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Merrill Edge vs Lightspeed 2019

The StockBrokers.com annual review (9 years running) takes six months to complete and produces over 30,000 words of research each year. Here's how we test.

Is Lightspeed better than Merrill Edge? Based on over 4,000 data points from our 2019 annual broker review, Merrill Edge (77.93%) is better than Lightspeed (51.8%). Backed by parent company Bank of America, Merrill Edge delivers fantastic research, customer service, universal account support, and customer rewards. Merrill Edge offers 10 commission-free stock or ETF trades each month to investors with balances above $20,000.

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Overall Rating

Feature Merrill Edge Lightspeed
Overall 4 2.5
Merrill Edge Review Lightspeed Review

Trading Fees

Feature Merrill Edge Lightspeed
Minimum Deposit $0.00 $10,000.00
Stock Trade Fee (per trade) $6.95 $4.50
ETF Trade Fee $6.95 $4.50
Options Base Fee $6.95 $0.00
Options Per Contract Fee $0.75 $0.60
Mutual Fund Trade Fee $19.95 N/A
Broker Assisted Trades Fee $29.95 $25.00
Commissions & Fees 4 3
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Margin Rates

Feature Merrill Edge
Open Account
Lightspeed
Under $24,999.99 10.63% 8.50%
$25,000.00 to $49,999.99 9.50% 8.50%
$50,000.00 to $99,999.99 9.50% 7.50%
$100,000.00 to $249,999.99 8.13% 7.50%
$250,000.00 to $499,999.99 8.13% 6.75%
$500,000.00 to $999,999.99 7.88% 6.25%
Above $1,000,000.00 7.25% 6.00%
Commissions & Fees 4 3
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Account Fees

Feature Merrill Edge Lightspeed
IRA Annual Fee $0.00 $35.00
IRA Closure Fee $49.95 $95.00
Returned ACH Fee $30.00 $30.00
Returned Wire Fee N/A $30.00
Stock Certificate Processing Fee $500.00 $75.00
Stock Certificate Delivery Fee N/A $50.00
Paper Statement Fee $5.00 $5.00
Paper Confirmation Fee $3.00 $2.00
Domestic Wire Fee $24.95 $20.00
International Wire Fee $24.95 $50.00
Commissions & Fees 4 3

Investment Options

Feature Merrill Edge Lightspeed
Stock Trading
Yes Yes
OTCBB / Pink Sheets
Yes Yes
Options Trading
Yes Yes
Complex Options Max Legs
2 4
Futures Trading
No Yes
Forex Trading
No No
Commission-Free ETFs 0 0
Mutual Funds (No Load)
2471 0
Mutual Funds (Total)
3709 0
Bonds (US Treasury)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Corporate)
Yes No
Bonds (Municipal)
Yes No
Advisor Services
Yes No
International Trading
No No
Offering of Investments 3 3
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Order Types

Feature Merrill Edge Lightspeed
Order Type - Market
Yes Yes
Order Type - Limit
Yes Yes
Order Type - Stop
Yes Yes
Order Type - Trailing Stop
Yes Yes
Order Type - Contingent
No Yes
Order Type - MultiContingent
No Yes
Order Type - OCO
No Yes
Order Type - OTO
No Yes
Order Type - OTOCO
No Yes
Offering of Investments 3 3
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Trading Platforms

Feature Merrill Edge Lightspeed
Desktop Platform (Windows)
Yes Yes
Desktop Platform (Mac)
Yes Yes
Web Platform
Yes Yes
Paper Trading
No Yes
Trade Journal
No No
Watch Lists - Total Fields
285 141
Two-Factor Authentication Login
Yes Yes
Heat Mapping
Yes No
Platforms & Tools 4 3
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Charting Features

Feature Merrill Edge Lightspeed
Charting - Trade Off Chart
Yes Yes
Charting - Indicators / Studies
95 20
Charting - Drawing Tools
22 8
Charting - Historical Trades
Yes Yes
Charting - Corporate Events
Yes No
Charting - Automated Analysis
Yes No
Charting - Save Profiles
Yes Yes
Charting - Study Customizations
8 4
Charting - Custom Studies
No No
Platforms & Tools 4 3
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Day Trading

Feature Merrill Edge Lightspeed
Stock Alerts - Basic Fields
Yes Yes
Stock Alerts - Advanced Fields
Yes No
Streaming Time & Sales
Yes Yes
Streaming TV
No No
Direct Market Routing - Stocks
No Yes
Direct Market Routing - Options
No Yes
Ladder Trading
No No
Trade Hot Keys
Yes Yes
Level 2 Quotes - Stocks
Yes Yes
Level 2 Quotes - Options
Yes Yes
Trade Ideas - Backtesting
Yes No
Short Locator
No Yes
Client Liquidity Rebates
No Yes
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Mobile Trading Apps

Feature Merrill Edge Lightspeed
iPhone App
Yes Yes
Android App
Yes Yes
Apple Watch App
Yes No
Trading - Stocks
Yes Yes
Trading - After-Hours
Yes No
Trading - Conditional Orders
No No
Trading - Mutual Funds
Yes No
Trading - Simple Options
Yes No
Trading - Complex Options
Yes No
Trading - Option Rolling
No No
Touch / Face ID
Yes No
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Mobile App Features

