Merrill Edge vs Ally Invest Comparison
Comparing brokers side by side is no easy task. We spend hundreds of hours each year testing the platforms, mobile apps, trading tools and general ease of use among online brokerages, as well as comparing commissions and fees, to find the best online broker.
Though many U.S. brokers offer basic trading features, such as an app, charting tools, stock research and educational content, the depth of those features can vary widely. Let's compare Merrill Edge vs Ally Invest.
Is Merrill Edge or Ally Invest better for beginners?
In stock trading, the more you know, the better you’ll do. Taking advantage of resources like articles, webinars, videos and interactive elements is a great way to shorten the learning curve. In our analysis, we examine the availability of several different types of educational materials.
For 2023, our review finds that Merrill Edge offers more comprehensive new investor education for beginning 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. Merrill Edge and Ally Invest both charge (Not offered) per option contract. For a deeper dive, see our best brokers for free stock trading guide.
Does Merrill Edge or Ally Invest offer a wider range of investment options?
Looking at a full range of investment options, including order types and international trading, our research has found that Merrill Edge offers a more comprehensive offering than Ally Invest. Merrill Edge ranks #7 out of 18 brokers for our Investment Options category, while Ally Invest ranks #8.
Merrill Edge offers investors access to Stock Trading, Options Trading, OTC Stocks, Mutual Funds and Advisor Services, while Ally Invest offers investors access to Stock Trading, Options Trading, OTC Stocks, 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 3900 and Merrill Edge offering 3095.
Do Merrill Edge and Ally Invest offer cryptocurrency?
In our analysis of top U.S. brokerages, we research whether each broker offers the ability to trade cash cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin and ethereum. Though crypto has risen steadily in popularity, availability still varies from broker to broker. Our review finds that neither Merrill Edge and Ally Invest offer crypto trading.
Which trading platform is better: Merrill Edge or Ally Invest?
To compare the day trading platforms of Merrill Edge and Ally Invest, we focused on trading tools and functionality across both web and desktop-based platforms. Popular day trading platform tools include streaming real-time quotes, stock alerts, trading hotkeys, direct market routing, streaming time and sales, customizable watch lists, backtesting, and fully functional charting packages, among many others. For day trading, Merrill Edge offers a better experience.
Does Merrill Edge or Ally Invest offer a better stock trading app?
After testing 25 features across the stock trading apps of Merrill Edge and Ally Invest, we found Merrill Edge to be better overall. The best stock market apps are easy to use, have excellent design, and deliver a fully featured online trading experience. Merrill Edge ranks #5 out of 18 brokers, while Ally Invest ranks #13.
Merrill Edge Trading App Gallery
Ally Invest Trading App Gallery
Which broker is better for researching stocks?
For research, Merrill Edge offers superior market research than Ally Invest. Merrill Edge ranks #4 and Ally Invest ranks #7.
Over the years, we've found that the best brokers provide rich market commentary, a variety of third-party research reports, and thorough quote screens that are not just easy to navigate, but that also include a comprehensive selection of fundamental data. Robust stock, ETFs, and mutual fund screeners are also must-haves for trade idea generation.
How do Merrill Edge and Ally Invest compare in terms of minimum deposit required?
Merrill Edge requires a minimum deposit of $0.00, while Ally Invest requires a minimum deposit of $0.00. From our testing, we found that SoFi is the only broker that requires a minimum deposit.
Which broker offers better margin rates for accounts under $25,000?
Merrill Edge charges Varies for accounts under $25,000 while Ally Invest charges a margin rate of 13%. The industry average of the 18 brokers we track is 9%.
Does Merrill Edge offer fractional shares? Does Ally Invest?
Fractional shares are not offered by either broker. Our research has found that 41% of brokers offer fractional shares investing. Fractional shares allow traders to buy a part of a whole share of stock. For example, if Amazon is trading at $1,000, you could buy half a share for $500.
Can you trade penny stocks with Merrill Edge or Ally Invest?
Both Merrill Edge and Ally Invest allow you to trade penny stocks. Merrill Edge charges N/A per trade while Ally Invest charges $4.95. Penny stocks are companies whose shares trade for under $5 and are listed over the counter (OTC). For brokers that do offer penny stock trades, the average commission is $3.
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.
Which broker offers stronger customer service?
StockBrokers.com partners with customer experience research group Confero to conduct phone tests from locations across the United States to thoroughly evaluate the quality and speed of brokerage customer service. (Read more about How We Test.) Here are the results of our current testing.
Merrill Edge was rated 4th out of 14 brokers, with an overall score of 8.4 out of 10.
Ally Invest was rated 5th out of 14 brokers, with an overall score of 8.3 out of 10.
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.
In the 2023 StockBrokers.com Annual Review, Merrill Edge was rated No. 1 for Banking Services and ranked among Best in Class for Research, Mobile Trading Apps, Education, Ease of Use, Beginners, Customer Service, IRA Accounts, Options Trading and Overall. Merrill Edge also won three StockBrokers.com Industry Awards: No. 1 for Client Dashboard, Overall Client Experience, and High Net Worth Investors.
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.
In the 2023 StockBrokers.com Annual Review, Ally Invest ranked among Best in Class for Banking Services and Customer Service.
Merrill Edge vs Ally Invest Winner
Overall winner: Merrill Edge
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