Merrill Edge excels in terms of self-directed investing pricing, research, and investing options. But it doesn’t support every asset class, and its robo-advisor branch isn’t competitive on pricing.
No Crypto Investing
Merrill Edge offers commission-free trading and supports numerous investments. However, a lack of crypto investing is one major drawback.
If you want to add digital assets to your portfolio, you can use a cryptocurrency exchange like Coinbase or Gemini that support dozens or hundreds of popular coins. Alternatively, use investing apps like Robinhood that support crypto.
No Fractional Shares
While you can enable a dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP) to reinvest dividend earnings with Merrill Edge, he broker doesn’t support fractional share investing outright. Overall, this makes Merrill Edge less beginner-friendly than brokers like Charles Schwab and Fidelity which both support fractional shares.
High Guided Investing Fees
Merrill Edge’s flexibility for its Guided Investing plan is a strength. However, fees are steep, even with potential Preferred Rewards discounts.
The $1,000 investing minimum is also high. In comparison, robo-advisors like Betterment have a $0 balance requirement and only charge 0.25% annually. Wealthfront, another leading robo-advisor, has a $500 balance requirement and also charges a 0.25% annual advisory fee.