Using data from the StockBrokers.com 2017 Broker Review which tested 16 different online brokers
over six months, we can compare Merrill Edge vs Scottrade 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 and Scottrade charge the same amount for regular stock trades, $6.95. Looking at options, the base fees charged are the same for both brokers, $6.95. Each option contract then costs $0.75 at Merrill Edge and $0.70 at Scottrade. 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 alongside Scottrade offer clients Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds. As far as mutual funds go, Merrill Edge trails Scottrade by 5,950 total mutual funds, with Scottrade offering 13599 and Merrill Edge offering 7649. And, commission free ETFs deserve a comparison, which for investors means access to 0 commission free ETFs at both brokers.
Finally, by comparing the each broker's website and platform features, we can surface interesting differences. Scottrade has virtual trading, Merrill Edge doesn't. For mobile trading, Merrill Edge and Scottrade 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 and Debit Cards at Scottrade while customers at Merrill Edge can have Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans. All factors considered, when it comes to platform tools, research, and mobile trading, Merrill Edge was rated Best in Class - Research in 2017, while Scottrade was rated none of these.
Overall, both Merrill Edge and Scottrade are rated 4.00 stars.