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Merrill Edge vs Firstrade 2023

StockBrokers.com

Written by StockBrokers.com

April 11, 2023

Is Merrill Edge better than Firstrade? After testing 17 of the best online brokers over three months, Merrill Edge (95.25%) is better than Firstrade (87.80%). Merrill Edge and its parent, Bank of America, make for a well-rounded offering, with $0 trades, robust research, reliable customer service; and its Stock Stories and Fund Stories are an industry standout. There are some gaps in investment offerings, including crypto and futures.

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Compare

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Overall RatingMerrill EdgeFirstrade
Overall 5/5 Stars 4.5/5 Stars
Commissions & Fees 4.5/5 Stars 4.5/5 Stars
Investment Options 4.5/5 Stars 4.5/5 Stars
Platforms & Tools 4.5/5 Stars 3.5/5 Stars
Mobile Trading Apps 5/5 Stars 4.5/5 Stars
Research 5/5 Stars 4.5/5 Stars
Customer Service 4.0/5 Stars 3.0/5 Stars
Education 5/5 Stars 3.5/5 Stars
Ease Of Use 5/5 Stars 4.5/5 Stars
Winner check_circle
Review Merrill Edge Review Firstrade Review
Trading FeesMerrill EdgeFirstrade
Minimum Deposit $0.00 $0.00
Stock Trades $0.00 $0.00
Penny Stock Fees (OTC) N/A $0.00
Mutual Fund Trade Fee $19.95 $0
Options (Base Fee) $0.00 $0.00
Options (Per Contract) $0.65 $0.00
Futures (Per Contract) N/A N/A
Broker Assisted Trade Fee $29.95 $19.95
Margin RatesMerrill EdgeFirstrade
Margin Rate Under $25,000 Varies 13.25%
Margin Rate $25,000 to $49,999.99 Varies 13.00%
Margin Rate $50,000 to $99,999.99 Varies 12.50%
Margin Rate $100,000 to $249,999.99 Varies 12.00%
Margin Rate $250,000 to $499,999.99 Varies 11.75%
Margin Rate $500,000 to $999,999.99 Varies 9.85%
Margin Rate Above $1,000,000 Varies 9.25%
Account FeesMerrill EdgeFirstrade
IRA Annual Fee $0.00 $0.00
IRA Closure Fee $49.95 $0.00
Account Transfer Out (Partial) $0.00 $55.00
Account Transfer Out (Full) $49.95 $75.00
Options Exercise Fee $0.00 $0.00
Options Assignment Fee $0.00 $0.00
Investment OptionsMerrill EdgeFirstrade
Stock Trading Yes Yes
Margin Trading Yes Yes
Fractional Shares No No
OTC Stocks Yes Yes
Options Trading Yes Yes
Complex Options Max Legs 4 4
Futures Trading No No
Forex Trading No No
Crypto Trading No Yes
Crypto Trading - Total Coins 0 38
Mutual Funds (No Load) 2952 13777
Mutual Funds (Total) 3466 19027
Bonds (US Treasury) Yes Yes
Bonds (Corporate) Yes Yes
Bonds (Municipal) Yes Yes
Advisor Services Yes No
International Countries (Stocks) 0 0
Order TypesMerrill EdgeFirstrade
Order Type - Market Yes Yes
Order Type - Limit Yes Yes
Order Type - After Hours Yes Yes
Order Type - Stop Yes Yes
Order Type - Trailing Stop Yes Yes
Order Type - OCO No Yes
Order Type - OTO No Yes
Order Type - Broker Assisted Yes Yes
BeginnersMerrill EdgeFirstrade
Education (Stocks) Yes Yes
Education (ETFs) Yes No
Education (Options) Yes Yes
Education (Mutual Funds) Yes No
Education (Bonds) Yes No
Education (Retirement) Yes Yes
Retirement Calculator Yes Yes
Investor Dictionary Yes Yes
Paper Trading No No
Videos Yes Yes
Webinars Yes Yes
Webinars (Archived) Yes Yes
Progress Tracking No No
Interactive Learning - Quizzes Yes No
Stock Trading AppsMerrill EdgeFirstrade
iPhone App Yes Yes
Android App Yes Yes
Apple Watch App Yes No
Trading - Stocks Yes Yes
Trading - After-Hours Yes Yes
Trading - Simple Options Yes Yes
Trading - Complex Options Yes Yes
Order Ticket RT Quotes Yes Yes
Order Ticket SRT Quotes No Yes
SB Gallery - Mobile Apps
Stock App FeaturesMerrill EdgeFirstrade
Market Movers (Top Gainers) Yes Yes
Stream Live TV No No
Videos on Demand No No
Stock Alerts Yes Yes
Option Chains Viewable Yes Yes
Watch List (Real-time) Yes Yes
Watch List (Streaming) Yes Yes
Watch Lists - Create & Manage Yes Yes
Watch Lists - Column Customization No Yes
Watch Lists - Total Fields 285 50
Stock App ChartingMerrill EdgeFirstrade
Charting - After-Hours No No
Charting - Can Turn Horizontally Yes Yes
Charting - Multiple Time Frames Yes Yes
Charting - Technical Studies 34 81
