Companies like Merrill Edge

Merrill Edge Competitors


Who are the biggest Merrill Edge competitors and alternatives? Companies like Merrill Edge (similar companies) in 2022.


Merrill Edge Competitors Overview


Bank of America's brokerage arm Merrill Edge tries to attract securities traders by offering low fees and good trading tools. Nevertheless, it does have some tough competition, especially from E*Trade, Schwab, TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, Ally Invest, and Vanguard. The following article will see how Merrill Edge performs against the biggest competitors.


Merrill Edge Competitors Pricing


Broker Review Promotion
Offer
Stock/ETF
Commission
Mutual Fund
Commission
Maintenance
Fee
Annual IRA
Fee
Ally Invest Up to $3,000 cash bonus + $0 commission trades. $0 $9.95 $0 $0
Charles Schwab Get commission-free online stock trades. $0 $49.95 $0 $0
Fidelity Get $0 stock commissions. $0 $49.95 $0 $0
Etrade Get zero commission on stock and ETF trades. $0 $19.95 $0 $0
Merrill Edge Get up to $600 when you open a new Merrill Edge account with at least $20,000. $0 $19.99 $0.65 per contract $0
Vanguard na $0 $20 $20* $20*


Mutual Funds


Merrill Edge customers have access to slightly less than 4,000 mutual funds. Of these, approximately 800 come with no load and no transaction fee. In comparison, TD Ameritrade's website boasts more than 14,000 mutual funds, including over 4,200 that carry no transaction fee and no load. Vanguard offers more than 16,000 mutual funds. Of these, 2,400 come with no load and no transaction fee.

The Ally Invest website has over 3,600 mutual funds that are no-load. In total, there are more than 12,000 funds at Ally Invest. Investors at E*Trade can buy and sell more than 8,000 funds. Almost 1,300 of these products are no-load, no-transaction-fee funds. Fidelity clients can trade more than 11,600 mutual funds. About 3,600 have no transaction fee, and about half of these also come with no load. Schwab clients can trade more than 5,200 funds, of which 3,200 are no-load, no-transaction-fee funds.


Companies similar to Merrill Edge


Customer Service


Representatives at Merrill Edge can be contacted 24/7. E*Trade, Fidelity, Schwab, and TD Ameritrade provide phone support around the clock, too. Ally Invest offers 7am-10pm ET, 7 days a week customer service. Vanguard provides customer service only during the week. Merrill Edge, and Vanguard do not have on-line chat. The Schwab, E*Trade, and Fidelity websites do have this helpful feature. TD Ameritrade has a robo-Q&A service, but there isn't a human agent to answer any questions.

Merrill Edge does not operate a network of retail locations, although it does have financial advisors at certain Bank of America locations. Schwab has a nationwide system of branch locations, with more than 325 offices. Fidelity has more than 180, TD Ameritrade has approximately 450, while E*Trade has just 30. Vanguard and Ally Invest don't have any.


Trading Technology


Merrill Edge offers a well-designed website with a lot of useful information. There are plenty of articles, videos, and educational tools. However, charting is somewhat basic with just a few technical indicators. A graph cannot be displayed full screen. There is a sophisticated Merrill Edge trade bar that appears at the bottom of the browsing window. An advanced desktop platform is available for active traders.


Merrill Edge Competitors


Compared to Merrill, the Vanguard website is probably the weakest. It doesn't have a trade bar, and it's more difficult to navigate. The websites of the other brokers are very comparable to Merrill. E*Trade and TD Ameritrade seem to have the most advanced website charting of the brokers in our survey. Charts on both websites can be shown full screen and include several useful technical studies. TD Ameritrade has the only trading ticket that competes with Merrill's.

All the brokerage firms except Vanguard have advanced platforms. TD Ameritrade is the only one to offer its advanced platform (it actually has two of them) free of charge to all clients with no account requirements. The Schwab platform has only a $1,000 account requirement, which most traders will be able to meet. While Trade Architect is a rather simple web-based platform from TD Ameritrade, the broker's thinkorswim software is very advanced. It provides no less than 400 technical studies, and forex and futures can also be traded on it. Fidelity is the only broker to provide an app for Apple TV.


Mobile Apps


Besides an app for Apple Watch, Merrill Edge also provides a platform that can be used on iPad, iPhone, and Android devices. Analyst reports from S&P Capital IQ are available on the app in pdf format. Charting is pretty good and includes some technical studies. The mobile platform also has funds transfer, market news, a watchlist, mobile check deposit, and bill pay. However, there is no video news.

The Fidelity app, by contrast, has live streaming of Bloomberg business news in HD free of charge for all customers. TD Ameritrade and Schwab stream CNBC in standard definition at no cost, while E*Trade charges its customers for the same. Ally Invest and Vanguard do not have live streaming of any financial news. They also don't have an app for Apple Watch, while the other firms do. TD Ameritrade's thinkorswim mobile app has the most advanced charting of the group, boasting the same 400 technical studies as the desktop version. All brokers in the survey offer mobile check deposit. The Vanguard app does not have bill pay or funds transfer.


Companies like Merrill Edge


Our Recommendations

Beginner Investors: we recommend TD Ameritrade and Ally Invest.

IRA Accounts: all brokers.

Stocks/ETFs Traders: TD Ameritrade and Fidelity.

Options Traders: Ally Invest, and Charles Schwab.

Long Term, Inactive Investors: All brokers are great.

Mutual Funds Investors: TD Ameritrade and Ally Invest. Fidelity Investments and Vanguard if investing mostly in their own families of mutual funds.

Small Accounts: TD Ameritrade and Ally Invest.


New Account Promotions

TD Ameritrade: $0 commissions + transfer fee reimbursement.

Ally Invest: Up to $3,000 cash bonus + $0 commission trades.

Fidelity Investments: Get $0 stock commissions.

Charles Schwab: Get commission-free online stock trades.

Etrade: Get zero commission on stock and ETF trades.



Merrill Edge Competitors Recap


Merrill Edge has enticing features in its brokerage offerings, although some of its rivals outperform the firm in certain areas. Budget-conscious traders will do especially well at Ally Invest.


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.