Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. For this and more information on BlackRock funds, please view a prospectus. The prospectus should be read carefully before investing.
Get answers to some of yours (and your clients) most common questions. Please keep in mind, these FAQs refer to accounts held directly at BlackRock and are meant as a general guide. For the best experience, we recommend speaking with our Service Team on any specific case.
Any references to forms or applications can be located on our "Forms & Applications" page.
My client has recently married/divorced, how can a name change be initiated?
If your client wishes to change personal information such as a name, please use our Change of Registration Form. Make sure to read all the instructions before completing the form and forwarding to the shareholder. Your client needs to fill out sections 1 ("Name Change Only"), but we recommend that you review Sections 3, 4 & 5 to see if any other changes should be made. The form must be signed at the bottom of Section 6 with both your client's old and new signatures. Please note: Medallion guarantee stamps are required on both signatures.
My client wishes to transfer ownership of a portion of an account to another person. What does my client need in order to do this?
Transferring shares from one BlackRock account to another BlackRock account can be accomplished with written instructions, such as our Change of Registration Form. A letter of instruction with the existing account owner's medallion guaranteed signature and a New Account Application completed by the new owner will also be accepted in place of the Change of Registration form. As different account types and client circumstances may generate additional questions, for this scenario we recommend talking with the BlackRock Service team.
My client is the beneficiary of a Transfer on Death account where the owner has passed away. My client wishes to transfer and/or redeem the account to his name. How can I help my client with this?
Each beneficiary will need to complete a Transfer on Death (TOD) Beneficiary Claim Form (a letter of instruction will not be accepted in lieu of this form), which will allow them to instruct us to either transfer their portion into an account in their name, or to transfer and then redeem their portion. If establishing a new account, the beneficiary will also need to complete a New Account Application.
My client wants to open a Transfer on Death account and name beneficiaries. What forms do I need to get in order to assist with this request?
Please download and complete the Transfer on Death (TOD) Registration Form so your client may designate up to six beneficiaries who will receive your client's fund shares upon your client's death. This form may be submitted with a New Account Application to establish a new account as a TOD account or it may be used to name beneficiaries to an existing non-qualified account. The form requires the medallion guaranteed signatures of all account owners and can be mailed to the address on the form.
My client's spouse passed away and as a joint owner of an account, wishes to transfer all shares to his name. How can I help my client with this?
If the joint owner on one of your client's accounts has passed away, you will generally need to complete our Change of Registration Form for your client. The signature of the remaining account owner must be medallion guaranteed on the form. As different account types and client circumstances may generate additional questions, for this scenario we recommend talking with the BlackRock Service team.
How can my client establish, change, or suspend the amount of his Automatic Investment Plan (AIP)?
To establish this option, your client will need to download and complete an Automatic Investment Plan (AIP) Application, which is used to set up automatic investment in a BlackRock account via electronic transfer from a checking or savings account. Transfers can be made monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually. The paperwork will need to be signed by all shareholders and mailed to the address on the form. Once established, changes to the draft date, dollar amount and frequency may be made via telephone or online.
My client is concerned about the security of his assets. How can a freeze be placed on an account?
If your client is concerned about identity theft or is in the process of getting a court order to specify ownership of specific shares, he has the option of requesting that a stop be placed on his account. Once the stop is on the account no funds would be redeemed without a written request that has the signatures of all account owners Medallion Signature Guaranteed. For more information, please contact the BlackRock Service Center at 800-441-7762.
My client's account was opened while he was a minor and a custodian was assigned. The client is no longer a minor and wants to take ownership of the account. What forms are needed to complete this?
You may download a Change of Registration Form for your client. This form will need to be completed with the former minor’s information in Section 2 (“New Account Information”) and the medallion guaranteed signature of either the custodian or former minor and mailed to the address on the form.
My client wants to transfer his assets into a BlackRock IRA account from another firm. How can I help my client with this?
Download an IRA Transfer of Assets/Direct Rollover Request Form. We recommend checking with the current custodian to determine if they require additional documentation (medallion guarantees, distribution forms, etc). Please be sure to include a recent statement from the current custodian along with the Transfer of Assets ("TOA") Form. If your client does not already have a BlackRock IRA you will also need to download and complete the appropriate type of IRA Application (Roth, Traditional or Inherited) to establish a BlackRock IRA account for your client before the funds can be transferred. The paperwork will need to be signed by your client and mailed to the address on the form.
How do I contact my BlackRock wholesaler?
Call 877-ASK-1BLK (877-275-1255) from 8:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. ET.
How can my client purchase additional shares online?
