The StockBrokers.com annual broker review assesses more than a dozen different brokers over six months, surfacing the best online stock brokers
. This review compares Lightspeed Trading vs Merrill Edge. Is Lightspeed Trading 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 more than Lightspeed Trading for placing regular stock trades ($6.95 and $4.50, respectively). Looking at trading options, Lightspeed Trading's base fee is $0 while Merrill Edge's is $6.95. Each option contract then costs $0.75 at Merrill Edge and $0.60 at Lightspeed Trading. 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. Merrill Edge offers clients Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds while Lightspeed Trading offers Stock Trading, Options Trading and Futures Trading. When it comes to mutual funds, Lightspeed Trading trails Merrill Edge by 3,688 total mutual funds, with Merrill Edge offering 3688 and Lightspeed Trading offering 0. Commission free ETFs can also be a nice plus, which is a wash in this comparison as both Lightspeed Trading and Merrill Edge offer 0 commission free ETFs.
Last but not least, by breaking down important features, tools, etc that each broker offers, we can really help to separate the two. Lightspeed Trading offers virtual trading while Merrill Edge does not. For mobile trading, Lightspeed Trading and Merrill Edge both have a iPhone App, iPad App and Android App. Furthermore, some investors like to bank online, and multiple 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 Lightspeed Trading offers customers none of these. On the whole, when it comes to tools, research, and mobile trading, unfortunately, neither Lightspeed Trading nor Merrill Edge received awards Best in Class - Platforms & Tools, Best in Class - Research and Best in Class - Mobile Trading.
Overall, Merrill Edge comes out on top with 4.50 stars over Lightspeed Trading's 3.00 stars.