Free trades and great Bank of America integration: Merrill Edge

The battle between stock brokers is as competitive as any sector in the world, as the industry is as deep as ever with market participants. Each beats its own drum by promising powerful tools and no commissions, but how can the average retail trader know where to turn for the best experience?

This is no doubt a difficult task, which is why all of the options need to be carefully considered. One such option worth considering is Merrill Edge, whose features compare favorably with the rest of the competition. Let’s take a look at what Merrill Edge has to offer.

Like many of the other major stock brokers, Merrill Edge offers zero commissions on an unlimited amount of stock and ETF trades and no minimum balance to open an account, which opens the stock market to accounts of all sizes. Options trades are priced at only $0.65 per contract, and Merrill Edge doesn’t charge any annual or inactivity fees. To stay competitive, Merrill Edge also offers account promotions once a deposit is made, which range from $100 to $600 and start once a customer has deposited at least $20,000. These promotions are in line with the competition, but they definitely favor prospective customers with larger accounts. With Bank of America’s acquisition of Merrill Lynch, Bank of America customers can seamlessly check both their bank and Merrill Edge investing balances both online and even at Bank of America ATMs.

With regard to investment product offerings, Merrill Edge offers trading of stocks, bonds, ETFs, and options. Investors can also enjoy access to over 2,500 mutual funds that don’t charge a transaction fee to enter. Merrill Edge provides an online platform for making trades, and customers with at least a $50,000 account balance or those who take at least 15 trades per quarter can enjoy access to the Merrill Edge MarketPro platform. The MarketPro platform offers a complete solution for active traders that includes advanced charting that is streaming and interactive, watchlists which help you track your top tickers, news feeds to help you keep the pulse of the market, and a fully customizable dashboard. With all of Merrill Edge’s features and benefits, it has definitely joined the mix of top retail brokers.