Online Brokerage Account

Investing & Trading Overview > General Investing

Pursue your investment strategy with an online brokerage account

Open an online brokerage account and enjoy a streamlined investing experience that combines the convenience of Bank of America banking and the investing insights of Merrill Lynch. Select from a full range of investment choices including stocks, bonds, ETFs, options and thousands of well-known mutual funds.
May be a good move for...
  • New investors, experienced investors and active investors alike
  • The flexibility of a cash managed account
  • Accessing a full range of investment choices
 
Why Merrill Edge

Become a better informed investor

Generate investment ideas from BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research—ranked #1 Global Research House by Institutional Investor four years in a row.3 And gain added perspective with independent research from Morningstar, S&P Capital IQ and Recognia. You can also get one-on-one support to make sure you are getting the most out of the resources Merrill Edge offers.
Streamlined investing:
Merrill Edge MarketPro for active investors
Are you an active investor?
Get more insights, more capabilities and more control with Merrill Edge MarketPro®5
Investing Made Simple

Frequently asked questions

What are the advantages of an online brokerage account?

  • Make real-time transfers between your Bank of America bank and Merrill Edge investment accounts6
  • Keep your long-term investments on track through access to a full range of investment choices
  • Trade throughout the day with access to your account anytime, anywhere on your mobile device
  • Monitor your investment performance so you know exactly where you stand
  • Manage everyday transactions with services such as check-writing, a Visa® deferred debit card and web bill pay

    If you need help, give us a call at 1.888.637.3343—24 hours a day, 7 days a week

What types of brokerage accounts can I open?

  • You have choices when it comes to accounts. Open an individual account, a joint account, or if you're investing on behalf of a minor, open a custodial account.

How do I fund my account?

Fund in one of four ways:
  1. Real-time instant funding6—same-day funding from your eligible linked Bank of America bank account and your new Merrill Edge online brokerage account (transfers from your eligible linked accounts at other financial institutions take up to three business days to process and clear)
  2. Fund by wire transfer—next-day funding from accounts at other financial institutions received by 4 p.m. ET will post to your new Merrill Edge account the next day
  3. Fund by check—send a personal, cashier or bank check to:

    Merrill Edge
    P.O. Box #962
    Newark, NJ 07101-0962

    Deposited funds typically post to the account within two days of receipt. Funds are available for investment when posted, but can be held from withdrawal for up to eight days.
  4. Transfer an account—the transfer of securities or accounts held at another financial institution typically takes 8-10 business days. Moving securities from one of your Merrill Edge accounts to another is real time.

What are my investment choices?

Access a full range of investments, including: stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), bonds and thousands of well-known mutual funds.
For a simpler approach to investing, consider Merrill Edge Select® Portfolios, which offer a diverse portfolio of investments aligned to your goals and risk tolerance—pre-screened, monitored and adjusted by the professionals at Merrill Lynch.

Can I write checks from the cash management side of my investment account?

Yes. You can write an unlimited number of checks from your account.

Looking for one-on-one advice?
A licensed Merrill Edge Financial Solutions Advisor™ can answer questions, provide ongoing guidance and work with you to create an investment action plan.
Getting Started

Three steps to get started with your Merrill Edge online brokerage account

1

Open your account

It takes just minutes to open your account online. Here's what you'll need.
If you need help, give us call at 1.888.637.3343 — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
 
2

Fund your account

Fund your account instantly in real time from your linked Bank of America bank account, and also by linking to an account at another financial institution. Or, transfer funds to your account by check, by wire transfer, or by transferring or rolling over an existing account.8 Learn how to fund your account.
 
3

Start investing

Create an investment strategy
Become a smarter investor with help from our Financial Learning Center. Here you'll learn how to make a plan and build a balanced portfolio aligned to your investing goals.
Find the right investments
Start your search for investment choices that may be right for your portfolio with Merrill Edge Select® Funds and ETFs—pre-screened by the professionals at Merrill Lynch. And generate more investment ideas with buy-rate equities evaluated by the professionals at BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research. Prefer building your own list? Narrow your choices with help from our powerful screening tools and independent research from Morningstar, S&P Capital IQ and Recognia.
Manage your portfolio
Access your new Merrill Edge online brokerage account anytime, anywhere—online, on your mobile device and at thousands of Bank of America ATMs.
 
