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 Merrill Edge vs Robinhood.
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 $6.95 more than Robinhood which charges customers $0 per trade. With options, the base fees charged are $6.95 (Merrill Edge) and $0 (Robinhood). Each option contract then costs $0.75 at Merrill Edge and $0 at Robinhood. 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. Robinhood provides its clients with Stock Trading and Options Trading while Merrill Edge provides clients access to Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds. Looking at mutual funds, Merrill Edge boasts an offering of 3688 mutual funds compared to Robinhood's 0 available funds. Commission free ETFs can also be valuable for customers, with Merrill Edge falling behind Robinhood, offering 0 commission free ETFs compared to Robinhood's 499.
Trading access aside, by comparing popular features and functionality, we can break down relevant differences between both brokers. Merrill Edge nor Robinhood offers virtual trading. Taking a look at mobile trading, Merrill Edge along with Robinhood 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. Clients can have Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans at Merrill Edge while customers at Robinhood can have none of these. On the whole, when it comes to tools, research, and mobile trading, neither Merrill Edge nor Robinhood were rated Best in Class - Platforms & Tools, Best in Class - Research and Best in Class - Mobile Trading.
Overall, Merrill Edge boasts 4.50 stars versus Robinhood's 2.50 stars.