Comparing brokers side by side is no easy task. For our 2017 Broker Review
, we factored in 308 different variables to assess 16 different brokers. So when taking a look at Merrill Edge vs Scottrade, there is a huge database of information available to us.
To start this comparison, first we will take a look at the broker commission rates for placing regular stock and options trades. Merrill Edge and Scottrade charge the same amount for regular stock trades, $6.95. With options, the base fee is $6.95 for both Merrill Edge and Scottrade. At a difference of $0.05 per contract, Scottrade's per contract rate of $0.70 is less than Merrill Edge which charges $0.75. Not all brokers charge a flat rate fee per trade though, so it is important to read the full commission notes to know the complete breakdown (go to any online broker review
page, then scroll to the "Commissions Notes" section).
Next to commission rates, being able to trade the instrument you want is important. Merrill Edge alongside Scottrade offer clients Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds. Looking at mutual funds, Scottrade offers its clients access to 13599 different mutual funds while Merrill Edge has 7649 available funds, a difference of 5,950.00. Commission free ETFs also should not be forgotten, which in this case means trading a possible 0 funds at both brokers.
Lastly, taking a look at popular features and functionality, we can go a bit deeper to really break down the difference of both brokers. Scottrade offers virtual trading while Merrill Edge does not. Taking a look at mobile trading, Both Merrill Edge and Scottrade offer clients access to an 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 and Debit Cards are offered by Scottrade while Merrill Edge offers Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans. On the whole, when it comes to tools, research, and trading on the go, Merrill Edge finished with awards for Best in Class - Research in 2014, while Scottrade came up with none of these.
Overall, both Merrill Edge and Scottrade hold a 4.00 star rating.