Bank of America Brokerage Account

Bank of America Stock Brokerage Account Review

BOA Brokerage Account Commissions, Fees, and Minimum Deposit

Stocks and ETFs $6.95
Stocks and ETFs broker assisted $29.95
Stocks and ETFs automated phone trades $32.50
Options $6.95 + $0.75 per contract
Mutual funds $19.95
Merrill Edge self-directed mutual funds 0.75% gross proceeds, $50 minimum, $250 maximum
Bonds On a net yield basis

Investments stocks, bonds, mutual funds, options, ETFs, bills, notes, bonds, CDs
Merrill Edge minimum deposit to open account $0
FeesMerrill Edge fees
Promotion and login linksMerrill Edge login, Merrill Edge promotions

Bank of America Brokerage Account Pros

  • Free trades if the account meets certain conditions
  • Good banking services including a free checking account
  • No surcharges on penny stocks, large orders, or extended-hours trading
  • No account maintenance or inactivity fees
  • Good investment research tools from Morningstar, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, S&P Capital IQ, Thomson Reuters, and Recognia
  • Free DRIP (dividend reinvestment; client must call customer support to set it up)
  • No-fee IRA accounts

Bank of America Brokerage Account Cons

  • Technical issues (unusable login cards, website going down, etc.)
  • High margin rates
  • Mutual funds subject to self-directed short-term redemption fee of $39.95 if held less than 90 days

Bank of America Brokerage Powered By Merrill Lynch

One of the biggest names in the financial services industry, Merrill Lynch offers simple and affordable investment options. A 2008 merger with Bank of America helped the famed brokerage house avoid bankruptcy, cut costs, and improve customer service at the same time. Online stock trading is now conducted through its Merrill Edge service, which offers two distinct trading platforms — the standard browser-based platform and the more advanced MarketPro. But no matter which account they choose, customers can simplify their financial lives by combing banking and investing in a single account.

Getting Started

For current Bank of America customers, a Merrill Edge account can be added in 10 minutes online. After linking an eligible checking or savings account, members can transfer funds to their new investing account and start trading straight away. For non-customers, the process requires the extra step of funding the account with an outside source. We should also mention that customers who maintain combined totals in linked accounts may be eligible for specific rewards.

Single Login

By linking bank and investment accounts, Merrill Edge members can manage their finances on a single page. They can write checks, pay bills, transfer funds, and invest all from the same place. This simple, practical arrangement saves time, money, and energy. And because the website never closes, customers can do their banking 24/7/365.

Bank of America Brokerage Investments

Merrill Edge accounts give members access to a wide range of investment options, including stocks, bonds, ETFs, and thousands of mutual funds. Easy-to-use screening tools help them narrow options by taking individual criteria into account. Customers may also limit their risk by investing in mutual funds that have been pre-screened by Merrill Lynch professionals. Last but not least, Merrill Edge offers 12 highly diversified portfolios that are not only pre-screened, but also managed by financial experts (hopefully not the same ones that almost bankrupted the company in 2008).

Bank of America Trading and Research Tools

For customers who prefer to do their own investing, Merrill Edge makes it as easy and convenient. After logging into their account, users have access to a number of research and trading tools. Here is a short list:

- Stock screener examines thousands of stocks to determine their suitability as investments based on parameters set by the user

- Customizable charts let users know how their stocks are performing in real time

- Up-to-date information from third-party investment research firms such as Standard & Poor's and Morningstar

- Financial comparison tools rank securities based on earnings, growth, ratings, and fundamentals

- Company profiles give members all the information they need about a stock on a single page

- Educational resources help traders of all skill levels learn or review the basics of investing

Bank of America Online Trading

When it comes time to buy or sell, customers can complete an unlimited number of online equity and ETF trades for just $6.95. While not the lowest flat-rate price in the industry (TradeKing and OptionsHouse are much cheaper), Merrill Edge is more affordable than TD Ameritrade , Charles Schwab, and E*Trade. Online trading features include:

  • Streaming quotes
  • Real-time trades
  • Smart order routing
  • One-on-one guidance and advice
  • Trading and research tools
  • News and independent insight

Bank of America Mobile Trading

Freeing users from their computers, Merrill Edge has introduced a full line of mobile apps for iPad®, iPhone®, Android™, as well as a Mobile Website. With the device of their choice, members can now trade, manage, or simply check up on their investments anytime, anywhere. All of the aforementioned apps have useful features like account views, real-time transfers, streaming quotes, mobile trading, news, alerts, and more.

Bank of America Brokerage Review

In addition to being more convenient for those on the go, banking via smart phone is more versatile, since it lets users deposit checks no matter where they are. All a member has to do is snap a picture of the check, log in to their Merrill Edge account, and verify that the image is theirs to add funds.


With all these positive things we have said about the company, we have to mention that this is the company that mismanaged its own and investor money and had to be bailed out by the U.S. government in 2008 since it was too risky for financial system to let the firm fail. We, personally, would not trust our savings to Merrill Lynch after that.

BOA Brokerage Online Investing Website

Open BOA account

Bank of America Brokerage Reviewed by on . Rating: 3.5

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