I use Morningstar for mutual fund picks, but my broker (Merril Lynch) does not offer many of them. It's a pain because sometimes they don't offer good fund alternatives.

Is my only option to move to a new broker?
If so, which brokers have a reputation for offering the most fund options, especially the higher risk ones?

  • 2
    That seems odd to me. My experience is that most brokerages offer most funds that a publicly traded. I've never found one yet that I couldn't get through Schwab.
    – JohnFx
    Commented Jan 21, 2012 at 22:18

2 Answers 2


Schwab has a largest variety of mutual fund offerings, mostly no-fee, and is a discount brokerage.

Fidelity offers no-fee and loaded funds. Since the question mentioned this, note that Morningstar selected Fidelity funds as three of their Top 5 ranked funds of 2011 (in a fixed-income category maybe? I don't recall). This was just announced a few days ago.

Vanguard is good too, certainly for index funds. However, Schwab or Fidelity are better if you're interested in funds with higher-risk profiles.

Consider E*Trade, for mutual funds and ETF's. There's a little variation, but as of today, E*Trade offers 7600 mutual funds!

Merrill is your broker. I assume you have a fee-based account. If you pay fees, you should get the widest range of fund alternatives to pick from! That is puzzling. I can't imagine why a full-service broker would have a smaller selection of funds than Schwab or Fidelity. A full-service broker should also be able to offer you specialty funds, e.g. those with higher risk, as you expressed an interest in, more easily.

  • For more detail about Vanguard offerings see this answer money.stackexchange.com/a/5715/3361 Commented Jan 23, 2012 at 19:23
  • I take issue with the notion that anything that isn't Vanguard is "higher risk". Vanguard is just another fund family. It's tough to invest in Vanguard through a broker, as they refuse to refund broker transaction fees, and you will generally pay a commission to purchase a fund. Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 0:16
  • @duffbeer703 Both Schwab and Fidelity offer index funds. Schwab has many lower-risk AND high-risk (e.g. emerging markets) index funds. I didn't intend to imply that anything that isn't Vanguard is higher risk. Nor the converse, that any Vanguard fund is low risk. I agree with you, that Vanguard seems more restrictive, often resulting in fees. Of course, one could use Vanguard as full-service broker personal.vanguard.com/us/whatweoffer/stocksbondscds/… so they could be more than just another fund family. Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 8:16
  • @duffbeer703 Consider ETF's at Schwab versus Vanguard. Schwab seems a lot less restrictive, in terms of fees and universe of fund family choices that Vanguard. But comparisons are not straightforward! personal.vanguard.com/us/funds/vanguard/… The fine print at the bottom of the page corroborates quite well what you alluded to. Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 11:42
  • In other words, this is something to keep in mind about Vanguard: money.stackexchange.com/a/6169/3361 Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 4:02

You can research what different discount brokers offer on their websites. Try out TDAmeritrade or Fidelity. Anyone can go and research on their sites without getting an account.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .