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Portfolio > Economy & Markets

Merrill Edge Ends Trading Commissions for Self-Directed Clients

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Merrill Edge office in San Francisco.

Merrill Edge Self-Directed is joining the handful of investment firms that have eliminated commissions on stock, ETF and options trades.

Options trades will still be subject to a $0.65 per-contract fee.

“We first introduced zero-dollar trading in 2006, expanded it to unlimited free online trading for all Preferred Rewards members this fall, and are now making it available to all of our self-directed clients,” said Aron Levine, head of Consumer Banking and Investments at Bank of America. “With free trades now an industry standard, attracting clients and building lifelong relationships will depend even more on the value investment firms bring to the table.”

Merrill Edge Self-Directed is the firm’s most basic digital advisor offering and has no minimum requirement. The Preferred Rewards program requires a three-month average combined balances of $20,000 or more in qualifying Bank of America banking accounts and/or Merrill investment accounts.

With its latest move, Merrill Edge Self-Directed joins Schwab, Fidelity, E-Trade and Ally Financial in offering commission-free trades for stocks, ETFs and options.

Schwab started the trend among large brokerages in early October, but digital trading app Robinhood was the first to offer commission-free trades to the retail market. It introduced no- commission trades in 2013, when it launched, after which other digital providers including SoFi Invest and M1Finance followed.

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