Compare Merrill Lynch versus WeBull: IRA, commissions, investing fees, trading tools, account differences, pros and cons. Which online broker is better in 2022?

Overview of Merrill Edge and WeBull

Are you looking for a brokerage firm? Do you want the best in software and trading services? Webull and Merrill Edge may have what you’re looking for, but there are important differences between the two brokers. Take a look at this comparison before picking one:

Comparison Table

Merrill Edge Review
Rating 3.5-star brokerage firm rating Webull Rating
Stocks $0 $0
Options (per contract) $0.65 $0
Mutual Funds $19.95 na
Initial Funding Requirement $0 $0
Inactivity Fee $0 $0
IRA Annual Fee $0 $0
Full Account Transfer $0 $75
Partial Account Transfer $0 $75
Account Closing Fee $0 $0
Trading Experience & Technology brokerage ratings brokerage ratings
Mobile brokerage ratings brokerage ratings
Research Amenities brokerage ratings brokerage ratings
Portfolio & Analysis Reports brokerage ratings brokerage ratings
Customer Service and Education brokerage ratings brokerage ratings
Open an account Up to $600 when you open a Merrill Edge account with at least $20K. Grab your last chance to get 12 free stocks valued up to $30,600.


Methods of Investing

Although Merrill Edge is a discount broker, it offers more than just self-directed accounts; also on tap is a managed account service, which takes a lot of the guesswork out of the investing process. For a small fee (starting at just 0.45% per annum) a licensed human advisor will trade ETFs and mutual funds in your Merrill account.

Self-directed accounts are also available. On top of mutual and exchange-traded funds, Merrill self-directed customers can buy and sell bonds, stocks, and option contracts.

Webull is an ultra-low-cost firm. As such, it doesn’t offer any type of portfolio management. Bonds and mutual funds are also unavailable. Inside of self-directed accounts, Webull clients can trade stocks, ETFs, closed-end funds, options, and cryptocurrencies. That last product is a notable advantage over Merrill.

Winner: Merrill Edge overall

Websites

During our research, we found the Merrill Edge website easy to navigate. A previous trade bar has been removed, but the updated site nevertheless has some useful trading tools. These include charts with technical indicators, an order ticket with trailing orders, and many useful research tools.

Webull’s website is far worse, with almost no useful information on it. But it has something that Merrill’s site doesn’t: a browser platform. Launched from the top of the screen, this very useful piece of software has some powerful trading tools.

Even the most experienced traders will find some potent tools on this platform. During our research, we found the following features to be especially useful:

- Multi-chart and multi-ticket trading
- Volume analysis
- Level II data
- Demo mode

None of these are available on Merrill’s site. Some features of course will overlap, such as charting. But here, Webull far outperforms its rival. For example, a graph can be blown up the full width of the computer screen, a nice feature that’s not possible on the Merrill website.

Besides the graph’s full-screen capability, other tools can also be expanded the full width of the screen. Merrill’s site leaves much white space around the center column of information, which means a lot of monitor space is simply left empty. With Webull’s web-based platform, this does not happen, and lots of widgets can be packed into the trading space.

Winner: Webull

Desktop Programs

Although Merrill seems to underperform in the realm of website trading, it more than makes up for its failure with MarketPro, a very good desktop trading system. Launched from the website, this professional-level software boasts some really impressive features, including the following highlights:


Merrill Lynch vs Webull


Market Depth, which includes Level II data plus some other helpful trading numbers Charts with more than 100 technical indicators, 13 graph styles, and roughly 25 drawing tools Free access to Recognia and OptionsPlay.

The one downside of MarketPro is that the software requires a download of a small file every time the platform is launched.

Webull’s desktop platform doesn’t have such a requirement. Instead, the software is launched normally like most other desktop programs are. Even better, the software remembers your previous login and doesn’t require another at launch.


Webull Trading Platform


Like MarketPro, Webull’s desktop program has some really nice features. Here are a few examples:

- Paper trading (not available on MarketPro)
- Bracket orders (also not available on Merrill’s platform)
- Customizable order buttons (ditto)
- Level II quotes
- Watchlists
- Full-screen charting (although with fewer features than MarketPro has)

Winner: Pretty close

Mobile Apps

Now we come to mobile trading, and neither broker disappoints. During our test drive of Webull’s platform, we found many great features, including a community forum, a rarity among brokerage firms nowadays. A simulated trading mode makes practicing a breeze, and trading competitions are a big plus.


WeBull vs Merryll Lynch


Trading tools abound. These widgets include a multi-graph charting mode, several graph styles, bracket orders, a cryptocurrency order ticket, watchlists, alerts, and more.


Merryll Lynch vs WeBull


Although Webull’s mobile app is quite impressive, there are a few features that Merrill Edge manages to deliver that are absent on Webull’s app. These highlights include a credit score, mobile check deposit, and bill pay (all at no charge). Graphing tools, though, aren’t on the same level as Webull’s, and without a social networking dimension, Merrill’s app simply fails to deliver the same trading experience.

Winner: Webull

Margin Borrowing

If you want to amp up your trading game using borrowed funds, both firms have what you need. At Merrill Edge, expect to pay either 9.989% or 8.889%, depending on the amount borrowed. At Webull, the sliding scale has more tiers, but the bottom rung is at 3.99%, while the top is only 6.99%.

Webull’s software, but not Merrill Edge’s, delivers important margin details on stocks and ETFs.

Winner: Webull

Miscellaneous Services

Fractional-share Trading: Available at Webull but not on Merrill Edge.

IRAs: Webull has personal IRAs, while Merrill Edge has both personal and small business accounts.

IPO Availability: Webull, but not Merrill Edge, provides ongoing lists of upcoming offerings on the U.S. stock exchanges.

Banking Tools: Only Merrill Edge has cash management tools.

Dividend Reinvestment Program: Available only at Merrill.

Extended Hours: Pre-market and after-hours trading are both available at Merrill and Webull. The latter broker has a much longer morning session.

Winner: Webull


Incentives

WeBull: Grab your last chance to get 12 free stocks valued up to $30,600.

Merrill Edge: Up to $600 when you open a Merrill Edge account with at least $20K.



Recommendation

IRAs: Merrill Edge has better IRA resources.

Beginners: Pretty even overall.

Stock/ETF Trading: Merrill Edge has much better ETF research tools, but Webull has better trading tools and pricing.

Small Accounts: Webull.

Long-Term Investors and Retirement Savers: Merrill has financial advisors, mutual funds, and more retirement accounts. Easy pick.

Final Judgment: Webull or Merrull Edge?

Both of these brokerage houses have strengths and weaknesses. With this review, you should be able to pick the one that delivers the most output for your investment needs.

Open Webull Account


Open WeBull Account

Open Merrill Edge Account


Open Merrill Edge Account


Webull


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