Using data from our latest annual broker review which tested more than a dozen different online brokers
over six months, we can compare Lightspeed Trading 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, with its regular stock trades costing $6.95, is more expensive than Lightspeed Trading's rate of $4.50 per trade. For options trading, Merrill Edge has a base fee of $6.95, and Lightspeed Trading a base fee of $0. Option contracts are pricier at Merrill Edge, costing $0.75 versus $0.60 at Lightspeed Trading. 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. Merrill Edge supports Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds while Lightspeed Trading supports Stock Trading, Options Trading and Futures Trading. As far as mutual funds go, Lightspeed Trading trails Merrill Edge by 3,688 total mutual funds, with Merrill Edge offering 3688 and Lightspeed Trading offering 0. And, commission free ETFs deserve a comparison, which is a wash in this comparison as both Lightspeed Trading and Merrill Edge offer 0 commission free ETFs.
Finally, by comparing the each broker's website and platform features, we can surface interesting differences. Lightspeed Trading makes virtual trading available to clients, while Merrill Edge does not. For mobile trading, Lightspeed Trading and Merrill Edge both have a iPhone App, iPad App and Android App. Online banking is also used by many customers, and multiple full-service brokerages provide these services. Clients can have Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans at Merrill Edge while customers at Lightspeed Trading can have none of these. All factors considered, when it comes to platform 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 takes the upper hand with 4.50 stars over Lightspeed Trading's 3.00 stars.