Merrill Edge Merrill Edge  

Merrill Edge is an online discount brokerage service provided by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Launched on June 21, 2010, Merrill Lynch is a part of Bank of America's retail banking division.

Merrill Edge was created to merge Bank of America Online Investing (Quick & Reilly) and Merrill Lynch's research, investment tools, and call center counsel. When it was established, Merrill Edge had 500,000 Bank of America customers. The firm focuses on investors with between $100,000 and $250,000 in investable assets. In 2015, the service held $118 billion from two million customers and employed 2,500 advisers working in bank branches and call centers.


Launched on June 21, 2010, Merrill Edge is a "a no-frills brokerage unit" of parent company Bank of America's retail banking division. Created after Merrill Lynch became a subsidiary of Bank of America in 2008, it contains the Merrill Lynch name and its employees are included in Merrill Lynch's number of employees. It merged Bank of America Online Investing (Quick & Reilly) and Merrill Lynch's research, investment tools, and call center counsel. At its inception, Merrill Edge had 500,000 customers from Bank of America's current clients. Bank of America launched the product to compete with Charles Schwab Corporationand Fidelity Investments for the numerous fledgling investors unprepared for comprehensive advice. Bank of America aimed to build brand loyalty among these younger investors who generally have strong technological skills and appreciate a higher degree of openness and personal oversight of their accounts. It is intended for well-educated clients who want to invest between $100,000 and $250,000. Other Merrill Edge competitors are cheap automated Internet advising services like Wealthfront or Personal Capital.

In 2015, the five-year-old Merrill Edge had $118 billion in 2 million customers' investable assets. It accumulated the assets through three main avenues: existing Bank of America customers (which accounted for around a third of the assets held), Merrill Lynch referrals (which accounted for a marginally higher proportion of the assets), and marketing (which accounted for the rest). Bank of America added videoconferencing kiosks to their bank branches in the Los Angeles metropolitan area and the Washington metropolitan area to promote Merrill Edge and to allow customers to receive counsel from employees based in Arizona, Florida, and New Jersey. Bank of America marketed Merrill Edge on their locations' windows and automated teller machines. The service allows customers three options for doing trades: making the trades themselves, handing over for every order a $6.95 fee, and paying a fee of 1% of the capital for a separately managed account.

In 2015, Merrill Edge had 2,500 advisers working in bank branches and call centers. Roughly 1,500 of the advisers worked in the bank branches. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2015 that Bank of America intends to increase by twofold Merrill Edge's banking branch employee number. According to Reuters, the service's "financial solution advisers" are "licensed broker-dealers and bankers who are paid a salary", whereas full-service brokers receive commissions. Aron Levine, the head of Preferred Banking and Merrill Edge, manages the bank branch advisers.


Merrill Lynch brokers were told to refer customers with less than $250,000 in investments to Merrill Edge. The intent was for the brokers to focus on wealthier investors and for Merrill Edge to reciprocate by sending customer with more than $250,000 in investments to Merrill Lynch. In 2015, the Merrill Lynch broker incentive system changed to give brokers no money for managing accounts less than $250,000. In 2014, Merrill Edge referred 30,000 customers to Merrill Lynch and U.S. Trust. Converted referrals gave Merrill Lynch an additional $4 billion to manage, which when apportioned among Merrill Lynch's 14,000 advisers is roughly $285,700 and two referrals per adviser. When referred to Merrill Lynch, Merrill Edge's customers sometimes do not migrate their accounts because of the higher costs for trades.


In 2012, Merrill Edge released Face Retirement, a product that age progresses a submitted photo of a person. The aim of the tool is to convince people to save for retirement earlier because a study has shown that younger people who think of themselves being older save more.

In a 2015 interview with The Wall Street Journal, Aron Levine, head of Merrill Edge, said the company was considering an "automated advice service". Dozens of Bank of America workers worked on a prototype of the product, which is planned for release in 2016. Merrill Edge will begin offering to customers robo-advisors that employ algorithms populated with dozens of components. Bank of America customers who invest less than $250,000 usually do not receive counsel from Merrill Edge employees, so the robo-advisors would enable them to receive advice.


