Merrill Edge – Best Features, Pros, and Cons

Merrill Edge is one of the leading discount brokers based in the US. It was initially known as Merrill Lynch and was acquired by BoA (Bank of America) in 2010 during the financial crisis. Because of the good reputation and the long track record of its parent company, Merrill Edge is opined as one of the safest discount brokers. With an award-winning research material, an awesome suite of tools, low fees, and good customer support, Merrill Edge seems to be a good broker for both beginners and seasoned vets. In this write-up, we’ll explore Merrill Edge’s platform, the pros and cons to figure out if Merrill Edge is the right discount broker for you!

Merrill Edge is a beginner-friendly, full-service broker for beginner and intermediate level traders. It has become the most cost-effective brokers because of its synergy with Bank of America.

Features:

merrill-edge

Account Types:

Many of the other online brokers offer limited account types due to which the customers have to look out for the other broker. Merrill Edge offers all types of accounts. Not only individual and joint accounts, Roth IRAs and traditional accounts, Merrill Edge also offers rarely used account types like SIMPLE IRA, solo 401k, guardianship, trust, SEP IRA, etc.

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Fees:

Please note that we’ve not discussed all the fees over here. We’ve just mentioned the fees for the services which we think are worth some detail.

Zero ATM Charges:

If you frequently cash withdraw using your ATM card, then a Merrill Edge account is the best deal for you. Because of its synergy with Bank of America, Merrill Edge could able to offer free ATM transactions at Bank of America ATMs. You won’t be charged any withdrawal fee if you use visa debit cards at Bank of America ATMs.

One of the main things that drive attention towards Merrill Edge is its no-transaction-fee feature. It’s true that Merrill Edge provides hundreds of NTF mutual funds. However, they will charge you $40 as a short-term redemption fee if you redeem your investment within 3 months. Though this fee is charged by many other brokers in the industry, we think it’s important to mention as customers may wrongly assume that there won’t be any transaction fees.

Education Material and Research:

Merrill’s education materials right from basics to the advanced topics for investors. Hundreds of articles and videos on the website explain stuff like personal finance, retirement planning, college planning, etc. They also provide great material for beginners on how to start investing etc.

One thing where Merrill Edge has got a real edge is its research on stocks, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). It collects the research data from sources like Lipper, Morningstar etc. They even have an incredible in-house team that creates lots of reports on stocks and provides economic news and market commentary. You’ll see charts, financial data, research reports, prospectus information, and lots of other stuff on each and every stock page.

Security:

Security is an important aspect especially when it comes to finance-related things. Merrill Edge ensures that its platform is completely secured. Merrill Edge has maintained a good reputation for security as there are no security breaches on its platform till yet.

Soft token for signing into the platform. High-risk authorization for trading available through email, phone, or text.

Face recognition or fingerprint scanner authorization (biometry entry) for mobile devices

Lloyd’s of London provides SIPC (Securities Investor Protection Corporation) in case of security breaches.

SafePass card offers the device token for high-risk trade authorization.

MERRILL-wealth-management

Pros and Cons:

Like all the investment brokers, Merrill Edge has got its own set of pros and cons.

Pros

  • Seamless integration with Bank of America to provide unique benefits
  • Brilliant portfolio analysis tool that gives you a complete idea of your assets.
  • Association with Bank of America also ensures handy customer support.
  • Excellent research and education material.

Cons

  • Because of the per-contract commission, Merrill Edge is not the ideal stock broker for options trading.
  • No cryptocurrency trading, futures or futures options

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Wrapping Up:

Overall, Merrill Edge offers an extraordinary technology especially for the long-term investors of beginner and intermediate level. The usability of the Merrill Edge platform is top-notch as it studies the client usage and makes it easy for the client to find the stuff which he/she uses the most. There are very few choices that are as convenient as Merrill Edge especially for the buy and hold cold. But the platform fails to offer convenience to the four-legged options traders, futures options traders, and derivatives traders.

We recommend Merrill Edge for beginners and intermediate-level traders.  Merrill Edge may not be the best choice for you if you are looking for a platform for active trading.