Merrill Edge

1 888 637 3343
677 Centre St, Boston, MA 02130, USA

Merrill Edge combines high-quality customer service with low commissions and fees — including a limited number of commission-free trades to customers who meet minimum balance requirements. Customers of parent company Bank of America will love the seamless, thoughtful integration, with a single login to access both investment and bank accounts. The company is best for casual traders, though its pricing on penny stocks is very favorable.

Merrill Edge offers a variety of account options, including IRAs, 529s, and taxable investment accounts. It also offers an array of investment choices, including mutual funds, stocks, ETFs, options, and annuities.

  • Flat-rate (no tier) pricing of $6.95 per trade on stocks and ETFs
  • Up to 30 free trades per month after meeting certain qualifications
  • A broad range of investment choices, including stocks, options, ETFs, annuities, and mutual funds
  • Complete view of Merrill Edge investment accounts and Bank of America bank accounts in one place
  • Online tools such as the Retirement Evaluator, Asset Allocator, and College Planning Tool
  • Merrill Edge MarketPro & Merrill Edge Roadmap

Merrill Edge doesn’t have a tiered pricing schedule, but instead offers flat-rate pricing of $6.95 per trade on unlimited trades of stocks and ETFs.

You can also earn up to 30 free trades per month if you either: maintain BoA balances of $25,000 or more, maintain Merrill Edge balances of $25,000 or more, or qualify for the Platinum Privileges program. Representative-assisted trades will cost $29.95 each.

For options, trading prices are the same, but there is an additional $0.75 per contract. Mutual funds are $0 per transaction for load waived and no load, no transaction fee funds. No load, transaction fee funds cost $19.95 for online trades, or $29.95 for representative-assisted trades.

Right now if you open an account with Merrill Edge, you could get up to a $600 cash bonus plus 30 free trades. Check out their website for more details.

Online Tools

Merrill Edge has three potentially helpful online tools — the Retirement Evaluator, the Asset Allocator, and the College Planning Tool.

The Retirement Evaluator helps you figure out if you’re on track to reach the retirement you want. It will give you investment ideas and actionable steps to ensure your retirement income matches your retirement goals.

The Asset Allocator helps you figure out your risk tolerance and investment style. Based on this information, it suggests a target asset allocation and compares it to your current allocation. It also gives simple instructions on how to balance your portfolio.

The College Planning Tool helps you estimate future college costs. It also gives recommendations on how to reach your college savings goals.

Merrill Edge Roadmap

The Merrill Edge Roadmap is about taking charge of your finances with the assistance of an advisor. To begin, you’ll have a one-on-one conversation with a licensed Merrill Edge Financial Solutions Advisor. Your advisor will help you define your savings and investing goals, go over your portfolio allocation and create an action plan, and update you with portfolio reviews every six months.

For investors who want additional help with their portfolios, Merrill Edge Select portfolios are actively managed for a 1% annual management fee.

You can schedule a Merrill Edge Roadmap consultation for free as long as you have a Merrill Edge Advisory Center account.

Pros:

  • Straightforward pricing
  • Possible 30 free trades per month
  • Access to your BoA banking and Merrill Edge investing accounts in one place
  • Helpful online tools to allocate assets, as well as plan for retirement and/or college
  • Interactive market analysis and dashboard with MarketPro
  • Free Roadmap consultation with Advisory Center account

Cons:

  • High commission fees on ETFs compared to other available options, such as Betterment and Vanguard
  • Account transfer fees of $49.95 on all types of accounts
  • High margin fees
  • Slow customer service response times according to users
  • Slow trading times and updates according to users

Merrill Edge has some helpful online tools and may be a good option for those who bank with Bank of America and want to see their banking and investment accounts side by side. It is also a great option for those who meet the 30 free trades requirements.

However, It isn’t the cheapest option and customers have complained about slow customer service and slow updates on available funds and trades.

