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Fidelity vs Merrill Edge 2020

Is Fidelity better than Merrill Edge? After testing 15 of the best online brokers over five months, Fidelity (95%) is better than Merrill Edge (88.87%). Fidelity is a value-driven online broker offering $0 trades, industry-leading research, excellent trading tools, an easy-to-use mobile app, and comprehensive retirement services. Serving over 32 million customers, Fidelity is a winner for everyday investors.

SPECIAL OFFER No commissions to trade online U.S. stocks, ETFs, and options.1
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Overall Rating

Feature Fidelity Merrill Edge
Overall 5 4.5
Commissions & Fees 4.5 4.5
Offering of Investments 4.5 3.5
Platforms & Tools 4.5 4
Mobile Trading 5 4
Research 5 4.5
Education 5 4.5
Ease of Use 5 5
Banking 4 5
Fidelity Review Merrill Edge Review
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Trading Fees

Feature Fidelity 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 $32.95 $29.95

Margin Rates

Feature Fidelity 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 4.25% N/A
Above $1,000,000.00 4.00% N/A

Account Fees

Feature Fidelity Merrill Edge
IRA Annual Fee $0.00 $0.00
IRA Closure Fee $0.00 $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 $100.00 N/A
Paper Statement Fee $0.00 $5.00
Paper Confirmation Fee $0.00 $3.00
Domestic Wire Fee $0.00 $24.95
International Wire Fee $0.00 $24.95

Investment Options

Feature Fidelity 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
No No
Forex Trading
No No
Crypto Trading No No
Mutual Funds (No Load)
3786 3147
Mutual Funds (Total)
9842 3469
Bonds (US Treasury)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Corporate)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Municipal)
Yes Yes
Advisor Services
Yes Yes
International Trading
Yes No

Order Types

Feature Fidelity 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

Trading Platforms

Feature Fidelity 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
91 285
Heat Mapping
Yes Yes
AI Assistant Bot
Yes No

Charting Features

Feature Fidelity Merrill Edge
Charting - Trade Off Chart
Yes Yes
Charting - Indicators / Studies
129 104
Charting - Drawing Tools
22 22
Charting - Historical Trades
Yes Yes
Charting - Corporate Events
Yes Yes
Charting - Automated Analysis
Yes Yes
Charting - Save Profiles
Yes Yes
Charting - Study Customizations
5 8
Charting - Custom Studies
No No

Day Trading

Feature Fidelity Merrill Edge
Stock Alerts - Basic Fields
Yes Yes
Stock Alerts - Advanced Fields
Yes Yes
Streaming Time & Sales
No Yes
Streaming TV
Yes No
Direct Market Routing - Stocks
Yes No
Direct Market Routing - Options
Yes 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
Yes No
Order Liquidity Rebates
No No

Mobile Trading Apps

Feature Fidelity 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

Mobile App Features

Feature Fidelity Merrill Edge
Watch List Syncing
Yes Yes
Stock Alerts
Yes Yes
Charting - After Hours
Yes Yes
Charting - Drawing
No Yes
Charting - Study Customizations
Yes Yes
Heatmapping
Yes Yes
Stream Live TV
Yes No
Barcode Lookup
No No

Research Overview

Feature Fidelity 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

Stock Research

Feature Fidelity Merrill Edge
Stock Research - Reports
11 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
Yes Yes

ETF Research

Feature Fidelity 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

Mutual Fund Research

Feature Fidelity Merrill Edge
Mutual Funds - Strategy Overview
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Prospectus
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Reports
No 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

Options Trading

Feature Fidelity Merrill Edge
Option Chains - Streaming
Yes Yes
Option Chains - Total Columns
26 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

Beginners

Feature Fidelity 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)
15 1
Webinars (Archived)
Yes No
Live Seminars
Yes Yes
Progress Tracking
Yes Yes
Interactive Learning - Quizzes
Yes Yes

Banking

Feature Fidelity Merrill Edge
Retail Locations
200 4300
Member FDIC
No Yes
Checking Accounts
Yes Yes
Savings Accounts
Yes Yes
Credit Cards
Yes Yes
Debit Cards
Yes Yes
Mortgage Loans
No Yes
No Fee Banking
Yes No

Overall

Feature Fidelity Merrill Edge
Overall 5 4.5
Commissions & Fees 4.5 4.5
Offering of Investments 4.5 3.5
Platforms & Tools 4.5 4
Mobile Trading 5 4
Research 5 4.5
Education 5 4.5
Ease of Use 5 5
Banking 4 5
Fidelity Review Merrill Edge Review
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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 Fidelity vs Merrill Edge.

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

What about Fidelity vs Merrill Edge pricing?
Fidelity and Merrill Edge charge the same amount for regular stock trades, $0. Looking at options, the base fees charged are the same for both brokers, $0. Option contracts at both of the brokerages are the same at $0.65 each. For a complete commissions summary, see our best discount brokers guide.

Does Fidelity or Merrill Edge offer a wider range of investment options?
Fidelity offers a more diverse selection of investment options than Merrill Edge. Fidelity offers investors access to Stock Trading, Fractional Shares, OTCBB / Pink Sheets, Options Trading, Mutual Funds, Advisor Services and International Trading. Looking at Mutual Funds, Fidelity offers its clients access to 9842 different mutual funds while Merrill Edge has 3469 available funds, a difference of 6,373.

Which trading platform is better: Fidelity or Merrill Edge?
To compare the trading platforms of both Fidelity and Merrill Edge, we tested each broker's trading tools, research capabilities, and mobile apps. For trading tools, Fidelity offers a better experience. With research, Fidelity offers superior market research. Finally, we found Fidelity 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. Clients can have Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans at Merrill Edge while customers at Fidelity can have Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards and Credit Cards.

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

Fidelity 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.

1$0.00 commission applies to online U.S. equity trades, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and options (+ $0.65 per contract fee) in a Fidelity retail account only for Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC retail clients. Sell orders are subject to an activity assessment fee (from $0.01 to $0.03 per $1,000 of principal). There is an Options Regulatory Fee (from $0.03 to $0.05 per contract), which applies to both option buy and sell transactions. The fee is subject to change. Other exclusions and conditions may apply. See Fidelity.com/commissions for details. Employee equity compensation transactions and accounts managed by advisors or intermediaries through Fidelity Clearing & Custody SolutionsĀ® are subject to different commission schedules.

Options trading entails significant risk and is not appropriate for all investors. Certain complex options strategies carry additional risk. Before trading options, please read Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options. Supporting documentation for any claims, if applicable, will be furnished upon request.

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