Merrill Lynch vs Fidelity (2022) (2023)

Who is Better, Fidelity or Merrill Lynch?

Merrill Edge and Fidelity Investments are powerhouses in the brokerage world. Make sure you take a look at our research before choosing one over the other.


Broker Fees Stock/ETF
Mutual Fund
Annual IRA
Fidelity $0 $49.95 $0.65 per contract $0 $0
Merrill Edge $0 $19.99 $0.65 per contract $0 $0
Ally Invest $0 $9.95 $0.50 per contract $0 $0


Broker Review Cost Investment Products Trading Tools Customer Service Research Overall Rating
Fidelity Merrill Lynch vs Fidelity (2022) (1) Merrill Lynch vs Fidelity (2022) (2) Merrill Lynch vs Fidelity (2022) (3) Merrill Lynch vs Fidelity (2022) (4) Merrill Lynch vs Fidelity (2022) (5) Merrill Lynch vs Fidelity (2022) (6)
Merrill Edge Merrill Lynch vs Fidelity (2022) (7) Merrill Lynch vs Fidelity (2022) (8) Merrill Lynch vs Fidelity (2022) (9) Merrill Lynch vs Fidelity (2022) (10) Merrill Lynch vs Fidelity (2022) (11) Merrill Lynch vs Fidelity (2022) (12)
Ally Invest Merrill Lynch vs Fidelity (2022) (13) Merrill Lynch vs Fidelity (2022) (14) Merrill Lynch vs Fidelity (2022) (15) Merrill Lynch vs Fidelity (2022) (16) Merrill Lynch vs Fidelity (2022) (17) Merrill Lynch vs Fidelity (2022) (18)


Merrill Edge: Get up to $600 when you open a new Merrill Edge account with at least $20,000.

Fidelity: Get $0 stock commissions.

Ally Invest: Up to $3,000 cash bonus + $0 commission trades.

First, We Need to Look at Tradable Assets

With a Merrill Edge account, you’ll gain access to these financial products:
  • Stocks on US exchanges
  • Bonds
  • Option contracts
  • Exchange-traded, mutual, and closed-end funds

With a Fidelity brokerage account, you get all of the above assets plus annuities and life insurance. Moreover, Fidelity has a global trading service that can be appended to any investment account. It opens up over 20 international exchanges with lots of foreign stocks.

And these are just self-directed accounts. Both firms also offer portfolio management. Merrill Edge has a low-cost human-managed ETF package but no robo service. The annual fee is 45 basis points.

Over at Fidelity, we do find a robo service. It is 35 basis points annually and trades special Fidelity mutual funds with no expense ratios.

In addition to these low-cost alternatives, both companies have traditional in-person services. Thanks to its partnership with Bank of America, Merrill Edge has more physical locations, although Fidelity does have centers in most US states.

Winner: Fidelity

Second, Let’s Inspect Margin Trading

Margin can be enabled on a self-directed account at either brokerage firm in this comparison. Merrill Edge customers pay interest on this schedule:
Debit Balance Margin Interest Rates
$250,000+ call 855.332.5920
$100,000 - $249,999 call 855.332.5920
$25,000 - $99,999 call 855.332.5920
under $25,000 call 855.332.5920

Fidelity has a slightly lengthier schedule:
Debit Balance Margin Interest Rates
above $1,000,000 7.00%
$500,000 – $999,999 7.25%
$100,000 – $499,999 9.575%
$50,000 – $99,999 9.825%
$25,000 – $49,999 9.875%
$10,000 – $24,999 10.825%
$0 – $9,999 11.325%

Unfortunately, neither broker-dealer shows margin details for individual securities on their profiles.

Winner: Fidelity

Third, Let’s Examine Their Websites

When you get ready to trade, with or without margin, both companies have very good websites. On the Merrill Edge site, we found several tools worth mentioning, including:

- Charting with tools, including the ability to view a graph in OHLC format
- Option chains for calls and puts
- Trade ticket with eight order types
- Search bar in the upper portion of the screen to make searching for a ticker symbol easy

Merrill Lynch vs Fidelity (2022) (19)

Fidelity’s website also has a search bar at the top that makes getting around its site quite easy. Of course, the top horizontal menu does a good job as well.

Merrill Lynch vs Fidelity (2022) (20)

Charting on the Fidelity site exceeds Merrill by offering full-screen mode and more tools. The broker’s order form has the same number of order types, although there’s a second version—a simplified form.

