Using data from the StockBrokers.com 2017 Broker Review which tested 16 different online brokers
over six months, we can compare Fidelity Investments 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 Fidelity Investments for placing regular stock trades ($6.95 and $4.95, respectively). For options trading, Merrill Edge has a base fee of $6.95, and Fidelity Investments a base fee of $4.95. Each option contract then costs $0.75 at Merrill Edge and $0.65 at Fidelity Investments. 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. Fidelity Investments alongside Merrill Edge offer clients Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds. As far as mutual funds go, Merrill Edge trails Fidelity Investments by 5,555.00 total mutual funds, with Fidelity Investments offering 13204 and Merrill Edge offering 7649. And, commission free ETFs deserve a comparison, with Merrill Edge falling behind Fidelity Investments, offering 0 commission free ETFs compared to Fidelity Investments's 91.
Finally, by comparing the each broker's website and platform features, we can surface interesting differences. Fidelity Investments has virtual trading, Merrill Edge doesn't. For mobile trading, Fidelity Investments along with Merrill Edge both support the iPhone App, iPad App and Android App. Online banking is also used by many customers, and multiple full-service brokerages provide these services. Clients can have Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans at Merrill Edge while customers at Fidelity Investments can have Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards and Credit Cards. All factors considered, when it comes to platform tools, research, and mobile trading, Merrill Edge posted awards Best in Class - Research in 2017, while Fidelity Investments found itself with Best in Class - Platforms & Tools, Best in Class - Research and Best in Class - Mobile Trading.
Overall, Fidelity Investments takes the upper hand with 4.50 stars over Merrill Edge's 4.00 stars.