Charting - Study Customizations Yes Yes
Charting - Stock Comparisons Yes No
Trading PlatformsMerrill EdgeFirstrade
Active Trading Platform Merrill Edge Market Pro Firstrade Navigator
Desktop Trading Platform No No
Desktop Platform (Mac) No No
Web Trading Platform Yes Yes
Paper Trading No No
Trade Journal No No
Watch Lists - Total Fields 285 50
Stock Chart FeaturesMerrill EdgeFirstrade
Charting - Adjust Trades on Chart Yes No
Charting - Indicators / Studies 104 102
Charting - Drawing Tools 23 8
Charting - Notes Yes No
Charting - Index Overlays Yes Yes
Charting - Historical Trades Yes No
Charting - Corporate Events Yes Yes
Charting - Custom Date Range Yes No
Charting - Custom Time Bars Yes No
Charting - Automated Analysis Yes No
Charting - Save Profiles Yes No
Trade Ideas - Technical Analysis Yes No
Charting - Study Customizations 8 6
Charting - Custom Studies No No
Day TradingMerrill EdgeFirstrade
Streaming Time & Sales Yes No
Streaming TV No No
Direct Market Routing - Stocks No No
Ladder Trading No No
Trade Hot Keys No No
Level 2 Quotes - Stocks Yes No
Trade Ideas - Backtesting Yes No
Trade Ideas - Backtesting Adv No No
Short Locator No No
Order Liquidity Rebates No No
Research OverviewMerrill EdgeFirstrade
Research - Stocks Yes Yes
Research - ETFs Yes Yes
Research - Mutual Funds Yes Yes
Research - Pink Sheets / OTCBB Yes Yes
Research - Bonds Yes Yes
Screener - Stocks Yes Yes
Screener - ETFs Yes Yes
Screener - Mutual Funds Yes Yes
Screener - Bonds Yes Yes
Misc - Portfolio Allocation Yes Yes
Stock ResearchMerrill EdgeFirstrade
Stock Research - PDF Reports 3 1
Stock Research - Earnings Yes Yes
Stock Research - Insiders Yes Yes
Stock Research - Social No No
Stock Research - News Yes Yes
Stock Research - ESG Yes No
Stock Research - SEC Filings Yes Yes
ETF ResearchMerrill EdgeFirstrade
ETFs - Strategy Overview Yes Yes
ETF Fund Facts - Inception Date Yes Yes
ETF Fund Facts - Expense Ratio Yes Yes
ETF Fund Facts - Net Assets Yes Yes
ETF Fund Facts - Total Holdings Yes Yes
ETFs - Top 10 Holdings Yes Yes
ETFs - Sector Exposure Yes Yes
ETFs - Risk Analysis Yes Yes
ETFs - Ratings Yes Yes
ETFs - Morningstar StyleMap Yes Yes
ETFs - PDF Reports Yes Yes
Mutual Fund ResearchMerrill EdgeFirstrade
Mutual Funds - Strategy Overview Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Performance Chart Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Performance Analysis Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Prospectus Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - 3rd Party Ratings Yes 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
Options TradingMerrill EdgeFirstrade
Option Chains - Basic View Yes Yes
Option Chains - Strategy View Yes Yes
Option Chains - Streaming Yes No
Option Chains - Total Columns 68 8
Option Chains - Greeks 5 5
Option Chains - Quick Analysis Yes No
Option Analysis - P&L Charts Yes Yes
Option Probability Analysis Yes No
Option Probability Analysis Adv No Yes
Option Positions - Greeks Yes No
Option Positions - Greeks Streaming Yes No
Option Positions - Adv Analysis Yes No
Option Positions - Rolling Yes Yes
Option Positions - Grouping Yes No
BankingMerrill EdgeFirstrade
Bank (Member FDIC) Yes No
Checking Accounts Yes Yes
Savings Accounts Yes No
Credit Cards Yes No
Debit Cards Yes Yes
Mortgage Loans Yes No
Customer ServiceMerrill EdgeFirstrade
Phone Support (Prospect Customers) No Yes
Phone Support (Current Customers) Yes Yes
Email Support Yes Yes
Live Chat (Prospect Customers) Yes Yes
Live Chat (Current Customers) Yes Yes
24/7 Support Yes No
OverallMerrill EdgeFirstrade
Overall 5/5 Stars 4.5/5 Stars
Commissions & Fees 4.5/5 Stars 4.5/5 Stars
Investment Options 4.5/5 Stars 4.5/5 Stars
Platforms & Tools 4.5/5 Stars 3.5/5 Stars
Mobile Trading Apps 5/5 Stars 4.5/5 Stars
Research 5/5 Stars 4.5/5 Stars
Education 5/5 Stars 3.5/5 Stars
Ease Of Use 5/5 Stars 4.5/5 Stars
Winner check_circle
Review Merrill Edge Review Firstrade Review
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Merrill Edge vs Firstrade Comparison