Founded in: 2010
Licensed:
Platforms: Online Investing, Mobile Investing, Merrill Edge MarketPro
Capital:
Fees:
Broker: 6.95
Exchange:
Withdrawal:
Minimum Deposit: 0

Mobile Trading Daily Analytics Bonuses & Discounts Seminars, Education

User Reviews

BradPaluch

Merrill Edge’s MarketPro has the potential to be the best trading platform a brokerage can offer, but it isn’t quite right yet.

MarketPro pros include quite literally everything related to technical data, studies, charting options, my beloved “dot plot” which can be found nowhere else, the overall layout within the platform, and the many many many other features it offers. Another pro is the $6.95 commission per trade, which is not as low as the budget brokers, but it is lower than the high end brokers such as Ameritrade and E-Trade which in my opinion do not have platforms as powerful as MarketPro. Also, Merrill Edge’s customer service people are very helpful, courteous, and professional in my opinion. The final pro, which is a strong point for me, is the fact that as a Bank of America customer, one can instantly, yes instantly, transfer funds between both a checking/savings account at BoA and the Merrill Edge brokerage. With this ability, long gone are the days of waiting three to five days for money to transfer into or out of your brokerage.

MarketPro cons include poor exocutions from my personal experience with Merrill Edge. This is due to two factors: 1) The fact that when day trading, one must type in the stock ticker or ETF ticker manually, then enter the price manually, then select trading options manually, such as day hours, day plus extended hours, fill or kill, etc. While all of this typing is going on the price is changing and changing and changing making it more difficult to buy or sell at the ideal price as compared to other platforms that have a one-click buy sell window, and 2) For an undetermined reason, I have had at least several orders that just were not placed after placing them…quite literally…not even an open order was displayed. This has happened back to back to back before eventually one of the orders actually went through and was displayed as an open order. Another con includes the fact that Merrill Edge places random exchange restrictions on just about anything rising or falling significantly. If something falls low to a great buy price, Merrill Edge restricts it and blocks you from buying it. If something rises to a great sell price, Merrill Edge restricts it and blocks you from selling it. Merrill Edge also has an exchange restriction on SVXY and UVXY which it does not list as restricted, but always are for some reason or another, which means good luck trading the volatility index here because Merrill Edge does not allow it. The last con that I noticed with Merrill Edge is that they refused to give me a margin account when I deposited only a small amount of $5,000. This almost tempted me to deposit an additional $25,000 to meet the standard day trading requirements that I am more familiar with, but I figured “Hey, let’s try out Merrill Edge with $5,000 and see how it goes before putting the rest in.” Well, they stuck me with a cash account which is a horrific thing for folks like me that prefer to day trade and swing trade, and I decided on switching to another brokerage. In my opinion, Merrill Edge holds their customers down by not allowing them to play the full market. Regardless of how much money you have in your account, your experience with Merrill Edge will be watered down with exchange restrictions, volatility ETF restrictions, and you will be told it is to protect Merrill Edge customers because Merrill Edge likes to play it safe. It is not the market here. If you want to experience the full market, you must use a different broker than Merrill Edge.

Regardless, I absolutely love Merrill Edge’s MarketPro trading platform. I have not found a better platform anywhere. If only MarketPro was taken off of its leash and traders did not have to worry about exchange restrictions here…then Merrill Edge would be a truly amazing thing and well worth every penny in commissions.

kathleen_meman

Merrill Edge is a wonderful option for Bank of America clients with gold or platinum status. We have received very professional, attentive service from our Merrill Edge financial advisor (Darren Armetta) since transferring IRA’s and other funds over.

CamMarley

Two of the ten Customer Service Reps that I have spoken to have been very good. The rest epic failure. Online secure messaging is a joke, common response is to provide a telephone number for me to call.
Thirty free trades, not until I telephone to point out that I am being charged a commission. Only then do they bother to "code my account."
I am constantly being told someone will "reach out" to me (as if I am falling). Yet, I never receive that allusive call back.
Advice for potential customers is to pass on Merrill Edge.

