Kent Pearce Merrill Lynch – Is Still Preying on Gullible Investors?

Kent Pearce Merrill Lynch is a wealth advisor based in Towson, Maryland. He makes many bold claims about his expertise but lacks the ethics to deliver. 

The crooked wealth advisor preys on unsuspecting investors by trapping them in unfavorable agreements. His firm’s terms and conditions have multiple predatory provisions. To help you understand how he operates, the following review will throw light on these provisions. 

It should help you determine whether you should trust Kent Pearce Merrill Lynch with your financial future or not.

Who is Kent Pearce Merrill Lynch?

Kent Pearce Merrill Lynch runs his firm from 901 Dulaney Valley Rd #516, Towson, MD 21204, US. His contact number is 410-321-4340. 

The name of his firm is The Pearce Group. It claims to offer access to the experience and skill of highly trained financial advisors who help investors organize their financial lives. Also, the firm claims to offer a highly disciplined wealth management philosophy. 

Kent’s firm caters particularly to high-net-worth individuals, families, venture capital firms, business owners, foundations, and corporate executives. 

Additionally, their areas of focus include managing healthcare expenses, taking care of the family, saving for retirement, starting a new business, defining financial goals, and more. 

Their services include:

  • Trust & estate planning services
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Donor-advised funds
  • Exchange funds
  • Securities-based lending
  • Education funding
  • Charitable trusts
  • Structured lending

And several more. 

Kent Pearce Merrill Lynch is the Managing Director and Senior Financial Advisor at this firm. Other notable people at this firm include

  • Karl L Porter (Senior Vice President and Wealth Management Advisor)
  • Jeremy C Kober (Vice President and Wealth Management Advisor)
  • Jason M Slotkin (Assistant Vice President and Senior Financial Advisor)

While Kent and his firm make attractive claims about their expertise, you shouldn’t pay much attention to them. Why? 

Because they are lying. The firm’s terms and conditions suggest that it ignores its clients’ requirements and goals for profit. In the next section of this review, you’ll learn more about this aspect of Kent and his team: 

Top Reasons Why You Must Avoid Kent Pearce Merrill Lynch

The best way to determine if you can trust an advisor with your financial future is to look at their track record. To do so, you should check out their FINRA BrokerCheck listing. 

An advisor’s FINRA BrokerCheck listing can tell you about their professional history, certifications, state licenses, and legal conflicts. The FINRA BrokerCheck listing of Kent Pearce Merrill Lynch shows one client dispute

It occurred in 2002. Here, the client alleged unsuitability and demanded $260,179 in damages. The court granted them $50,000 in damages. 

In response to this dispute, Kent said that he wasn’t held financially responsible for any portion of the settlement. However, this conflict tells you a lot about the reliability of this Merrill Lynch broker. 

It shows that Kent doesn’t hesitate to give unsuitable recommendations to his clients. Hence, you should be extremely cautious about working with him. 

Did You Know?

There are ‘Small Claims Court’, that can resolve your financial disputes in urgent basis. However, there is a limit for dollars (as high as $25000), that varies by state.

Selling Securities Instead of Recommending Them

Kent Pearce Merrill Lynch earns commissions from proprietary and affiliated investment products of his firm. Earning commissions from certain investments can make the advisor biased. 

It encourages the advisor to ignore their client’s financial requirements and goals while making recommendations. The advisor may recommend an unsuitable investment simply because it offers them higher commissions. 

Also, some of their commission-generating investments offer higher commissions than others. Hence, the advisor might recommend a small group of the same investments to most of their clients regardless of their suitability. 

Furthermore, it restricts the number of investments an advisor can recommend to his clients. 

They have no incentive to recommend an investment that doesn’t generate any commissions even if it’s perfect for their client. 

Due to these reasons, it’s quite difficult to trust the recommendations of an advisor who earns commissions from certain investments. 

Unnecessary Promotion of Insurance Products

Apart from earning commissions from investment products, Kent Pearce Merrill Lynch earns commissions from selling insurance products as well. 

This exposes you to multiple issues. 

Kent and his firm might recommend multiple insurance products unnecessarily. You might think that your advisor cares about your financial security but in reality, they are too focused on their commissions. 

Also, the premiums of unnecessary insurance can easily rack up, enhancing your investment costs substantially. 

Furthermore, the firm might insure you with costlier insurance products even if there are lower-cost options available. 


You shouldn’t work with Kent Pearce Merrill Lynch. He has a history of giving unsuitable recommendations and his firm’s disclosures still have several provisions that incentives him to give unsuitable advice. 

Keep in mind that it takes a lot of time for an investor to see the actual damage of unsuitable financial advice. Hence, you should be extremely cautious of an advisor who has a history of ignoring his clients’ interests. 

3.9 Total Score
Unsuitable for most investors

Kent Pearce Merill Lynch puts his interests ahead of his clients’ and his terms and conditions are proof of the same. No reliable advisor would have so many conflicts of interest present in his provisions.

2.8Expert Score
Concern for Clients
5User's score
Concern for Clients
  • None
  • Faced a $250,000+ dispute
  • Selling securities instead of recommending them
  • Unnecessary promotion of insurance products
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  1. 4.75
    Concern for Clients

    Whoever wrote this does not know Kent. This is the furthest from the man

    + PROS: Trustworthy Industry Knowledge Serviceability
    - CONS: Minimum net worth required to invest with
    Helpful(0) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  2. 0.25
    Concern for Clients

    Yeah, not every RIA is honest. Kent is definitely a crook.

    Helpful(0) Unhelpful(2)You have already voted this
  3. This is why I stopped my parents from getting a financial advisor. It’s people like Kent Pearce who are the most dangerous. They are looking to invest and thought Kent would be the perfect choice. I sent them this article.

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