On the Portfolio page, there is an Actions tab which has a drop-down option for making purchases of additional shares. You will be prompted to select the destination fund and select the dollar amount for the purchase. On the Portfolio page, you will have the option to purchase into a new fund as well. A client may either use bank instructions that are currently on file with BlackRock or provide us with bank information at the time of purchase. If the purchase is submitted before 4 p.m. ET, it will be processed at the following business day's closing price. If the purchase is submitted after 4 p.m. ET, it will be processed at the closing price in two business days.
How can I exchange shares online?
The Actions tab found on the Portfolio page has a drop-down option for exchanging shares. To complete the exchange, you will be prompted to select the destination fund, the fund from which the monies will be coming and a dollar amount. On the Portfolio page, you will also have the option to exchange into a new fund.
How can I sell shares online?
On the Portfolio page there is an Actions tab which has a drop-down option for redeeming shares. You will be prompted to select from which fund they wish to redeem, the amount of the redemption and to choose a delivery method. Funds can only be redeemed to a bank account if BlackRock already has the bank account on file as a redemption address. Redemption requests received before 4 p.m. ET will receive the current business day's closing price. Requests received after 4 p.m. ET will receive the following business day's closing price. Once the transaction is complete, the user will receive a confirmation message.
How can I reset my password or challenge questions?
Under the Email/AccountAdmin tab at the top of the Portfolio page there is an option for changing passwords. Choosing this option will prompt you to enter the old password and create a new one. Passwords must be between six and 10 characters and contain at least two letters and at least two numbers. Under the Email/AccountAdmin tab there is also an option to edit your Web Profile. Clients may choose to edit the Challenge Questions from this page as well.
How can my client stop receiving fund literature (updated prospectuses and shareholder reports) through the mail?
It is required by law that all shareholders of a fund receive updated fund literature. BlackRock provides the option to have that fund literature delivered via e-mail. In order to use our eDelivery option the client must have registered for online account access. Once logged into their account, they can select E-Delivery from the Email/AccountAdmin tab and choose which items they would like to have delivered via e-mail. Your client can log in at any time to change these options.
How can my client change their address?
Once logged into the account, your client may select Change Address from the Email/AccountAdmin tab. Please note: Changing the address will place a temporary 30 day security hold on the account which will prevent any telephone or internet redemptions from being processed and will, therefore, prevent money from being sent to the new address. Address changes can also be initiated over the phone or in writing, signed by all shareholders. If there is a Returned Mail (RPO) stop on an account, written instructions with the medallion guaranteed signature of each registered shareholder are required. A letter with the medallion guaranteed signature of each registered shareholder can also be used to have funds redeemed to the new address during the 30 day security hold period.
What types of managed account clients does BlackRock serve?
BlackRock serves the needs of many types of investors: High net worth individuals, Corporations, Corporate executives, Current and past business owners, Tax-exempt organizations, Unions and government agencies.
What investment strategies for managed accounts are available through BlackRock?
We offer a wide variety of solutions that cover a range of asset classes and investment. Visit the Managed Accounts page to see an overview of our product offerings.
What are the roles of the various teams responsible for managed accounts at BlackRock?
There are many BlackRock investment teams that are responsible for the various investment strategies offered and for building the target portfolios. These teams confer regularly on market trends and investment strategies and have access to all the investment resources at BlackRock. In addition, there is an implementation team that is familiar with your client's financial situation and can work with you as your client's investment needs and goals change over time. There is always a BlackRock portfolio manager available to address your questions.
What is my role as a Financial Professional (FP) after a managed account is opened?
After a BlackRock managed account is opened, you will continue to be the primary contact with your client for the account. To assist you in this regard, you will receive copies of all client communications. Based on your knowledge of your clients' goals and objectives, risk tolerance and current financial situation, you are responsible for notifying the portfolio management team about any changes in the client's situation and for determining whether the client's current investment strategy remains appropriate.
What happens if a client wants to impose investment restrictions on the management of the account?
Certain clients may wish to restrict investment in certain securities for a variety of reasons. For example, some clients work for companies that limit the types of issuers in which they can invest, such as investments in companies within the same industry. Clients should inform the portfolio manager of any desired restrictions prior to the inception of management so BlackRock can determine whether we can accommodate the request.
How much input do clients have in the stocks that are chosen for their Managed Accounts portfolio?
An initial conversation with the client's portfolio manager can be arranged to discuss the client's specific risk tolerance, goals and objectives. Your clients have the ability to impose reasonable investment restrictions on the account. However, as this is a discretionary portfolio, BlackRock will make all of the day-to-day decisions regarding individual security selection.
Can clients take a withdrawal from an account on a regular basis?