NerdWallet writer Arielle O'Shea gave Merrill Edge a rating of 4.5 out of 5. She listed the service as "best for lowest-cost penny stock trades" because Merrill Edge offers a $6.95 flat commission with no extra fees for penny stocks. O'Shea said the downsides to Merrill Edge's penny stock offering are that penny stock offerings are restricted and portfolios cannot contain exclusively penny stocks. She also noted that Merrill Edge lacks no-commission exchange-traded funds.

Start Trading


Foundation Year 2010
Trading Platforms Online Investing, Mobile Investing, Merrill Edge MarketPro
Reliability Rate AA
Authorised Capital
Brocker Fee 6.95
Exchange Fee
Withdrawal Fee
Minimum Deposit 0
Mobile Trading
Daily Analytics
Bonuses & Discounts
Seminars, Education
Phone 1 888 637 3343
Address 677 Centre St, Boston, MA 02130, USA

User Reviews

   Dylan    2016/9/25 15:11   

I'm currently a Merrill Edge customer since early 2012. I don't rely on many of the tools, because I graduated with a Finance degree and have worked for large US banks(Currently a CFA Candidate). I would not recommend this brokerage for first time users, the tools are not great. It works well, if and only if you know what your doing. Take advantage of limit orders, that way you can get the price on your investment you like.

Pros: Low fees, security card for OTC/Pink, DRIP, Mobile Deposit, and offer a variety of ETF's/Mutual funds

Cons: Bond Platform not the greatest for searching for bonds, have to call customer service to allow them to let you trade commodity ETF's, Bad Advice from CFA's, and website is somewhat difficult to navigate

EdClark    2016/9/25 15:11
What is a security card for OTC/Pink? When trading otc is there a bid and offer size and price and last trade price like exchange traded stocks.

   louc    2016/9/25 15:11   

Merrill Edge Financial adviser first did a trustee to trustee transfer from my B of A accts. (2 traditional and 1 Roth IRA) into a Merrill Edge account. Problem is, he co-mingled the accounts to 1 account at ME instead of 2. You never mix traditional w/ Roth. I've informed them and they've been giving me the run around. B of A did there part correctly as a transfer. ME wants me to do a distribution of excess which sounds like a distribution from IRS stance plus it's now beyond 60 days, going on 90 and they still haven't taken the Roth funds out of the co-mingled accts. I see it as an internal issue and they should fix it. Thoughts?

James    2016/9/25 15:11
Tell them if NOT fixed correctly in 24 hours, you will complain to IRS, and their paper work will also be a night mare.

   J.Walker    2016/9/25 15:11   

Out of the blue they locked my buy sell option. When I called they said they decided to end the business relationship but offered no reason why. I had never had a deposit or withdraw since opening my account 1.5 years earlier and never had any customer service issues. In fact, had never spoken to anyone, did everything online. My account was over $1 million.

I probably averaged 50 trades a month, nothing too unusual. The trades were free because of the account size but they showed how little honor and customer value they have. They are lost. One would be better off finding a more respectable broker.

   PhillipMcCrackin    2016/9/25 15:11   

Worst customer service, management I've experienced in 15 years. The handling of simple matters is so frustrating and difficult that I would not trust them to manage money. They should not be in business and the employees and management I dealt with are better suited working a drive through window at a fast food restaurant.

LongTimeInvestor    2016/9/25 15:11
Yes I agree the customer service people for the most part have no idea about investing or at all familiar with their own site or products. If your new to investing I would stay away from them because they can have you doing things that could cause a paper work nightmare. In the past most all employees at a brokerage were licensed or studying to get one. These days they hire anyone regardless of their experience. Fries with that DRIP investment sir?

   IncomeAddict    2016/9/25 15:11   

I've used 5 online brokerage firms and in all 5 nothing went perfectly. Overall Merrill Edge has been one of the better experiences. In comparison to Wells Trade which also has free trades for customers over $25K, it's night and day. Other that I've used are Zecco, Tradeking, ETrade and WellsTrade that I previously mentioned above.

