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Merrill Edge vs Firstrade 2020

Is Firstrade better than Merrill Edge? After testing 15 of the best online brokers over five months, Merrill Edge (88.87%) is better than Firstrade (76.33%). Backed by parent company Bank of America, Merrill Edge delivers $0 stock and ETF trades with fantastic research and customer service. Better yet, for current banking customers, Merrill Edge's Preferred Rewards program offers the best rewards benefits across the industry.

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Overall Rating

Trading Fees

Feature Merrill Edge Firstrade
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 $0.00
Mutual Fund Trade Fee $19.95 $0.00
Broker Assisted Trades Fee $29.95 $19.95
Commissions & Fees 4.5 4.5
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Margin Rates

Feature Merrill Edge Firstrade
Under $24,999.99 10.13% 9.00%
$25,000.00 to $49,999.99 9.00% 8.75%
$50,000.00 to $99,999.99 9.00% 8.25%
$100,000.00 to $249,999.99 7.63% 7.75%
$250,000.00 to $499,999.99 7.63% 7.50%
$500,000.00 to $999,999.99 7.38% 5.60%
Above $1,000,000.00 6.75% 5.00%
Commissions & Fees 4.5 4.5
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Account Fees

Feature Merrill Edge Firstrade
IRA Annual Fee $0.00 $0.00
IRA Closure Fee $49.95 $0.00
Returned ACH Fee $30.00 $50.00
Returned Wire Fee N/A $50.00
Stock Certificate Processing Fee $500.00 $300.00
Stock Certificate Delivery Fee N/A $300.00
Paper Statement Fee $5.00 $5.00
Paper Confirmation Fee $3.00 $3.00
Domestic Wire Fee $24.95 $30.00
International Wire Fee $24.95 $50.00
Commissions & Fees 4.5 4.5

Investment Options

Feature Merrill Edge Firstrade
Stock Trading
Yes Yes
Fractional Shares
No No
OTCBB / Pink Sheets
Yes Yes
Options Trading
Yes Yes
Complex Options Max Legs
2 4
Futures Trading
No No
Forex Trading
No No
Commission-Free ETFs all all
Mutual Funds (No Load)
2471 10746
Mutual Funds (Total)
3709 14939
Bonds (US Treasury)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Corporate)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Municipal)
Yes Yes
Interest Sharing
No No
Advisor Services
Yes No
International Trading
No No
Offering of Investments 3.5 4
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Order Types

Feature Merrill Edge Firstrade
Order Type - Market
Yes Yes
Order Type - Limit
Yes Yes
Order Type - Stop
Yes Yes
Order Type - Trailing Stop
Yes Yes
Order Type - Contingent
No Yes
Order Type - MultiContingent
No Yes
Order Type - OCO
No Yes
Order Type - OTO
No Yes
Order Type - OTOCO
No No
Offering of Investments 3.5 4
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Trading Platforms

Feature Merrill Edge Firstrade
Desktop Platform (Windows)
Yes No
Desktop Platform (Mac)
Yes No
Web Platform
Yes Yes
Paper Trading
No No
Trade Journal
No No
Watch Lists - Total Fields
285 47
Heat Mapping
Yes Yes
AI Assistant Bot
No No
Platforms & Tools 4 2.5
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Charting Features

Feature Merrill Edge Firstrade
Charting - Trade Off Chart
Yes No
Charting - Indicators / Studies
100 58
Charting - Drawing Tools
22 8
Charting - Historical Trades
Yes No
Charting - Corporate Events
Yes Yes
Charting - Automated Analysis
Yes No
Charting - Save Profiles
Yes No
Charting - Study Customizations
8 6
Charting - Custom Studies
No No
Platforms & Tools 4 2.5
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Day Trading

Feature Merrill Edge Firstrade
Stock Alerts - Basic Fields
Yes Yes
Stock Alerts - Advanced Fields
Yes No
Streaming Time & Sales
Yes No
Streaming TV
No No
Direct Market Routing - Stocks
No No
Direct Market Routing - Options
No No
Ladder Trading
No No
Trade Hot Keys
Yes No
Level 2 Quotes - Stocks
Yes No
Level 2 Quotes - Options
Yes No
Trade Ideas - Backtesting
Yes No
Short Locator
No No
Order Liquidity Rebates
No No
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Mobile Trading Apps

