Comparing brokers side by side is no easy task. For our annual broker review, we assess over a dozen brokers on hundreds of different variables to find the best online broker
. Yielding a database of over 5,000 data points, let's compare Lightspeed Trading vs Merrill Edge.
To start this comparison, first, we will take a look at the online broker commission rates for placing regular stock and options trades. Merrill Edge charges $6.95 per stock trade which is $2.45 more than Lightspeed Trading which charges customers $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. It's important to note that not all brokers charge a flat fee per trade. Thus, it is important to read the full commission notes for each broker, which we include with each online broker review
Next to commission rates, being able to trade what you want is important. Merrill Edge offers clients Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds while Lightspeed Trading offers Stock Trading, Options Trading and Futures Trading. Looking at mutual funds, Merrill Edge offers its clients access to 3688 different mutual funds while Lightspeed Trading has 0 available funds, a difference of 3,688. Commission free ETFs can also be valuable for customers, which is a wash in this comparison as both Lightspeed Trading and Merrill Edge offer 0 commission free ETFs.
Trading access aside, by comparing popular features and functionality, we can break down relevant differences between both brokers. Lightspeed Trading makes virtual trading available to clients, while Merrill Edge does not. Taking a look at mobile trading, Lightspeed Trading along with Merrill Edge both support the 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 offered by Merrill Edge while Lightspeed Trading offers none of these. On the whole, when it comes to tools, research, and mobile trading, neither Lightspeed Trading nor Merrill Edge were rated 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.