Merrill Lynch vs Chase You Invest


2021 Bank of America Merrill Edge versus JP Morgan Chase You Invest Trade - which firm is better? Compare IRA/Roth accounts, online investing fees, stock broker mutual fund rates, and differences.



Overview of Merrill Lynch and Chase You Invest


Merrill Edge and You Invest are both owned by very large banks. Does that mean they’re about even? This article will give you the answer.


Cost


Broker Fees Stock/ETF
Commission
Mutual Fund
Commission
Options
Commission
Maintenance
Fee
Annual IRA
Fee
Merrill Edge $0 $19.99 $0.65 per contract $0 $0
Chase $0 $0 $0 per contract $0 $0
Firstrade $0 $0 $0 per contract $0 $0


Services


Broker Review Cost Investment Products Trading Tools Customer Service Research Overall Rating
Merrill Edge
Chase
Firstrade


Promotions


Merrill Edge: Get up to $600 when you open a new Merrill Edge account with at least $20,000.

Firstrade: Get 2 FREE stocks and $0 commission in ALL trades!

Chase: Commission-free online stock, ETF, and options trades.



First Category: Securities to Be Traded


Merrill Edge clients can trade several asset classes. These include:

- Stocks (including those on the major exchanges and the over-the-counter space)
- Option contracts
- Mutual and closed-end funds
- ETFs
- Bonds

You Invest has the same list except that it doesn’t offer any OTC stocks.

Winner: Merrill Edge


Second Category: Education & Research Tools


On the You Invest website, we found lots of articles and a few videos that analyze financial topics. Examples include:

- Our top 5 investment ideas
- Working remotely? Watch out for state taxes
- Why dividends as an investing strategy, and why now

In the Guidance & Retirement section on the Merrill Edge website, we found resources on a wide variety of issues. These materials include:

- Tools & calculators
- Life stage planning
- Budgeting and investing
- Find the right IRA

On top of its general financial management resources, Merrill also has articles, videos, and webinars on actual trading. These materials cover important issues like margin and options, and they can be sorted by experience level.

Both brokerage firms have effective screeners on their websites. Although both firms offer security profiles, Merrill’s have more information on them.

Winner: Merrill Edge


Third Category: Software Platforms


You Invest customers get a basic website to conduct security analysis and submit orders. Charting is on a fairly basic level, although there are some tools. The order ticket has 4 trade types and 5 duration choices. There is a watchlist, but we didn’t find any alerts.


Chase vs Merrill Edge


At Merrill Edge, traders can use a watchlist and alerts. Charting is on a similar level as You Invest’s system, with tools but no full-screen mode. The primary difference is going to be MarketPro, a free desktop program available to Merrill Edge customers.


Merrill Edge vs Chase


MarketPro comes with many professional-level features, including:

- Graphs that can be expanded the full width of the computer screen
- Level II quotes
- Technical analysis from Recognia

Winner: Merrill Edge


Fourth Category: Mobile Apps


So Merrill pretty much blew its competition out of the water in the realm of computer trading. But mobile trading is different. You Invest’s app offers charting with tools (although there is no horizontal mode) and a basic order ticket. There is also mobile check deposit and bill pay.


JP Morgan Chase Trading App


The Merrill app has horizontal charting but no tools. Its app also has a check deposit feature and free bill pay. The biggest difference between the two platforms is perhaps the inclusion of trailing orders on Merrill’s app, which don’t appear on You Invest’s.


Merrill Edge app


Winner: Merrill Edge


Fifth Category: Trading Options


You Invest customers can trade options, but only calls and puts. Merrill Edge goes much further than this by providing integrated strategies, such as calendar call spread and butterfly put. And with profit-loss diagrams and an options screener, the decision here is pretty simple.

Winner: Merrill Edge


Sixth Category: Miscellaneous Services


Dividend Reinvestment Program: Free DRIP service is available at both brokerage firms.

IRAs: Both firms offer Individual Retirement Accounts. Merrill Edge charges $49.95 to close an IRA, while You Invest customers have to pay $75.

Fractional-share Trading: Not yet available at either brokerage firm, but we’ll keep you posted.

Investment Advice: You Invest offers a robo service called You Invest Portfolios. Automated accounts carry a 0.35% annual charge. Merrill Edge customers can sign up for Guided Investing, which is a managed account service, but not a robo service. The cost is 0.45%. For 0.85%, Guided Investing clients get to work one-on-one with a financial advisor.

Winner: Overall, pretty close here


Promotions


Merrill Edge: Get up to $600 when you open a new Merrill Edge account with at least $20,000.

Firstrade: Get 2 FREE stocks and $0 commission in ALL trades!

Chase: Commission-free online stock, ETF, and options trades.



Our Recommendations


Mutual Fund Investors: Merrill Edge offers 3,088 mutual funds. On this list, 664 have no load and no transaction fee. You Invest offers only no-load, no-transaction-fee funds. Using its screener, we found 3,142 securities. But Merrill has better fund profiles with ratings from both Lipper and Morningstar.

Small Accounts: Self-directed traders can go with either firm. For managed accounts, it’s a different story. You Invest has a $500 minimum, while Merrill Edge requires $5,000.

Stock/ETF Trading: Merrill Edge’s desktop software makes it the clear choice here. We also like Merrill’s stock and ETF research tools.

Beginners: Merrill Edge’s educational materials are more geared towards newbies. Plus, we think its customer service is better.

Long-Term Investors and Retirement Savers: Pretty even here. Merrill has a slight edge with an individual 401k plan.


JP Morgan Chase vs Merrill Lynch - Results


Although both brokerage houses are owned by large well-known banks, the similarity stops there. These two firms are very different, with Merrill Edge coming out the clear winner overall. Most investors will be better off with another $0-commission broker called TD Ameritrade (review).