   Dee    2016/9/25 15:11   

My father passed away 7 months ago and I have been trying to get Merrill Edge to liquidate his mutual funds and pay out to his Estate. They have put me through the ringer with paperwork and conference calls and sent me from one department to another over and over again. All stall tactics to delay funding. I have an attorney involved and I have instructed them to contact the proper authorities to get my money. This is ridiculous. Merrill Edge is unprofessional and I wonder if there are financial issues as to why they can not simply fund the estate. Try to get your money out and see how it goes for you. Good Luck

quiinc    2016/9/25 15:11
I'm going through a similar experience now. Did you manage to get what you requested? If so, how? If you found that the only way to do this was with a lawyer, I'll go that route immediately.

   djcali2013    2016/9/25 15:11   

I've been with MerrillEdge for about three months, customer service is excellent but I'm not sure I can recommend them.

Opening a new account was easy, it took about 7-8 days after I submitted the transfer application online for my cash and securities to be transferred from my other broker. I received an email from a customer service representative and it was easy to contact them and he answered all my questions within a few hours via email on business days.

Screens are okay, some items are hard to find. For trading MerrillEdge does not allow -

Trailing stop orders; trading in certain high-risk ETFs like VXX is not allowed; "good until cancelled" (GTC) orders are automatically cancelled in 30 days if not executed.

Only other issue, I wanted to transfer funds from my checking account to my MerrillEdge account. On other websites this may be done online, MerrillEdge requires a two-page application form, which I completed, scanned and emailed to them. This is only needed once, and they processed it in one business day.

MerrilEdge's online experience is not as good as Optionsxpress.

Because of the restrictions mentioned above and the online experience, I'm looking for another broker.

Hoang    2016/9/25 15:11
I agree with you the customer service is excellent except one person she did not know what she talked about. She insisted that I could not sell my stocks on the same day I bought them regardless how much money I have in my account !!! The website sent me bogus warning that I do not have enough fund even I have much much more with margin account. When I called customer service they said ii was bogus and don't worry about it, the warning would clear on the settlement date !!! As you said the transfer fund was a nightmare compared with Fidelity.

   Aaron    2016/9/25 15:11   

MerrillLynch/BankofAmerica closed my IRA account without any notice did not send me a check for the funds in the account for now over 30 days from the date of settlement of the sale of all shares held in the account as well as the cash balance. I have been given nothing but a runaround from Customer Service and the Distribution departments. Even tried calling BofA Executive CR and was told they would just pass it on.

When will the Fed finally realize that BofA needs to be shut down, all they do is steal form their depositors!!!!

   LinuxCloudCoder    2016/9/25 15:11   

Both website to trade + app down for 40 min today.
Nasdaq was up at 9:30am 11/21/2014 by 1.05% (unbelievable).
Needed to sell, but website is down! Geeez...
Lost about $900 overall today thanks to MerrillEdge.
Called in, all they can say was sorry, we are really serious when it comes to our website. Really?
and I confirmed there was no other way to trade other than calling, which I did, but there was a 15+ minutes queue there.

   gary    2016/9/25 15:11   

I got 4 safe pass cards from them and they were all defective , I kept telling me there were spots on the LCD panel so you couldn't read the code, but all they do is send me the same thing, anybody had this problem?

jrbinval    2016/9/25 15:11
I just received my fifth SafePass card from Merrill... all of them have 'blistered' displays. Lots of promises from Merril, but they have shown no ability or willingness to fix the problem. I'm in California.

Nathan    2016/9/25 15:11
I got 6 cards and all have same problem. CS rep told me because I live n Florida ( more humid weather) I have this problem. Are you all folks from Florida?

Sergei    2016/9/25 15:11
Same story here. I've got 2 SafePass cards and both had (spots) spilled ink on the display window that made the cards completely unusable.

gary    2016/9/25 15:31
did you give up on ordering them? I just got the 5th unusable card. Id like to close the account but don't know where I'd get 30 free trades a month

Matthew    2016/9/25 15:31
I also got 2 SafePass cards with black spots on them which makes it impossible to read the code from the display. This is terrible way to do business and I think they don't care.

