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TD Ameritrade vs Merrill Edge Review

Blain Reinkensmeyer

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 Merrill Edge better than TD Ameritrade? Based on over 4,000 data points from our 2019 annual broker review, TD Ameritrade (86.98%) is better than Merrill Edge (77.93%). The extra cost of trading with TD Ameritrade is worth every cent – the brokerage delivers fantastic platforms, research, mobile apps, education, and customer service. This outstanding all-round experience makes TD Ameritrade our No. 1 overall broker in 2019.

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Overall

Trading Fees

Minimum Deposit
Stock Trade Fee (per trade)
Options Base Fee
Options Per Contract Fee
Mutual Fund Trade Fee
Broker Assisted Trades Fee
IRA Annual Fee
IRA Closure Fee
Commissions & Fees
Winner

Margin Rates

Under $24,999.99
$25,000.00 to $49,999.99
$50,000.00 to $99,999.99
$100,000.00 to $249,999.99
$250,000.00 to $499,999.99
$500,000.00 to $999,999.99
Above $1,000,000.00
Commissions & Fees
Winner

Trading Platforms

Desktop Platform (Windows)
Desktop Platform (Mac)
Web Platform
Paper Trading
Trade Journal
Watch Lists - Total Fields
Two-Factor Authentication Login
Heat Mapping
Platforms & Tools
Winner

Charting Features

Charting - Trade Off Chart
Charting - Indicators / Studies
Charting - Drawing Tools
Charting - Historical Trades
Charting - Corporate Events
Charting - Automated Analysis
Charting - Save Profiles
Charting - Study Customizations
Charting - Custom Studies
Platforms & Tools
Winner

Day Trading

Stock Alerts - Basic Fields
Stock Alerts - Advanced Fields
Streaming Time & Sales
Streaming TV
Direct Market Routing - Stocks
Direct Market Routing - Options
Ladder Trading
Trade Hot Keys
Level 2 Quotes - Stocks
Level 2 Quotes - Options
Trade Ideas - Backtesting
Short Locator
Client Liquidity Rebates
Winner

Mobile Trading

iPhone App
Android App
Apple Watch App
Trading - Stocks
Trading - After-Hours
Trading - Conditional Orders
Trading - Mutual Funds
Trading - Simple Options
Trading - Complex Options
Trading - Option Rolling
Touch / Face ID
Watch List Syncing
Stock Alerts - Basic Fields
Stock Alerts - Advanced Fields
Charting - After Hours
Charting - Drawing
Charting - Study Customizations
Customizable Homescreen
Heatmapping
Stream Live TV
Barcode Lookup
Mobile Trading
Winner

Research Overview

Research - Stocks
Research - ETFs
Research - Mutual Funds
Research - Pink Sheets / OTCBB
Research - Fixed Income
Research - Futures
Research - Forex
Screener - Stocks
Screener - ETFs
Screener - Mutual Funds
Screener - Options
Screener - Bonds
Misc - Portfolio Builder
Misc - Portfolio Allocation
Research
Winner

Stock Research

Stock Research - Reports
Stock Research - Earnings
Stock Research - Insiders
Stock Research - Metric Comp
Stock Research - SEC Filings
Stock Research - Social
Stock Research - Balance Sheet
Stock Research - Cash Flows
Stock Research - News
Stock Research - ESG
Research
Winner

Fund Research

ETFs - Strategy Overview
ETFs - Top 10 Holdings
ETFs - Sector Exposure
ETFs - Risk Analysis
ETFs - Performance Analysis
ETFs - Ratings
ETFs - Morningstar StyleMap
ETFs - Reports
Mutual Funds - Strategy Overview
Mutual Funds - Prospectus
Mutual Funds - Reports
Mutual Funds - Fees Breakdown
Mutual Funds - Top 10 Holdings
Mutual Funds - Asset Allocation
Mutual Funds - Sector Allocation
Mutual Funds - Country Allocation
Mutual Funds - StyleMap
Mutual Funds - 3rd Party Ratings
Research
Winner