Looking for one-on-one advice?
A licensed Merrill Edge Financial Solutions Advisor™ can answer questions, provide ongoing guidance and work with you to create an investment action plan.
Pricing & Fees
Merrill Edge offers simple, flat-rate pricing of $6.95 per unlimited online equity and ETF trade1—that's lower standard pricing than Fidelity, TD Ameritrade and E*TRADE.4

Pricing & fees

Simple flat-rate pricing
$6.95 per unlimited online equity & ETF trades.1 No trade or balance minimums.
Learn how you can qualify for $0 trades.2 See fee details1
$6.95 everyday low trading price

Brokerage account fees

Annual account fee
$0
Minimum funding requirement
$0
Additional transaction, service and
investment fees.
 
Looking for one-on-one advice?
A licensed Merrill Edge Financial Solutions Advisor™ can answer questions, provide ongoing guidance and work with you to create an investment action plan.
Ready to get started?
888.637.3343
Call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Other ways to invest
Merrill Edge Guided Investing
Experience online investing enhanced with professional portfolio
management at a low cost.
Invest with
an advisor
Receive one-on-one advice from a licensed Merrill Edge Financial Solutions Advisor™.
600 dollar IRA offer
Get up to $600 when you enroll, open and fund a new Merrill Edge® investment account or IRA.
How to qualify
1 Other management and transaction fees may apply. In addition to your stock, ETF or option commission sell orders may also be subject to a transaction fee (of between $0.01 to $0.03 per $1,000 of principal). If applicable, this fee appears under "Transaction Fee" on a Trade Confirmation. There are other fees associated with investing in ETFs, Read the "Expenses & Charges" sections of the prospectus to find out what they are. Contact us to obtain a prospectus.

2 $0 trades are only available with an individual or joint Merrill Edge self-directed brokerage account. When placing a trade, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (MLPF&S) determines whether you meet the balance or relationship requirements to qualify that trade for the $0 waiver. To determine the number of qualifying trades, MLPF&S adds the qualifying trades in your individual accounts and joint accounts. Commission fees apply when qualification requirements are not met, or when you exceed the number of qualifying trades a month.

Brokerage fees associated with, but not limited to, margin transactions, option trading, special stock registration/gifting, account transfer and processing, research request and termination apply.

a) Commissions are waived for 30 online equity trades each month including stock and exchange traded funds (ETFs) on behalf of MLPF&S, for customers who meet any one of the following criteria:
i) Combined total of $25,000 or more in your deposit accounts at Bank of America, N.A. 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. Standard deposit account fees apply.
ii) 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 sweep with your IRA
iii) Or Client of U.S. Trust
iv) Or Client of Preferred Rewards Platinum
b) Commissions are waived for 100 online equity trades each month including stock and ETFs on behalf of MLPF&S, for customers who meet any one of the following criteria:
i) A Client of Preferred Rewards Platinum Honors
ii) Or Client of Banking Rewards Wealth Management U.S. Trust

This offer does not apply to Business/Corporate Accounts, Investment Club Accounts, Partnership Accounts and certain fiduciary accounts held at MLPF&S. Other fees and restrictions may apply. Relationship requirements and pricing are subject to change and/or termination without advance notice. To learn about additional ways to qualify for $0 trades, call 1.888.MER.EDGE (1.888.637.3343).