Feature Merrill Edge Lightspeed
Watch List Syncing
Yes No
Stock Alerts - Basic Fields
Yes No
Charting - After Hours
Yes No
Charting - Drawing
Yes No
Charting - Study Customizations
Yes No
Customizable Homescreen
Yes No
Heatmapping
Yes No
Stream Live TV
No No
Barcode Lookup
No No
Mobile Trading 4.5 1.5
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Research Overview

Feature Merrill Edge Lightspeed
Research - Stocks
Yes Yes
Research - ETFs
Yes No
Research - Mutual Funds
Yes No
Research - Pink Sheets / OTCBB
Yes No
Research - Fixed Income
Yes No
Screener - Stocks
Yes Yes
Screener - ETFs
Yes No
Screener - Mutual Funds
Yes No
Screener - Options
Yes No
Screener - Bonds
Yes No
Misc - Portfolio Builder
Yes No
Misc - Portfolio Allocation
Yes No
Research 4.5 1
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Stock Research

Feature Merrill Edge Lightspeed
Stock Research - Reports
3 0
Stock Research - Earnings
Yes No
Stock Research - Insiders
Yes Yes
Stock Research - Metric Comp
Yes No
Stock Research - SEC Filings
Yes No
Stock Research - Social
No Yes
Stock Research - Balance Sheet
Yes No
Stock Research - Cash Flows
Yes No
Stock Research - News
Yes Yes
Stock Research - ESG
Yes No
Research 4.5 1
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ETF Research

Feature Merrill Edge Lightspeed
ETFs - Strategy Overview
Yes No
ETFs - Top 10 Holdings
Yes No
ETFs - Sector Exposure
Yes No
ETFs - Risk Analysis
Yes No
ETFs - Performance Analysis
Yes No
ETFs - Ratings
Yes No
ETFs - Morningstar StyleMap
Yes No
ETFs - Reports
Yes No
Research 4.5 1
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Mutual Fund Research

Feature Merrill Edge Lightspeed
Mutual Funds - Strategy Overview
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Prospectus
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Reports
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Fees Breakdown
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Top 10 Holdings
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Asset Allocation
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Sector Allocation
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Country Allocation
Yes No
Mutual Funds - StyleMap
Yes No
Mutual Funds - 3rd Party Ratings
Yes No
Research 4.5 1
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Options Trading

Feature Merrill Edge Lightspeed
Option Chains - Streaming
Yes Yes
Option Chains - Total Columns
69 60
Option Chains - Greeks
5 5
Option Chains - Quick Analysis
Yes Yes
Option Analysis - P&L Charts
Yes Yes
Option Probability Analysis
Yes No
Option Probability Analysis Adv
No No
Option Positions - Greeks
Yes Yes
Option Positions - Adv Analysis
Yes No
Option Positions - Rolling
No Yes
Option Positions - Grouping
Yes Yes
Platforms & Tools 4 3
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Beginners

Feature Merrill Edge Lightspeed
Has Education - Stocks
Yes Yes
Has Education - ETFs
Yes No
Has Education - Options
Yes Yes
Has Education - Mutual Funds
Yes No
Has Education - Fixed Income
Yes No
Has Education - Retirement
Yes No
Paper Trading
No Yes
Videos
Yes Yes
Webinars (Monthly Avg)
0 1
Webinars (Archived)
No Yes
Live Seminars
Yes No
Progress Tracking
No No
Interactive Learning - Quizzes
Yes No
Investor Magazine
Yes No
Education 4.5 2.5
Winner check_circle

Banking

Feature Merrill Edge Lightspeed
Retail Locations
4400 0
Member FDIC
Yes No
Checking Accounts
Yes No
Savings Accounts
Yes No
Credit Cards
Yes No
Debit Cards
Yes No
Mortgage Loans
Yes No
No Fee Banking
No No
Banking 5 0.5
Winner check_circle

Overall

Feature Merrill Edge Lightspeed
Merrill Edge Review Lightspeed Review
Overall 4 2.5
Winner check_circle
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 vs Merrill Edge. Is Lightspeed 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 for placing regular stock trades ($6.95 and $4.50, respectively). With options, the base fees charged are $6.95 (Merrill Edge) and $0 (Lightspeed). Each option contract then costs $0.75 at Merrill Edge and $0.60 at Lightspeed. 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 supports Stock Trading, Options Trading and Futures Trading. When it comes to mutual funds, Merrill Edge boasts an offering of 3709 mutual funds compared to Lightspeed's 0 available funds.

Last but not least, by breaking down important features, tools, etc that each broker offers, we can really help to separate the two. Lightspeed has virtual trading, Merrill Edge doesn't. For mobile trading, Lightspeed along with Merrill Edge both support the 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 offered by Merrill Edge while Lightspeed offers none of these.

Overall, between Lightspeed and Merrill Edge, Merrill Edge is the winner.

Lightspeed Review
Merrill Edge Review


All pricing data was obtained from a published web site as of 02/18/2019 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. 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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