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Charles Schwab vs Merrill Edge 2020

Is Charles Schwab better than Merrill Edge? After testing 15 of the best online brokers over five months, Charles Schwab (93.11%) is better than Merrill Edge (88.87%). Founded in 1973, Charles Schwab is a full-service brokerage with over $3 trillion in total client assets. As a low-cost leader offering $0 stock trades, Charles Schwab provides investors excellent stock research, quality trade tools, and professional planning for the future.

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Overall Rating

Trading Fees

Feature Charles Schwab Merrill Edge
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 $0.65
Mutual Fund Trade Fee $49.95 $19.95
Broker Assisted Trades Fee $25.00 $29.95
Commissions & Fees 4.5 4.5
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Margin Rates

Feature Charles Schwab Merrill Edge
Under $24,999.99 8.33% 8.63%
$25,000.00 to $49,999.99 7.83% 7.50%
$50,000.00 to $99,999.99 6.88% 7.50%
$100,000.00 to $249,999.99 6.83% N/A
$250,000.00 to $499,999.99 6.58% N/A
$500,000.00 to $999,999.99 N/A N/A
Above $1,000,000.00 N/A N/A
Commissions & Fees 4.5 4.5
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Account Fees

Feature Charles Schwab Merrill Edge
IRA Annual Fee $0.00 $0.00
IRA Closure Fee $50.00 $49.95
Returned ACH Fee $25.00 $30.00
Returned Wire Fee $25.00 N/A
Stock Certificate Processing Fee $100.00 $500.00
Stock Certificate Delivery Fee N/A N/A
Paper Statement Fee $0.00 $5.00
Paper Confirmation Fee $0.00 $3.00
Domestic Wire Fee $25.00 $24.95
International Wire Fee $25.00 $24.95
Commissions & Fees 4.5 4.5

Investment Options

Feature Charles Schwab Merrill Edge
Stock Trading
Yes Yes
Fractional Shares
Yes No
OTCBB / Pink Sheets
Yes Yes
Options Trading
Yes Yes
Complex Options Max Legs
4 2
Futures Trading
Yes No
Forex Trading
No No
Commission-Free ETFs all all
Mutual Funds (No Load)
7291 2471
Mutual Funds (Total)
9978 3709
Bonds (US Treasury)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Corporate)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Municipal)
Yes Yes
Advisor Services
Yes Yes
International Trading
Yes No
Offering of Investments 4.5 3.5
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Order Types

Feature Charles Schwab Merrill Edge
Order Type - Market
Yes Yes
Order Type - Limit
Yes Yes
Order Type - Stop
Yes Yes
Order Type - Trailing Stop
Yes Yes
Order Type - Contingent
Yes No
Order Type - MultiContingent
Yes No
Order Type - OCO
Yes No
Order Type - OTO
Yes No
Order Type - OTOCO
Yes No
Offering of Investments 4.5 3.5
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Trading Platforms

Feature Charles Schwab Merrill Edge
Desktop Platform (Windows)
Yes Yes
Desktop Platform (Mac)
Yes Yes
Web Platform
Yes Yes
Paper Trading
No No
Trade Journal
Yes No
Watch Lists - Total Fields
125 285
Heat Mapping
Yes Yes
AI Assistant Bot
No No
Platforms & Tools 4.5 4
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Charting Features

Feature Charles Schwab Merrill Edge
Charting - Trade Off Chart
Yes Yes
Charting - Indicators / Studies
41 100
Charting - Drawing Tools
15 22
Charting - Historical Trades
No Yes
Charting - Corporate Events
Yes Yes
Charting - Automated Analysis
Yes Yes
Charting - Save Profiles
Yes Yes
Charting - Study Customizations
7 8
Charting - Custom Studies
No No
Platforms & Tools 4.5 4
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Day Trading

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

Feature Charles Schwab Merrill Edge
iPhone App
Yes Yes
Android App
Yes Yes
Apple Watch App
Yes Yes
Trading - Stocks
Yes Yes
Trading - After-Hours
Yes Yes
Trading - Conditional Orders
No No
Trading - Mutual Funds
Yes Yes
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 Charles Schwab Merrill Edge
Watch List Syncing
Yes Yes
Stock Alerts
No Yes
Charting - After Hours
No Yes
Charting - Drawing
No Yes
Charting - Study Customizations
Yes Yes
Heatmapping
Yes Yes
Stream Live TV
Yes No
Barcode Lookup
No No
Mobile Trading 4 4
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Research Overview

Feature Charles Schwab Merrill Edge
Research - Stocks
Yes Yes
Research - ETFs
Yes Yes
Research - Mutual Funds
Yes Yes
Research - Pink Sheets / OTCBB
Yes Yes
Research - Fixed Income
Yes Yes
Screener - Stocks
Yes Yes
Screener - ETFs
Yes Yes
Screener - Mutual Funds
Yes Yes
Screener - Options
Yes Yes
Screener - Bonds
Yes Yes
Misc - Portfolio Builder
Yes Yes
Misc - Portfolio Allocation
Yes Yes
Research 5 4.5
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Stock Research

