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Merrill Edge vs Ally Invest 2020

Is Ally Invest better than Merrill Edge? After testing 15 of the best online brokers over five months, Merrill Edge (88.87%) is better than Ally Invest (79.49%). Backed by parent company Bank of America, Merrill Edge delivers $0 stock and ETF trades with fantastic research and customer service. Better yet, for current banking customers, Merrill Edge's Preferred Rewards program offers the best rewards benefits across the industry.

Special Offer Get up to $600 when you invest in a new Merril Edge Self-Directed account. Open Account
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Overall Rating

Feature Merrill Edge Ally Invest
Overall 4.5 4
Merrill Edge Review Ally Invest Review

Trading Fees

Feature Merrill Edge Ally Invest
Minimum Deposit $0.00 $0.00
Stock Trade Fee (per trade) $0.00 $0.00
ETF Trade Fee $0.00 $0.00
Options Base Fee $0.00 $0.00
Options Per Contract Fee $0.65 $0.50
Mutual Fund Trade Fee $19.95 $9.95
Broker Assisted Trades Fee $29.95 $20.00
Commissions & Fees 4.5 4.5
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Margin Rates

Feature Merrill Edge Ally Invest
Under $24,999.99 10.13% 9.50%
$25,000.00 to $49,999.99 9.00% 9.25%
$50,000.00 to $99,999.99 9.00% 8.50%
$100,000.00 to $249,999.99 7.63% 7.25%
$250,000.00 to $499,999.99 7.63% 6.25%
$500,000.00 to $999,999.99 7.38% 5.75%
Above $1,000,000.00 6.75% 5.00%
Commissions & Fees 4.5 4.5
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Account Fees

Feature Merrill Edge Ally Invest
IRA Annual Fee $0.00 $0.00
IRA Closure Fee $49.95 $50.00
Returned ACH Fee $30.00 $30.00
Returned Wire Fee N/A $30.00
Stock Certificate Processing Fee $500.00 $300.00
Stock Certificate Delivery Fee N/A $300.00
Paper Statement Fee $5.00 $2.00
Paper Confirmation Fee $3.00 $1.00
Domestic Wire Fee $24.95 $30.00
International Wire Fee $24.95 N/A
Commissions & Fees 4.5 4.5

Investment Options

Feature Merrill Edge Ally Invest
Stock Trading
Yes Yes
Fractional Shares
No No
OTCBB / Pink Sheets
Yes Yes
Options Trading
Yes Yes
Complex Options Max Legs
2 4
Futures Trading
No No
Forex Trading
No Yes
Commission-Free ETFs all all
Mutual Funds (No Load)
2471 11234
Mutual Funds (Total)
3709 18728
Bonds (US Treasury)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Corporate)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Municipal)
Yes Yes
Interest Sharing
No No
Advisor Services
Yes Yes
International Trading
No No
Offering of Investments 3.5 4
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Order Types

Feature Merrill Edge Ally Invest
Order Type - Market
Yes Yes
Order Type - Limit
Yes Yes
Order Type - Stop
Yes Yes
Order Type - Trailing Stop
Yes Yes
Order Type - Contingent
No Yes
Order Type - MultiContingent
No No
Order Type - OCO
No Yes
Order Type - OTO
No Yes
Order Type - OTOCO
No No
Offering of Investments 3.5 4
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Trading Platforms

Feature Merrill Edge Ally Invest
Desktop Platform (Windows)
Yes No
Desktop Platform (Mac)
Yes No
Web Platform
Yes Yes
Paper Trading
No No
Trade Journal
No No
Watch Lists - Total Fields
285 21
Heat Mapping
Yes No
AI Assistant Bot
No No
Platforms & Tools 4 3
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Charting Features

Feature Merrill Edge Ally Invest
Charting - Trade Off Chart
Yes No
Charting - Indicators / Studies
100 117
Charting - Drawing Tools
22 36
Charting - Historical Trades
Yes No
Charting - Corporate Events
Yes Yes
Charting - Automated Analysis
Yes Yes
Charting - Save Profiles
Yes Yes
Charting - Study Customizations
8 5
Charting - Custom Studies
No No
Platforms & Tools 4 3
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Day Trading

Feature Merrill Edge Ally Invest
Stock Alerts - Basic Fields
Yes Yes
Stock Alerts - Advanced Fields
Yes No
Streaming Time & Sales
Yes No
Streaming TV
No No
Direct Market Routing - Stocks
No No
Direct Market Routing - Options
No No
Ladder Trading
No No
Trade Hot Keys
Yes No
Level 2 Quotes - Stocks
Yes No
Level 2 Quotes - Options
Yes No
Trade Ideas - Backtesting
Yes Yes
Short Locator
No No
Order Liquidity Rebates
No No
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Mobile Trading Apps

Feature Merrill Edge Ally Invest
iPhone App
Yes Yes
Android App
Yes Yes
Apple Watch App
Yes No
Trading - Stocks
Yes Yes
Trading - After-Hours
Yes No
Trading - Conditional Orders
No No
Trading - Mutual Funds
Yes No
Trading - Simple Options
Yes Yes
Trading - Complex Options
Yes Yes
Trading - Option Rolling
No No
Touch / Face ID
Yes Yes
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Mobile App Features

