Serving over 1.4 million households nationwide, Merrill Edge is an investment company with more than $114 billion in assets under management. Acquired by Bank of America in 2009, the broker does not only offer the convenience of Bank of America banking but also provides access to the investment products of the bank.
Merrill Edge offers a wide selection of investment choices that include self-directed accounts that are available online and Merrill Edge Advisory Center accounts that are available at select Bank of America financial centers across the country.
Merrill Edge brokerage offers flat rate commissions. The trading fee is $6.95, which is a little lower than what is offered by other full-service brokers, such as Etrade ($9.99) and Fidelity ($7.95). Options cost $6.95 + 0.75 per contract. The industry average is about $7 per transaction, which is what Scottrade is now charging. Optionshouse and TradeKing charge is $4.95 per trade, which is even lower. There is no surcharge for automated phone stock and ETFs trades. Broker-assisted trades cost $29.95.
Merrill Edge provides 30 free stock and ETFs trades per month to all customers with $25,000 total assets in their accounts, including self-directed investing accounts and Bank of America deposit accounts. Moreover, Bank of America preferred programs customers receive 100 free stock and ETFs trades per month.
The industry average mutual fund fee is $19.95. The broker offers no load and no transaction fee funds. The $39.95 short-term redemption fee is pretty high, but it can be avoided if funds will be held for 90 days or more.
Merrill Edge brokerage and IRA accounts have no minimum funding or balance requirements and no maintenance or inactivity fees. Setting up an IRA is also free of charge. However, $49.95 will be charged for an account transfer or closure.
Merrill Edge Platforms and Trading Tools
The brokerage offers web-based trading, mobile trading and MarketPro trading platform. Merrill Edge MarketPro is a dynamic trading software available to active traders, to investors who make at least 15 self-directed trades per quarter and to all customers with total combined balances of $50,000 or more in their Bank of America banking and Merrill Lynch investment accounts. Unlike Merrill Edge MarketPro trading platform, the absolute industry leader free sophisticated trading platform Thinkorswim by TD Ameritrade is offered to all customers without any charge or conditions.
The Merrill Edge MarketPro platform offers streaming and interactive charting, real-time market data and insights, and a fully customizable dashboard. Yet even with a variety of bells and whistles, the platform still has several drawbacks, which can become critical to active traders.
Merrill Edge Mobile is available on iPhone, iPad and Android. With this app, customers can check their investing and linked Bank of America accounts, trade equities, transfer funds, make a research, monitor market and watch news.
Merrill Edge Research and Education
The company provides an outstanding research, yet it only has a smaller number of independent resources compared with what other major brokerage companies offer (for example TD Ameritrade provides 13 resources). Merrill Edge offers research from Morningstar, S&P Capital IQ and Recognia along with BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research. Investors can benefit from the market activity, news and analysis in Thomson Reuters free of charge.
A wide selection of educational materials such as videos, articles, webinars and planning tools are available at Investor Education center. The educational materials, numerous tools and calculator are well-designed and organized by categories. New investors will especially benefit from those materials.
Merrill Edge Customer Support
Merrill Edge provides a great customer support. Investment experts can be reached via phone 24/7, email, an online chat system or by making a free appointment with a specialist at the financial center. The free appointment service covers addressing customers 'inquiries related to an account opening, renewal or account maintenance. Local one-on-one guidance and advice are only available to Merrill Edge Advisory Center customers.
