monthly fees to her account. She is deceased! There should be a class action suit. I am done with my daily calls. This company needs to held accountable.

My attorney will now take over to help recover the funds they are holding illegally. I no longer wish to hear different excuses from multiple people on why the funds have not been transferred. All the required paperwork has been sent and approved by their company.

There are no more excuses. It is now up to the legal system to address.

This is the worst of the worst.

by Outraged, 6/9/2018

Pros: None

Cons: Scam...willing to allow illegal activity to take place...

These people have kept money from rightful Estate account should only be in the inheritors name, not a personal representative, who was only job is to give the money to the beneficiary of the estate, this company should be sued, and that is what will be done in short order. This company is fraudulent... when all legal papers have been entered, and then they tell you that you need to hire a lawyer to get the same paper work you already have submitted, then they tell you that the criminal who should have never been allowed to put his name on it had more rights than the inheritors of the estate, this company needs to go out of business...I’m seeing about setting up a multi-dollar lawsuit against this company to see who else they have frauded, they need to understand by withholding client money will cost them way more than the account holdings are angry...

by Kathleen Lewis, 5/11/2018

Pros: None

Cons: Unresponsive, stupid, lots of lies and delay tactics, no ethics or morals

14 months we've been trying to close an account. If they are not responding they are losing all the legal documents provided to them. This has been the worst customer experience I have ever had with a financial firm. This should have been closed and liquidate within 6 weeks! Paltry sum of money they should be happy to return. I could understand if it were thousands of dollars. I do not recommend this company for your financial well being! Bunch of shysters!

by Taken, 4/2/2018

Pros: Absolutely None

Cons: Everything

Three years of lies and deceit leading to a FINRA lawsuit which was denied in "Entirety." Over the course of 3.5 years Richard Shalhoub of Morgan Stanley in Scottsdale, AZ destroyed my retirement by lying and cheating me (constant churning, excessive margin debit which I never agreed to, so called "complex" options which I never understood nor agreed to). You'll never understand the 28 to 30 page monthly statement and no one from Morgan Stanley will help you, except to push you back on your broker/advisor/thief. After loosing almost the entirety of the account I ended up filling a FINRA arbitration complaint which is a serious con on the American public. Don't do it to yourself! It will tear your soul completely out of you. Not only was Richard Shalhoub a complete con artist, but the Morgan Stanley Wealth Management program is a sham as well. These brokers aren't there to make you money, just to enrich themselves, all the while being protected by the multi-billion dollar Morgan Stanley. You are never going to win with these con artists, never...

by Henry Sutherland, 3/18/2018

Pros: Personable financial advisor

Cons: High fees for the delivered performance. Statements are inaccessible after closing accounts.

Recently I transfered my accounts from Morgan Stanley managed accounts to Charles Schwab. The reason was that Morgan Stanley was charging about 1% and delivering sub market performance while investing 80% in stocks (e.g. high risk). After transferring the accounts, Morgan Stanley modified my online access such that I can no longer access some of my accounts (specifically, my daughters accounts, my wife's accounts and accounts that I had that had been closed). As the sweeps from Charles Schwab have now stopped, I have no way of checking the accounts for activity. When I contacted my financial advisor at Morgan Stanley, I was told that there was nothing they could do about this but that they would mail me anything I wanted. The firm has been encouraging me to go "paperless" saying that all statements would be available for a period of 7 years. This is obviously only true while you remain a customer. If you are thinking of changing brokerages, make sure that you download all of your historical documents and turn on paper statements before making the change.

by Mike P., 3/16/2018

Pros: None

Cons: Advisory accounts

20 years ago rolled over 200K into a Morgan Stanley account. Opened several Roth and spousal IRAs into the account. So invested about 300K and after 20 years it’s worth 385K. I pay my account manager 1.3% to get me returns that are 1/3 a comparable blend. Only appreciation has been in the 3 stock I picked going into the account. Loaded mutual funds they churn at year end and by more loads just to pad their year end profits. I have funds held for over 10 years with a 30% loss! Terrible firm. Account manager hasn’t called in over 5 years, I had to call BS on her churning.

