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TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios vs Merrill Edge Guided Investing Review

Brandon Reinkensmeyer

Published by Brandon Reinkensmeyer


Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

We spent over 100 hours testing robo-advisors, opening and funding an account with each robo to acquire a true client experience and find the best robo advisors. In this comparison, we will compare Merrill Edge Guided Investing vs TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios to see which robo-advisor is better.

First, let’s take a look at the fees of these two investment advisors. Cost is broken down into both the annual management fee charged each year as well as the expense ratios charged by the ETF holdings themselves. TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios is a better option with a 4.00 star rating over Merrill Edge Guided Investing's 3.00 star rating.

Looking at both robo-advisors, we can also explore their features. TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios has tax-loss harvesting, Merrill Edge Guided Investing doesn't. For running predictions on retirement, clients will want to use a retirement calculator. TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios makes an advanced retirement calculator available to clients, while Merrill Edge Guided Investing does not. Tracking personal financial goals can also be important. TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios makes goal tracking available to clients, while Merrill Edge Guided Investing does not. Finally, the ability to import and aggregate third-party financial accounts for holistic analysis can be particularly useful. Neither broker offers external accounts analysis.

Lastly, tech savvy Millennials may find it valuable to have access to customer service through phone, email, and live chat. However, not every robo-advisor offers live chat support. Both Merrill Edge Guided Investing and TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios offer live chat support.

Overall, TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios takes the upper hand with 4.50 stars over Merrill Edge Guided Investing's 3.00 stars. And, as far as individual category awards go, TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios was rated Best in Class - Investment Approach, while Merrill Edge Guided Investing was rated Best in Class - Customer Service.
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Overall Robo
Investment Approach
Cost
Tools
Customer Service
Minimum Deposit
Annual Fee - $5,000
Annual Fee - $25,000
Annual Fee - $50,000
Annual Fee - $100,000
Annual Fee - $1,000,000
Total AuM
Avg Funds Expense Ratio - Conservative
Avg Funds Expense Ratio - Moderate
Avg Funds Expense Ratio - Aggressive
Tax-Loss Harvesting
529 Plans
CFP Access
Phone Support
Email Support
Live Chat Support
Goal Tracker - Basic
Goal Tracker - Advanced
External Accounts Analysis
Market Research Reports
iPhone App
Android App
TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios
TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios Review
 
4.5
5
4
4.5
4.5
 
$5,000.00
0.30%
0.30%
0.30%
0.30%
0.30%
$16.6 Billion
N/A
N/A
N/A
 
Yes
No
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
 
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Merrill Edge Guided Investing
Merrill Edge Guided Investing Review
 
3
4.5
3
2
4.5
 
$5,000.00
0.45%
0.45%
0.45%
0.45%
0.45%
NA
0.09%
0.10%
0.08%
 
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
 
Yes
No
No
No
No
No

All pricing data was obtained from a published web site as of 02/20/18 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. The StockBrokers.com staff is constantly working with its online broker representatives to obtain the latest pricing data. If you believe any data listed above is inaccurate, please contact us using the link at the bottom of this page.

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