Merrill Edge Review
Merrill Edge offers clients both banking and brokerage services under one roof. The broker was founded in 2010 by Bank of America (BofA) and offers commission-free trading on US stocks and ETFs. They are highly regulated and have credibility due to their parent company, BofA being listed on the stock exchange. Currently, Merril Edge only serves clients in the US.
|Nationalities||USA clients only|
|Is a corporate Account Possible?||YES|
|Sign Up process||FAST|
|Funding options||Wire transfers, check, transfer from linked Bank of America account|
|Forex: Spot Trading||NO|
Regulation and Trust
Merrill Edge is regulated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Clients are also protected by the Bank of America Securities. However, Merrill Edge do not offer any negative balance protection.
Commissions & Fees
Merrill Edge does not charge any annual account fees and charges no commission on online stock and ETF trades. However, for stocks and ETFs, a transaction fee between $0.01 and $0.03 is charged per $1000 of principal. Options trades are also free but do incur a $0.65 per contract fee. Mutual fund fees are $19.95 per online transaction (buy, sell, or exchange). Merrill Edge offers no ATM charges, free checkbooks and no charge for online bill payments. A full account transfer will cost you $49.95
Merrill Edge has a strong focus on helping the community and making banking simpler. Bank of America Corporation, as part of their CSR, have helped organizations including Boys & Girls Club of America. In 2019, employees volunteered 2 million hours of their time.
Merrill Edge has also built a large community on social media. They have 102.5 thousand followers on Twitter, 14,560 followers on LinkedIn and 4,660 subscribers on their YouTube channel.
If you are already a Bank of America client, then setting up a Merrill Edge account is easy and simple. The website is clean and clear with multiple screeners to search between stocks, ETFs and bonds. However, it only offers limited customization. Their MarketPro platform which is now available to all clients is user friendly, customizable and allows you to build your own watchlists and set alerts. Their mobile app has advanced features and replicates the web trading platform. It supports both Face ID and biometric login making the login process safe and easy. Merrill Edge delivers fast executions and aim to execute with the best price every time. Orders are executed in 0.037 seconds and 93.39% of orders execute better than the quoted price.
Functionality and Tools
Merrill Edge offers limited technical indicators and charting tools. Merrill Edge offer a stock screener tool with over 200 filters. Results from this can be saved and downloaded. If you would like more sophisticated tools and charts then the Merrill Edge MarketPro platform has alerts, supports Level 2 and has a customizable dashboard.
Traders also have access to quality research from Merrill Edge’s own BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research, as well as third-party providers, including Morningstar and CFRA. Whilst there are great beginner educational materials available on the website, Merrill Edge do not offer a demo account. They also do not support backtesting.
Merrill Edge offers both a website trading platform and an active trader platform, Merrill Edge MarketPro. This platform is available to all Merrill Edge clients and offers even more insights and tools. Traders have the option to trade stocks, over 1000 ETFs, thousands of mutual funds, options, fixed income and bonds. They also offer the Merrill Guided Investing which allows you to have a professionally managed portfolio based on your goals. This type of account requires a $5,000 minimum investment with an annual program fee of 0.45% on the assets in the account, charged monthly.
The Merrill Edge mobile application for both iOS and Android is available to download for free from the respective app stores. The iOS app has a 4.7 star rating whilst the android version received a 4 star rating.
Merrill Edge offers 24/7 live chat support as well as phone support. They also have a dedicated hearing-impaired line. You can also speak to a Merrill Edge advisor in person at one of the many Bank of America financial centres. On top of this, Merrill Edge offers a great service where you can find an advisor, based on your preferences, and speak about your goals. You can search for an advisor in a particular city with 46 different language options.
If you already have an account with Bank of America, then it would be a smart decision to open a Merrill Edge account as well. Whilst their platform is robust and comprehensive, they offer limited types of securities. Traders are unable to trade cryptocurrency, futures and forex. Merrill Edge have high-quality research and if you can make use of the free stock and ETF trades then this might be the broker for you.