Companies like Merrill Edge

Merrill Edge Competitors


Who are the biggest Merrill Edge competitors and alternatives? Companies like Merrill Edge (similar companies) in 2023.


Merrill Edge Competitors


When investors look for Merrill Edge alternatives, they frequently turn to Charles Schwab, Fidelity, and TD Ameritrade. There are similarities among these three firms, but significant differences can be found in important areas. The following comparison will try to reveal which of the three is the ideal broker.


Merrill Edge Competitors Pricing


Broker Review Promotion
Offer
Stock/ETF
Commission
Mutual Fund
Commission
Maintenance
Fee
Annual IRA
Fee
TD Ameritrade $0 commissions + transfer fee reimbursement. $0 $49.99 ($0 to sell) $0 $0
Fidelity Get $0 stock commissions. $0 $49.95 $0 $0
Charles Schwab Get commission-free online stock trades. $0 $49.95 $0 $0


Merrill Edge Competitors Services


Broker Review Cost Investment Products Trading Tools Customer Service Research Overall Rating
TD Ameritrade
Fidelity
Charles Schwab


Promotions

TD Ameritrade: $0 commissions + transfer fee reimbursement.

Schwab: Get commission-free online stock trades.

Fidelity: Get $0 stock commissions.



Trading Technology


All three brokers have good websites, although Schwab's is probably the least sophisticated. It is user friendly nevertheless. The firm does offer two advanced platforms, StreetSmart.com and StreetSmart Edge. StreetSmart.com is free for all clients, while StreetSmart Edge requires assets of at least $1,000.

TD Ameritrade clients can trade using the firm's user friendly trade ticket called SnapTicket, which appears at the bottom of the browser for quick order entry. Alternatively, they can use two powerful trading platforms - Trade Architect and thinkorswim. Trade Architect is the less advanced platform of the two. There are no requirements for both trading system.


Merrill Edge alternatives


The Fidelity website is simpler and its trade ticket less advanced, compared to TD Ameritrade. Fidelity does offer an advanced desktop platform. However, it comes with frequent trader requirements. The broker has created an app for Apple TV, the main highlight for Fidelity here.

TD Ameritrade beats its rivals in this category easily.


Mobile Apps


Investors at Schwab who need to trade on a mobile device can do so using iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch, Android, Kindle Fire, and mobile web. There is also live streaming of CNBC available in standard definition.

Customers of TD Ameritrade will also find live streaming of CNBC. The company's apps can be run on Android phones and tablets, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Windows 10 is compatible with one app. Thinkorswim is available in mobile format, and has very advanced charting capabilities.

Fidelity customers can trade securities on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Android and Windows phone. Bloomberg financial news streams for free in HD.

This category also goes to TD Ameritrade.


Commissions and Account Requirements


All three brokers charge their customers $0 to buy and sell ETFs and stocks. Trading derivatives is available at all three firms, at $0.65 per options contract.

The three brokers offer live representatives who can assist clients to complete a trade over the phone. Using this service at TD Ameritrade is $25. Schwab is at $33.95, while Fidelity is a dollar less than Charles Schwab at $32.95.

There are no account maintenance or inactivity fees at any of the three brokers. In order to open a trading account, Schwab customers must deposit at least $1,000, although this policy can be circumvented by opening a Schwab deposit account with the securities account. Fidelity maintains a $2,500 opening minimum, while TD Ameritrade accounts can be opened with no deposit at all.

On the whole, all three brokers are even here.


Merrill Edge competition


Buying and Selling Funds


There are over 5,000 mutual funds at Schwab. Of these, approximately 3,500 are OneSource products. These funds have no transaction fee and no load. Schwab does have a very steep $49.95 fee to buy a transaction-fee mutual fund. However, there is no charge on the sell side.

TD Ameritrade offers far more mutual funds than Schwab, with a total of 12,000. 4,200 are no-load, no-transaction-fee products (free to buy/sell). There is a $49.99 fee for non-NTF funds. The charge is applied to both the buy and sell sides.

Fidelity customers can trade over 10,000 mutual funds. However, less than a thousand have no transaction fee and no load. The broker charges $49.95 to purchase transaction-fee funds. There is no charge to sell the fund.

The category is a tie between all three brokers.





Customer Service


All three brokers have helpful representatives standing by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Fidelity and Schwab offer on-line chat service, while TD Ameritrade does not.

In addition to English-speaking reps, Schwab has agents on staff certain hours a day who speak Chinese. Moreover, the broker has a nationwide network of branch locations. There are over 300 Schwab locations across the United States right now. Fidelity and TD Ameritrade also have local branches. TD Ameritrade maintains over 300 locations currently, while Fidelity has more than 180 sites.

The victory here goes to Schwab.


Promotions

TD Ameritrade: $0 commissions + transfer fee reimbursement.

Schwab: Get commission-free online stock trades.

Fidelity: Get $0 stock commissions.



Merrill Edge Competitors Outcome and Recommendations


Fidelity (learn more) failed to score, TD Ameritrade (learn more) was successful in two categories, and Charles Schwab (learn more) won one category. There was also two ties. TD Ameritrade wins by a small margin.

If you want the best professional-level trading platform on the market, an ability to practice trading without putting your money at risk, and the richest selection of third-party research, then TD Ameritrade is your broker. We recommend it for retirement investing, beginners, as well as mutual fund investors (13,000 funds, 4,200 no-commission funds).

Fidelity is a good choice for investors who want to invest in Fidelity mutual funds and for buy-and-hold investors.

Charles Schwab is our suggestion for long-term investors who need some hand-holding.


Updated on 6/16/2022.


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.