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.