   WW85712    2016/9/25 15:31   

For the third time in a month now, I can't access my holdings nor trade on Merrill Edge's web site. The site has been down for more than an hour now and every time I call Service, they keep telling me "they're working on it" and that "they had to reboot the servers and it should be up shortly." This is unbelievable. That they don't have proper redundancy is just unacceptable.

   brian    2016/9/25 15:31   

BOA/Merrill Lynch screwed me out of $5,000.00 Dollars.
I just got screwed from Bank Of America/ Merrill Lynch. Last Friday I bought 500 shares of CTB(Cooper Tire) through my Merrill Edge account, I do this on line so I always check for and get my confirmation #216831107. So this morning I see that CTB is trading for $10 more in just 3 days, so I go, time to sell. I go to my trade section and CTB is not there. WTF. I call them up and they give me some mumbo jumbo about how they cancelled the sale. They don't call me or anything, if there was a problem they had every means to contact me, do they , Hell NO. I could have placed the order Monday, at about the same price and still made a profit for a change, if they had contacted me. So I lost $5,000 because they did not contact me. I am done with BOA/ Merrill Lynch, Please share this with all of your friends so that everyone knows how BOA/Merrill Lynch treats their customers, and I was one of their good customers I'd hate to see how they treat their regular customers.

Unsurecustomer    2016/9/25 15:31
Had the same thing happen last week. Had my purchase confirmation and went later that day to sell for a profit gain and comes to find out they cancelled my initial order despite providing a confirmation code.

Gunty    2016/9/25 15:31
Well, technically, you didn't "lose" 5k - you just didn't earn 5k. Sorry it happened, though. I've not had a similar experience in the last 4 years of trading with them.

   guest    2016/9/25 15:31   

I am a Merrill Edge financial advisor in a BOA banking center and California.
I can tell you a couple of things about Merrill Edge and why you should be very clear before you move to them. There are two types of accounts, first the self-directed account, this is where the trades are 6.95 a pop for etf's and stocks. then there is a merrill edge advisory account, where you work with someone like me to make investment decisions, stock and etf trades are 75.00 a trade on that platform.
I can honestly say that for self-directed trading merrill edge platform is by far the worst on the market, even with market pro. I have my accounts with merrill edge and it is a nightmare of a platform.
When going self-directed and using the call center number, all i have to say is good luck. I work for them and when i call for back office assistance with paperwork i will get put on hold just like you, and if i talk to three people i get three different answers. I can honestly say that I have been looking to move to a different firm because ever since Merrill was bought buy BoA, it is a disaster. Just check the trending news for financial advisor movement and you will see/read that once BoA purchased Merrill, financial advisors left in droves!
My advice to anyone looking at Merrill Edge for self-directed accounts is this; it is the cheapest on the market, but you get what you pay for and when it comes to investing when you pay a little more you are well rewarded. BTW my wife's self-directed accounts are with fidelity, what does that tell you.

ShellyRate    2016/9/25 15:31
I thought if you are an employee of BOA or Merrill Edge you are not allowed to ope an account with them?

DisatisfiedCustomer    2016/9/25 15:31
Spot On...So true, so true!

   M.Hall    2016/9/25 15:31   

I find Merrill Edge the most disorganized company imaginable. Everything take multiple calls and correspondence. Better go with such houses as Fidelity or Charles Schwab

   guest    2016/9/25 15:31   

I have lost a significant amount of my personal income based upon Merrill Edge CFA's reports. The Yahoo Street analysts make better prediction than the CFAs employed at Merrill Edge/BOA.

I must be the only customer to loose MONEY with MERRILL EDGE when the MARKET is GOING UP.



Ron    2016/9/25 15:31
If you rely on CFAs (who, if they don't trade, they don't eat) to make your investment decisions, then you deserve to lose money. Either get educated so you can be self-directed or invest only in CDs.

guest    2016/9/25 15:31
Moral of this story: Do you own research and don't follow the advice of CFAs. They are in the same business as reading tarot cards, palm lines, and tea leaves. MPT is BS but it is still held up a science despite evidence to support it's lack of effectiveness. If you lose money following the advice of the "Psychic Friends Network": it's your fault for listening to the prattle of mystics with crystal balls.

