Merrill Edge Review: Its Strengths and Weaknesses

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Merrill Edge review

If you’re in the market for a reliable investment broker, Merrill Edge may have come to your attention. This esteemed firm provides a diverse range of services to accommodate the needs of various investors. However, before making any investment, it’s vital to thoroughly evaluate the firm’s offerings, pricing, and customer support, as well as the pros and cons. 

This article is designed to provide you with a comprehensive review of Merrill Edge to assist you in making an informed investment decision.

Merrill Edge: Overview

Merrill edge

Established: 2010
Headquarters: United States
Trading platforms: Merrill Edge Market Pro
Mobile Trading: Yes
Minimum Deposit: $0
Account Types: Self‑Directed, Online, Online with an advisor

Merrill Edge is a major U.S.-based trading and investment brokerage operating under the Bank of America. In addition to offering specialized banking services, it has a committed trading division that supports the buying and selling of a range of financial instruments like stocks, ETFs, bonds, mutual funds, and options. All facilitated through its custom MarketPro software. 

The platform has expanded its offerings through Merrill Edge Guided Investing, allowing clients to choose between self-managing their portfolios, advisor assistance, or full portfolio management. 

Regulation and Registration

As a subsidiary of the Bank of America Corporation, or BofA Corp., Merrill Edge operates under a stringent regulatory framework that adds an extra layer of security for investors. It’s subject to oversight from major financial regulatory agencies, including the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 

This rigorous regulatory environment provides an additional layer of trust and safety for traders and investors alike.

Account Types of Merrill Edge

Merrill edge accounts

When it comes to investing with Merrill Edge, the platform offers a range of account types tailored to suit various investment styles and goals, including: 

Self-Directed Accounts

  • Minimum Investment: None
  • Annual Program Fee: Unlimited $0 trades in stocks, ETFs, and options. However, additional fees like option contract charges may apply.

Merrill Guided Investing (Online)

  • Minimum Investment: $1,000
  • Annual Program Fee: 0.45%, with the potential for other fees.

Merrill Guided Investing with an Advisor (Online With an Advisor)

  • Minimum Investment: $20,000
  • Annual Program Fee: 0.85%, along with the possibility of additional fees.

Deposit and Withdrawal

Merrill Edge deposits and withdraws assets through the “Transfer Assets Online” tool. For transferring cash or money market funds, the platform allows you to initiate the process and subsequently set up recurring deposits and wire transfers without any hitches or additional charges. The same tool can be employed to transfer securities or even complete accounts from other financial firms to Merrill Edge.

For account transfers involving a change in ownership, such as from a custodial to a joint account, certain conditions apply. The minor associated with the custodial account must have reached the age of majority, and both accounts must have matching types and ownership. 

Additionally, a medallion signature guarantee, a special form of financial backing for security transfers, is required for all signatures in the special authorization section of the account transfer form. 

Products in Merrill Edge

Merrill Edge provides both Lipper and Morningstar evaluations for ETFs and mutual funds. It also offers in-house Merrill Lynch analysis, as well as insights from independent sources, on individual equities and bonds. Through their website and MarketPro software, investors have the ability to engage in various types of trading:

  • Automated procedures for borrowing shares are in place for both long and short stock positions.
  • Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB), or penny stocks, come with certain restrictions based on market cap.
  • Access to around 3,100 investment funds that come with no loads or transaction fees.
  • Bond trading.
  • Option to trade internationally via a live broker.

Trading Platform of Merrill Edge

Merrill Edge has its platform for investing called “Merrill’s MarketPro.” It is their premier trading platform designed for active traders. It offers a range of essential features, such as real-time portfolio monitoring, trade alerts, and customizable watchlists. 

Additionally, users get access to Level II quotes for Nasdaq stocks, offering insights into trading behavior and types of traders involved.

Fees of Merrill Edge

Merrill Edge is well-regarded for its cost-effective approach to account fees. You won’t encounter any charges for annual maintenance, inactivity, or transferring a portion of your assets. 

If you choose to close your account and transfer all your assets, you’ll only be subject to a $49.95 fee, which is still lower than the fees that may be charged by some other brokerage services.

Merrill Edge Promotions

Merrill Edge offers up to $600 when you invest in a new Merrill Edge Self‑Directed account.

Customer Support

  • Phone: 888-637-3343
  • Set up a Meeting: Schedule an appointment  (Here

Pros & Cons 

  • Low fees
  • No minimum for self-directed accounts
  • Diverse investment options
  • Personalized advisory services
  • Limited international trading
  • Higher fees for advisor-assisted accounts
  • No direct forex or crypto trading

Pros Explained

  • Merrill Edge is a cost-effective choice for many investors due to its competitive fee structure. The platform doesn’t charge annual maintenance or inactivity fees, which is a significant plus for both active and passive investors.
  • Merrill Edge allows investors to open self-directed accounts without requiring a minimum investment. This is particularly beneficial for novice investors who may not have a large amount of capital to start.
  • Merrill Edge provides a comprehensive investment platform that offers a myriad of asset classes to choose from, whether you’re interested in low-cost mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), individual stocks, or bonds.
  • For investors seeking more personalized guidance, Merrill Edge offers two advisory service options—online guidance and one-on-one consultations. The online service is a cost-effective way to receive portfolio recommendations based on your risk tolerance and financial objectives.

Cons Explained

  • While the platform does allow for some exposure to global markets through mutual funds or ETFs, it doesn’t offer comprehensive access to international equities directly.
  • If you choose an advisor-assisted account, there will be some costs. This could make the platform less appealing to those who want the benefits of personalized financial advice but are sensitive to higher fees.
  • Merrill Edge lags behind some competitors in the areas of forex and cryptocurrency trading. Currently, the platform doesn’t offer direct trading in foreign exchange markets or digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Is Merrill Edge Worth Considering?

broker reviews

Merrill Edge comes across as a solid option for those looking to manage their investments online. The platform is especially strong in offering a diverse array of investment options and quality tools to aid in decision-making—all at a competitive price point.

Additionally, its affiliation with Bank of America,  Merrill Edge offers an added layer of trust and stability. However, it may not meet the needs of seasoned traders looking for advanced functionalities and direct forex or crypto trading.

Overall, Merrill Edge is a viable choice for cost-conscious investors and those looking for a personal investment advisor. It’s also a good choice for Bank of America customers because Merrill Edge is affiliated with Bank of America. Therefore, it allows seamless integration between bank and brokerage accounts.


1. What is Merrill Edge?

Merrill Edge is an online brokerage platform that offers a variety of investment options, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and ETFs. It is part of the larger Bank of America Merrill Lynch umbrella.

2. Does Merrill Edge offer any educational resources for investors?

Yes, Merrill Edge provides a wealth of educational resources aimed at investors of all experience levels. These resources include articles, tutorials, webinars, and interactive tools that cover a variety of financial and investment topics.

3. How much does it cost to open an account with Merrill Edge?

There is no minimum investment required to open a self-directed account. For the online account, a minimum of $1,000 is required, and for the online advisor account, a minimum investment of $20,000 is needed.

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By FinxpdX Team
By FinxpdX Team
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