|Trading Platforms||Online Investing, Mobile Investing, Merrill Edge MarketPro|
|Bonuses & Discounts|
|Phone:||1 888 637 3343|
|Address:||677 Centre St, Boston, MA 02130, USA|
Find another service; don't put your money with Merrill Edge. Every distribution (4) that I have tried to do has been mishandled. Whether an education savings account or a mandatory distribution from an IRA it has been bungled. Most have required the same form faxed 2-3 times because it can't be found despite a confirmation of delivery on my end. Despite requests for a call to acknowledge receipt, they never come. After long holds and much searching, I'll hear, "we found it". Most recently my mandatory IRA distribution was handled by the head of quality (ironically) who was helping cover in a busy time. I was assured of the distribution and now on 1/7; I see that it did not happen. My accounts with T Rowe Price and TIAA CREF run very smoothly. Stay away from this incompetent organization.  Richard   2016/10/10 10:31
Not much good to say here unfortunately - they tricked me into thinking this would be easier and more cost effective due to my existing BoA accounts. Big Mistake! The initial Merrill Edge advisor at a BoA branch consistently provided me with inaccurate information to convince me to set up a SEP IRA. Then, every single contribution in 2015 was categorized incorrectly, whether online or by phone. Of course, they cannot and/or will not make any error corrections - they claim that they are not able to do so. The people on the phone are less than useless as well.  mark_antes   2016/10/10 10:31
Don't Open An Account With Merrill Edge!! When I began the process of deciding which online brokerage firm to open an account with, I was very optimistic that Merrill Edge was the optimal choice. Just a week later, I realize that I was dead wrong! The process of opening a new account, setting up an ACH, funding the account, and verifying the funds has been extremely labor intensive, time consuming, and overall frustrating. Although the articles I've read both online and on the Merrill Edge website advertise the ease of opening/funding a new account, the reality is quite the opposite. It took an extremely long time to set-up the ACH, and it wasn't until I called to complain did the application make it to the top of the pile for processing. I would hate to think what would have happened if I hadn't called to complain. And another surprise was encountered when I attempted to fund the account and discovered that yet another step was required, and another four (4) days of waiting time and inactivity. And after the account was funded, it took another three (3) days for the funds to be verified. But on their website, they say it only takes three days to fund an account. Completely not true, as I am going on my seventh (7th) day and the account is still not ready to trade. Unfortunately, till this day, thirteen (13) days since initiating the new account, I am still unable to trade.It has become painfully obvious to me that Merrill Edge does not welcome new clients without a Bank of America account. If I would have know about that, I would have never begun this process, and would have taken my business elsewhere. So save yourself some heartache and go elsewhere!!  MAD   2016/10/10 10:31
That is funny. I am having exactly the same experience, including the "top of the pile" feedback, and I am a BoA customer. Filled out application 2 weeks ago and still no account vs. the 1-2 days they advertise. I need to change banksMAD 2016/10/10 10:31
Stay away from this company. Anti client company. I wish I would never put my money there. But now I am out of there for good.  Nara   2016/10/10 10:31
The only reason I opened a Merryll Edge (ME) account was because I really like BoA banking. At one point I had over $80K in the self directed account and little by little based on the delayed quotes and executions to either buy or sell a stock, the account was drained of $45k in loss. During these incidents I would contact customer service and get the run around, get blamed for not contacting them a "minute before" in order to get help or get good orders cancelled by the system without a good explanation besides system malfunction. Their customer service is the worst in the industry and their motto is " Merryll Lynch is not completely satisfied until the customer is completely disastified". DO NOT USE THESE CROOK. Their trading platform is antiquated, slow and inaccurate. DO NOT LOSE MONEY WITH THIS BROKER  FelipeT.   2016/10/10 10:31
Have been using Edge for many years. Today, I decided to close my account due to delay executing orders. Bu the time I clicked "buy" to the time they executed, it was a 45 second delay, and consequently instead of making 5k in a trade, I lost 6k due to delay. This is unacceptable. So long!  J.Arujo   2016/10/10 10:31
Unless you like to be aggravated take your business elsewhere. They are so hard up for new customers they will say anything they have to to get your money. Been trading for 40 years with a half dozen different brokers but never experienced what's going on here. Brokers have a series 7 license and I thought that they would do the right thing even if only to protect their license. But at Merrill they don't care. They will say whatever it takes. I just filed a complaint with the s.e.c.. If you don't have an account with them stay away. If you have an account with them file a complaint with the s.e.c. If enough people complain rather than post on the internet they might stop screwing their customers.  Gary   2016/10/10 10:31
Merrill Lynch was acquired and launched by Bank of America. Despite the acquisition, Merrill Edge is not restricted to customers from Bank of America. Instead, any investor can open a Merrill Edge account. It is rather convenient.  Jack   2016/12/08 14:44