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 $6.95 per stock trade which is $2.00 more than Fidelity Investments which charges customers $4.95 per trade. 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. Both Fidelity Investments and Merrill Edge support 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, with Fidelity Investments having the upper hand thanks to its 91 available commission free ETFs compared to Merrill Edge's offering 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 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. Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans are offered by Merrill Edge while Fidelity Investments offers Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards and Credit Cards. On the whole, when it comes to tools, research, and mobile trading, Fidelity Investments posted awards Best in Class - Platforms & Tools and Best in Class - Mobile Trading in 2018, while Merrill Edge found itself with none of these.
Overall, Fidelity Investments boasts 5.00 stars versus Merrill Edge's 4.50 stars.