by Jae, 3/14/2018

Pros: he wears nice clothes

Cons: thinks i am stupid

After my parents passed I inherited the investments from 2 accounts along with another sibling. Equal shares ... 50/50... In January. In February $ was transferred into our accounts as planned. The second account however was a different story. After requesting it for over a month ( too many people dying I was told so they were running behind ) it finally was deposited in early March.. MINUS , $10000.00 For 10 days now I have gotten the run around. 1 bullcrap story after another, I was told so many theories as to where it went yet for some reason they cant seem to give it to me. Even though my siblings account is perfectly fine the broker wanted to take the money from that persons account to "fix" my account! Really???? I told the broker over and over that just makes that account lose 10K ! Still waiting after calls to corporate have not been returned. CLass action lawsuit anyone?

by Patricia Delorme, 2/23/2018

Pros: Friendly

Cons: Dishonest, untruthful, wrong advice,

I went to Morgan Stanley 3 months before thinking about retirement. I showed them my retirement pkg. along with ALL bills for each month, explained how much was needed per month. I asked them, Ron and Sam Zimmerman multiple times if I can retire, will this last my lifetime, they answered me YES multiple times they said don’t worry, you’re fine, we’ll 4 years later I am not fine. Had to sell my home, returned to work,I asked how can you do this to people? They have no answer. I will pursue this, I retired because I believed their financial advice. I gave up a good job, all because they said you’re fine.

by Doug, 10/13/2017

Pros: Parents used Morgan Stanley and its predecessors for probably 50 years and were satisfied with the advisers they had.

Cons: Won't give the money back.

Parents died and won't give the children the money from a partnership account they hold. 4 other companies in the partnership gave it for the asking. Excuse after excuse, changing requirements. Almost 2 years and still trying. Had to get experienced attorney who gives them legal forms but MS says they're the wrong forms but won't say what they want. MS says we may need court subpoena to even get account info for the partners. MS made lots of money off us in those 50 years.

by Paul, 9/18/2017


Cons: Pushes low quality bonds, etc.

It's important to read reviews on places we wish to deal. This reviews arrives on the Broker House Morgan Stanley. After being with Morgan Standly for over 50 years, they sent a Fedex indicating termination of all our accounts in a 14 day period. When we called to find out the reason, the Vice President of their branch, Millie Peltzman of the Santa Clara branch in San Jose, gave the excuse as "Because". I find this type of business reply to be childish and and very unprofessional. We have lost over $160,000 in the last 10 years due to poor broker advice. This is a good time to reassess the merits of Morgan Stanley for us and perhaps to reader.

by Unhappy Client, 8/28/2017

Pros: None

Cons: Too Many to Mention

Both oversight of my account and the effort to maintain the relationship were far below my expectations.

by BobH, 8/24/2017

Pros: None They don't respond to requests

Cons: Poorest brokerage company

Totally useless investment advice. They just churn the account for fees.

by Wendell, 8/3/2017

Pros: None

Cons: Poor web site. Poor customer service. Obstructionist Financial Advsiors

This is just a corporate scheme to bleed your account by charging fees. They try to hold onto your account. they will not respond to written orders and ignore oral orders many times.

by Eduardo Callegari, 7/28/2017

Pros: They make themselves a lot of money!

Cons: Advisors that don't call you and manage your act in the dark.

Charged me accessive $50 fees per statement and never let me know that the fees were more than my interest. So much for 'advising'! This place looks forward to people like me who are to busy to check and assume they in my best interest.

by Alex, 7/25/2017

Pros: Not stealing money

Cons: Charging ridiculous fees to put money in a mutual fund and do nthing.

not impressed. Advisors put money in mutual funds and then charge you hundreds in fees/year to do something that is easily done yourself.

by Bryan Buck, 7/22/2017

Pros: Fantastic front office!

Cons: Broker not on the ball--not proactive in offering investment options that fit our needs. More interested in "managing our expectations," aka let the mom and pop investors know that they'll only get the scraps left over that our more important accounts don't want.

See above.

by shocked and in disbelief, 6/21/2017

Pros: none

Cons: Kerry Hoffman is a vile discusting man.

