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 5,000 data points, let's compare Fidelity Investments 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. 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. Fidelity Investments's per contract rate of $0.65 is less than Merrill Edge which charges $0.75. 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. Fidelity Investments and Merrill Edge provide clients with Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds. Looking at mutual funds, Fidelity Investments offers its clients access to 12505 different mutual funds while Merrill Edge has 3688 available funds, a difference of 8,817. Commission free ETFs can also be valuable for customers, Fidelity Investments offers 91 commission free ETFs versus Merrill Edge's total of 0.
Trading access aside, by comparing popular features and functionality, we can break down relevant differences between both brokers. Fidelity Investments makes virtual trading available to clients, while Merrill Edge does not. Taking a look at mobile trading, Fidelity Investments along with Merrill Edge both support the 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. Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans are available to clients of Merrill Edge while Fidelity Investments offers customers Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards and Credit Cards. On the whole, when it comes to tools, research, and mobile trading, unfortunately, neither Fidelity Investments nor Merrill Edge received awards Best in Class - Platforms & Tools, Best in Class - Research and Best in Class - Mobile Trading.
Overall, Fidelity Investments takes the upper hand with 5.00 stars over Merrill Edge's 4.50 stars.