DavidGreenberg

I switched to Merrill Edge from TD Ameritrade because of the 30 free stock trades that you receive on a monthly basis. If you exceed the 30 trades, they still only charge $6.95, 1/3 less than TD Ameritrade. I also find their website and trading platform easier to use than TD Ameritrade. You have access to free research reports from BOA, S&P and Morningstar. I've read some of the less favorable reviews from Kiplingers and Smart Money. However, it appears that their comments are based on out-dated information. Merrill Edge seems to have made a great effort to improve it's fee structure and trading pltform over the past year. I am happy I made the switch.

JenS
If I was a betting person, I would bet that this review was made by a Merrill Edge/ Bank of America employee. Look at the other reviews and how poor they are. A person should consider another online trading company other than Merrill Edge.
MarkClayton

$0 commission with 25k balance and automatic dividend reinvestments
need I say more? No commissions and automatic dividend reinvestment made me switch from Scottrade after 11 years.

Ediqab

RUN AWAY, save your time and money! These guys have horrible customer service. I had to call several times and wait long to talk to their rude assistants which are not knowledgeable nor unprofessional. last time, the assistant raised her voice, cut my sentences, and when I asked please do not raise your voice, she hang up! just like that. So closed my account. done with them!!!!

Gerard1982

The pross basically low fees.
The cons. WOW I would need the entire internet to express how frustrated I'm with this institution. Get this.
They take over 5 days to close a trade.
They don't process any debits until the last Wednesday of the month.
Their customer service and follow up skills are next to none.
Customer care doesn't know what the heck is going on with the clients accounts or any related info.
They will offer you all kinds of extras just to get your business and then will won't deliver as promised.

If you value your money and business and looking to actually make money on the market take your business somewhere else as per this institution is the worst in the entire industry and they only things they know how to do is to make excuses and put you on hold

JennyS

Merrill Edge is where Merrill Lynch sends it's clients that are deemed unworthy of having a Merrill Lynch account at a local branch. Client service at Merrill Edge is horrendous. Bank of America sends it's smaller relationships to Merrill Edge so they don't have to compensate a Financial Advisor, and can make more money off these clients. An investor is better off using another online company than Merrill Edge if they would like to be treated well rather than being the small fish in a big pond that would like poor service.

Ria14444

Bank of America/Merrill lynch branded Merrill edge trading platform is one of the weakest in the market. Pros: it's cheap, research is decent. Cons: everything else

I'll start with the positive: the research options are solid but FYI Merrill lynch analyst are often more wrong, and very wrong, than they are right. They do offer s&p and Morningstar reports along with Merrill reports, but if your research is in need of Morningstar and s&p reports just go to their websites and grab them. I will say the research options are solid; they are cheap, yes this is good, but you get what you pay for.

The not so good: customer service....good luck getting any timely help, knowledgable answers, or anything useful when calling the call center. If you call with the same questions and talk to 3 different people, you get three different answers. DO NOT call for investment advice, you pay more and you are getting advice from someone who is about as qualified as yourself.
Investment advice: Merrill edge financial solutions advisor or call center advice works on process. This means they are given a choice of about 50 MF, 15 etf, and stock recommendations come from their us 1 list only. Anything outside of that has to go through compliance approval and good luck getting your trade done that day. If you are self-directed then you know there is no advice platform and nor should there be.
Customer service: the worst thing to happen to Merrill lynch was Bank of America purchasing them. That's when the investment client customer service went away, and they figure they could license a bunch of personal bankers or bank associates and "qualify" them to give advice.
If you choose Merrill edge just be prepared to pay the 95 dollar exit fee when you move your funds to another broker.

