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Merrill Edge vs Vanguard

Merrill Edge is an affordable online broker with robust research options for small to mid-size investors. How does it compare to Vanguard? Read our comparison chart below.

Merrill Edge (a subsidiary of Bank of America) offers stock trades at $6.95 per trade and options trading at $6.95 + $0.75 per contract. BofA customers can get 30 free trades a month if balance requirements are met. There is no account minimum, no maintenance fee, and no inactivity fee.

While Vanguard offers low stock trade prices (starting at just $2) for investors with account balances over $500k. For those with smaller balances, it's best for less active traders, as trade prices go up after 25 trades/year. Vanguard offers 125+ no-transaction-fee mutual fees and 55+ commission-free ETFs. There is no minimum deposit and service fees can be waived by signing up for electronic statements.

Compare Merrill Edge with Vanguard, side-by-side. Read on for an in-depth look, including ratings, reviews, pros and cons.

 

Merrill Edge

Vanguard

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Benefits and Features

Stock Trading
$6.95 per trade
Less than $50,000: $7 per trade for the first 25 trades per year, then $20.
$50k - $500k: All trades $7.
$500k - $1M: All trades $2.
$1M - $5M: First 25 trades per year free, then $2.
$5M+: First 100 trades per year free, then $2
Options Trading
$6.95 + $0.75 per contract
Less than $500,000: $7 + $1 per contract.
$500,000+: $2 + $1 per contract
Minimum Deposit
$0
$0
Mutual Fund Trading$0 for no load, no-transaction-fee funds ($39.95 short-term redemption fee if the fund is held less than 90 days) $19.95 for no load, transaction-fee funds$0 for no-transaction-fee funds. For transaction-fee funds: $20 for account balances less than $500,000; $8 for account balances $500,000+
Commission Free ETFs
None
Around 1,800 ETFs from about 100 other companies
Broker Assisted Trades
$29.95
$25.00
Customer Service
24/7
Monday-Friday 8am -10pm ET
Inactivity Fee
None
$0
Maintenance Fee
$0
$20/year. Waived if account owner signs up for e-delivery service OR have at least $10,000 in Vanguard ETFs and mutual funds
Banking
Through Bank of America
No
Mobile App
Yes
Yes
Desktop App
Yes
Yes
Forex Trading
No
Yes
Futures Trading
No
No
LocationsMore than 2,100 Bank of America locations
No
Online Community
No
No
Seminars
Yes
Yes
Virtual Trading
No
No
 

CreditDonkey® Reviews

Stock Trading
Options Trading
Mutual Fund Trading
Online Platform
Banking
Mobile App
Commissions and Fees
Ease of Use
Research
Pros & ConsPros:
  • No account minimums
  • Current Bank of America customers experience seamless account integration
  • Robust research opportunities
Cons:
  • Platform is not friendly for frequent traders who execute quick trades
  • No commission-free ETFs available
  • Market research reports can be hard for beginners to understand
Pros:
  • Large selection of mutual funds and commission-free ETFs
  • Broker assistance is available at no additional cost
  • Easy to use
Cons:
  • Commission structure penalizes frequent traders
  • Customer service wait times
  • Commission costs on non-Vanguard investment options
Bottom LineAffordable online broker with robust research options for small to mid-size investors... Read full reviewGood choice for ETF and mutual fund investors interested in Vanguard-sponsored investments... Read full review

Merrill Edge: Pricing information from published websites as of 07/20/2019.

Vanguard: Pricing information from published websites as of 07/20/2019.

Which is Better: Merrill Edge or Vanguard?

Still need help deciding which investing is better? Read the in-depth reviews below. You may also be interested in comparing Merrill Edge or Ally Invest.

In short: Merrill Edge's stock trading, mobile app, and research are impressive. Vanguard's mutual fund trading and ease of use are impressive.


Articles on Merrill Edge


Articles on Vanguard


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