The StockBrokers.com 2017 Brokerage Review assessed 16 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, with its regular stock trades costing $6.95, is more expensive than Lightspeed Trading's rate of $4.50 per trade. 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 supports Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds while Lightspeed Trading supports Stock Trading, Options Trading and Futures Trading. When it comes to mutual funds, Merrill Edge offers its clients access to 7649 different mutual funds while Lightspeed Trading has 0 available funds, a difference of 7,649. 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 has virtual trading, Merrill Edge doesn't. For mobile trading, Merrill Edge supports the iPhone App, iPad App and Android App while Lightspeed Trading supports the none of these. 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 offered by Merrill Edge while Lightspeed Trading offers none of these. On the whole, when it comes to tools, research, and mobile trading, Merrill Edge posted awards Best in Class - Research in 2017, while Lightspeed Trading found itself with none of these.
Overall, Merrill Edge comes out on top with 4.00 stars over Lightspeed Trading's 2.50 stars.