Merrill Edge Review
After being established in 2010, Merrill Edge gained a lot of traction. Over time, it managed to attract millions of clients, not only thanks to their offers, but also due to their customer support. With more than ten years of experience, the platform seems to be on the right track and is strong competition for other similar platforms.
Nevertheless, if you are new to trading or if you are hearing about Merrill Edge for the first time, it can be difficult to know whether this is the right option for you or not. After all, it is one broker among so many others. What does it have to offer that makes it special? Moreover, is it a broker you can trust? You can find out the answers to these questions in this review.
Who Is Merrill Edge for?
Merrill Edge is a wonderful option for social, environmental, and governance investors, but it is also great for Bank of America customers. Basically, all people who want to invest in the long-term and are beginners or intermediate-level investors can make use of Merrill Edge. The service variety and the technology of the platform make it a popular platform. But that is not all.
As mentioned, Bank of America customers can also benefit from the platform, and that is because it gives easier options for individuals wanting a face-to-face financial consultant contract. People can simply go to any branch of the Bank of America when they need help.
Furthermore, people who want to learn more about trading will also love Merrill Edge, as it offers a lot of educational resources.
Things We Like
There are many things we like about Merrill Edge. For instance, the Bank of America integration is one of the perks of using this service. The broker is a Bank of America product, which ended up being the case after Merrill Lynch was acquired by the bank. So, people who use both of these services will be at advantage. For instance, you can simply log in and see both your Merrill Edge account and your Bank of America account at the same time. Besides, you can make transfers between the accounts in real-time, which is an advantage we love.
The friendly user experience is also something that made us like Merrill Edge. There are two tools that were just introduced in 2021: Idea Builder and Dynamic Insights. Idea Builder lets people find new opportunities for investing, whereas Dynamic Insights works as a customizable dashboard and also lets you see an analysis of your research, news, and portfolio.
People who have a Bank of America Account and are also Merrill Edge customers have the chance to qualify for the Preferred Rewards program. This gives people access to several promotions and discounts, and we also found this to be a particularly useful thing.
Things We Don’t Like
All things have downsides, and Merrill Edge is no exception. So, what we do not like is that the platform is pretty limited when it comes to securities. There are fewer security types available, and Forex and futures trading is not possible. So, anyone who wants this type of trading will have to look somewhere else for it.
Pros / Cons
- Low trading fees
- Easy and seamless account opening
- Strong parent company
- Limited to US clients and products
- No demo account
- Few options for deposit/withdrawal
Safety and Regulation
Merrill Edge has been around for some time, and it is easy to stumble upon it when making a Google search for online brokers. It is a great platform to use in the long term and one that offers plenty of information. Still, there are more things you should discover about it. Before you sign up and start trading with Merrill Edge, the right thing to do is to find out everything you can about it, so you know what you are getting into.
Who Is Merrill Edge?
Merrill Edge is a broker that was established back in 2010. It is a US-based broker, and it was founded by Bank of America. This happened because back in 2008, when the financial crisis was still going, the bank acquired Merrill Lynch. They managed to combine the Merrill Lynch investment expertise with their online investing arm, and that is how Merrill Edge was born.
The stockbroker is known to offer ETF trades, but also options, stocks, and bonds. Besides, stock trading is free of commission, and the account minimum is only $0. There are no inactivity or closing fees, and there are no annual fees either. There are also over 3,000 no-transaction-fee mutual funds.
Is Merrill Edge Regulated?
Merrill Edge is a regulated brokerage. In fact, it is regulated by two high-authority entities. These are the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Is Merrill Edge Safe?
Merrill Edge is usually considered to be very safe, mainly because it has a large bank as its parent company. Besides, not only has it been around for a pretty long time, but it also has a good reputation and it’s regulated by top-tier authorities.
Merrill Edge has a high level of investor protection, and people have the peace of mind of belonging to a high-tier financial authority, which is great. The only downside is the fact that there is no protection for negative balance.
Countries It Accepts Clients from
The company does not accept clients from everywhere in the world. Only people who live in the U.S. can use it. It only offers US-based products.