Comparing brokers side by side is no easy task. For our 2023 annual broker review, we spent hundreds of hours assessing 17 brokerages to find the best online broker. Let's compare Merrill Edge vs Firstrade.

Is Merrill Edge or Firstrade better for beginners?

Merrill Edge offers more comprehensive new investor education for beginner investors than Firstrade. Merrill Edge offers investors access to Videos, Education (Stocks), Education (ETFs), Education (Options), Education (Mutual Funds), Education (Bonds) and Education (Retirement), while Firstrade offers investors access to Videos, Education (Stocks), Education (Options) and Education (Retirement). Neither have Paper Trading. See our guide to Best Paper Trading Platforms for more.

What about Merrill Edge vs Firstrade pricing?

Merrill Edge and Firstrade charge the same amount for regular stock trades, $0.00. Option contracts are pricier at Merrill Edge, costing $0.65 per contract versus $0.00 per contract at Firstrade. For a complete commissions summary, see our best brokers for free stock trading guide.

Does Merrill Edge or Firstrade offer a wider range of investment options?

Merrill Edge offers investors access to Stock Trading, Options Trading, OTC Stocks, Mutual Funds and Advisor Services, while Firstrade offers investors access to Stock Trading, Options Trading, OTC Stocks and Mutual Funds. Neither have Fractional Shares, Futures Trading and Forex Trading. Looking at Mutual Funds, Merrill Edge trails Firstrade in its offering of no transaction fee (NTF) mutual funds, with Firstrade offering 3767 and Merrill Edge offering 3095.

Which trading platform is better: Merrill Edge or Firstrade?

To compare the trading platforms of Merrill Edge and Firstrade, 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. Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans are offered by Merrill Edge while Firstrade offers Checking Accounts and Debit Cards.

Is Merrill Edge good?

Merrill Edge and its parent, Bank of America, make for a well-rounded offering, with $0 trades, robust research, reliable customer service; and its Stock Stories and Fund Stories are an industry standout. There are some gaps in investment offerings, including crypto and futures.

Is Firstrade good?

Firstrade scored well in our 2023 Annual Review for ease of use, and is a great choice for Chinese-speaking investors. However, it lags behind the competition in certain areas, especially platforms, tools and education.

Merrill Edge vs Firstrade Winner

Overall winner: Merrill Edge

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