Winner: Fidelity

Next, It’s Time for Desktop Software

Neither brokerage firm has stopped with its website. Both offer very good desktop platforms. Merrill Edge’s program requires the download of a file from its website in order to launch, which is a slight inconvenience. Nevertheless, the software has many good features, including:
  • OptionsPlay, an advanced derivative platform
  • Level II data
  • Several technical analysis tools
  • An economics calendar
  • Mutual fund trading
  • Advanced charting with 13 display styles

Merrill Lynch vs Fidelity (2022) (21)

Fidelity’s desktop software doesn’t require any download from its website, the first major advantage. But it lags in other areas. For example, charting only comes with 7 display styles. Also, it’s not possible to trade mutual funds on the platform.

Merrill Lynch vs Fidelity (2022) (22)

But we do like Fidelity’s desktop program for other reasons, including live streaming of Bloomberg and direct-access routing, neither of which will be found at Merrill Edge.

Winner: Toss up

Fifth, Let’s Have a Look at Their Mobile Apps

Fidelity customers get another great software platform with the broker’s mobile app. There are many useful tools on it, including an AI, a learning center, and a beta experience. This latter option is a simplified interface that loses a lot of features. The regular app has bill pay, market news, option chains, and other great features.

Merrill Lynch vs Fidelity (2022) (23)

Merrill Edge has just one version of its app. Highlights include horizontal charting with tools, multiple order types, a mutual fund trade ticket, and educational resources. These are available on Fidelity’s app as well. One feature Merrill offers that Fidelity doesn’t is a FICO score.

Merrill Lynch vs Fidelity (2022) (24)

Fidelity has software for iMessage and Apple Watch, nice tools that Merrill Edge hasn’t developed yet.

Winner: Fidelity

Sixth, It’s Security Research

Fidelity’s desktop platform and mobile app have their own security research tools, but we found the broker’s website to have the lion’s share of resources. Besides good screeners, asset profiles are very valuable. For Amazon, we found no less than 11 analyst reports, some of which have price targets. Profiles on the Fidelity site have lots of data points, including numbers on top competitors, ESG performance, fundamental and technical scores, and much more.

Merrill Lynch vs Fidelity (2022) (25)

On Merrill Edge’s trading platforms, we found good information as well. Mutual funds have star ratings from both Morningstar and Lipper (Fidelity has star ratings only from Morningstar). Stock profiles, though, have fewer pdf reports compared to Fidelity. For Amazon, we found just 3. Trefis® price analysis and free research from Bank of America Securities are highlights, though.

Merrill Lynch vs Fidelity (2022) (26)

Winner: Fidelity

Finally, Here Are Some Extra Services

Extended Hours: After-hours and pre-market trading are on tap at both investment firms in this contest. Fidelity’s early session is longer by 30 minutes.

DRIP Service: Free of cost at both Merrill Edge and Fidelity.

Banking Tools: Merrill Edge offers check writing and a Visa debit card. Moreover, it’s easy to link a Bank of America deposit account to a Merrill Edge brokerage account. Fidelity has its own lineup of banking products, including unlimited ATM fee refunds on its debit card.

Individual Retirement Accounts: IRAs are available at both brokerage houses. Fidelity has more IRA types than Merrill Edge. Plus, Merrill Edge has a $49.95 IRA closeout fee, which Fidelity doesn’t have.

Fractional Shares: Only available at Fidelity (for stocks and exchange-traded funds).

Initial Public Offerings: Once again, only available at Fidelity.

Periodic Mutual Fund Investing: Both Merrill Edge and Fidelity provide the ability to set up automatic mutual fund purchases.

Winner: Fidelity


Mutual Fund Trading: Fidelity offers more than 9,000 mutual funds. At Merrill Edge, that number is reduced to just over 3,000. Both firms do, however, have very good fund research tools. In fact, Merrill Edge has the better fund screener. Take your pick.

ETF & Stock Trading: Because Fidelity has partial-share trading and direct-access routing, we would lean towards it.

Beginners: A low-cost managed account with either firm will work. For self-directed trading, we like Fidelity’s branch locations and online learning library better.

Long-Term Investors and Retirement Savers: Both brokerage firms have good retirement tools on their websites. Merrill Edge doesn’t offer annuities, but Fidelity does, and this gives Fidelity the edge here, not Merrill. Plus, Merrill charges annual fees for its solo 401(k). Fidelity does not.

Small Accounts: For managed accounts, Fidelity has the lower minimum deposit requirement. For self-directed trading, neither broker has account minimums or trading requirements, although as already mentioned, Merrill Edge does have an IRA closeout fee. Plus, it has an account transfer fee, which Fidelity doesn’t have.