Merrill Edge has won a few awards thanks to its amazing services. For instance, they won Kiplinger’s #1 User Experience award, and they were also rated #1 for Client Dashboard and Overall client experience by StockBrokers.com.
Range of Offerings and Products
The company has various services you can use. It has several tradable securities for its clients, which can be traded across the trading platforms available. People can trade stocks, bonds, ETFs, options, and mutual funds.
It is essential to know that on the mobile app, you cannot trade fixed income. Also, there is no cryptocurrency trading available, and the same goes for futures and futures options.
A mobile app and a web platform are available for Merrill Edge. When it comes to the web app, what we noted from the get-go is how user-friendly it is. The design is very sleek, and navigating it feels very nice. You can get a clear fee report, and when you log into your account, you will have a two-step login, which makes the platform safer overall. But despite that, there is one major downside – customizability is limited in terms of workspace and charts.
The mobile platform is just as user-friendly. You can easily use it and enjoy a smoothly working platform. The login process is just as safe as for the web platform due to the two-step process. Face ID and touch login are also available, making things easier for investors. Unfortunately, it is dragged down by the bad search function.
There is no shortage of account types when it comes to Merrill Edge. Choosing between a series of account types just ensures every investor can have his/her own unique experience. Some account types include Trust, Small Business, Joint Brokerage Account, Online Brokerage Account, Custodial Account, 529 College Savings Plan, Merrill Guided Investing with an advisor, Merrill Guided Investing and Rollover/Traditional/Roth IRA.
Depositing money is easy on Merrill Edge, and the cool thing is that you have no deposit fee. But the downside is that you can only make deposits through bank transfer, so e-wallet and card deposits are not available. On top of that, there is only one base currency allowed, respectively USD.
Most account types require no minimum deposit. However, a 529 NextGen Direct account will ask for a $25 deposit. Open guided accounts will also come with a minimum deposit between $5,000-$20,000.
Withdrawals are also possible only through bank transfer, just like deposits. There is no fee charged for the transfer, but it may take over 3 business days to receive the money.
Merrill Edge offers no demo account, which we found a bit disappointing.
Merrill Edge Promotions
Sometimes, Merrill Edge offers promotions, but only during certain periods. You would have to keep an eye on the platform to know when promotions are available.
Client Support and Education
Educational materials can be found on Merrill Edge. For example, you can find several informative videos, and there is also a trading platform material. But there is no demo account, and that is a huge letdown.
Verdict – Overall Rating
Merrill Edge can be amazing for long-term investors and beginners, and it’s also a safe option due to its experience and its connection to the Bank of America. Not to mention that it is properly regulated. Some improvements could be made, though, such as adding more educational materials and a demo account. The fact that deposits and withdrawals can only be done through bank transfers is not too pleasant either. But for people who do not mind these things, Merrill Edge can offer a great experience.
All brokers listed on our website are regulated by at least one financial regulator and have never been reported as a scam. Our reviews and overall scores are based on the key areas above, in a combination with our opinion and commentary.
The reviews are shared and discussed with the brokers, but the authors of our website always have the final word. Furthermore, we always strive to keep the information on our website updated and relevant for our readers.
What helps us stand out is that we always test our brokers with an anonymous live account, to ensure we deliver the most accurate information and experience to our readers. Finally, our reviews and evaluation are always independent of any financial compensation we may receive from the brokers.
There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities.
With respect to margin-based foreign exchange trading, off-exchange derivatives, and cryptocurrencies, there is considerable exposure to risk, including but not limited to, leverage, creditworthiness, limited regulatory protection, and market volatility that may substantially affect the price or liquidity of a currency or related instrument. It should not be assumed that the methods, techniques, or indicators presented in these products will be profitable, or that they will not result in losses. Learn more at Wikipedia.
All investments involve risks and are not suitable for every investor. The value of securities may fluctuate and as a result, clients may lose more than their original investment. The past performance of a security or financial product does not guarantee future results or returns. Keep in mind that while diversification may help spread risk it does not assure a profit, or protect against the loss, in a down market.
There is always the potential of losing money when you invest in securities or other financial products. Investors should consider their investment objectives and risks carefully before investing. More details here.
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