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Merrill Edge vs Interactive Brokers Review

Brandon Reinkensmeyer

Published by Brandon Reinkensmeyer


Wednesday, July 12th, 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 Interactive Brokers 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, with its regular stock trades costing $6.95, is more expensive than Interactive Brokers's rate of $0.00 (the broker charges a per share rate instead) per trade. Looking at trading options, Interactive Brokers's base fee is $0.00 while Merrill Edge's is $6.95. Contracts are pricier at Merrill Edge, costing $0.75 versus $0.70 at Interactive Brokers, a difference of $0.05 per contract. 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. Merrill Edge provides its clients with Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds while Interactive Brokers gives clients access to Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading. Looking at mutual funds, Interactive Brokers boasts an offering of 8026 compared to Merrill Edge's 7649 available funds. Commission free ETFs also should not be forgotten, with Interactive Brokers having the upper hand thanks to its 33 available ETFs compared to Merrill Edge's offering 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. Interactive Brokers offers virtual trading while Merrill Edge does not. Taking a look at mobile trading, Interactive Brokers and Merrill Edge both have a 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, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans are available to clients of Merrill Edge while Interactive Brokers offers clients none of these. On the whole, when it comes to tools, research, and trading on the go, Interactive Brokers finished with awards for Best in Class - Platforms & Tools and Best in Class - Mobile Trading in 2014, while Merrill Edge came up with Best in Class - Research.

Overall, both Interactive Brokers and Merrill Edge hold a 4.00 star rating.
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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
Interactive Brokers
Special Offer Trade on over 100 market centers in 24 countries Learn More
Interactive Brokers Review
 
4
4.5
4.5
4.5
3
3.5
4
2.5
3
5
0.5
 
N/A
$0.00
$0.70
$14.95
$30.00
$10,000.00
No
No
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
9
124
37
338
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
 
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
 
33
5823
8026
4500
0
 
1.91%
1.91%
1.91%
1.61%
1.61%
1.41%
1.61%
 
No
No
No
No
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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