IvanQ

Inquired regarding my account and received a form letter from Merrill Edge Pennington, NJ with generic contact information. So, I dialed (609) 303-6200. Pressed 4 for name directory and spelled last and first name of letter writer. Called the person and asked questions...they were more interested in questioning how I got there phone number. I told them you gave it to me!

jmmp1059

Spent over 10 hours on the phone after my most recent limit sell order was delayed for review. No one able to explain why this happened or that it is standard procedure. Managers are more incompetent that subordinates as they give you generic answers hoping the issue goes away in their favor did everything to salvage my relationship due to 100 free trades per month but not worth the risk if trade get held up and no one will resolve. I wish someone in Sr Management is able to hear my recorded interaction with reps so it could be reported to FNRA. Trade executions should be audited nationwide to see how much damage has been done to customers who had limit orders not filled due to delays pending review on sell orders. I would not recommend Merrill to anyone for any reason they do not care about the customer and have every excuse for any logical reason you may have to resolve the issue with a win win. the customer does not come first with ongoing delays we will call you back we are taking notes we will do the best we can. My last return call was a courtesy to give me more time on Friday at 8.00 PM. The offer they gave me to resolve the issue was more insulting than the damages they created with their customer service from top to bottom. I hope my info is helpful to others who are considering opening and account or for those of you who have had issues to contact FNRA to have your voice heard to help others.

Doug1322

I am now 72 years old, and put all of my cash assets into a trust. I had my assets with TIAA-CREF for 22 years. When I transferred my funds to a Trust (which they know nothing about), I was not allowed to even see the money in the new trust. At least a dozen reps told me no, I cannot manage my acccount online.

Since my bank was already BOA, I discovered Merrill Edge, a self guided way to invest. Even though it was self guided, I received all the help I needed by calling the toll free number. I was a newbie at this, and I must have called at least 20 times in the past 6 months about things I didn't understand. Of course they cannot give advice, but I got answers to all of my issues in a very pleasant and professional manner.

They walked me through things such as the screener in selecting stocks, and how to do it, what to expect. I used the screening tools to select 4 of the best performing stocks over 1,3,5 year periods. Today (6/24/2016) even with the breadking news of UK leaving EU, my stocks were up, and I decided to play it safe and sold stocks that were up over 6% during the past 2 months, even though the DOW was down 418 pts. at that time ! At the end of the day, my folio was down only $9. NINE DOLLARS!

I'm an old man and this is all the money I have in the world. It is allowing ME to decide what and where to place my money. It takes 5 business days to get money from a sale. No big deal. I have nothing but high praise for Merrill Edge. All but one service associate was pleasant and professional. That one hung up on me! Perhaps I deserved it.

JenS

Merrill Edge is where Merrill Edge sends client accounts that are deemed nit worthy of having an account at a local Merrill Lynch office. Merrill Lynch/Bank of America can make more money off these clients if they do not have to compensate a Financial Advisor in a branch for these account. The service ar Merrill Edge is very, very poor. A person is probably better off at on other online investment firm than Merrill Edge.

Tiletrader1

Company went with ML 401k because "someone's" son worked there. Their retirement fund fees are a joke- They charge me about $100 a year to keep my money there-- Then they have some kind of chinese class A to class b conversion which always leaves my rear sore. Then they call about every two years to explain to me that all their superior investment personel which are working hard to earn all my "fees" that they suck out of my account-- If you are a dumbass like me then put all your retirement funds here at ML

saleem82

I've been using Merrill Edge for 2 months now. I was not sure who to go to, but they have a sweet deal of 30 free trades a month with a 25K deposit, so that was quite appealing. My boss, who'd been trading for decades told me to avoid one of these no name companies because they may not get the orders filled. Since it was a Merrill Lynch company, I thought it would be reputable and a good start for a new investor. That being said, he never heard of Merrill Edge, even though he has an account with Merrill Lynch. I must say that It's been a great experience so far. I called them 5 times to ask them questions and they took their time to walk me through it. With knowledge, I gained so much confidence in investing thanks to them. The one complaint is it takes 20 seconds to get an order submitted. This is maybe to protect mistaken orders, but it is an inconvenience.I haven't experienced any issues with orders not filling. It works as it's advertised. I wanted to write this review because I was surprised to see the content of the negative reviews. I couldn't relate at all to their experiences.