Is Merrill Edge a Scam

Is Merrill Edge a Safe and Legit or a Scam? (2024)


Is Merrill Edge Safe?


Are you worried about the safety and reliability of Merrill Edge as a brokerage firm? If you are, you've found the right place to get your answers. We've thoroughly researched Merrill Edge, and here's what we found.


Is Merrill Edge a Scam?


Merrill Edge is based in the United States and is regulated by major U.S. financial authorities. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) oversees its activities, and Merrill Edge has been registered with the SEC for many years. This long history adds to its credibility.


Is Merrill Edge a scam?


It is also regulated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), which provides another layer of security for its clients. Merrill Edge's long-standing registration since 1959, visible on its detailed FINRA BrokerCheck profile, shows its extensive regulatory history and relatively moderate number of disclosures.


Clearing Firm


Merrill Edge handles its clearing operations in-house through Merrill Lynch Professional Clearing Corp. This company is also registered with both the SEC and FINRA, which oversees its operations closely.


Is Merrill Edge FDIC/SIPC Insured?


Merrill Edge accounts are eligible for SIPC insurance, which covers up to $500,000 per customer, including up to $250,000 for cash balances. For additional security, uninvested cash can be covered by FDIC insurance when it is swept into Bank of America's program banks.


Is Merrill Edge SIPC Insured?


Furthermore, Merrill Edge offers an extra insurance policy through Lloyd's of London that provides coverage beyond the SIPC limit, including higher cash claim limits.


Merrill Edge Better Business Bureau


The Better Business Bureau (BBB) monitors and rates companies based on customer interactions and other business performance metrics. Merrill Edge and its parent company Bank of America both maintain profiles on the BBB website, with Merrill Edge receiving an A+ rating.


Merrill Edge BBB


Despite the high rating, there are numerous complaints on its profile, mostly related to identity theft and customer service issues, common for large financial institutions.


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Is Merrill Edge Safe Verdict


Combining the protections from its parent company, Bank of America, with its own long and regulated history, Merrill Edge appears to be a safe and legitimate brokerage. However, as with any investment, there are inherent risks, and no brokerage can completely eliminate these.


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Merrill Edge Review


Now that we've confirmed Merrill Edge's legitimacy, let's dive into what they offer and their performance across various services.


Investments Choices


Merrill Edge Investments Rating

Merrill Edge offers both managed and self-directed investment accounts but does not provide a robo-advisory service. Managed accounts are human-operated and available only online, with fees depending on the investment strategy and services chosen.

The self-directed accounts at Merrill Edge provide a wide range of investment options, including:

  • Full range of ETFs available on U.S. exchanges
  • Mutual funds
  • Closed-end funds
  • Stocks, including penny and OTC equities
  • Options
  • Bonds and other fixed-income investments

However, Merrill Edge does not support trading in futures, forex, precious metals, or cryptocurrencies.


Website


Merrill Edge Investing Rating

The Merrill Edge website is well-equipped with tools for researching and managing investments. It features an intuitive trade ticket, asset comparison tools, and detailed security profiles.


Merrill Edge review: website


For a more advanced trading experience, Merrill Edge offers MarketPro, a browser-based platform that includes comprehensive tools for technical analysis and security research, although it lacks direct-access routing.


Other Software


Merrill Edge Trading Rating

While Merrill Edge's desktop software has been retired, its mobile app provides robust trading tools and educational resources, making it suitable for trading on the go.


Is Merrill Edge Safe?


Customer Support


Merrill Edge Customer Rating

Merrill Edge provides around-the-clock phone support and a detailed online help section. However, it lacks physical branches, limiting in-person service options.


Self-Directed Fee Schedule


Merrill Edge Self-Directed Rating

Merrill Edge offers commission-free trades for U.S.-listed stocks and ETFs online, with some activities incurring fees. Options trades and certain mutual fund transactions may have associated costs.


Margin Service


Merrill Edge Margin Rating

Merrill Edge offers both cash and margin brokerage accounts, with variable margin rates that are not publicly disclosed and must be inquired about directly.


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Visit Merrill Edge Website


Security Research


Merrill Edge Research Rating

Merrill Edge offers extensive tools for investment research, including screeners and advanced analysis tools, available through its website and MarketPro platform.


Merrill Edge review: options


Additional Services


Merrill Edge Broker Rating

Merrill Edge offers a range of additional services, including IPO trading, extended hours trading, a Dividend Reinvestment Plan, and the ability to trade fractional shares.


Recommendations


Retirement Savers and Long-Term Investors: Merrill Edge may not be ideal due to certain fees and limited options. Fidelity might be a better choice for eliminating such fees.

Beginners: A managed account at Merrill Edge is a good start for new investors, especially with added support from a financial advisor.

Small Accounts: For smaller accounts, Merrill Edge's self-directed option with no minimum deposit is recommended, but be aware of potential account closure for zero balances.

Mutual Funds: With a relatively small selection of mutual funds, investors might find better options with Firstrade.

ETF and Stock Trading: For advanced trading, Interactive Brokers may offer better tools than Merrill Edge, especially for those interested in trading on a professional level.


Merrill Edge Review Judgement


While Merrill Edge is a secure brokerage, it does not excel in every area and has room for improvement in several services it offers.


Updated on 6/28/2024.


About the Author
Chad Morris is a financial writer with more than 20 years experience as both an English teacher and an avid trader. When he isn’t writing expert content for Brokerage-Review.com, Chad can usually be found managing his portfolio or building a new home computer.