Feature Merrill Edge Firstrade
iPhone App
Yes Yes
Android App
Yes Yes
Apple Watch App
Yes No
Trading - Stocks
Yes Yes
Trading - After-Hours
Yes Yes
Trading - Conditional Orders
No No
Trading - Mutual Funds
Yes No
Trading - Simple Options
Yes Yes
Trading - Complex Options
Yes Yes
Trading - Option Rolling
No No
Touch / Face ID
Yes Yes
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Mobile App Features

Feature Merrill Edge Firstrade
Watch List Syncing
Yes Yes
Stock Alerts
Yes No
Charting - After Hours
Yes No
Charting - Drawing
Yes No
Charting - Study Customizations
Yes Yes
Heatmapping
Yes No
Stream Live TV
No No
Barcode Lookup
No No
Mobile Trading 4 3.5
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Research Overview

Feature Merrill Edge Firstrade
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 No
Screener - Bonds
Yes Yes
Misc - Portfolio Builder
Yes No
Misc - Portfolio Allocation
Yes Yes
Research 4.5 4
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Stock Research

Feature Merrill Edge Firstrade
Stock Research - Reports
3 1
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
No No
Stock Research - Balance Sheet
Yes Yes
Stock Research - Cash Flows
Yes Yes
Stock Research - News
Yes Yes
Stock Research - ESG
Yes No
Research 4.5 4
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ETF Research

Feature Merrill Edge Firstrade
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
Research 4.5 4
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Mutual Fund Research

Feature Merrill Edge Firstrade
Mutual Funds - Strategy Overview
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Prospectus
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Reports
Yes No
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
Research 4.5 4
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Options Trading

Feature Merrill Edge Firstrade
Option Chains - Streaming
Yes No
Option Chains - Total Columns
69 8
Option Chains - Greeks
5 5
Option Chains - Quick Analysis
Yes No
Option Analysis - P&L Charts
Yes No
Option Probability Analysis
Yes No
Option Probability Analysis Adv
No No
Option Positions - Greeks
Yes No
Option Positions - Adv Analysis
Yes No
Option Positions - Rolling
Yes Yes
Option Positions - Grouping
Yes No
Platforms & Tools 4 2.5
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Beginners

Feature Merrill Edge Firstrade
Education (Stocks)
Yes Yes
Education (ETFs)
Yes No
Education (Options)
Yes Yes
Education (Mutual Funds)
Yes No
Education (Fixed Income)
Yes No
Education (Retirement)
Yes Yes
Paper Trading
No No
Videos
Yes Yes
Webinars (Monthly Avg)
0 6
Webinars (Archived)
No Yes
Live Seminars
Yes No
Progress Tracking
Yes No
Interactive Learning - Quizzes
Yes No
Investor Magazine
Yes No
Education 4.5 3
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Banking

Feature Merrill Edge Firstrade
Retail Locations
4300 1
Member FDIC
Yes No
Checking Accounts
Yes Yes
Savings Accounts
Yes No
Credit Cards
Yes No
Debit Cards
Yes Yes
Mortgage Loans
Yes No
No Fee Banking
No No
Banking 5 2
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Overall

Feature Merrill Edge Firstrade
Merrill Edge Review Firstrade Review
Overall 4.5 4
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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 Firstrade vs Merrill Edge.

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

What about Firstrade vs Merrill Edge pricing?
Firstrade and Merrill Edge both cost $0 per trade. With options, the base fee is $0 for both Firstrade and Merrill Edge. Firstrade's per contract rate of $0 is less than Merrill Edge which charges $0.65. For a complete commissions summary, see our best discount brokers guide.

Does Firstrade or Merrill Edge offer a wider range of investment options?
Firstrade offers a more diverse selection of investment options than Merrill Edge. Firstrade offers investors access to Stock Trading, OTCBB / Pink Sheets, Options Trading and Mutual Funds. Looking at Mutual Funds, Firstrade offers its clients access to 14939 different mutual funds while Merrill Edge has 3709 available funds, a difference of 11,230.

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

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

Firstrade Review
Merrill Edge Review



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.

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