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Merrill Edge vs Ally Invest Review

Brandon Reinkensmeyer

Published by Brandon Reinkensmeyer


Thursday, May 25th, 2017

Using data from the StockBrokers.com 2017 Broker Rankings, we can compare Merrill Edge vs Ally Invest to determine which broker is better for you. Our database includes thousands of data points on everything from research to trading tools. Let's take a closer look at Merrill Edge and Ally Invest.

First we will break down the commission charges of both brokers for placing stock and options trades. Merrill Edge, with its regular stock trades costing $6.95, is more expensive than Ally Invest's rate of $4.95 per trade. With options, the base fees charged are $6.95 (Merrill Edge) and $4.95 (Ally Invest). Contracts are pricier at Merrill Edge, costing $0.75 versus $0.65 at Ally Invest, a difference of $0.10 per contract. Note that flat rate trading is not available everywhere though, so it is important to read the complete commission notes for each broker to know the full breakdown (go to any stock broker review page, then scroll down to the "Commission Notes" section).

Trading fees aside, having access to trade what you want is also an important consideration. Ally Invest provides its clients with Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds, Forex Trading and Futures Trading while Merrill Edge gives clients access to Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds. As far as mutual funds go, Ally Invest boasts an offering of 10138 compared to Merrill Edge's 7649 available funds. And, commission free ETFs deserve a mention, which is a wash in this comparison as both Merrill Edge and Ally Invest offer 0 funds.

Finally, by looking at the most popular features and offerings of each broker, we can really see the differences between the two. Ally Invest offers virtual trading while Merrill Edge does not. For mobile trading, Ally Invest supports the iPhone App and Android App while Merrill Edge supports the iPhone App, iPad App and Android App. Online banking is also used by many clients, and multiple brokerages provide these services. Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans are found at Merrill Edge alongside Ally Invest. All things considered, when it comes to platform tools, research, and trading via smartphone, Merrill Edge was rated for Best in Class - Research in 2014, while Ally Invest was rated for none of these.

Overall, both Merrill Edge and Ally Invest are rated 4.00 stars.
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Overall
Commissions & Fees
Offering of Investments
Platforms & Tools
Research
Customer Service
Mobile Trading
Ease of Use
Education
Order Execution
Banking
Stock Trade Fee (flat)
Options Base Fee
Options Per Contract Fee
Mutual Fund Trade Fee
Broker Assisted Trades Fee
Minimum Deposit
No Inactivity Fees
No Fee IRAs
Stock Trading
Options Trading
Mutual Funds
Forex Trading
Futures Trading
Desktop Platform (Windows)
Web Platform
Virtual Trading
Charting - Drawing Tools
Charting - Indicators / Studies
Option Chains - Total Columns
Watch Lists - Total Fields
iPhone App
iPad App
Android App
Android Tablet App
Apple Watch App
Trading - After-Hours
Trading - Mutual Funds
Trading - Conditional Orders
Trading - Simple Options
Trading - Complex Options
Commission Free ETFs
Mutual Funds (No Load)
Mutual Funds (Total)
# of Easy to Borrow Stocks
Retail Locations
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
Above $1,000,000.00
$500,000.00 to $999,999.99
Checking Accounts
Savings Accounts
Credit Cards
Debit Cards
Mortgage Loans
No Fee Banking
Merrill Edge
Special Offer Invest in a new account and get up to $600 Learn More
Merrill Edge Review
 
4
4.5
3
3.5
4.5
4.5
4
4.5
4
3.5
5
 
$6.95
$6.95
$0.75
$19.95
$29.95
$0.00
Yes
Yes
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
 
No
Yes
No
22
73
62
216
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
 
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
 
0
2764
7649
3793
2161
 
8.88%
7.75%
7.75%
6.38%
6.38%
5.50%
6.13%
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Ally Invest
Special Offer Reduced pricing available for high-volume/high-balance traders Learn More
Ally Invest Review
 
4
4.5
4
4
4
4
3
3
4
1.5
4
 
$4.95
$4.95
$0.65
$9.95
$20.00
$0.00
Yes
Yes
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
28
84
15
21
 
Yes
No
Yes
No
No
 
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
 
0
5216
10138
3890
0
 
8.00%
8.00%
7.00%
5.75%
4.75%
4.25%
4.25%
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes

All pricing data was obtained from a published web site as of 2/20/2017 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. The StockBrokers.com staff is constantly working with its online broker representatives to obtain the latest pricing data. If you believe any data listed above is inaccurate, please contact us using the link at the bottom of this page. 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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