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Merrill Edge vs Ally Invest 2019

Is Ally Invest better than Merrill Edge? Based on over 4,000 data points from our 2019 annual broker review, Merrill Edge (77.93%) is better than Ally Invest (62.44%).

Merrill Edge

Best Rewards Program - Open Account
Special Offer: Invest in a new account and get up to $600.

Merrill Edge ($2.95 per trade) was awarded #1 for Banking Services and #1 Overall Client Experience, thanks to its parent company, Bank of America (BofA). Not limited to just BofA customers, Merrill Edge's Preferred Rewards program is excellent, offering unlimited $0 stock trades among other perks such as bonus rewards on credit cards and discounted mortgage rates.Read full review.

Ally Invest

Best for IRA Accounts Overall
Among the bank and brokerage combinations, Ally shines and competes with the best in the industry. Ally’s high-yield savings account is easy to use and offers competitive annual yields above 2%. Also, Ally does not nickel and dime its customers; it embraces no-fee banking. Read full review.

Overall Rating

Feature Merrill Edge Ally Invest
Overall 4 3
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 3.5
Winner check_circle

Margin Rates

Feature Merrill Edge
Open Account
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 3.5
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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 3.5

Investment Options

Feature Merrill Edge Ally Invest
Stock Trading
Yes Yes
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 0 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
Advisor Services
Yes Yes
International Trading
No No
Offering of Investments 3 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 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
Platforms & Tools 4 2.5
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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 2.5
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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 4.5 3
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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 2
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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 2
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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 2
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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 2
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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 2.5
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Beginners

Feature Merrill Edge Ally Invest
Has Education - Stocks
Yes Yes
Has Education - ETFs
Yes No
Has Education - Options
Yes Yes
Has Education - Mutual Funds
Yes Yes
Has Education - Fixed Income
Yes Yes
Has 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 3
Winner check_circle

The StockBrokers.com annual broker review assesses more than a dozen different brokers over six months, surfacing the best online stock brokers. This review compares Ally Invest vs Merrill Edge. Is Ally Invest or Merrill Edge a better online broker?

First, we will make a comparison of the stock and option trading fees for trading with both brokers. Merrill Edge charges more than Ally Invest for placing regular stock trades ($2.95 and $0, respectively). For options trading, Merrill Edge has a base fee of $2.95, and Ally Invest a base fee of $0. Each option contract then costs $0.65 at Merrill Edge and $0.50 at Ally Invest. Note that some brokers charge a per-share fee instead of a flat-fee commission. For a full breakdown of commissions, read our online broker reviews.

For our next comparison of these two brokers, being able to trade the way you want is a must. 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. When it comes to mutual funds, Ally Invest boasts an offering of 14000 mutual funds compared to Merrill Edge's 3709 available funds.

Last but not least, by breaking down important features, tools, etc that each broker offers, we can really help to separate the two. Neither Ally Invest and Merrill Edge offer virtual trading. For mobile trading, Ally Invest along with Merrill Edge both support the iPhone App, iPad App and Android App. Furthermore, some investors like to bank online, and multiple 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 02/18/2019 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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