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E*TRADE vs Merrill Edge 2019

The StockBrokers.com annual review (9 years running) takes six months to complete and produces over 30,000 words of research each year. Here's how we test.

Is E*TRADE better than Merrill Edge? After scoring brokers on over 4,000 data points for our 2019 review, E*TRADE (83.68%) is better than Merrill Edge (77.93%). Founded in 1982, E*TRADE is a full-service online broker that charges $6.95 for stock trades with discounts for active traders. While E*TRADE may not offer the cheapest trades, the Power E*TRADE platform is excellent for options trading, and the broker offers two great mobile apps.

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Overall Rating

Feature E*TRADE Merrill Edge
Overall 4 4
E*TRADE Review Merrill Edge Review

Trading Fees

Feature E*TRADE Merrill Edge
Minimum Deposit $500.00 $0.00
Stock Trade Fee (per trade) $6.95 $6.95
ETF Trade Fee $6.95 $6.95
Options Base Fee $6.95 $6.95
Options Per Contract Fee $0.75 $0.75
Mutual Fund Trade Fee $19.99 $19.95
Broker Assisted Trades Fee $25.00 $29.95
Commissions & Fees 3.5 4
Winner check_circle

Margin Rates

Feature E*TRADE
Open Account
Merrill Edge
Open Account
Under $24,999.99 10.50% 10.63%
$25,000.00 to $49,999.99 10.25% 9.50%
$50,000.00 to $99,999.99 9.75% 9.50%
$100,000.00 to $249,999.99 9.25% 8.13%
$250,000.00 to $499,999.99 8.75% 8.13%
$500,000.00 to $999,999.99 8.25% 7.88%
Above $1,000,000.00 7.25% 7.25%
Commissions & Fees 3.5 4
Winner check_circle

Account Fees

Feature E*TRADE Merrill Edge
IRA Annual Fee $0.00 $0.00
IRA Closure Fee $60.00 $49.95
Returned ACH Fee $0.00 $30.00
Returned Wire Fee $0.00 N/A
Stock Certificate Processing Fee $0.00 $500.00
Stock Certificate Delivery Fee $75.00 N/A
Paper Statement Fee $2.00 $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 3.5 4

Investment Options

Feature E*TRADE Merrill Edge
Stock Trading
Yes Yes
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 295 0
Mutual Funds (No Load)
6266 2471
Mutual Funds (Total)
9062 3709
Bonds (US Treasury)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Corporate)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Municipal)
Yes Yes
Advisor Services
Yes Yes
International Trading
No No
Offering of Investments 4.5 3
Winner check_circle

Order Types

Feature E*TRADE 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
No No
Order Type - OCO
Yes No
Order Type - OTO
Yes No
Order Type - OTOCO
Yes No
Offering of Investments 4.5 3
Winner check_circle

Trading Platforms

Feature E*TRADE Merrill Edge
Desktop Platform (Windows)
Yes Yes
Desktop Platform (Mac)
Yes Yes
Web Platform
Yes Yes
Paper Trading
Yes No
Trade Journal
No No
Watch Lists - Total Fields
125 285
Two-Factor Authentication Login
Yes Yes
Heat Mapping
No Yes
Platforms & Tools 4.5 4
Winner check_circle

Charting Features

Feature E*TRADE Merrill Edge
Charting - Trade Off Chart
Yes Yes
Charting - Indicators / Studies
118 95
Charting - Drawing Tools
33 22
Charting - Historical Trades
Yes Yes
Charting - Corporate Events
Yes Yes
Charting - Automated Analysis
No Yes
Charting - Save Profiles
Yes Yes
Charting - Study Customizations
6 8
Charting - Custom Studies
No No
Platforms & Tools 4.5 4
Winner check_circle

Day Trading

Feature E*TRADE Merrill Edge
Stock Alerts - Basic Fields
Yes Yes
Stock Alerts - Advanced Fields
No Yes
Streaming Time & Sales
Yes Yes
Streaming TV
Yes No
Direct Market Routing - Stocks
Yes No
Direct Market Routing - Options
Yes No
Ladder Trading
Yes 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
Client Liquidity Rebates
No No
Winner check_circle

Mobile Trading Apps

Feature E*TRADE 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
Yes 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
Winner check_circle

Mobile App Features

Feature E*TRADE Merrill Edge
Watch List Syncing
Yes Yes
Stock Alerts - Basic Fields
Yes Yes
Stock Alerts - Advanced Fields
No No
Charting - After Hours
Yes Yes
Charting - Drawing
No Yes
Charting - Study Customizations
Yes Yes
Customizable Homescreen
Yes Yes
Heatmapping
Yes Yes
Stream Live TV
Yes No
Barcode Lookup
Yes No
Mobile Trading 5 4.5
Winner check_circle

Research Overview

Feature E*TRADE 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
Research - Futures
Yes No
Research - Forex
No No
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 4.5 4.5
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Stock Research

Feature E*TRADE Merrill Edge
Stock Research - Reports
4 3
Stock Research - Earnings
Yes Yes
Stock Research - Insiders
Yes Yes
Stock Research - Metric Comp
No 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 4.5 4.5
Winner check_circle

ETF Research

Feature E*TRADE 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 4.5 4.5
Winner check_circle

Mutual Fund Research

Feature E*TRADE 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 4.5 4.5
Winner check_circle

Options Trading

Feature E*TRADE Merrill Edge
Option Chains - Streaming
Yes Yes
Option Chains - Total Columns
30 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 No
Option Positions - Grouping
Yes Yes
Platforms & Tools 4.5 4
Winner check_circle

Beginners

Feature E*TRADE Merrill Edge
Has Education - Stocks
Yes Yes
Has Education - ETFs
Yes Yes
Has Education - Options
Yes Yes
Has Education - Mutual Funds
Yes Yes
Has Education - Fixed Income
Yes Yes
Has Education - Retirement
Yes Yes
Paper Trading
Yes No
Videos
Yes Yes
Webinars (Monthly Avg)
12 0
Webinars (Archived)
Yes No
Live Seminars
Yes Yes
Progress Tracking
No No
Interactive Learning - Quizzes
Yes Yes
Investor Magazine
No Yes
Education 4.5 4.5
Winner check_circle

Banking

Feature E*TRADE Merrill Edge
Retail Locations
30 4400
Member FDIC
Yes Yes
Checking Accounts
Yes Yes
Savings Accounts
Yes Yes
Credit Cards
No Yes
Debit Cards
Yes Yes
Mortgage Loans
No Yes
No Fee Banking
No No
Banking 4 5
Winner check_circle

Overall

Feature E*TRADE Merrill Edge
E*TRADE Review Merrill Edge Review
Overall 4 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 E*TRADE 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. E*TRADE and Merrill Edge have equal fees for trading stocks (equities), $6.95 per trade. For options trading, both E*TRADE and Merrill Edge charge the same base fee of $6.95. Option contracts at both of the brokerages are the same at $0.75 each. 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 supports Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds while E*TRADE supports Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading. Looking at mutual funds, E*TRADE offers its clients access to 9062 different mutual funds while Merrill Edge has 3709 available funds, a difference of 5,353.

Trading access aside, by comparing popular features and functionality, we can break down relevant differences between both brokers. E*TRADE has virtual trading, Merrill Edge doesn't. Taking a look at mobile trading, E*TRADE and Merrill Edge both have a 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. Clients can have Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans at Merrill Edge while customers at E*TRADE can have Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts and Debit Cards.

Overall, between E*TRADE and Merrill Edge, E*TRADE is the winner.

E*TRADE 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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