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 TradeStation Securities. Is Merrill Edge or TradeStation Securities 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 TradeStation Securities for placing regular stock trades ($6.95 and $5.00, respectively). Looking at trading options, TradeStation Securities's base fee is $5.00 while Merrill Edge's is $6.95. TradeStation Securities's per contract rate of $0.50 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. TradeStation Securities provides its clients with Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading while Merrill Edge provides clients access to Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds. When it comes to mutual funds, TradeStation Securities boasts an offering of 4951 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. TradeStation Securities offers virtual trading while Merrill Edge does not. For mobile trading, Merrill Edge along with TradeStation Securities 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 available to clients of Merrill Edge while TradeStation Securities offers customers none of these. On the whole, when it comes to tools, research, and mobile trading, TradeStation Securities was rated Best in Class - Platforms & Tools, while Merrill Edge was rated none of these.
Overall, Merrill Edge comes out on top with 4.50 stars over TradeStation Securities's 4.00 stars.