Merrill Edge: Get up to $600 when you open a new Merrill Edge account with at least $20,000.

Fidelity: Get $0 stock commissions.

Ally Invest: Up to $3,000 cash bonus + $0 commission trades.

Fidelity vs Merrill Lynch: Results

Merrill Edge doesn’t even have the better banking tools. Fidelity is it.

Anyone looking for the top-rated brokerage firm on the marketshould go with TD Ameritrade or read TD Ameritrade review.


Is Merrill Edge as good as Fidelity? ›

Whether you invest in funds or individual stocks, you can find plenty to like about Fidelity and Merrill Edge's $0 commission stock trades, access to research, and highly rated mobile apps. In short, the Merrill Edge vs. Fidelity comparison is pretty close, and comes down to the features that are most important to you.

What should I invest in Fidelity 2022? ›

Here are the seven best Fidelity mutual funds to buy and hold in 2022.
  • Fidelity Zero Total Market Index Fund (ticker: FZROX) ...
  • Fidelity Zero Large Cap Index Fund (FNILX) ...
  • Fidelity Zero International Index Fund (FZILX) ...
  • Fidelity 500 Index Fund (FXAIX) ...
  • Fidelity Large Cap Value Index Fund (FLCOX)
15 Sept 2022

Is Merrill Lynch better than Vanguard? ›

Merrill Edge also outperforms Vanguard when it comes to security, trading technology, education, and customer service. All things considered, we found Merrill Edge to be the better overall brokerage platform for most investors. The one exception, however, is if you are looking to be a buy-and-hold investor.

Can Merrill Lynch be trusted? ›

Merrill is a good company if you're looking for an established financial advisor to help create and implement a plan to meet your financial goals. Whether you're looking for guidance on investing or selling a business, Merrill can help with various levels of service and options for both in-person and online advising.

Who is Fidelity's biggest competitor? ›

According to Similarweb data of monthly visits,'s top competitor in September 2022 is with 28.9M visits.

Are Merrill Lynch fees high? ›

Merrill Lynch charges a program fee for the Merrill Lynch Investment Advisory Program that consists of a Merrill Lynch Fee Rate and a Style Manager Expense Rate. The maximum rates charged for the Merrill Lynch Fee Rate are 2.20% of AUM for accounts below $5 million and 2.00% of is 1.75%.

What is the safest investment in 2022? ›

Overview: Best low-risk investments in 2022
  • Short-term certificates of deposit. ...
  • Money market funds. ...
  • Treasury bills, notes, bonds and TIPS. ...
  • Corporate bonds. ...
  • Dividend-paying stocks. ...
  • Preferred stocks. ...
  • Money market accounts. ...
  • Fixed annuities.
6 days ago

Where should I put my retirement money in 2022? ›

The three retirement accounts you should aim to fill in 2022
  1. 1) Health Savings Account (HSA) A Health Savings Account (HSA) is an account where consumers with a high deductible health plan (HDHP) can put money away for future medical expenses. ...
  2. 2) 401(k) ...
  3. 3) Roth IRA.

Who is Merrill Lynch's biggest competitor? ›

Merrill Lynch competitors include South State Corporation, Goldman Sachs, UBS, The Vanguard Group and Morgan Stanley. Merrill Lynch ranks 1st in Overall Culture Score on Comparably vs its competitors.

Which investment firm has the best reputation? ›

Goldman Sachs is widely known as the most prestigious investment bank on Wall Street.

Does Merrill Edge have hidden fees? ›

Does Merrill Edge have hidden fees? Well, no — clients who don't qualify for Preferred Rewards will have to pay a fee of $2.95 for equity trades and $2.95 +. 65 per contract. This is relatively high considering more and more competitors are offering free trades to all customers.

Why are people leaving Merrill Lynch? ›

Overwhelming workloads, back-to-office complaints, and frustrations over pay: Why Merrill Lynch's support staff is leaving. Bank of America's wealth-management arm says it values client associates, the staffers who help run financial advisors' practices.

Who is most trusted financial advisor? ›

2022 Rank2021 RankFirm
1NMorgan Stanley Private Wealth Management
21Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management
32Graystone Consulting | Morgan Stanley
43Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management
38 more rows

What percentage does Merrill Lynch take? ›

The range of the markup that Merrill charges is between 0.50% – 2.00%, depending on the maturity of the MLI. In addition to the Merrill markup that is charged, the price you pay also includes a dealer markup paid to BofAS for executing the transaction of typically up to 1.00%.

