Merrill Edge IRAs Review 2017

3.5-star brokerage firm rating

Merrill Edge by Bank of America IRA Reviews: Roth IRA, Traditional IRA, Rollover IRA, SEP IRA, SIMPLE IRA. Retirement accounts fees, commissions, rating, advantages and disadvantages.

  • IRA setup fee: $0
  • Annual IRA fee: $0
  • IRA termination fee: $49.95

Merrill Edge IRA Account Review

  • Traditional IRA
  • ROTH IRA
  • Rollover IRA
  • SIMPLE IRA
  • SEP IRA
  • 401(k)

Merrill Edge IRA Fees and Investing Commissions

Merrill Edge does not charge setup or annual fees for IRA accounts. There is no inactivity fee and no initial deposit requires to open a retirement account.

Merrill Edge clearly lists all account fees and commissions on its website. Account holders can peace of mind and expect no hidden fees from the broker.

One drawback as far as fees are concerned is the $49.95 fee to closeout a Bank of America IRA account. This is an area where Merrill Edge is more expensive than, for instance, TD Ameritrade, which is among the best IRA providers. among major brokerage firms.

Investors who are looking for a low-cost retirement solutions will be pleased with trading commissions which are significantly lower than its rivals, Fidelity, Vanguard and Etrade, charge. However, those investors who are interested in even lower investment cost with no harm to the quality of service, may consider fees-free TradeKing IRA accounts.

  • Stocks & ETFs: $6.95
  • Options: $6.95 + $0.75 per contract
  • Mutual Funds: $19.99

Merrill Edge IRA Accounts Investment Options

The following investment options are available through Merrill Edge retirement accounts:

  • Stocks and ETFs
  • Mutual Funds
  • Fixed Income and Bonds (U.S. Treasury: bills, notes and bonds; municipal, corporate bonds; zero coupon bonds: corporate, government and agency bonds; agency: discounts, notes and bonds; brokered certificates of deposits)
  • Options
  • Annuities

Mutual fund, stocks and ETFs, fixed income and bond screeners are available to help simplify the process of choosing assets according investors needs. Near 4,000 mutual funds, over 4,213 fixed income and bonds are available through Merrill Edge. However, investment selections are not nearly close to number of funds offered through TD Ameritrade and Scottrade, firm's strongest rivals.

Account holders with over $20,000 in balance qualify for the Merrill Edge Select® Portfolios for a flat 1% annual fee. The optional service is designed to provide professional investment guidance in building and maintaining portfolio according to clients' needs and investment goals.

Merrill Edge Trading Tools and Research for Retirement Savings

Trading tools are mediocre compare to strongest competitors. Yet, beginners and less active investors will find broker's web-based platform quite satisfying. The advanced trading platform is available to active traders when certain trading or balance conditions are met. More about trading tools in Merrill Edge review. TD Ameritrade, for example, offers all its three trading platforms absolutely free to any customer despite of experience, number of trades or balances.

The broker did great in terms of research. Merrill Edge offers research from Morningstar, S&P Capital IQ and Recognia along with BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research. Far less research providers than competitors (13 providers through TD Ameritrade), yet it is better than nothing.

Merrill Edge IRA Good

  • No inactivity or maintenance fees
  • No-fee IRA accounts
  • Excellent 24/7 customer service
  • Integration with banking products and services
  • Third-party research
  • Clear, straightforward fees
  • Real time quotes
  • Free trades bonus with conditions

Merrill Edge IRA Bad

  • Advanced trading platform is available for free to an investors who execute 15 trades per quarter and to customers with total combined balances of $50,000
  • Small number of third-party research resources

Merrill Edge IRAs Review Summary

With clear flat-rate fees and a quite simple selection of investments, Merrill Edge offers IRA accounts to individual consumers and small businesses. As majority of U.S. banks, Bank of America, offers pretty standard retirement services. The brokerage was tops as an online broker for in-person service in the annual Barron's best online brokers survey in 2016. An average pricing, simplistic trading tools, a standard selection of instruments, which includes all 'must have' options for retirement savings though. Great customer support, a clear commission schedule and no IRA fees are the strongest features.

An instant transfers between Bank of America bank and Merrill Edge investment accounts is what the brokerage stands out among other firms. However, it is hardly the most important thing people are looking for when it comes to retirement savings. Nowadays top IRA providers have more to offer.

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Last updated: 1/4/2017