Edward Jones vs Mercer: what’s the difference?

1 min readLast updated June 18, 2024by Unbiased team

Examine the specifics of Mercer and Edward Jones' investment strategies and wealth management services and how they cater to different investor profiles.

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  • Mercer's investment strategies focus on affluent clientele, while Edward Jones caters to a broader market. 

  • Mercer employs an assets under management (AUM) fee system. Edward Jones utilizes variable commissions. 

  • Mercer offers a wide range of services, including investment planning, tax management, estate planning, and alternative investment strategies. 

  • Edward Jones' investment strategies prioritize long-term growth and income generation through a diversified portfolio. 

Mercer vs. Edward Jones: what’s the difference? 

AspectMercerEdward Jones
Pros Comprehensive services Personalized advising
Competitive fees Local presence
High-net-worth focus Diverse options
Cons Costly referrals Higher fees
Potential conflicts Commission fees
Strategy Bespoke strategies Buy-and-hold
Wealth management Diversified portfolios
Fees 1.10%-0.50% AUM ~2% per transaction
Lower for high assets Processing fees
Service Intergenerational focus Client-advisor ties
Long-term planning Local advisors
Technology Robust research Account tools
Management tools Local support
Adaptability Innovative solutions Market-tailored
Customer Service Personalized, tailored Comprehensive, local
Access Website, mobile app Website, mobile app
Comprehensive resources Investment tools

Mercer and Edward Jones are prominent players in the financial advisory landscape, each offering unique approaches to wealth management.  

Mercer specializes in providing comprehensive wealth management strategies primarily for high-net-worth individuals. With a focus on personalized advising and a wide range of multidisciplinary services, Mercer aims to cater to the diverse needs of affluent investors.  

Edward Jones has a broader target market and focuses on personalized financial advising through its extensive network of local advisors. Edward Jones financial advisors are located in communities across the country, offering clients personalized guidance tailored to their individual financial goals and preferences.  

Understanding the distinguishing characteristics of Mercer and Edward Jones offers investors valuable insights into selecting the most suitable wealth management partner aligned with their financial objectives and preferences. 

What are Edward Jones and Mercer’s specific investment strategies? 

Edward Jones is renowned for its personalized approach to investment planning, focusing on building enduring client-advisor relationships. Edward Jones financial planning typically adopts a conservative strategy, focusing on long-term growth and income generation. Their approach often emphasizes a buy-and-hold strategy customized to meet individual goals and risk preferences. An Edward Jones financial advisor typically advocates for a diversified portfolio encompassing a mix of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and ETFs.  

Mercer specializes in crafting bespoke investment strategies for high-net-worth individuals. Mercer financial planning offers a comprehensive suite of wealth management services, including investment planning, tax management, estate planning, and alternative investment strategies. Mercer's investment approach is characterized by rigorous research and a focus on generating sustainable returns for its affluent clientele. Mercer financial advisors may also explore alternative investment avenues, such as private funds, to diversify portfolios and enhance wealth accumulation. 

What fees can I expect from Mercer and Edward Jones? 

Mercer fees use an assets under management (AUM) fee system, where the advisor's charge correlates with the client's assets. The fee percentage varies based on the value of the assets, with the first million invested incurring an annual fee of 1.10%, gradually decreasing to 0.50% for investments exceeding $10 million.  

On the other hand, Edward Jones fees utilize a structure comprising variable commissions for buying and selling investments, typically around 2% for most securities, excluding mutual funds. They also charge processing fees and may levy additional commissions for certain transactions. 

Is Edward Jones or Mercer better? 

When evaluating Edward Jones and Mercer, it becomes evident that both firms possess distinct advantages and drawbacks, catering to diverse investor preferences and needs. 

Pros of Mercer 

Mercer stands out for its comprehensive suite of wealth management services, offering everything from investment planning to estate management. Despite serving high-net-worth clientele, Mercer’s fees are competitive.  

Cons of Mercer 

Potential downsides include costly client referrals and potential conflicts of interest related to securities and insurance products. 

Pros of Edward Jones  

Edward Jones financial advisors offer personalized financial advising that emphasizes client-advisor relationships and a strong local presence through advisors. The firm offers a diverse array of investment options, providing clients with ample choices to meet their financial goals.  

Cons of Edward Jones  

Investors should be mindful of higher fees compared to some competitors, substantial minimum investment requirements, and potential commission fees for specific transactions. 

Mercer or Edward Jones: which should I choose? 

When deciding between Mercer and Edward Jones financial planning services, it's essential to consider your unique circumstances and financial goals. Mercer specializes in serving high-net-worth individuals with comprehensive wealth management services, while Edward Jones offers personalized financial advising tailored to a broader market. 

Apart from considering fees, investment strategy, and the pros and cons, it's worthwhile to consider these additional questions when weighing the choice between Mercer and Edward Jones: 

How do Mercer and Edward Jones remain competitive and adapt to changing market conditions? 

Mercer's financial planning technology caters to high-net-worth clients. Their robust research system ensures clients receive accurate and up-to-date insights for crafting and managing long-term, growth-oriented investment plans. 

Edward Jones’ strategy of utilizing a network of local advisors who provide personalized advice allows the firm to efficiently tailor its offerings to changing market conditions.  

Both firms continuously innovate to meet evolving client needs while maintaining their unique service offerings.  

Which platform provides better customer service and support? 

Mercer customer service is known for its emphasis on intergenerational wealth education, long-term financial planning, and fostering close client-to-financial advisor relationships.  

Similarly, Edward Jones customer service prioritizes personalized financial advising and strong client-advisor relationships, providing comprehensive wealth management services.  

Both firms offer tailored support to address individual client needs. 

Can I access my Edward Jones or Mercer accounts through their websites and mobile apps? 

Both Edward Jones and Mercer have websites and mobile apps for convenient access to accounts and investment information.  

Edward Jones' platform provides access to account information, investment tools, and resources, complementing personalized support from local advisors.  

Similarly, Mercer's website and mobile app offer comprehensive account management tools, educational resources, and investment research, empowering investors to manage their portfolios independently. 

Get expert financial advice 

Understanding the contrasting approaches of Mercer and Edward Jones provides investors with valuable insights into selecting the most suitable wealth management partner aligned with their financial objectives and preferences. Both firms offer distinct advantages and cater to diverse investor needs, emphasizing the importance of considering individual circumstances when making investment decisions. 

Let Unbiased connect you with a trusted SEC-regulated financial advisor who will ensure that you maximize your investment opportunities and reach your financial goals. 


Unbiased team

Our team of writers, who have decades of experience writing about personal finance, including investing and retirement, are here to help you find out what you must know about life’s biggest financial decisions.

Looking for a financial advisor?

We can connect you with an SEC-regulated financial advisor suited to meet your needs.