Feature Merrill Edge Ally Invest
Watch List Syncing
Yes Yes
Stock Alerts
Yes No
Charting - After Hours
Yes No
Charting - Drawing
Yes No
Charting - Study Customizations
Yes No
Heatmapping
Yes No
Stream Live TV
No No
Barcode Lookup
No No
Mobile Trading 4 3.5
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Research Overview

Feature Merrill Edge Ally Invest
Research - Stocks
Yes Yes
Research - ETFs
Yes Yes
Research - Mutual Funds
Yes Yes
Research - Pink Sheets / OTCBB
Yes Yes
Research - Fixed Income
Yes No
Screener - Stocks
Yes No
Screener - ETFs
Yes No
Screener - Mutual Funds
Yes No
Screener - Options
Yes No
Screener - Bonds
Yes Yes
Misc - Portfolio Builder
Yes Yes
Misc - Portfolio Allocation
Yes No
Research 4.5 3.5
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Stock Research

Feature Merrill Edge Ally Invest
Stock Research - Reports
3 2
Stock Research - Earnings
Yes Yes
Stock Research - Insiders
Yes Yes
Stock Research - Metric Comp
Yes No
Stock Research - SEC Filings
Yes Yes
Stock Research - Social
No No
Stock Research - Balance Sheet
Yes Yes
Stock Research - Cash Flows
Yes Yes
Stock Research - News
Yes Yes
Stock Research - ESG
Yes No
Research 4.5 3.5
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ETF Research

Feature Merrill Edge Ally Invest
ETFs - Strategy Overview
Yes Yes
ETFs - Top 10 Holdings
Yes No
ETFs - Sector Exposure
Yes No
ETFs - Risk Analysis
Yes Yes
ETFs - Performance Analysis
Yes Yes
ETFs - Ratings
Yes Yes
ETFs - Morningstar StyleMap
Yes No
ETFs - Reports
Yes Yes
Research 4.5 3.5
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Mutual Fund Research

Feature Merrill Edge Ally Invest
Mutual Funds - Strategy Overview
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Prospectus
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Reports
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Fees Breakdown
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Top 10 Holdings
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Asset Allocation
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Sector Allocation
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Country Allocation
Yes No
Mutual Funds - StyleMap
Yes No
Mutual Funds - 3rd Party Ratings
Yes Yes
Research 4.5 3.5
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Options Trading

Feature Merrill Edge Ally Invest
Option Chains - Streaming
Yes Yes
Option Chains - Total Columns
69 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 - Adv Analysis
Yes Yes
Option Positions - Rolling
Yes No
Option Positions - Grouping
Yes Yes
Platforms & Tools 4 3
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Beginners

Feature Merrill Edge Ally Invest
Education (Stocks)
Yes Yes
Education (ETFs)
Yes No
Education (Options)
Yes Yes
Education (Mutual Funds)
Yes Yes
Education (Fixed Income)
Yes Yes
Education (Retirement)
Yes Yes
Paper Trading
No No
Videos
Yes No
Webinars (Monthly Avg)
0 15
Webinars (Archived)
No No
Live Seminars
Yes No
Progress Tracking
Yes No
Interactive Learning - Quizzes
Yes No
Investor Magazine
Yes No
Education 4.5 3.5
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Banking

Feature Merrill Edge Ally Invest
Retail Locations
4300 0
Member FDIC
Yes Yes
Checking Accounts
Yes Yes
Savings Accounts
Yes Yes
Credit Cards
Yes Yes
Debit Cards
Yes Yes
Mortgage Loans
Yes Yes
No Fee Banking
No Yes
Banking 5 4
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Overall

Feature Merrill Edge Ally Invest
Merrill Edge Review Ally Invest Review
Overall 4.5 4
Winner check_circle

Comparing brokers side by side is no easy task. For our annual broker review, we assess over a dozen brokers on hundreds of different variables to find the best online broker. Yielding a database of over 4,000 data points, let's compare Ally Invest vs Merrill Edge.

To start this comparison, first, we will take a look at the online broker commission rates for placing regular stock and options trades. Ally Invest and Merrill Edge both cost $0 per trade. Looking at options, the base fees charged are the same for both brokers, $0. Option contracts are pricier at Merrill Edge, costing $0.65 versus $0.50 at Ally Invest. It's important to note that not all brokers charge a flat fee per trade. Thus, it is important to read the full commission notes for each broker, which we include with each online broker review.

Next to commission rates, being able to trade what you want is important. Merrill Edge provides its clients with Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds while Ally Invest provides clients access to Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Forex Trading. Looking at mutual funds, Ally Invest boasts an offering of 18728 mutual funds compared to Merrill Edge's 3709 available funds.

Trading access aside, by comparing popular features and functionality, we can break down relevant differences between both brokers. Neither Ally Invest and Merrill Edge offer virtual trading. Taking a look at mobile trading, Ally Invest along with Merrill Edge both support the iPhone App, iPad App and Android App. Not to be left out, online banking is also a nice benefit for many investors, and some brokerages provide these services to clients. Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans are found at Ally Invest alongside Merrill Edge.

Overall, between Ally Invest and Merrill Edge, Merrill Edge is the winner.

Ally Invest Review
Merrill Edge Review



All pricing data was obtained from a published web site as of 01/20/2020 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. For stock trade rates, advertised pricing is for a standard order size of 500 shares of stock priced at $30 per share. For options orders, an options regulatory fee per contract may apply.

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