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 Ally Invest. Is Merrill Edge or Ally Invest a better online broker?
First, we will make a comparison of the stock and option trading fees for trading with both brokers. Merrill Edge charges more than Ally Invest for placing regular stock trades ($6.95 and $4.95, respectively). Looking at trading options, Ally Invest's base fee is $4.95 while Merrill Edge's is $6.95. Ally Invest's per contract rate of $0.65 is less than Merrill Edge which charges $0.75. 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. Ally Invest 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, Ally Invest boasts an offering of 10264 mutual funds compared to Merrill Edge's 3688 available funds. Commission free ETFs can also be a nice plus, which in this case means trading a possible 0 commission free ETFs at both brokers.
Last but not least, by breaking down important features, tools, etc that each broker offers, we can really help to separate the two. Neither broker offers virtual trading. For mobile trading, Merrill Edge along with Ally Invest 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. Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans are found at Merrill Edge alongside Ally Invest. On the whole, when it comes to tools, research, and mobile trading, Merrill Edge posted awards Best in Class - Research in 2018, while Ally Invest found itself with none of these.
Overall, both Merrill Edge and Ally Invest are rated 4.00 stars.