Feature Charles Schwab Merrill Edge
Stock Research - Reports
8 3
Stock Research - Earnings
Yes Yes
Stock Research - Insiders
Yes Yes
Stock Research - Metric Comp
Yes Yes
Stock Research - SEC Filings
Yes Yes
Stock Research - Social
Yes No
Stock Research - Balance Sheet
Yes Yes
Stock Research - Cash Flows
Yes Yes
Stock Research - News
Yes Yes
Stock Research - ESG
No Yes
Research 5 4.5
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ETF Research

Feature Charles Schwab Merrill Edge
ETFs - Strategy Overview
Yes Yes
ETFs - Top 10 Holdings
Yes Yes
ETFs - Sector Exposure
Yes Yes
ETFs - Risk Analysis
Yes Yes
ETFs - Performance Analysis
Yes Yes
ETFs - Ratings
Yes Yes
ETFs - Morningstar StyleMap
Yes Yes
ETFs - Reports
Yes Yes
Research 5 4.5
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Mutual Fund Research

Feature Charles Schwab Merrill Edge
Mutual Funds - Strategy Overview
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Prospectus
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Reports
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Fees Breakdown
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Top 10 Holdings
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Asset Allocation
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Sector Allocation
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Country Allocation
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - StyleMap
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - 3rd Party Ratings
Yes Yes
Research 5 4.5
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Options Trading

Feature Charles Schwab Merrill Edge
Option Chains - Streaming
Yes Yes
Option Chains - Total Columns
44 69
Option Chains - Greeks
5 5
Option Chains - Quick Analysis
Yes Yes
Option Analysis - P&L Charts
Yes Yes
Option Probability Analysis
Yes Yes
Option Probability Analysis Adv
Yes No
Option Positions - Greeks
Yes Yes
Option Positions - Adv Analysis
Yes Yes
Option Positions - Rolling
Yes Yes
Option Positions - Grouping
Yes Yes
Platforms & Tools 4.5 4
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Beginners

Feature Charles Schwab Merrill Edge
Education (Stocks)
Yes Yes
Education (ETFs)
Yes Yes
Education (Options)
Yes Yes
Education (Mutual Funds)
Yes Yes
Education (Fixed Income)
Yes Yes
Education (Retirement)
Yes Yes
Paper Trading
No No
Videos
Yes Yes
Webinars (Monthly Avg)
50 0
Webinars (Archived)
Yes No
Live Seminars
Yes Yes
Progress Tracking
No Yes
Interactive Learning - Quizzes
No Yes
Education 4.5 4.5
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Banking

Feature Charles Schwab Merrill Edge
Retail Locations
357 4300
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
Yes No
Banking 4.5 5
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Overall

Feature Charles Schwab Merrill Edge
Charles Schwab Review Merrill Edge Review
Overall 4.5 4.5
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Comparing brokers side by side is no easy task. For our 2020 annual broker review, we spent hundreds of hours assessing 15 brokerages to find the best online broker. Let's compare Charles Schwab vs Merrill Edge.

Is Charles Schwab or Merrill Edge better for beginners?
Merrill Edge is better for beginner investors than Charles Schwab. Merrill Edge offers investors access to Videos, Education (Stocks), Education (ETFs), Education (Options), Education (Mutual Funds), Education (Fixed Income) and Education (Retirement).

What about Charles Schwab vs Merrill Edge pricing?
Charles Schwab and Merrill Edge have equal fees for trading stocks (equities), $0 per trade. With options, the base fee is $0 for both Charles Schwab and Merrill Edge. Option contracts run $0.65 a piece at both brokerages. For a complete commissions summary, see our best discount brokers guide.

Does Charles Schwab or Merrill Edge offer a wider range of investment options?
Charles Schwab offers a more diverse selection of investment options than Merrill Edge. Charles Schwab offers investors access to Stock Trading, Fractional Shares, OTCBB / Pink Sheets, Options Trading, Mutual Funds, Futures Trading, Advisor Services and International Trading. Looking at Mutual Funds, Merrill Edge trails Charles Schwab by 6,269 total mutual funds, with Charles Schwab offering 9978 and Merrill Edge offering 3709.

Which trading platform is better: Charles Schwab or Merrill Edge?
To compare the trading platforms of both Charles Schwab and Merrill Edge, we tested each broker's trading tools, research capabilities, and mobile apps. For trading tools, Charles Schwab offers a better experience. With research, Charles Schwab offers superior market research. Finally, we found Charles Schwab to provide better mobile trading apps.

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 available to customers of Charles Schwab and Merrill Edge.

Overall, between Charles Schwab and Merrill Edge, Charles Schwab is the better online broker.

Charles Schwab Review
Merrill Edge Review


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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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