Options Trading

Option Chains - Streaming
Option Chains - Total Columns
Option Chains - Greeks
Option Chains - Quick Analysis
Option Analysis - P&L Charts
Option Probability Analysis
Option Probability Analysis Adv
Option Positions - Greeks
Option Positions - Adv Analysis
Option Positions - Rolling
Option Positions - Grouping
Platforms & Tools
Winner

Investments

Stock Trading
OTCBB / Pink Sheets
Options Trading
Complex Options Max Legs
Futures Trading
Forex Trading
Commission-Free ETFs
Mutual Funds (No Load)
Mutual Funds (Total)
Bonds (US Treasury)
Bonds (Corporate)
Bonds (Municipal)
Advisor Services
International Trading
Offering of Investments
Winner

Order Types

Order Type - Market
Order Type - Limit
Order Type - Stop
Order Type - Trailing Stop
Order Type - Contingent
Order Type - MultiContingent
Order Type - OCO
Order Type - OTO
Order Type - OTOCO
Offering of Investments
Winner

Beginners

Has Education - Stocks
Has Education - ETFs
Has Education - Options
Has Education - Mutual Funds
Has Education - Fixed Income
Has Education - Retirement
Paper Trading
Videos
Webinars (Monthly Avg)
Webinars (Archived)
Live Seminars
Progress Tracking
Interactive Learning - Quizzes
Investor Magazine
Education
Winner

Banking

Retail Locations
Member FDIC
Checking Accounts
Savings Accounts
Credit Cards
Debit Cards
Mortgage Loans
No Fee Banking
Banking
Winner

Overall

Overall
Winner
Exclusive Offer Trade free for 90 days + get up to $600 Learn More
$0.00
$6.95
$6.95
$0.75
$49.99
$44.99
$0.00
$0.00
3.5
10.25%
10.00%
9.00%
8.75%
8.50%
8.50%
7.75%
3.5
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Yes
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514
Yes
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5
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Yes
411
22
Yes
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9
Yes
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4.5
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Yes
Yes
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Yes
Yes
Yes
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5
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7
Yes
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No
5
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Yes
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Yes
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Yes
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4
Yes
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313
5185
12418
Yes
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4.5
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Yes
Yes
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Yes
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4.5
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Yes
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500
Yes
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Yes
Yes
5
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364
No
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
3
4.5
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Special Offer Invest in a new account and get up to $600 Learn More
$0.00
$6.95
$6.95
$0.75
$19.95
$29.95
$0.00
$49.95
4
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10.63%
9.50%
9.50%
8.13%
8.13%
7.88%
7.25%
4
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Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
285
Yes
Yes
4
Yes
95
22
Yes
Yes
Yes
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8
No
4
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No
No
No
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No
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No
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No
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No
4.5
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
Yes
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Yes
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4.5
3
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
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Yes
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4.5
Yes
69
5
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No
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No
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4
Yes
Yes
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2
No
No
0
2471
3709
Yes
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No
3
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No
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0
No
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
4.5
4400
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
5
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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 Merrill Edge vs TD Ameritrade. Is Merrill Edge or TD Ameritrade a better online broker?

First, we will make a comparison of the stock and option trading fees for trading with both brokers. Merrill Edge and TD Ameritrade have equal fees for trading stocks (equities), $6.95 per trade. With options, the base fee is $6.95 for both Merrill Edge and TD Ameritrade. Option contracts run $0.75 a piece at both brokerages. 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. TD Ameritrade offers clients Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds, Forex Trading and Futures Trading while Merrill Edge offers Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds. When it comes to mutual funds, TD Ameritrade boasts an offering of 12418 mutual funds compared to Merrill Edge's 3709 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. TD Ameritrade offers virtual trading while Merrill Edge does not. For mobile trading, Merrill Edge along with TD Ameritrade 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. Clients can have Checking Accounts, Debit Cards and Credit Cards at TD Ameritrade while customers at Merrill Edge can have Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans.

Overall, between Merrill Edge and TD Ameritrade, TD Ameritrade is the winner.

Merrill Edge Review
TD Ameritrade 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.

TD Ameritrade, Inc. and StockBrokers.com are separate, unaffiliated companies and are not responsible for each other’s services and products. View terms.

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