Using data from the StockBrokers.com 2017 Broker Rankings
, we can compare Fidelity Investments vs Merrill Edge to determine which broker is better for you. Our database includes thousands of data points on everything from research to trading tools. Let's take a closer look at Fidelity Investments and Merrill Edge.
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. At a difference of $0.10 per contract, Fidelity Investments's per contract rate of $0.65 is less than Merrill Edge which charges $0.75. Note that flat rate trading is not available everywhere though, so it is important to read the complete commission notes for each broker to know the full breakdown (go to any stock broker review
page, then scroll down to the "Commission Notes" section).
Trading fees aside, having access to trade what you want is also an important consideration. Both Fidelity Investments and Merrill Edge support Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds. As far as mutual funds go, Fidelity Investments boasts an offering of 13204 compared to Merrill Edge's 7649 available funds. And, commission free ETFs deserve a mention, with Fidelity Investments having the upper hand thanks to its 91 available ETFs compared to Merrill Edge's offering of 0.
Finally, by looking at the most popular features and offerings of each broker, we can really see the differences between the two. Fidelity Investments makes virtual trading available to clients, while Merrill Edge does not. For mobile trading, Fidelity Investments and Merrill Edge both have a iPhone App, iPad App and Android App. Online banking is also used by many clients, and multiple brokerages provide these services. Clients can have Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans at Merrill Edge while clients at Fidelity Investments can have Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards and Credit Cards. All things considered, when it comes to platform tools, research, and trading via smartphone, Merrill Edge was rated for Best in Class - Research in 2014, while Fidelity Investments was rated for Best in Class - Platforms & Tools, Best in Class - Research and Best in Class - Mobile Trading.
Overall, Fidelity Investments comes out on top with 4.50 stars over Merrill Edge's 4.00 stars.