Yes. Clients should inform BlackRock if they anticipate those withdrawals so that the account can be managed accordingly (i.e., hold or raise sufficient cash to accommodate your client's needs). The custodian is responsible for distributing the funds out of your client's account.
Are the risks associated with managed account investments different from those risks associated with a mutual fund investment?
The investment vehicle itself does not determine the investment risk, as all investments involve a certain amount of risk. However, the nature of the risks involved for a managed account strategy depends on the particular strategy selected. For example, international investing involves special risks, including foreign currency risk and the possibility of substantial volatility due to adverse political, economic or other developments. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging/developing markets or smaller capital markets. Additionally, fixed income investing involves credit and interest rate risks.
What if my clients earn more than expected this year and no longer qualify for a Roth IRA but already made a contribution for this year?
If your clients made a contribution to a Roth IRA, and then discover that their income will exceed the maximum allowed to contribute to a Roth IRA, the amount contributed for that year can be re-characterized as a contribution to a Traditional IRA or removed from the Roth as excess contribution by their tax filing deadline (including extensions).
How much can clients contribute to a Roth IRA?
Access the Contributions Limits and Tax Reference guide.
How much can my clients contribute to a Traditional/SEP IRA?
The most that can be contributed to a Traditional IRA for the year 2014 is the smaller of the following amounts: $5,500 (or $6,500, if you are age 50 or older), or 100% of taxable compensation for the year.
Can contributions be made to a SIMPLE IRA?
Contributions are made by the employee through a salary reduction agreement. The employer must additionally make matching or non-elective contributions.
Are contributions tax deductible?
Contributions to a Traditional IRA may be deductible based on clients' modified adjusted gross income, age, and whether they and/or their spouse are covered by employer sponsored plans. For questions regarding tax treatment of IRA contributions please consult IRS Publication 590, visit www.irs.gov or consult a tax advisor.
When can clients take money out of an IRA?
Clients can withdraw money from an IRA at any time. However, earnings on any money withdrawn from a Traditional IRA before the age of 59 ½ may be subject to a 10% IRS penalty unless it is being used for certain purposes. To learn more visit www.irs.gov.
Are my clients required to take money out of an IRA?
Your clients are required to take an amount referred to as a "required minimum distribution" (calculated based on several different factors) from a Traditional IRA beginning the year you attain the age 70 ½. If any of your clients are the beneficiaries of an IRA, they may also be required to take distributions beginning by December 31st of the year following the owner's death.
How can a Traditional or SEP IRA account be opened with BlackRock?
To open an account with BlackRock, please download the IRA Application.
How do I invest in BlackRock funds through an IRA?
Once an IRA is opened at BlackRock, your client can contribute by check (payable to “BlackRock”) or by adding Bank Instructions to their account, which also allows them to use our Automatic Investment Plan. In addition, your client may also transfer or roll over retirement plan assets to their BlackRock IRA.
Where can I learn more about IRAs?
What is an "RMD"?
The IRS requires that IRA owners take "Required Minimum Distributions" from their IRA (excluding Roth IRAs) beginning at age 70 ½. Whether or not the original IRA owner had begun their RMD determines the options for taking distributions from an Inherited IRA.
What is an Inherited IRA?
An Inherited IRA is an account established in the name of your client as the beneficiary of an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) when the original owner has passed away.
Do any special provisions apply to a spouse of a deceased owner?
A spouse of a deceased IRA owner has the option of rolling the balance of an account into an account in their own name and treating it as their own IRA, depending on what type of IRA the spouse owned. If the client chooses to do this, please download the BlackRock IRA Application.
Some of my clients may be the beneficiary of a deceased SIMPLE IRA owner. What are the options available?
If any of your clients are the spouse of a deceased SIMPLE IRA owner, your clients can take the IRA as their own. If not a spouse of the deceased owner, the portion of the account will be assigned to an Inherited IRA.
Can contributions be made into an Inherited IRA?
No, contributions cannot be made to an Inherited IRA, although clients can be the owner of an Inherited IRA and have a Traditional or Roth IRA in their own name as well that they can make contributions to.
When can money be taken out of an Inherited IRA?
Redemptions can be made from an Inherited IRA at any time after it is re-registered into the beneficiary's own name.
Are my clients required to take money out of their Inherited IRA?
As the owner of an inherited IRA, any of your clients may be required to either liquidate the account within five years of the December following the original owner's death or choose by September of the year following the original owner's death to take substantially equal payments over the longer of their or the original owner's life expectancy. An IRA Distribution Request Form should be included along with the Inherited IRA Enrollment Kit, informing BlackRock of how your clients wish to take their distributions.