You are eligible to enroll in the Preferred Rewards program if you have an active, eligible Bank of America personal checking account and maintain a three month average combined balance in your qualifying Bank of America deposit accounts and/or your qualifying Merrill Edge and Merrill Lynch investment accounts of at least $20,000 for the Gold tier, $50,000 for the Platinum tier, or $100,000 for the Platinum Honors tier. SafeBalance Banking accounts do not count towards the account or balance requirements, and do not receive the fee waivers and other benefits of the program. Certain benefits are also available without enrolling in Preferred Rewards if you satisfy balance and other requirements. For details on Employee qualification requirements, please visit the Employee Banking & Investments website. The Preferred Rewards Gold tier does not include the $0 online equity and ETF trades via Merrill Edge®, a benefit that is currently available at the Platinum and Platinum Honors tiers of Preferred Rewards. Merrill Lynch Wealth Management clients with greater than $250,000 in assets with Bank of America and Merrill Lynch are eligible for additional banking benefits. Please speak with your Merrill Lynch financial advisor for details.

3Institutional Investor magazine announced BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research as the Top Global Research Firm for 2011, 2012,2013 and 2014, based on surveys held throughout the year. The magazine creates rankings of the top research analysts in a wide variety of specializations, drawn from the choices of portfolio managers and other investment professionals at more than 1,000 firms. For more information about this award, go to www.institutionalinvestor.com/TopGlobalResearch2014.

4 Fidelity's standard online price is $7.95 per equity or ETF trade (excluding certain iShares and Fidelity ETFs offered commission-free). Schwab's standard online price is $6.95 per equity or ETF trade (excluding ETFs available through Schwab ETF OneSource™ when placed in a Schwab account that are available commission-free). E*TRADE's standard online price for equity, ETF or option trade is $9.99, $7.99 for customers who trade at least 150 times per quarter, $6.99 for customers who trade 1,500+ times per quarter. TD Ameritrade's standard online price is $9.99 per equity or ETF trade. Note: Competitive comparison pricing information as of 02/02/2017 excludes special promotional offerings and sales of fractional shares.

5 Merrill Edge MarketPro® is available to clients who maintain a Merrill Edge self-directed relationship. To qualify, you must maintain total combined balances of $50,000 or more in your Merrill Edge and Merrill Lynch investment accounts and Bank of America, N.A. deposit accounts, or make at least 15 self-directed trades per quarter. Preferred Rewards Platinum or Preferred Rewards Platinum Honors also qualify. Not available to investment professionals or for trust accounts and business accounts. Relationship requirements and pricing are subject to change. To learn more go to merrilledge.com/marketpro.

6 Certain banking and brokerage accounts may be ineligible for real-time money movement, including but not limited to transfers to/from bank IRAs (CD, Money Market), 529s and Credit Cards and transfers from IRAs, Loans (HELOC, LOC, Mortgage) and accounts held in the military bank. Accounts eligible for real-time transfers will be displayed online in the to/from drop down menu on the transfer screen.

7 Edge Roadmap participation requires a Merrill Edge Advisory Center™ account.

8 You have choices for what to do with your employer sponsored retirement plan. Depending on your financial circumstances, needs and goals, you may choose to roll over to an IRA or convert to a Roth, roll over to an employer sponsored plan from a prior employer to an employer sponsored plan at your new employer, take a distribution or leave the account where it is. Each choice may offer different investment options and services, fees and expenses, withdrawal options, required minimum distributions, tax treatment and provide different protection from creditors and legal judgments. These are complex choices and should be considered with care. Visit http://www.merrilledge.com/retirement/rollover-ira or call a Merrill Edge rollover specialist at 1.888.637.3343 for additional information about your choices.

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.

Merrill Edge self-directed investing is intended to be a fully-electronic, internet based brokerage service. This means that all notices, statements, disclosures and other information regarding this service and your account will be sent to you electronically via www.merrilledge.com or to your last designated email address.

Please remember there's always the potential of losing money when investing in securities.

Options involve risk and are not suitable for all investors. Certain requirements must be met to trade options. Before engaging in the purchase or sale of options, investors should understand the nature of and extent of their rights and obligations and be aware of the risks involved in investing with options. Prior to buying or selling an option, clients must receive the options disclosure document "Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options." Call the Investment Center at 1.877.653.4732 for a copy. A separate client agreement is needed. Orders which involve multiple option transactions will be charged a separate commission on each leg of the option order.

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