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Merrill Edge vs Firstrade Review

Blain Reinkensmeyer

Published by Blain Reinkensmeyer


Friday, December 7th, 2018

Using data from our latest annual broker review which tested more than a dozen different online brokers over six months, we can compare Firstrade vs Merrill Edge to determine which broker is best. Let's dive in.

First, we will break down the commission charges of both brokers for placing stock and options trades. Merrill Edge charges $6.95 per stock trade which is $6.95 more than Firstrade which charges customers $0 per trade. With options, the base fees charged are $6.95 (Merrill Edge) and $0 (Firstrade). Firstrade's per contract rate of $0 is less than Merrill Edge which charges $0.75. Instead of flat rate fees, several brokers charge a per-share fee instead. For a complete review of trading charges, read our full online broker reviews.

Next, investors want to make sure they can trade the investment vehicle they want. Both Firstrade and Merrill Edge support Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds. As far as mutual funds go, Firstrade offers its clients access to 12603 different mutual funds while Merrill Edge has 3688 available funds, a difference of 8,915. And, commission free ETFs deserve a comparison, Firstrade offers 703 commission free ETFs versus Merrill Edge's total of 0.

Finally, by comparing the each broker's website and platform features, we can surface interesting differences. Neither broker offers virtual trading. For mobile trading, Firstrade along with Merrill Edge both support the iPhone App, iPad App and Android App. Online banking is also used by many customers, and multiple full-service brokerages provide these services. Checking Accounts and Debit Cards are available to clients of Firstrade while Merrill Edge offers customers Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans. All factors considered, when it comes to platform tools, research, and mobile trading, both Firstrade and Merrill Edge found themselves without awards for Best in Class - Platforms & Tools, Best in Class - Research and Best in Class - Mobile Trading.

Overall, Merrill Edge takes the upper hand with 4.50 stars over Firstrade's 4.00 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
Minimum Deposit
Stock Trade Fee (flat)
Options Base Fee
Options Per Contract Fee
Mutual Fund Trade Fee
Broker Assisted Trades Fee
IRA Annual Fee
IRA Closure Fee
Stock Trading
OTCBB / Pink Sheets
Options Trading
Complex Options Max Legs
Futures Trading
Forex Trading
Commission-Free ETFs
Mutual Funds (No Load)
Mutual Funds (Total)
Bonds (US Treasury)
Bonds (Corporate)
Bonds (Municipal)
Advisor Services
International Trading
Advantage
Order Type - Market
Order Type - Limit
Order Type - Stop
Order Type - Trailing Stop
Order Type - Contingent
Order Type - MultiContingent
Order Type - OCO
Order Type - OTO
Order Type - OTOCO
Order Type - Algo
Advantage
Desktop Platform (Windows)
Desktop Platform (Mac)
Web Platform
Virtual Trading
Watch Lists - Total Fields
Two-Factor Authentication Login
Charting - Trade Off Chart
Charting - Drawing Tools
Charting - Indicators / Studies
Charting - Historical Trades
Charting - Save Profiles
Charting - Study Customizations
Charting - Custom Studies
Option Chains - Total Columns
Option Chains - Greeks Viewable
Option Analysis - P&L Charts
Option Positions - Rolling
Heat Mapping
Advantage
Stock Alerts - Basic Fields
Stock Alerts - Advanced Fields
Streaming Time & Sales
Streaming TV
Direct Market Routing - Stocks
Direct Market Routing - Options
Ladder Trading
Trade Hot Keys
Level 2 Quotes - Stocks
Level 2 Quotes - Options
Trade Ideas - Backtesting
Client Liquidity Rebates
Advantage
Screener - Stocks
Screener - ETFs
Screener - Mutual Funds
Screener - Options
Screener - Bonds
Misc - Portfolio Allocation
Misc - Portfolio Builder
Stock Research - Earnings
Stock Research - SEC Filings
Stock Research - Insiders
Stock Research - Social
Stock Research - Reports
ETF Research - Top 10 Holdings
ETF Research - Reports
ETF Research - Ratings
Mutual Fund Research - Reports
Advantage
iPhone App
Android App
Apple Watch App
Trading - Stocks
Trading - After-Hours
Trading - Conditional Orders
Trading - Mutual Funds
Trading - Simple Options
Trading - Complex Options
Trading - Option Rolling
Touch ID
Watch List Syncing
Stock Alerts - Basic Fields
Stock Alerts - Advanced Fields
Charting - After Hours
Charting - Study Customizations
Customizable Homescreen
Heatmapping
Stream Live TV
Barcode Lookup
Advantage
Retail Locations
Member FDIC
Checking Accounts
Savings Accounts
Credit Cards
Debit Cards
Mortgage Loans
No Fee Banking
Advantage
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
$500,000.00 to $999,999.99
Above $1,000,000.00
Has Education - Stocks
Has Education - ETFs
Has Education - Options
Has Education - Mutual Funds
Has Education - Fixed Income
Has Education - Retirement
Videos
Webinars (Monthly Avg)
Webinars (Archived)
Live Seminars
Progress Tracking
Interactive Learning - Quizzes
Magazine
Advantage
Overall
Advantage
Merrill Edge
Special Offer Invest in a new account and get up to $600 - Learn More
Merrill Edge Review
 
4.5
4
3
4
4.5
4.5
4
4.5
4.5
3.5
5
 
$0.00
$6.95
$6.95
$0.75
$19.95
$29.95
$0.00
$49.95
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
2
No
No
0
1350
3688
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
No
No
No
No
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
216
Yes
Yes
22
73
No
Yes
5
No
62
5
Yes
No
No
check_circle
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
check_circle
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
3
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
check_circle
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
check_circle
 
4480
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
check_circle
 
10.38%
9.25%
9.25%
7.88%
7.88%
7.63%
7.00%
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
0
No
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
check_circle
 
4.5
check_circle
Firstrade
Special Offer Commission-Free Trading on 700+ ETF's Learn More
Firstrade Review
 
4
4.5
3.5
2
4
4
3.5
4.5
3
1.5
2
 
$0.00
$0.00
$0.00
$0.00
$0.00
$19.95
$0.00
$0.00
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
2
No
No
2200
5234
12603
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
check_circle
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
check_circle
 
No
No
Yes
No
57
No
No
5
58
No
No
6
No
8
5
No
Yes
Yes
 
Yes
No
Yes
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
1
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
 
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
No
No
Yes
No
No
Yes
Yes
No
No
No
Yes
No
No
No
No
 
2
No
Yes
No
No
Yes
No
No
 
8.75%
8.50%
8.00%
7.50%
7.25%
5.50%
4.75%
 
Yes
No
Yes
No
No
Yes
Yes
5
Yes
No
No
No
No
 
4

All pricing data was obtained from a published web site as of 09/01/18 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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