What is the 403(b)?
BlackRock does not offer 403(b) programs. Similar to the 401(k), 403(b) programs are employer-sponsored retirement plans where salary is deferred, pre-tax, into designated investments. Examples of those eligible for inclusion in a 403(b) are employees of non-profit organizations and public schools.
What is the 401(k) program?
401(k) plan is a type of employer-sponsored retirement plan. A 401(k) plan allows a worker to defer income taxes on the money they invest. The employee elects to have a portion of his wages paid directly, or "deferred", into his or her 401(k) account. Typically, the employer who provides the plan will offer to match a percentage of deferred salary.
How can my clients open up a 401(k) with BlackRock?
BlackRock does not offer 401(k) programs. Clients should be advised to contact their employer about its 401(k) or other retirement programs offered to its employees.
What is a "Stretch" IRA?
A "Stretch" IRA is a wealth-transfer strategy that allows clients to extend the period of tax-deferred earnings on the assets of an IRA by passing these assets to younger beneficiaries and decreasing the account's required minimum distributions (RMD). An IRA account owner names his spouse and/or beneficiaries considerably younger than himself. When these younger beneficiaries receive the inherited IRA, the remaining balance is paid out over their single life expectancies, effectively stretching out the length of time that withdrawals can be taken from that IRA. This extends the tax-deferred earnings of assets within an IRA beyond the lifetime of the person who set up the IRA.
What are the benefits of a "Stretch" IRA?
Benefits of a "Stretch" IRA include: Tax-deferred income during a client's lifetime and for descendants by making strategic beneficiary designations for amounts not subject to RMD; Continued tax-deferred account growth over two or three generations.
How flexible is a "Stretch" IRA?
Under IRS final regulations issued in 2002, potentially anyone can have a "Stretch" IRA:
What information should I review with my clients in determining whether a "Stretch" IRA is appropriate?
To determine whether a "Stretch" IRA is appropriate:
What can a "Stretch" IRA strategy provide when matched with the right investment vehicle?
A "Stretch" IRA strategy can provide:
Do my clients need a beneficiary designation form?
What is the "Stretch" IRA Illustration?
The "Stretch" IRA Illustration allows you to create customized reports for your clients, showing their estimated asset growth and beneficiary distributions within a "Stretch" IRA investment. Once you have information from your client such as IRA account balance, estimated rate of return, and the names and ages of his/her beneficiaries, you can tailor the Illustration to the client's specific needs. The Illustration is an excellent way to show your clients all the benefits of investing in a "Stretch" IRA.
How do I request a "Stretch" IRA Illustration?
Call 800-882-0058 for more information about a "Stretch" IRA Illustration.
How do I order copies of forms and/or literature?
To order a form or a piece of literature you can either "Browse Literature" by entering a name or keyword (located on the right side on the FP homepage). You may also click on the Forms & Literature tab and select the type of literature you are looking for, such as a fact sheet, prospectus or an application.
How do I subscribe to BlackRock documents?
First click on the Forms & Literature tab and then either click on fact sheets, prospectuses, product commentary, etc. or enter a keyword in "Literature Browse & Subscribe" and you will be taken to a list where you will see the literature pertaining to what you are looking for. Here you will have the option, if available, to subscribe. For example, you wish to subscribe to the Global Allocation Fact Sheet. Either go to "Literature Browse & Subscribe" and enter the words Global Allocation or click on the Forms & Literature Tab and then Fact Sheet and search for it on the search results page. Global Allocation fact sheet will appear and you will see Subscribe to Updates.
How do I track my orders?
When you click on the Forms & Literature tab, you will see Manage My Literature and "Track My Recent Orders."
How can I e-mail literature to a client?
First click on the Forms & Literature tab and then either click on fact sheets, prospectuses, product commentary, etc. or enter a keyword in "Literature Browse & Subscribe" and you will be taken to a list where you will see the literature pertaining to what you are looking for. Here you will have the option, if available, to e-mail. For example, you wish to e-mail to the Global Allocation prospectus to a client. Either go to "Literature Browse & Subscribe" and enter the words Global Allocation or click on the Forms & Literature Tab and then Prospectus and search for it on the search results page. Global Allocation prospectus will appear and you will see the e-mail option.
How can I get the latest fund literature such as a prospectus or fact sheet?
You can find the latest fund literature by entering keywords in "Literature Browse & Subscribe," (located on the right side on the FP homepage). Just type in the word "prospectus" or "fact sheet" and click on "GO". Also located on the homepage, under Resources are links to either prospectuses or fact sheets. You may also click on the Forms & Literature tab and click on either prospectuses or fact sheets.
