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Merrill Edge vs Ally Invest 2023

StockBrokers.com

Written by StockBrokers.com

January 23, 2023

Is Merrill Edge better than Ally Invest? After testing 17 of the best online brokers over three months, Merrill Edge (95.25%) is better than Ally Invest (84.59%). Merrill Edge and its parent, Bank of America, make for a well-rounded offering, with $0 trades, robust research, reliable customer service; and its Stock Stories and Fund Stories are an industry standout. There are some gaps in investment offerings, including crypto and futures.

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Overall RatingMerrill EdgeAlly Invest
Overall 5/5 Stars 4/5 Stars
Commissions & Fees 4.5/5 Stars 4.5/5 Stars
Investment Options 4.5/5 Stars 4.5/5 Stars
Platforms & Tools 4.5/5 Stars 3.5/5 Stars
Mobile Trading Apps 5/5 Stars 4/5 Stars
Research 5/5 Stars 4/5 Stars
Customer Service 4.0/5 Stars 4/5 Stars
Education 5/5 Stars 4/5 Stars
Ease Of Use 5/5 Stars 4.5/5 Stars
Winner check_circle
Review Merrill Edge Review Ally Invest Review
Trading FeesMerrill EdgeAlly Invest
Minimum Deposit $0.00 $0.00
Stock Trades $0.00 $0.00
Penny Stock Fees (OTCCB) N/A $4.95
Mutual Fund Trade Fee $19.95 $9.95
Options (Base Fee) $0.00 $0.00
Options (Per Contract) $0.65 $0.50
Futures (Per Contract) N/A N/A
Broker Assisted Trade Fee $29.95 $20
Margin RatesMerrill EdgeAlly Invest
Margin Rate Under $25,000 Varies 10.75%
Margin Rate $25,000 to $49,999.99 Varies 10.50%
Margin Rate $50,000 to $99,999.99 Varies 9.75%
Margin Rate $100,000 to $249,999.99 Varies 8.50%
Margin Rate $250,000 to $499,999.99 Varies 7.50%
Margin Rate $500,000 to $999,999.99 Varies 7.00%
Margin Rate Above $1,000,000 Varies 6.25%
Account FeesMerrill EdgeAlly Invest
IRA Annual Fee $0.00 $0.00
IRA Closure Fee $49.95 $25.00
Account Transfer Out (Partial) $0.00 $50.00
Account Transfer Out (Full) $49.95 $50.00
Options Exercise Fee $0.00 $0.00
Options Assignment Fee $0.00 $0.00
Investment OptionsMerrill EdgeAlly Invest
Stock Trading Yes Yes
Margin Trading Yes Yes
Fractional Shares No No
OTCBB / Pink Sheets Yes Yes
Options Trading Yes Yes
Complex Options Max Legs 4 4
Futures Trading No No
Forex Trading No Yes
Crypto Trading No No
Crypto Trading - Total Coins 0 0
Mutual Funds (No Load) 2952 13500
Mutual Funds (Total) 3466 15000
Bonds (US Treasury) Yes Yes
Bonds (Corporate) Yes Yes
Bonds (Municipal) Yes Yes
Advisor Services Yes Yes
International Countries (Stocks) 0 0
Order TypesMerrill EdgeAlly Invest
Order Type - Market Yes Yes
Order Type - Limit Yes Yes
Order Type - After Hours Yes Yes
Order Type - Stop Yes Yes
Order Type - Trailing Stop Yes No
Order Type - OCO No No
Order Type - OTO No No
Order Type - Broker Assisted Yes Yes
BeginnersMerrill EdgeAlly Invest
Education (Stocks) Yes Yes
Education (ETFs) Yes Yes
Education (Options) Yes Yes
Education (Mutual Funds) Yes Yes
Education (Bonds) Yes Yes
Education (Retirement) Yes Yes
Retirement Calculator Yes No
Investor Dictionary Yes Yes
Paper Trading No No
Videos Yes No
Webinars Yes No
Webinars (Archived) Yes Yes
Progress Tracking No No
Interactive Learning - Quizzes Yes No
Stock Trading AppsMerrill EdgeAlly Invest
iPhone App Yes Yes
Android App Yes Yes
Apple Watch App Yes No
Trading - Stocks Yes Yes
Trading - After-Hours Yes Yes
Trading - Simple Options Yes Yes
Trading - Complex Options Yes Yes
Order Ticket RT Quotes Yes Yes
Order Ticket SRT Quotes No No
Stock App FeaturesMerrill EdgeAlly Invest
Market Movers (Top Gainers) Yes Yes
Stream Live TV No No
Videos on Demand No No
Stock Alerts Yes No
Option Chains Viewable Yes Yes
Watch List (Real-time) Yes Yes
Watch List (Streaming) Yes No
Watch Lists - Create & Manage Yes Yes
Watch Lists - Column Customization No No
Watch Lists - Total Fields 285 21
Stock App ChartingMerrill EdgeAlly Invest
Charting - After-Hours No No
Charting - Can Turn Horizontally Yes Yes
Charting - Multiple Time Frames Yes Yes
Charting - Technical Studies 34 17
Charting - Study Customizations Yes No
Charting - Stock Comparisons Yes Yes
Trading PlatformsMerrill EdgeAlly Invest
Active Trading Platform Merrill Edge Market Pro N/A
