Comparing brokers side by side is no easy task. For our annual broker review, we assess over a dozen brokers on hundreds of different variables to find the best online broker
. Yielding a database of over 5,000 data points, let's compare Merrill Edge vs TradeStation Securities.
To start this comparison, first, we will take a look at the online broker commission rates for placing regular stock and options trades. Merrill Edge charges $6.95 per stock trade which is $1.95 more than TradeStation Securities which charges customers $5.00 per trade. With options, the base fees charged are $6.95 (Merrill Edge) and $5.00 (TradeStation Securities). TradeStation Securities's per contract rate of $0.50 is less than Merrill Edge which charges $0.75. It's important to note that not all brokers charge a flat fee per trade. Thus, it is important to read the full commission notes for each broker, which we include with each online broker review
Next to commission rates, being able to trade what you want is important. TradeStation Securities supports Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading while Merrill Edge supports Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds. Looking at mutual funds, Merrill Edge trails TradeStation Securities by 1,263 total mutual funds, with TradeStation Securities offering 4951 and Merrill Edge offering 3688. Commission free ETFs can also be valuable for customers, which for investors means access to 0 commission free ETFs at both brokers.
Trading access aside, by comparing popular features and functionality, we can break down relevant differences between both brokers. TradeStation Securities makes virtual trading available to clients, while Merrill Edge does not. Taking a look at mobile trading, Merrill Edge along with TradeStation Securities both support the iPhone App, iPad App and Android App. Not to be left out, online banking is also a nice benefit for many investors, and some brokerages provide these services to clients. Clients can have Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans at Merrill Edge while customers at TradeStation Securities can have none of these. On the whole, when it comes to tools, research, and mobile trading, TradeStation Securities finished with awards Best in Class - Platforms & Tools, while Merrill Edge came up with none of these.
Overall, Merrill Edge boasts 4.50 stars versus TradeStation Securities's 4.00 stars.