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Merrill Edge vs Firstrade Review

Brandon Reinkensmeyer

Published by Brandon Reinkensmeyer


Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

Comparing brokers side by side is no easy task. For our 2017 Broker Review, we factored in 308 different variables to assess 16 different brokers. So when taking a look at Firstrade vs Merrill Edge, there is a huge database of information available to us.

To start this comparison, first we will take a look at the broker commission rates for placing regular stock and options trades. Merrill Edge charges more than Firstrade for placing regular stock trades ($6.95 and $4.95, respectively). For options trading, Merrill Edge has a base fee of $6.95, and Firstrade a base fee of $4.95. At a difference of $0.10 per contract, Firstrade's per contract rate of $0.65 is less than Merrill Edge which charges $0.75. Not all brokers charge a flat rate fee per trade though, so it is important to read the full commission notes to know the complete breakdown (go to any online broker review page, then scroll to the "Commissions Notes" section).

Next to commission rates, being able to trade the instrument you want is important. Firstrade alongside Merrill Edge offer clients Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds. Looking at mutual funds, Firstrade offers its clients access to 12191 different mutual funds while Merrill Edge has 7649 available funds, a difference of 4,542.00. Commission free ETFs also should not be forgotten, Firstrade offers 12 versus Merrill Edge's total of 0.

Lastly, taking a look at popular features and functionality, we can go a bit deeper to really break down the difference of both brokers. Neither Firstrade and Merrill Edge have virtual trading. Taking a look at mobile trading, Firstrade gives clients access to an iPhone App and Android App while Merrill Edge has an 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 and Debit Cards are available to clients of Firstrade while Merrill Edge offers clients Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans. On the whole, when it comes to tools, research, and trading on the go, Merrill Edge posted awards for Best in Class - Research in 2014, while Firstrade found itself with none of these.

Overall, Merrill Edge takes the upper hand with 4.00 stars over Firstrade's 3.50 stars.
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Overall
Commissions & Fees
Offering of Investments
Platforms & Tools
Research
Customer Service
Mobile Trading
Ease of Use
Education
Order Execution
Banking
Stock Trade Fee (flat)
Options Base Fee
Options Per Contract Fee
Mutual Fund Trade Fee
Broker Assisted Trades Fee
Minimum Deposit
No Inactivity Fees
No Fee IRAs
Stock Trading
Options Trading
Mutual Funds
Forex Trading
Futures Trading
Desktop Platform (Windows)
Web Platform
Virtual Trading
Charting - Drawing Tools
Charting - Indicators / Studies
Option Chains - Total Columns
Watch Lists - Total Fields
iPhone App
iPad App
Android App
Android Tablet App
Apple Watch App
Trading - After-Hours
Trading - Mutual Funds
Trading - Conditional Orders
Trading - Simple Options
Trading - Complex Options
Commission Free ETFs
Mutual Funds (No Load)
Mutual Funds (Total)
# of Easy to Borrow Stocks
Retail Locations
Under $24,999.99
$25,000.00 to $49,999.99
$50,000.00 to $99,999.99
$100,000.00 to $249,999.99
$250,000.00 to $499,999.99
Above $1,000,000.00
$500,000.00 to $999,999.99
Checking Accounts
Savings Accounts
Credit Cards
Debit Cards
Mortgage Loans
No Fee Banking
Merrill Edge
Special Offer Invest in a new account and get up to $600 Learn More
Merrill Edge Review
 
4
4.5
3
3.5
4.5
4.5
4
4.5
4
3.5
5
 
$6.95
$6.95
$0.75
$19.95
$29.95
$0.00
Yes
Yes
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
 
No
Yes
No
22
73
62
216
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
 
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
 
0
2764
7649
3793
2161
 
8.88%
7.75%
7.75%
6.38%
6.38%
5.50%
6.13%
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Firstrade
Special Offer Get up to $1000 in free commissions Learn More
Firstrade Review
 
3.5
3.5
3.5
2
4
4
3.5
4.5
3
1.5
2
 
$4.95
$4.95
$0.65
$9.95
$19.95
$0.00
Yes
Yes
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
 
No
Yes
No
5
58
8
57
 
Yes
No
Yes
No
No
 
Yes
No
No
Yes
No
 
12
4928
12191
4200
2
 
7.75%
7.50%
7.00%
6.50%
6.00%
4.50%
5.00%
 
Yes
No
No
Yes
No
No

All pricing data was obtained from a published web site as of 2/20/2017 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. The StockBrokers.com staff is constantly working with its online broker representatives to obtain the latest pricing data. If you believe any data listed above is inaccurate, please contact us using the link at the bottom of this page. 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.

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