Desktop Trading Platform No No
Desktop Platform (Mac) No No
Web Trading Platform Yes Yes
Paper Trading No No
Trade Journal No No
Watch Lists - Total Fields 285 21
Stock Chart FeaturesMerrill EdgeAlly Invest
Charting - Adjust Trades on Chart Yes No
Charting - Indicators / Studies 104 117
Charting - Drawing Tools 23 36
Charting - Notes Yes Yes
Charting - Index Overlays Yes Yes
Charting - Historical Trades Yes No
Charting - Corporate Events Yes No
Charting - Custom Date Range Yes No
Charting - Custom Time Bars Yes No
Charting - Automated Analysis Yes Yes
Charting - Save Profiles Yes Yes
Trade Ideas - Technical Analysis Yes Yes
Charting - Study Customizations 8 5
Charting - Custom Studies No No
Day TradingMerrill EdgeAlly Invest
Streaming Time & Sales Yes No
Streaming TV No No
Direct Market Routing - Stocks No No
Ladder Trading No No
Trade Hot Keys No No
Level 2 Quotes - Stocks Yes No
Trade Ideas - Backtesting Yes No
Trade Ideas - Backtesting Adv No No
Short Locator No No
Order Liquidity Rebates No No
Research OverviewMerrill EdgeAlly Invest
Research - Stocks Yes Yes
Research - ETFs Yes Yes
Research - Mutual Funds Yes Yes
Research - Pink Sheets / OTCBB Yes Yes
Research - Bonds Yes No
Screener - Stocks Yes No
Screener - ETFs Yes Yes
Screener - Mutual Funds Yes No
Screener - Bonds Yes Yes
Misc - Portfolio Allocation Yes No
Stock ResearchMerrill EdgeAlly Invest
Stock Research - PDF Reports 3 2
Stock Research - Earnings Yes Yes
Stock Research - Insiders Yes Yes
Stock Research - Social No Yes
Stock Research - News Yes Yes
Stock Research - ESG Yes No
Stock Research - SEC Filings Yes Yes
ETF ResearchMerrill EdgeAlly Invest
ETFs - Strategy Overview Yes Yes
ETF Fund Facts - Inception Date Yes Yes
ETF Fund Facts - Expense Ratio Yes Yes
ETF Fund Facts - Net Assets Yes Yes
ETF Fund Facts - Total Holdings Yes Yes
ETFs - Top 10 Holdings Yes Yes
ETFs - Sector Exposure Yes No
ETFs - Risk Analysis Yes Yes
ETFs - Ratings Yes Yes
ETFs - Morningstar StyleMap Yes No
ETFs - PDF Reports Yes Yes
Mutual Fund ResearchMerrill EdgeAlly Invest
Mutual Funds - Strategy Overview Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Performance Chart Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Performance Analysis Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Prospectus Yes No
Mutual Funds - 3rd Party Ratings Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Fees Breakdown Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Top 10 Holdings Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Asset Allocation Yes No
Mutual Funds - Sector Allocation Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Country Allocation Yes No
Mutual Funds - StyleMap Yes No
Options TradingMerrill EdgeAlly Invest
Option Chains - Basic View Yes Yes
Option Chains - Strategy View Yes Yes
Option Chains - Streaming Yes Yes
Option Chains - Total Columns 68 8
Option Chains - Greeks 5 1
Option Chains - Quick Analysis Yes Yes
Option Analysis - P&L Charts Yes Yes
Option Probability Analysis Yes Yes
Option Probability Analysis Adv No No
Option Positions - Greeks Yes Yes
Option Positions - Greeks Streaming Yes No
Option Positions - Adv Analysis Yes Yes
Option Positions - Rolling Yes Yes
Option Positions - Grouping Yes Yes
BankingMerrill EdgeAlly Invest
Bank (Member FDIC) Yes Yes
Checking Accounts Yes Yes
Savings Accounts Yes Yes
Credit Cards Yes No
Debit Cards Yes Yes
Mortgage Loans Yes Yes
Customer ServiceMerrill EdgeAlly Invest
Phone Support (Prospect Customers) Yes Yes
Phone Support (Current Customers) Yes Yes
Email Support Yes Yes
Live Chat (Prospect Customers) Yes Yes
Live Chat (Current Customers) Yes Yes
24/7 Support Yes Yes
OverallMerrill EdgeAlly Invest
Overall 5/5 Stars 4/5 Stars
Commissions & Fees 4.5/5 Stars 4.5/5 Stars
Investment Options 4.5/5 Stars 4.5/5 Stars
Platforms & Tools 4.5/5 Stars 3.5/5 Stars
Mobile Trading Apps 5/5 Stars 4/5 Stars
Research 5/5 Stars 4/5 Stars
Education 5/5 Stars 4/5 Stars
Ease Of Use 5/5 Stars 4.5/5 Stars
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Review Merrill Edge Review Ally Invest Review
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Merrill Edge vs Ally Invest Comparison