How do I know if a piece of literature has been approved with my firm?
You may need to check with your firm's compliance department to find out if a piece of literature has been approved within your firm.
What are the benefits of investing in BlackRock mutual funds?
Investing in mutual funds is an effective way to pursue lifetime financial goals. Mutual funds offer advantages such as:
How do I decide which mutual funds offered by BlackRock are best suited for my client?
We offer an extensive range of mutual funds that cover the spectrum of investment objectives. To decide whether a particular fund is right for your client, please read its prospectus. We also offer comprehensive tools that allow you to compare funds side-by-side to determine which fund has the right characteristics to meet your clients' investment needs, such as the Morningstar Fund Comparison Tool.
What is the minimum initial investment to purchase a BlackRock mutual fund?
To learn about each BlackRock share class, including initial investments, please visit our dedicated Share Classes and Loads page.
What additional shares does BlackRock offer?
In addition to Investor A and C shares, BlackRock also offers the following share classes:
Each of these share classes are only available for certain funds, and are sold without sales charges. Please refer to the Fund’s prospectus for details on each fund and share class.
Institutional shares are offered to current owners of Institutional shares, institutional and individual retail investors with a minimum investment of $2 million (per fund) or clients of registered investment advisors who have $250,000 invested in the fund, certain qualified retirement plans and investors in selected investment programs.
K shares are available to certain qualified record-keepers, defined benefit, defined contribution plans, institutions and individuals with a minimum initial investment of $5 million in the fund.
Service shares are only available to certain financial institutions acting on behalf of their customers and certain other investors.
R shares are offered only to certain large qualified retirement plans.
BlackRock shares are offered to institutional investors, with a minimum investment of $5 million (per fund) or clients of registered investment advisors who have $250,000 invested in the fund, and certain fee-based programs and qualified employee benefit plans.
How can my client establish an automatic investment plan?
To setup an Automatic Investment Plan for your client, download the Automatic Investment Plan (AIP) Application.
Can my client reinvest distributions received from his mutual fund investment?
Your clients can buy additional shares of any fund by automatically investing any dividends and capital gains back into his fund account. Such purchases are made at the then-current net asset value, without sales charge, providing for additional compounding of investment dollars.
Where can my client learn more about investing in BlackRock closed-end funds?
To help your client learn more about closed-end funds, download or order BlackRock's Guide to Investing in Closed-End Funds. To find detailed information, visit BlackRock's Closed-End Funds page.
Where can I find information about BlackRock open-end funds?
Access BlackRock Open-End Funds page. After selecting a fund, you can review the fund's profile pages to learn about each fund's investment objective, strategy, performance, risks and fees. We also offer the Morningstar Fund Comparison Tool that allows you to compare funds side-by-side to determine which fund has the right characteristics to meet your clients' investment needs.
Where can I find more information about BlackRock's fund mergers and reorganizations as well as proxy voting information?
Access the Fund Mergers and Liquidations page.
Will my client have to pay a sales charge when buying BlackRock funds?
Upfront Sales Charge: If your clients purchase Investor A Shares, they will pay a front-end sales charge. Depending on the amount of Investor A shares purchased, the client may be eligible for a breakpoint discount.*
Contingent Deferred Sales Charge (CDSC): If your client purchases Investor C Shares, the client may have to pay a CDSC if the shares are redeemed within one year of purchase. If your client had previously purchased Investor B Shares before the share class closed, a CDSC may still apply. Redemption of Investor A Shares purchased with the $1 million breakpoint may be subject to a CDSC if sold within 18 months of purchase.
*Any client may be eligible for breakpoint discounts based on the size of his Investor A share purchase. Please refer to the Prospectus, Statement of Additional Information or contact your wholesaler.
Where can I find daily NAVs for BlackRock mutual funds?
Where can I find monthly and quarterly performance numbers?
What is dollar cost averaging?
Dollar cost averaging is an investment strategy that enables an investor to take advantage of market fluctuations. By investing a fixed dollar amount at regular intervals, regardless of share price changes, your client may lower his average share cost, helping to get the most value from an investment. Of course, dollar cost averaging does not assure a profit and does not protect against a loss in declining markets. Because dollar cost averaging involves continuous investment in securities regardless of changing prices, your client should consider his financial ability to continue purchases through periods of low price levels.
Where can I find ticker symbols for the BlackRock mutual funds?
Click here to find a listing of NASDAQ ticker symbols for the BlackRock mutual funds.
If you have any questions please contact your BlackRock account:
Advisors: 877-ASK-1BLK (877-275-1255)