The StockBrokers.com 2017 Brokerage Review assessed 16 different brokers over six months, surfacing the best online stock brokers
. This review compares Firstrade vs Merrill Edge. Is Firstrade or Merrill Edge a better online broker?
First, we will make a comparison of the stock and option trading fees for trading with both brokers. Merrill Edge charges $6.95 per stock trade which is $2.00 more than Firstrade which charges customers $4.95 per trade. For options trading, Merrill Edge has a base fee of $6.95, and Firstrade a base fee of $4.95. Firstrade's per contract rate of $0.65 is less than Merrill Edge which charges $0.75. Note that some brokers charge a per-share fee instead of a flat-fee commission. For a full breakdown of commissions, read our online broker reviews
For our next comparison of these two brokers, being able to trade the way you want is a must. Both Firstrade and Merrill Edge support Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds. When it comes to mutual funds, Firstrade boasts an offering of 12191 mutual funds compared to Merrill Edge's 7649 available funds. Commission free ETFs can also be a nice plus, Firstrade offers 12 commission free ETFs versus Merrill Edge's total of 0.
Last but not least, by breaking down important features, tools, etc that each broker offers, we can really help to separate the two. Neither broker offers virtual trading. For mobile trading, Firstrade offer clients access to an iPhone App and Android App while Merrill Edge has an iPhone App, iPad App and Android App. Furthermore, some investors like to bank online, and multiple brokerages provide these services to clients. 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. On the whole, when it comes to tools, research, and mobile trading, Merrill Edge posted awards Best in Class - Research in 2017, 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.