Morgan Stanley does not care about anyone. I would never give them my money or anything else.

by Another unhappy investor (would use real name, but worried about negative ramifications), 6/16/2017

Pros: Good customer service

Cons: They are in it for themselves and not their clients

After having our accounts with MS for over 10 years our funds were flat. Never were we encouraged to move our allocations around due to failing performance. Even though our performance was horrible during those 10 years, they still got their pound of flesh by charging us 3.8% in fees. We finally had enough and moved our assets to TD Ameritrade and MS charged transfer fees on every account. Tough lesson to learn, but thrilled to no longer have assets associated with Morgan Stanley!

by Unhappy Investor, 6/12/2017


Cons: Focus more on building business than service

HORRIBLE company with much more focus on brokers than clients; avoid like plague.

by Richard Buckner, 6/10/2017

Pros: Professional, knowledgeable with all my financial needs

Cons: None

Full service, one stop with all my financial needs, investments, retirement, mortgage etc

by Gregory, 6/9/2017



Very terrible company. No customer service at all. They send me incorrect check, my bank charged fee because of it. I was calling to them during a 3 month, they told me a few times that sending new check to me. Still waiting :) Don't do any business with them

by Doug Marshall, 5/22/2017

Pros: My broker is great to deal with

Cons: OneView is SHIT

One at a time OneView has dropped my accounts from the support list. I send emails to customer support and all I get back is a canned answer or a smartass reply. OneView has dropped 3 of my accounts thus far and I get NO help with this at all.

by Less than one star, 5/16/2017



Correction: $6.95 at Ameritrade; which recently dropped fees, unlike MS.

by Less than one star, 5/16/2017

Pros: None

Cons: Terrible commissions and poor execution

I would never actually open an account willingly with them, but am forced to have an account for stock vests from my company. I cannot execute trades online with MS and am thus forced to call them to make trades. The commissions on simple sales trades are exorbitant and they couldn't even execute at a reasonable limit when it traded above my limit trade for at least 20 minutes after our call. Between poor execution and commissions, it cost me $500 more for 1 trade than I would have gotten for $7.99 at Ameritrade. Do yourself a favor and look elsewhere if you want a trading account.

by Robert, 5/4/2017

Pros: positioned to know the market

Cons: unless you ahve over $1M, you are ignored and loose more money a savongs bank account

I left them when I discovered that they had put my Roth IRA in cash, costing me gains, without telling me, so that they could use the money elsewhere while paying a low interest rate on it

by Account holder for many yrs, 5/1/2017

Pros: Very nice guy. Very helpful in some ways.

Cons: He never calls. I have to initiate call, then I feel like I'm a bother in that I start to feel intimidated because I don't know the jargon and updated financial news.

Fees and more fees and exorbitant stock transaction fees vs other financial companies. Been with them since Legg Mason days but soon will transfer all accounts to a more reasonable institution.

by Need a Time Machine, 4/17/2017

Pros: None

Cons: Fees on Closed Accounts

Had a small 401K that was closed a few years ago and rolled into an IRA at a local bank. After account was closed, Morgan Stanley apparently added a fee rebate back into my account so it showed a small balance. Since it had been years since I had the account, even my online account login didn't work properly and a paper statement was sent to my former address, but I eventually received it and filled out more paperwork to try to essentially close out this account again so I wouldn't have this lingering account. Morgan Stanley sent me a check for the tiny balance so I thought I was done with them. Then I received a bill from my former employer for the yearly "administrative fee" that they were charged by Morgan Stanley that nearly equaled the amount of the "rebated fee". In essence Morgan Stanley charged us a fee on a refunded fee. My former employer is a small business that did a lot of work to even try to provide its employees with a retirement plan and Morgan Stanley just takes nearly every last dime from all of us in fees. I just hope they don't add a couple of dollars back into my closed account again and then try to charge me or my former employer big fees in perpetuity on a CLOSED ACCOUNT. I should have just waived my "benefit" of a Morgan Stanley 401k and bought some boxes of Legos or marbles, at least I would have had something to enjoy in the future.

by They don't even deserve one star, 3/17/2017

Pros: There are no pros that we experienced with the broker we used or this company.

