Merrill Edge Self Directed Investing Review


  1. Introduction
    • About Merrill Edge
    • Overview and History
  2. Our Take
    • Usability
    • Beginner-Friendliness
  3. Pros & Cons
    • Major Benefits
    • Potential Drawbacks
  4. Detailed Features
    • Usability
    • Trade Experience
    • Mobile Experience
    • Range of Offerings
  5. Trading Technology & Order Types
  6. Cost Structure
    • Trading Costs
    • Hidden Costs
  7. Tools and Amenities
    • Stock Screener
    • ETF and Mutual Fund Screener
  8. Research Resources
    • Third-Party Integrations
    • Charting
  9. Cash and Account Management
  10. Security and Reliability
    • Protections and Guarantees
    • Potential Vulnerabilities
  11. Transparency & Disclosure
  12. Account Varieties
  13. Customer Service
  14. Conclusion
  15. FAQs

Merrill Edge Self-Directed Investing: An In-depth Analysis

Merrill Edge, a subsidiary of Bank of America, offers an all-in-one platform for both advised and online investing. Established in 2010, it facilitates trading, brokerage, and banking. Over the years, it has expanded its investment centers, positioning itself as a unified solution for banking and brokerage requirements. Thanks to Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program, customers enjoy a myriad of benefits, making Merrill Edge particularly alluring for existing Bank of America patrons.


Our Review

Initiating your investment journey on Merrill Edge is a breeze. The platform’s interface is intuitive, offering insights on account balances, market updates, and portfolio performance. And for those who desire a little more hand-holding, the platform’s technology is commendably beginner-friendly.


Novice and intermediate investors will appreciate the platform’s technology and expansive services. Given its affiliation with Bank of America, it promises seamless banking and investing experiences, superior in-person assistance, and a wealth of educational resources.

Pros & Cons

Major Benefits

  • Seamless integration with Bank of America
  • A rich tapestry of both proprietary and third-party research.
  • No fees or minimum requirements for self-directed accounts.

Potential Drawbacks

  • A limited lineup of products.
  • A platform not entirely geared for very active traders.

Detailed Features

Navigating Merrill Edge is simple. The platform offers a clear view of account data, market insights, and more.

Trade Experience
The platform’s trade experience is intuitive, aided by the customization options of MarketPro.

Mobile Experience
Though not as customizable as the desktop variant, the mobile app is meticulously designed, retaining most tools and resources from its larger counterpart.

Range of Offerings
From stocks and ETFs to binary options and mutual funds, Merrill Edge offers a respectable range, though futures, forex, and crypto enthusiasts may be disappointed.

Trading Technology & Order Types

Powered by Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s smart order router, the platform prioritizes quality over speed in trade executions.

Cost Structure

Merrill Edge aligns with the industry’s shift towards commission-free trading for stocks and ETFs.

Tools and Amenities

Featuring a robust stock screener, Merrill Edge ensures users have an upper hand in understanding market fluctuations.

Research Resources

Their dedication to providing top-tier research tools is evident. With integrations from Morningstar, Lipper, and an in-house research team, they offer unparalleled insights.

Cash and Account Management

Idle cash is automatically moved to a more lucrative money market fund, ensuring your money is always working for you.

Security and Reliability

Biometric access, a soft token for high-risk trade authorization, and SIPC insurance make Merrill Edge a fortress against unauthorized breaches.

Transparency & Disclosure

Though they detail most fees openly, some, like margin interests, require direct customer representative engagement.

Account Varieties

Merrill Edge doesn’t skimp on options, offering everything from traditional IRAs to 529 plans for college savings.

Customer Service

Available 24/7, their customer service ensures clients’ queries are addressed promptly, whether via phone or live chat.


For long-term investors, especially existing Bank of America customers, Merrill Edge is a worthy choice. With a comprehensive platform, extensive research tools, and a robust mobile app, it stands out. However, active traders might feel the platform’s limitations.


  • What is Merrill Edge best known for?
    Merrill Edge is renowned for its integration with Bank of America, offering a seamless investment and banking experience.
  • Is Merrill Edge suitable for active traders?
    While it provides a plethora of tools and resources, active traders might find its offerings somewhat limited compared to specialized trading platforms.
  • What security measures does Merrill Edge implement?
    They employ biometric access, soft token verifications for high-risk trade authorizations, and provide SIPC insurance, ensuring top-notch security.
  • Is there a commission for stock and ETF trades?
    No, Merrill Edge offers commission-free trading for stocks and ETFs.
  • How does Merrill Edge fare in terms of user experience?
    The platform’s interface, whether on desktop or mobile, is user-friendly and intuitive, catering to both beginners and seasoned investors.

Also See: Keystone Investors Club Review


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