Why Fidelity is the best? ›

Fidelity offers $0 trading commissions, a selection of more than 3,300 no-transaction-fee mutual funds and top-notch research tools and mobile platform. Its zero-fee index funds and strong customer service reputation are just icing on the cake.

Is Fidelity owned by Amazon? ›

Amazon and Fidelity Investments are not affiliated. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc or its affiliates.

Is JP Morgan or Fidelity better? ›

After testing 15 of the best online brokers over six months, Fidelity (95.57%) is better than J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing (71.12%). Fidelity is a value-driven online broker offering $0 trades, industry-leading research, excellent trading tools, an easy-to-use mobile app, and comprehensive retirement services.

Is a 1% financial advisor fee good? ›

Generally speaking, 1% per year is a reasonable fee to pay for financial guidance, Ryan says. This should include financial advisor fees, plus any fees on the investments you use.

Who is the best wealth management company? ›

2022 Rank2021 RankFirm
11Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management
22Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management
34Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management
48Merrill Private Wealth Management
63 more rows

What is a good advisor fee? ›

The average fee for a financial advisor generally comes in at about 1% of the assets they are managing. The more money you have invested, however, the lower the fee goes.

Where should I put $50000 now? ›

Here are some ways to invest $50,000:
  • Savings Accounts.
  • Certificates of Deposit.
  • Mutual Funds.
  • Exchange-Traded Funds.
  • Financial Advisor.
  • Invest on Trading Platforms.
  • Real Estate.
  • Invest in Yourself.
12 Oct 2022

Where should I keep $20000? ›

Five Ways to Invest $20,000
  • Bond ETFs. Because bonds have a stated date when the borrower will pay back the face value of the bond, these are great investments if you need a certain amount of money at a known point in time. ...
  • Stock ETFs. ...
  • Individual stocks. ...
  • Real estate investment trusts. ...
  • Cryptocurrencies.

Why is my 401k losing money right now 2022? ›

There are several reasons your 401(k) may be losing money. One reason is that the stock market is simply going through a down period. Another reason your 401(k) may be losing money is that you have invested in a specific company or industry that is not doing well. Finally, your 401(k) may lose money because of fees.

Where should I invest 100k right now? ›

  • Investing 100k In Real Estate. Many seasoned investors will argue that the best investment for 100K is in real estate. ...
  • Individual Stocks. Stocks are a great way to diversify your investment portfolio. ...
  • Investing 100k In ETFs & Mutual Funds. ...
  • Investing 100k In IRAs. ...
  • Investing 100k In Peer-To-Peer Lending.

Where do millionaires keep their money? ›

Mutual funds and stocks are the most common options that some millionaires and billionaires go through first. Once they're in a stable position, they often buy property to diversify their portfolio and increase their wealth through real estate investment.

What is the best way to invest 100k in 2022? ›

Here are our top seven picks on investing 100K in 2022.
  1. Stock Index ETFs. / Overall rating. ...
  2. Robo Advisory Services. / Overall rating. ...
  3. Pay Off Your Debts. / Overall rating. ...
  4. Industry ETFs. / Overall rating. ...
  5. Stock Portfolio. / Overall rating. ...
  6. Roth IRA. / Overall rating. ...
  7. Cryptocurrencies. / Overall rating.
5 Apr 2022

What is the safest place to put retirement money? ›

The safest place to put your retirement funds is in low-risk investments and savings options with guaranteed growth. Low-risk investments and savings options include fixed annuities, savings accounts, CDs, treasury securities, and money market accounts. Of these, fixed annuities usually provide the best interest rates.

What is the best retirement company? ›

Best Brokers for Retirement Plans in 2022
  • Best Overall: Fidelity Investments.
  • Best for the Self-Employed: Charles Schwab.
  • Best for Low Cost: Vanguard.
  • Best Robo-Advisor: Betterment.
29 Jun 2022

What is the difference between Fidelity and Merrill Lynch? ›

Overall, Fidelity offers more value regarding fees. Merrill Edge advertises unlimited $0 online stock and ETF trades without any account minimums. With little differences in commissions and fees, here are some small differences between the full-service brokerages.

Why did Merrill Lynch lose advisors? ›

But it was a cultural shift that was being imposed by the bank – such as increasing minimum account sizes, cross-selling products and diminishing control that advisors had – that he and other fellow Merrill leaders, including Lyle LaMothe, who ran all of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, could no longer stand behind.

Who competes with Fidelity Investments? ›

Fidelity Investments competitors include Edward Jones, BlackRock, TIAA, UBS and Charles Schwab.

