Using data from the StockBrokers.com 2017 Broker Rankings
, we can compare Charles Schwab 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 Charles Schwab for placing regular stock trades ($6.95 and $4.95, respectively). For options trading, Merrill Edge has a base fee of $6.95, and Charles Schwab a base fee of $4.95. Option contracts are pricier at Merrill Edge, costing $0.75 versus $0.65 at Charles Schwab. 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 offers clients Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds while Charles Schwab offers Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading. As far as mutual funds go, Charles Schwab trails Merrill Edge by 2,484.00 total mutual funds, with Merrill Edge offering 7649 and Charles Schwab offering 5165. And, commission free ETFs deserve a comparison, Charles Schwab offers 229 commission free ETFs versus Merrill Edge's total of 0.
Finally, by comparing the each broker's website and platform features, we can surface interesting differences. Neither Charles Schwab and Merrill Edge offer virtual trading. For mobile trading, Both Charles Schwab 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. Both Charles Schwab and Merrill Edge offer Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans. All factors considered, when it comes to platform tools, research, and mobile trading, Charles Schwab finished with awards Best in Class - Platforms & Tools and Best in Class - Research in 2017, while Merrill Edge came up with Best in Class - Research.
Overall, Charles Schwab comes out on top with 4.50 stars over Merrill Edge's 4.00 stars.