Morgan Stanley Review

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Morgan Stanley investments customer reviews 2018: complaints, feedback from clients, pros and cons, ratings and rankings.

Morgan Stanley Review

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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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Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Reviews

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.

by Campbell chrisman, 12/28/2015



Worst I have dealt with.Wished I went with old broker when he went somewhere else.Never hear from.Nothing but paying fees to lose money.Should have put money in bank.Broker told me to get job last time I talked to.Friend told me they wouldn't have put up with.Should be on American Greed on TV.

by Customer, 11/30/2015



Morgan Stanley customer service is worst thing; you will be faint by puzzle if you know that they have no mail-id for support customer over the help-desk.
For terrible phone call experience you may call them.

Hate this company !!!!!!!!

by Abusedclient, 11/7/2015

Pros: None

Cons: Total waste of time

Wealth management firm in norwell,Massachusetts at Morgan Stanley office put their interest first. We move an Ira into their office and we all agreed on the method of investing. The result was the complete opposite. As a fiduciary they were bound to higher
Ethical standards than a regular broker. Of course, they breached the duties of a fiduciary and unless my wife gave them full
Discretionary power, she could not invest with them. The bottom line was the firm lost money consistently, the customer service
Was a rehearsed line of bullshit, and the branch manager agreed to whatever the broker did.

The problem is the brokers know clients sign the mandatory arbitration agreement so they don't worry about illegal behavior..
Senator Elizabeth Warren is in the process of changing this loop hole. We pulled the account and now manage it
Ourselves. My advice is to learn how to invest on your own and do it yourself.

by feel cheated, 10/25/2015


Cons: Broker in Miami only cares about his wealth

Stay away.
They are only interested in putting you in "investments" that maximize their
commissions and saddle you with fees when you try to get out.

by The Priest, 10/9/2015


Cons: Total Losers

All this talk about 6% -8% returns. After 1 year under management I've lost 10%. Used to keep my money in the bank - didn't earn much interest but didn't lose it either The losses never stopped them from collecting their fees, which they did relentlessly.

by anon, 9/30/2015


Cons: unfriendly, terrible customer service

Just an all around bad experience. Stay away from Morgan Stanley, they do NOT care about customer service or satisfaction; all they want is their commission at whatever cost that may mean for the client. Also, they are INCREDIBLY slow at processing anything.

by Anonymous, 9/28/2015


Cons: Not professional

Don't know where to begin. Many disappointments over many years. But most recent one blew me away. When I gave cash to Cheryl Young, she invested all big sum of money in 1,5 week, when market was going up and she lost $60,000. When I ask why she invested in such a short period of time, I thought it should be invested over the year period, she said that I ask her to do so, which it not true. Even client would ask to invest fast, she should explain that it is not a good idea. But blaming a client and lie...., so unprofessional. Moving out asap!

by Anonymous, 3/22/2015


Cons: Poor customer service

I simply called Morgan Stanley for information regarding updating beneficiaries, and what a shock- I was informed that they had no record of my IRA!This nightmare is still going on… for days… I have called and spoken to 7 people (none of them spoke clear English; I had to ask them to repeat themselves over and over again) … and we are still nowhere.

I was promised of a return call.. that never happened. I was given wrong numbers to call back (wrong offices that had nothing to do with my needs)… I was told to go to go to a branch office so they could figure it out! Seriously, the worst customer service..

I have been receiving statements for years from them and the most recent one just over a month ago! What have they done with all my money? They don't seem the least bit concerned. They simply don't care.

They asked me "what letter" I was referring to!

I said I was "referring" to THEIR statements!The ones THEY mail to me regularly!

by Anonymous, 2/10/2015


Cons: Horrible Management

Horrible Management: Frozen accounts did no good to put AND in our joint account Morgan Stanley left my x draw over 300,000 from our account and now has frozen it....given this I can't do anything until my divorce is final.

The individual who let him have the funds was not our FINANCIAL ADVISOR just a woman who works in the Office and seems to have in infatuation with all of her clients (Male) single woman with cats. What happened to the Personal Financial Advisor.. same day called spoke to my financial advisor and asked if anything was changed on our acct.'s I wanted to know ASP same day later was called and told the bad news and good news bad news the woman in the office let my x have the 300,000. good new they'd had then frozen the remaining assets...

go figure!They are HORRIBLE!

by Greg, 1/2/2015


Cons: Bad customer service experience

Awful. Obviously you have no concern for your customers satisfaction.

by Alex, 6/12/2014



I recently left an employer and had to wait nearly 9 months for my requested roll-over from that employer's 401k to another trusted account - TIAACref.

It not only took 9 months for Morgan Stanley to release my money.(In the meantime they were making money on my account) but then they charged me an administrative fee of 10%.

As it was the 401K never really made any money. Every year their administrative fees coincidentally covered any amount of money the account might have made. I consider this robbery. Morgan Stanley has lived up to their not so 'clean' reputation.

BEWARE !I will be glad to never deal with this company again!

by Unhappy, 2/5/2013

Pros: None

Cons: Everything

My employer set up the company 401k with them and it was nothing but terrible. Within 1 year of setting up the plan we had 3 different financial advisers.The web access was always needing to be updated. A few times my accounts stopped showing up but after several phone calls I would get my access back. When I left my employer I could not wait to roll over my funds. This was an ordeal itself. Now they are refusing to issue my 1099R.

by farquahr, 3/16/2012

Pros: None

Cons: con artists

Some years ago my mom and dad were seeking to invest during their upcoming retirement. They were looking for safety with a reasonable return. They had the misfortune of being recommended to Arthur Tuttle at Smith Barney. He took advantage of their naivete and they trusted a fellow church member. They were sold the proverbial "bill of goods" and in a matter of months lost $30,000. When questioned by my folks in front of the church, his answer was "We all lost money" and strode off. They were left holding the bag and he garnished a great commission for selling them crap. His efforts gained him a vice-president position and my parents feeling embarrassed, used and demoralized. I hope he gets what he deserves some day.

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Morgan Stanley Wealth Management reviewed by former and current clients. Morgan Stanley Wealth Management reviews: 49. Rating: 1.