What is the most honest investment firm? ›

25 Most Trusted Financial Companies By IBD Trust Index Rating
RankCompanyTrust Rating
3Vanguard Brokerage89.8
4Charles Schwab88.6
21 more rows

What is the most trusted brokerage? ›

Charles Schwab

Schwab was named the best broker overall, as well as the best broker for buy-and-hold investors, in the 2022 Bankrate Awards.

What is the safest company to invest in? ›

Dividend Aristocrats, which are companies that have increased dividends for at least 25 consecutive years, are considered safe stocks.
Best safe stocks to buy
  1. Berkshire Hathaway. ...
  2. The Walt Disney Company. ...
  3. Vanguard High-Dividend Yield ETF. ...
  4. Procter & Gamble. ...
  5. Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund. ...
  6. Starbucks. ...
  7. Apple.

How do Merrill Lynch advisors make money? ›

Most of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management's programs charge an annual fee calculated as a percentage of assets under management. The fee is negotiated directly with each advisor, and largely depends on the program and the amount of money the client has invested with the advisor (some programs have account minimums).

Is Merrill Edge completely free? ›

Merrill Edge at a glance

$0 + $0.65 per contract. No annual, inactivity or transfer/closing fees for brokerage accounts; $49.95 full outgoing account transfer fee for retirement accounts.

How do I get my money out of Merrill Edge? ›

Log in to your account. Select 'Withdrawal' or 'Withdraw funds' from the appropriate menu. Select the withdrawal method and/or the account to withdraw to (if more than one option is available) Enter the amount to be withdrawn, and, if prompted, a short reason or description.

Is Merrill Edge good for day trading? ›

Other trading platforms and tools. Merrill Edge offers everyday investors access to everything they need (and more) to manage an investment portfolio through the Merrill Edge website. For active traders, Merrill Edge offers its MarketPro desktop trading platform, which is feature-rich but not suitable for day trading.

Who is the most successful financial advisor? ›

2022 Rank2021 RankAdvisor
1NGregory Vaughan
21Lyon Polk
32Mark T. Curtis
43Brian Pfeifler
38 more rows

How much money do you need for Merrill Lynch? ›

Qualifying to be a Merrill Lynch Wealth Management client requires a minimum of $250,000 in assets available for investment. The minimum for a managed account is $100,000. With less than that minimum, customers are encouraged to utilize Merrill's online investment toolbox, which includes Merrill Edge.

What is the 1% rule for day trading? ›

Key Takeaways. The 1% rule for day traders limits the risk on any given trade to no more than 1% of a trader's total account value. Traders can risk 1% of their account by trading either large positions with tight stop-losses or small positions with stop-losses placed far away from the entry price.

How much money do you need to open a Merrill Edge account? ›

Merrill Edge has no account minimums and unlimited $0 online stock and ETF trades. Clients with at least $20,000 in combined deposit and investment accounts qualify for additional perks through the Preferred Rewards program.

Is Robinhood better than Merrill Edge? ›

Is Merrill Edge better than Robinhood? After testing 15 of the best online brokers over six months, Merrill Edge (84.89%) is better than Robinhood (64.85%). Merrill Edge offers $0 trades with industry-leading research tools — especially for ESG research — and excellent customer service.

Does Merrill Edge report to IRS? ›

If necessary, adjusted information will be provided to the IRS . Merrill is required to report your taxable information on Forms 1099 to the IRS . To fulfill our reporting obligation to you and the IRS, we will report the adjusted cost basis and the date it was acquired for covered transactions .

Can I withdraw money from my Merrill Edge account? ›

To withdraw money from Merrill Edge, you need to go through the following steps: Log in to your account. Select 'Withdrawal' or 'Withdraw funds' from the appropriate menu. Select the withdrawal method and/or the account to withdraw to (if more than one option is available)

Does Fidelity charge an annual fee? ›

With no account fees and no minimums to open a retail brokerage account, including IRAs. Get detailed pricing and learn more about how we compare to others on service, security, and more . account.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Francesca Jacobs Ret

Last Updated: 12/10/2023

Views: 5480

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (48 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Francesca Jacobs Ret

Birthday: 1996-12-09

Address: Apt. 141 1406 Mitch Summit, New Teganshire, UT 82655-0699

Phone: +2296092334654

Job: Technology Architect

Hobby: Snowboarding, Scouting, Foreign language learning, Dowsing, Baton twirling, Sculpting, Cabaret

Introduction: My name is Francesca Jacobs Ret, I am a innocent, super, beautiful, charming, lucky, gentle, clever person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.