Fidelity Investments vs. Merrill Edge

Daniel Penzing
Written by
Last update:

The top two discount brokerage firms for investing in stocks and mutual funds are Fidelity Investments and Merrill Edge. The choice between these two firms depends on the kind of customer you consider yourself to be. Here are some important factors to consider when deciding between the two:

Accessibility: Fidelity is probably the best option for the retail investor who only sporadically trades. In addition to excellent customer service, Fidelity offers an enormous range of products. The company also offers a mobile app that makes trading easy.

Merrill Edge and Fidelity offer similar services, but Merrill Edge appears to have a better mobile app with features that make it easier to explore and trade. Accessibility could be important for customers who have trouble getting out of the house. Merrill Edge has branches in 43 states, compared to just 30 locations for Fidelity.

Educational resources: Merrill Edge’s website overflows with excellent resources that cover the nuts and bolts of how to invest for retirement. The retirement center on the site walks you through various advanced investment topics, provides calculators, and even lets you know how much you need to save for your retirement. Merrill Edge even gives you a dedicated advisor to help you plan out your retirement. Educational resources are important for long-term investors who want to take control of their long-term investments.

Compare & Alternatives

Fidelity Investments vs. Merrill Edge

If you have an IRA, stocks, or any other investment through Fidelity Investments or Merrill Edge, then you might assume that there are few, if any, alternatives to consider. However, some investors should consider other options outside of these companies based on a combination of factors.

Fidelity Investments and Merrill Edge have distinct advantages and disadvantages. But, at the end of the day, there’s simply some situations where neither company would be a good fit or could be a better fit than the other choice. Here are some of the factors that should be considered:

  • Fidelity Investments VS Merrill Edge
  • High-Expense Ratios

Both Fidelity Investments and Merrill Edge charge expense ratios on their mutual funds. However, because of the investments that Merrill Edge offers and the size of their collective assets, their incurred expenses are higher than Fidelity Investments.

Depending upon the type of investments you’re looking at, this could matter. Generally, you’ll probably want to avoid funds with excessive expense ratios. It’s easy to compare expense ratios by using each company’s website.