Merill Edge

5 out of 5

Powered by: Bank of America

At A Glance

Merrill Edge offers robust research tools and unlimited free trades on stocks and ETFs. For Bank of America customers,  Merrill Edge gives clients access to face-to-face support at 2,500 locations.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Benefits for Bank of America account holders
  • No commission trades on ETFs and stock
  • Advanced research tools
  • Physical locations

Cons

  • No fractional shares
  • No cryptocurrency trades
  • Limited securities available

Merill Edge is best for:

  • Bank of America customers
  • Beginner investors
  • Investors looking for guidance

Merill Edge Key Details

Account minimum

$0

Stock trading cost

$0

Options trading cost

$0 per trade; $0.65 per contract

Account fees
  • No annual or inactivity fee
  • $49.95 transfer out fee
Commission-free ETFs

All ETFs trades are commission-free

Commission-free mutual funds

2500 +

Securities tradable
  • Stocks
  • ETFs
  • Options
  • Bonds
  • Mutual Funds
Account types
  • Retirement
  • Education
  • General Investing
Fractional shares

Not available

Access
  • Web browser
  • Smartphone app
Customer support

Phone and 24/7 live chat

Promotion
None

Merill Edge Review

Our Experts Take
Sarah Pritzker - Spade Business Team
Sarah Pritzker
July 24, 2020

Merrill Edge delivers powerful research tools and an advanced trading platform for seasoned and novice traders alike. The platform’s competitive pricing structure offers unlimited free trades of ETFs and stocks, with significant benefits for high net worth customers. Merrill Edge is ideal for Bank of America account holders who benefit from promotions and bank integration, giving Merrill Edge an advantage over online-only brokers. The platform also delivers advanced portfolio analysis for a complete picture of your assets.

Trading Platforms

Merrill Edge offers several trading platforms, depending on the level of the user. For more advanced users, MarketPro is the right pick. However, the primary web platform is also an excellent choice with a range of integrated research tools and functionalities.

Website Trading

Merrill Edge’s web-based trading platform is user friendly and intuitive. With a range of screeners for mutual funds, bonds, stocks, and ETFs, users can quickly assess assets and execute trades.

Merrill Edge MarketPro

This active trader platform delivers robust tools for active traders in an easy, customizable format. Accessible to all Merrill Edge customers, MarketPro includes charts, alerts, Level II quotes, and real-time financial data and news. While this platform offers advanced tools suitable to savvy investors and users familiar with the platform, it may be somewhat complex for beginner investors or first-time users of the platform.

Mobile App

Users will find many of the same capabilities of the web-based platform replicated on the mobile version. View watchlists, charts, and news, and execute trades quickly from anywhere with Merrill Edge’s convenient app available for iOS or Android.

Research Tools

Merril Edge will enjoy a wide range of proprietary, advanced research tools. These include:

Screeners

The platform offers a rich array of analysis tools for investors at any level. Customizable screeners for stocks, ETFs, options, mutual funds, and fixed-income investments and pre-defined and technical screeners are available. Data is gleaned from a range of sources, ensuring that traders get the most up to date information.

‘Stories’

This feature offers a comprehensive portfolio analysis. Get an overview of your investments or go deep with asset-specific history and ratings. The web-based streaming report leverages data to show users how their portfolio is performing. From the central Portfolio Story, users can access links to other more detailed videos about specific assets and their performance.

Tools and calculators

The Merrill Edge trading platforms offer a range of tools and calculators covering a variety of goal-specific topics such as retirement savings, college tuition, small business investment, and general savings. For example, find out exactly how much you need to save to retire using a Personal Retirement Calculator or estimate student costs with the platform’s built-in College Planning Calculator.

News and third-party analysis

Merrill Edge gives the information users need to make educated trading decisions. With real-time market news from over 30 live streaming sources including AP, Business Wire, Dow Jones, The Economist, PR Newswire, Reuters, Wall Street Journal, and many more, you can filter your news stream to see what you need when you need it.

Users benefit from Merrill Lynch Global Research and a range of third-party research providers such as Morningstar, Recognia, and S&P Capital IQ. All analysis is seamlessly available via a searchable database or in ‘stories’

Charting

Advanced and customizable charting on MarketPro is available with streaming data, comparisons, major indices, technical indicators, corporate events, and other filters. Charting is also available on web-based and mobile Merrill Edge trading platforms, albeit in a more limited capacity. These more basic charts let investors compare peers according to dividends, earnings, or stock splits.

Education resources

Merrill Edge hosts a robust array of educational resources for users at any level.

Investor Education Center

Regardless of your level, Merrill Edge offers tailored educational resources for every need. Learn about specific topics or asset classes in a range of formats, all at the touch of a button. There are webinars, FAQs, in-depth articles, courses, and calculators. All resources can be easily found via the search function.

Investing Classroom

Powered by Morningstar, Merrill Edge’s investor classroom gives users the ability to enhance their knowledge of investment-related topics and hone sophisticated investment strategies with a variety of courses tailored to level. Some specific topics covered include debt management, planning for major life events, building an emergency fund, and more.

Advantages of Merrill Edge

Bank of America integration: Merrill Edge and Bank of America account holders will benefit from seamless integration between the two services. This includes a single login for both platforms instant money transfers between accounts. Plus, Bank of America account-holders are eligible for Merrill’s Preferred Rewards program offering a range of discounts, higher interest rates on savings, and more.

Free trades: Merrill Edge joins many other brokers on the market today, offering customers commission-free stock and ETF trading. Options trades are charged $0.65 per contract.

Research: Another benefit of Merrill’s Bank of America integration is access to big-bank backed market research. With comprehensive research tools and data from Merrill Lynch Global Research and a range of third-party providers, investors benefit from detailed information in a digestible format.

Disadvantages of Merrill Edge

Limited assets: While Merrill Edge does carry a selection of stocks, bonds, options, ETFs, and mutual funds, investors looking to invest in futures, penny stocks, cryptocurrency, or forex will be disappointed.

Trading idea generator: Many advanced online brokers offer trade idea generators integrating real-time data, third-party research, and investor profiles. While Merrill Edge plans to launch an idea generator in the future, this is currently not available.

No fractional shares: Merrill Edge offers significant benefits for high-volume traders, but for investors with less money to invest, the benefits are limited and the ability to diversify with fractional shares is markedly absent.

Is Merrill Edge Right For You?

Merrill Edge offers free trades, advanced proprietary research tools, around-the-clock customer support, and seamless integration with Bank of America services for account holders. That being said, the offerings for newer investors or those with less money to invest are limited. This service is best for Bank of America account holders with a larger balance to invest and self-directed traders seeking advanced research and trading tools.

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