Learn about the advantages of stock investments.
Trading stocks is a riskier strategy than investing in bonds, but in exchange for risk, stocks offer the opportunity for capital appreciation and can potentially boost total return in a portfolio of stocks and bonds.
Advantages of Stocks
  • Historically higher rates of return
  • Liquidity
  • Breadth of choice across sectors, geographies and industries
Competitive Pricing
Learn more about our competitive fees and commissions—including commissions as low as $0² for online stock trading.
Please remember there's always the potential of losing money when investing in securities including the loss of investment principal.
Online Stock Trading Tools and Resources
Our online brokerage service offers sophisticated resources to help you select the products that may meet your needs:
  • Stock Screener filters quickly through thousands of stocks based on the criteria you set
  • Industry-leading research from BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research, Standard & Poor's, Morningstar and more for expert opinions to help you determine which stocks to trade.
  • Customizable charts show how your stocks' performance stacks up compared to published indices
  • Comparison tool to compare securities by performance, ratings, earnings and growth, and fundamentals.
  • Profiles display all of the details you need on one page for each stock
  • After-hours stock trading enables you to take advantage of investing opportunities when they arise
  • Educational resources: Videos, calculators and articles about stocks. Learn more »
Market and economic information to stay up to date as you manage your equity holdings:
  • Cost-basis information to help you determine the gain or loss on both open and closed positions³
  • Company announcements and up-to-the-minute news 
  • live coverage of the broad market indices and expert analysis of recent economic reports
  • Upgrades and downgrades from well-known analysts
  • Index and sector performance tracked in real-time
  • Alerts for price and volume changes, ratings changes, announcements, news and updates on your portfolio
Ready To Get Started?
Call 1.888.MER.EDGE (1.888.637.3343)
Representatives are available
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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Merrill Edge Investing Classroom
Get in on the ground floor of stock investing by learning how stocks work and what it means to be a shareholder.
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1 Source: Standard & Poor's, Barclays Capital. Based on average calendar-year returns 1990 to 2009. Stocks are represented by Standard & Poor's Composite Index of 500 Stocks, an unmanaged index that is generally considered representative of the U.S. stock market. Bonds are represented by the Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond index. Cash is represented by a composite of the yields of 3-month Treasury bills published by the Federal Reserve and the Barclays 3-Month Treasury Bills index. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. It is not possible to invest directly in an index.

2 $0 trades are only available with an individual or joint Merrill Edge self-directed brokerage account. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (MLPF&S) waives its commission fee for as many as 30 monthly online equity trades, including stock and exchange traded funds (ETFs) for customers who meet any one of the following criteria:

a) Combined total of $25,000 or more in your deposit accounts at Bank of America, N.A. When you make a trade, MLPF&S determines whether you meet the balance requirement to qualify that trade for the $0 waiver. MLPF&S adds the average collected balances in your deposit accounts as of the prior month to the balances in your bank CD and IRAs as of the prior business day. Bank deposit accounts with the same Social Security number (SSN) as the SSN(s) on the self-directed brokerage account are systematically included in the balance determination. If this calculation reflects a combined total of less than $25,000, a second calculation is made. To determine the 30- trade limit, MLPF&S adds the qualifying trades in your individual accounts and joint accounts. Commission fees apply when the balance requirement is not met, or when you exceed 30 qualifying trades a month. Brokerage fees associated with, but not limited to, margin transactions, option trading, special stock registration/gifting, account transfer and processing, account maintenance, research request and termination apply. See merrilledge.com for details. Standard deposit account fees apply. Relationship requirements and pricing are subject to change.
b) Or combined balance of $25,000 or more in cash balances in one or more of the following sweep options in your Merrill Edge self-directed account(s) as of the prior business day:
  • Bank Deposit Accounts sweep option with your Cash Management Account® (CMA®)
  • Retirement Assets Savings Program II sweep with your IRA.

c) Or Client of U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management
d) Or Client of Platinum Privileges

This offer does not apply to Business/Corporate Accounts, Investment Club Accounts, Partnership Accounts and certain fiduciary accounts held at MLPF&S.

You automatically enjoy status in the Platinum Privileges® program if you have an active Bank of America personal checking account and maintain at least $50,000 as a combined balance in your Bank of America deposit accounts and/or your Merrill Edge brokerage accounts. Platinum Privileges® is not available to U.S. Trust and Merrill Lynch Wealth Management clients. Please speak with your U.S. Trust advisor or Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor for information about the enhanced banking benefits available to you through your wealth management relationship. As of June 30, 2013, we will no longer enroll customers into the Platinum Privileges program in the states of KS, MO, NV, SC and WA.

3 Cost-basis information does not substitute for your own tax records and may not be accurate for tax reporting purposes. Neither Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated nor National Financial Services LLC are tax advisors. Please consult your personal tax advisor when calculating your realized tax gains and losses. This information is taken from sources believed to be reliable, however, please review information for completeness and accuracy.

BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research is equity research produced by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated and/or one or more of its non-U.S. affiliates.