Cons: The broker lied to us from the very beginning before we gave him our money to invest and then he invested poorly despite our recommendations of how we wanted him to invest our money. We filed a complaint with Morgan Stanley explaining our experience with their broker, but they have decided to side with the broker and will do nothing in our defense.

We are disappointed to say the least that Morgan Stanley will not refund our money their broker lost after lying to us in order for us to invest with him. We are very adamant that we were up front and stressed the fact that we did not want to lose any of our principal, knowing this, the Morgan Stanley broker still told us that he could make 10% on our money since he had been doing so for his clients since the worst economy in 2008 and we would not lose any of our principal because Morgan Stanley had other avenues that were safe other than the stock market to invest. We can't believe after reviewing our complaint explaining how their broker lied, Morgan Stanley chooses to do nothing for us and side with their broker. We are disgusted and feel like we have just been robbed!

by Sidney McFrey, 3/2/2017

Pros: None

Cons: Broker never helped avoid or pad against a crash or downturn. And returns, after fees, are meager at best. Often negative for long stretches. Generally their advice is either nonexistent or textbook. Nothing of value here.

Ended up at Morgan Stanley from back in the PaineWebber, UBS days. Like many, I had money there and thought it was probably doing OK. It wasn't. Especially when they charge you 1.3%+ on the total. What a joke. Moved to Vanguard and Betterment and never looked back. Wish I'd gotten out 30 years ago! Brokers don't beat the street. Period. And their dirty secret is that many of them, if not most, are heavily invested in index funds. Brokers will go the way of dinosaurs and 8-Tracks.

by John Jones, 1/24/2017

Pros: None.

Cons: Rude, wooden personallihity worse then this -never answered my questions directly. Creep.

Never made money. Crooks and scammers. Michael M. Never gave personal anything. End of year a woman co adviser bullied me on the phone saying I m doing great... I said I have for three years loss money and never made back my money, she started yelling , this is xmass time 2016. I just removed my money from them Jan 2017. These are not people working for you Morgan Stanley are cardboard robots that talk in obvious slogan such as" you get what you pay for" which was said to me at my initial meeting, well if this is true they are liars, scammers, evil creeps. STAY AWAY! Evil people working for themselves here.

by Campbell Chrisman, 12/27/2016

Pros: None really

Cons: Never hear from broker.

Still having trouble getting monthly payout.No pay again.Have to tell them to sell so I can pay my monthly bills.Broker should do that.Dont know why I am paying them.

by John Brumit, 12/15/2016

Pros: I personally know most of the team and are nice people

Cons: Cant Produce

The group had a substantial amount of money under what they call team management. After 21 months (Feb. 2015- Dec.2016) they returned a net loss of 8,000 while collecting management fees. Several meetings were held throughout the period to discuss why they kept the portfolio basically the same with no return but they held firm on the position until I moved the account. I requested they at least waive the last quarterly fee and they didn't even return my call. You will do better being your own broker and keeping the unjustified fee.

by shawn hazeleur, 12/10/2016

Pros: Nice guy

Cons: works for Morgan Stanley

Crooks are Morgan Stanley in short. We have two mutual funds set up. One is with my work through the V.A. and the other is my wifes through Morgan Stanley. My funds have made about 20 percent this year and are in similar investments as Morgan Stanleys 401K. Ironically my wife has lost almost 15 percent of her wealth. Its weird as the Dow has went up 2000 points this month. Anyone who does business with Morgan Stanley, Chase or any of their conglomerates are probably going to lose money or get a tiny fraction of what they should get.

by Tom, 12/8/2016

Pros: Nothing

Cons: Poor service, bought stocks and sat on them, did not help at all in planning

Morgan Stanley financial planning consisted of a financial model that no really plan. They called it conservative which means to me, they did not want to bother. There commissions for what they did were 2% and they were never proactive. Everybody got the same portfolio - What a joke.

