Using data from our latest annual broker review which tested more than a dozen different online brokers
over six months, we can compare Ally Invest vs Merrill Edge to determine which broker is best. Let's dive in.
First, we will break down the commission charges of both brokers for placing stock and options trades. Merrill Edge charges more than Ally Invest for placing regular stock trades ($6.95 and $4.95, respectively). For options trading, Merrill Edge has a base fee of $6.95, and Ally Invest a base fee of $4.95. Each option contract then costs $0.75 at Merrill Edge and $0.65 at Ally Invest. Instead of flat rate fees, several brokers charge a per-share fee instead. For a complete review of trading charges, read our full online broker reviews
Next, investors want to make sure they can trade the investment vehicle they want. Merrill Edge supports Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds while Ally Invest supports Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Forex Trading. As far as mutual funds go, Ally Invest offers its clients access to 14000 different mutual funds while Merrill Edge has 3709 available funds, a difference of 10,291. And, commission free ETFs deserve a comparison, with Ally Invest having the upper hand thanks to its 116 available commission free ETFs compared to Merrill Edge's offering of 0.
Finally, by comparing the each broker's website and platform features, we can surface interesting differences. Neither broker offers virtual trading. For mobile trading, Both Ally Invest and Merrill Edge offer clients access to an iPhone App, iPad App and Android App. Online banking is also used by many customers, and multiple full-service brokerages provide these services. Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans are found at Ally Invest alongside Merrill Edge. All factors considered, when it comes to platform tools, research, and mobile trading, unfortunately, neither Ally Invest nor Merrill Edge received awards Best in Class - Platforms & Tools, Best in Class - Research and Best in Class - Mobile Trading.
Overall, Merrill Edge comes out on top with 4.50 stars over Ally Invest's 3.50 stars.