Comparing brokers side by side is no easy task. For our 2023 annual broker review, we spent hundreds of hours assessing 17 brokerages to find the best online broker. Let's compare Merrill Edge vs Ally Invest.

Is Merrill Edge or Ally Invest better for beginners?

Merrill Edge offers more comprehensive new investor education for beginner investors than Ally Invest. Merrill Edge offers investors access to Videos, Education (Stocks), Education (ETFs), Education (Options), Education (Mutual Funds), Education (Bonds) and Education (Retirement), while Ally Invest offers investors access to Education (Stocks), Education (ETFs), Education (Options), Education (Mutual Funds), Education (Bonds) and Education (Retirement), neither have Paper Trading.

What about Merrill Edge vs Ally Invest pricing?

Merrill Edge and Ally Invest charge the same amount for regular stock trades, $0.00. Option contracts are pricier at Merrill Edge, costing $0.65 per contract versus $0.50 per contract at Ally Invest. For a complete commissions summary, see our best brokers for free stock trading guide.

Does Merrill Edge or Ally Invest offer a wider range of investment options?

Merrill Edge offers investors access to Stock Trading, Options Trading, OTCBB / Pink Sheets, Mutual Funds and Advisor Services, while Ally Invest offers investors access to Stock Trading, Options Trading, OTCBB / Pink Sheets, Mutual Funds, Forex Trading and Advisor Services, neither have Fractional Shares and Futures Trading. Looking at Mutual Funds, Merrill Edge trails Ally Invest in its offering of no transaction fee (NTF) mutual funds, with Ally Invest offering 4000 and Merrill Edge offering 3095.

Which trading platform is better: Merrill Edge or Ally Invest?

To compare the trading platforms of Merrill Edge and Ally Invest, we tested each broker's trading tools, research capabilities, and mobile apps. For trading tools, Merrill Edge offers a better experience. With research, Merrill Edge offers superior market research. Finally, we found Merrill Edge to provide better mobile trading apps.

Does either broker offer banking?

Online banking can be a benefit for investors, and some brokerages do provide banking services to customers. Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans are offered by Merrill Edge while Ally Invest offers Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards and Mortgage Loans.

Is Merrill Edge good?

Merrill Edge and its parent, Bank of America, make for a well-rounded offering, with $0 trades, robust research, reliable customer service; and its Stock Stories and Fund Stories are an industry standout. There are some gaps in investment offerings, including crypto and futures.

Is Ally Invest good?

For current Ally customers looking to invest in stocks, Ally's universal-accounts experience and easy-to-use website offer a convenient solution. Its website is far stronger than the mobile app.

Merrill Edge vs Ally Invest Winner

Overall winner: Merrill Edge

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