by Kapital Ganze, 9/29/2016

Pros: Professional and high level of white glove service

Cons: None

We have recently switched our accounts from Vanguard and Fidelity. Our account rep at MSWM has been everything we had hoped for. We receive as much attention as we need and the performance of our portfolio has exceeded our expectations.

by very unhappy, 7/28/2016

Pros: none at all

Cons: read below

My contact at MS never contacted me once in 4 years after taking over my account. I paid tax on gains of 10's of thousands without those thousands in portfolio gains, While paying a high 2% fee. This while my family probably has $1,000,000 invested with this individual. Run do not walk away from Morgan Stanley. You will have more money in the end by putting it under the mattress.

by MaxBrand, 7/21/2016

Pros: None

Cons: Deceptive

If you don't make money we don't make money. I was told this repeatedly but in the second quarter of 2015 when my portfolio started its downward plunge the fees just kept on coming. I finally had enough by December of 2015 and rolled everything into another IRA. Many of my holdings had to be cashed out at considerable loss as they wouldn't transfer to the new account. Now in the third quarter of 2016 my holdings are back to early 2015 levels. Lesson learned, manage your own wealth!

by tmason80, 7/13/2016

Pros: none

Cons: con artists

One adviser sold my account to another adviser and never told me, nor, did the new adviser contact me. DO NOT LET THEM TALK YOU INTO OPTIONS. THEY MAKE THE MONEY, NOT THE INVESTOR. THEY ARE SIMPLY GETTING RICH OFF OF YOUR MONEY.

by Kirk, 7/13/2016

Pros: none


Terrible investment,in my opinion a bait and switch, lost money continually over 15 years and (they)collected all most as much in fees as I invested while halving my investment, do not throw your money away with these terrible people, I gave my money to Legg Mason, they gave my money to Morgan Stanley and Morgan Stanley threw it all away.

by Disappointed, 5/26/2016

Pros: None

Cons: Lose money, don't specialize on the clients profile

Disappointed in the lack of personalization and the poor performance

by Campbell chrisman, 2/28/2016

Pros: none

Cons: losing more money.they get their fee though.

Missed my pay out three times.If they can't even send my money on time to my bank,makes you wonder if they even pay any attention to my account. Worst I have dealt with.

by disapointed, 2/14/2016


Cons: incompetent

Losses over $700K in a low risk portfolio over three years. I was told I fared better then most of their clients. Managers attend to the corp pitch not the client needs. You are just a number with MS and a shrinking number at that.

by Shocking, 1/14/2016

Pros: Nice folks

Cons: No way to make $$ or protect retirement

After inheriting my mother's estate, I realized she was spending $$$ to lose money and the broker was making bank. Just to extract the holdings cost me $5000 --- up to $435 PER TRADE. Morningstar reported this week that Americans moved $207 billion away from money managers in 2015. No wonder!

by New Yorker stuck with MS, 1/13/2016


Cons: Broker completely disregards your profile

This year my accountant recommended Morgan Stanley to manage my retirement fund. My profile is conservative saying I want principal as safe as possible. If I eke out 2% I'd be happy. Morgan Stanley Broker put me
in Highland HCOCX -now losing 40%; ivy WASCX - now losing 20%. Ivy WSTCX losing 17%, Wells Fargo EACFX losing
12% Morgan Stanley only pretends to listen to individual needs. I told this irresponsible broker that some day his security will be in someone else's hands, be it financial or medical, and he will only hope that person has his best interest at heart. Hopefully time will remedy these high risk mutual funds I'm now stuck with.


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About Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

In 2009 Morgan Stanley, one of the largest full-service brokerage companies in the U.S., took full control of Smith Barney. In 2012 Morgan Stanley announced that its U.S. wealth management business, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, has been renamed Morgan Stanley Wealth Management (MSWM).

Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Advisors address our clients’ most important concerns and aspirations, from coordinating investment strategy and managing risk in multiple portfolios and entities worldwide, to aligning family governance structures and estate plans with their values and hopes for future generations, to connecting them with our investment bankers and capital markets specialists. We begin with gaining an in-depth understanding of every client’s specific needs and objectives. Then we tailor a wealth management approach that considers all of their goals—for their investments, and for their lives.

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