   TME    2016/9/25 15:31   

I have been a Merrill Lynch customer, at a local branch office for more than 25 years, and have significant holdings (7 figures) and am an experienced investor. I transferred from the branch office about a year ago, because the fees on my full service account we’re approximated 1% per year. The local office customer service, market savvy and investment advice was uniformly excellent, and timely and the office staff handled paperwork issues promptly, followed up and reported the status of any issues.

What I considered to be the high cost of the local branch office prompted me to transfer my holdings to the Merrill Edge platform.
Merrill Edge customer service is terrible. The service representatives are under-skilled and have no authority, or motivation to solve a problem, they recite canned scripts and check with their supervisors, even for routine matters. Worse, information about the services offered is inconsistent between representatives. The call in center is mediocre on its best days. And a great deal of time will be wasted authenticating yourself repeatedly as you are passed between representatives. The trading interface is slow, sometimes fails altogether and group of mutual funds available to the investor is rather limited compared to their competitors.

However the fees are low, the research is excellent, the options strategy builder very useful. So if you’re the sort of investor that is willing to tolerate bottom of the barrel customer service and is not dependent on a FA for investment counseling, Merrill Lynch could be a good fit for you.

   guest    2016/9/25 15:31   

I have also seen many instances where Merrill Edge will execute my stock options: where they will BUY at HIGHER Market price and SELL at LOWER market Price in a given day. When I called them, their reasoning was that the stock numbers are 20 minutes late! I think that they make money off my buy/sell execution. I would loose about $100-$200 from such mistakes, but I have no way to prove that Merrill Edge is making money off customer's profit.
I have lost a significant amount of my personal income based upon Merrill Edge CFA's reports. The Yahoo Street analysts make better prediction than the CFAs employed at Merrill Edge/BOA.

   guest    2016/9/25 15:31   

I have been an BOA customer. I opened a Merrill Edge Account. I have a substantial portfolio. All I can say about this firm is that they have provided a low fee structure knowing well that their Financial Analyst are (WRONG) 95% of the time. I have learned the hard way. I first trusted the BOA financial reports written by Merrill Edge CFA's. I actually lost 70K on their CFA's OPINIONs that GME stock will increase from $52 to $65. I never saw my money recover. GME stock is now around $38 and BOA CFA changed his report to a new POS: $43. There are many other instances where I have seen that BOA/Merrill Edge CFAs are dead wrong. For example, AAL (American Airlines) was downgraded to underperform in January when the pirce was around $26, now is $34. I have never seen such an idiotic groups of CFAs getting paid to publish GARBAGE. 95% of advice provided by Merill Edge CFAs is downright wrong.

   MaryDamiano    2016/9/25 15:31   

Absolutely the worst customer service I ever received. The worst advice I ever got. I put my faith in their judgement and lost 6000. I never made one cent with their rotten advice. They told me that to take my money out I need to sign these forms. Every time I get a form in the mail I always get feedback that I didn't do it right. Why was I not notified when my account started to go down. Don't waste your time or money with them.

Arpy    2016/9/25 15:31
People at brokerages have conflicts of interest. You don't trade, they don't eat. Ultimately, every investor is responsible for their own investment decisions. If you didn't do your own due diligence, it's nobody else's fault that you lost money. If you don't know enough about investing in securities to do your own research, you should be buying CDs, or hiring a reputable independent financial advisor who dispenses advice, not products.

   JenSak    2016/9/25 15:31   

Merrill Edge is where clients are sent that are not deemed worthy of having a Merrill Lynch account at a branch. They send smaller clients there so Merrill Lynch/Bank of America can make more money off the client since they do not have to pay a Financial Advisor in a branch. The service is very, very poor. A client is probably much better off at another online investment company.

   GrantWalkin    2016/9/25 15:31   

I think this is the best discount brokerage. I have over 2 million in my Merrill Edge account. I have NEVER paid a commission. NEVER. I constantly transfer dividends to my ATM and wherever I am in the USA there is a BOFA ATM available to me. What a convenience!
No one comes close. No bank, surprisingly has copied their model. No wonder Merrill is dominating the growth in this category.

   Gerard    2016/9/25 15:31   

In my personal Experience the worst firm in the entire industry. they delayed transactions and give you the run around when you want to close your account with them.

If you want to make money and trade go somewhere else.


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