TD Ameritrade vs Fidelity
Fidelity and TD Ameritrade: The Matchup
Fidelity and TD Ameritrade are two very popular brokerage firms who attract a lot of customers and offer an array of financial products. So which one is
the better broker: TD Ameritrade or Fidelity Investments? Let's find out.
Pricing, Fees, and Account Minimums
TD Ameritrade’s standard charge for trading stocks and ETF’s is $9.99, while Fidelity Investments charges $7.95. For options, both brokers charge
an extra $0.75 per contract.
Placing a trade with a human broker costs a very steep $44.99 at TD Ameritrade, while doing the same at Fidelity is a somewhat costly $32.95.
TD Ameritrade offers slightly more than 100 ETF's commission-free, while Fidelity has a selection of 84.
Brokerage accounts at both TD Ameritrade and Fidelity carry no inactivity fees or account maintenance fees. The minimum initial deposit to open a
brokerage account at Fidelity is $2,500, while TD Ameritrade has no minimum. Both brokers also offer no-fee IRA's.
The two brokers are pretty even in this category.
Fidelity offers more than 10,000 mutual funds, of which less than a thousand carry no-load and no transaction fee. Mutual funds that carry a
transaction fee are $49.95 or $75 (depending on the fund) per purchase.
TD Ameritrade has more than 11,000 mutual fund offerings, of which nearly 2,000 carry no transaction fee and no load. Transaction fee funds carry a
very pricey $49.99 charge.
Overall, the two brokers are pretty even in this category, too.
Research and Education
Fidelity offers extensive research for ETF’s, stocks, options, and mutual funds. Customers have access to free reports from Zacks, Morningstar, S&P
Capital IQ, Thomson Reuters, and others. Investors will find a useful research tool for more than 60,000 fixed-income offerings. Also available on
Fidelity's web site is useful information on IPO's and annuities. The broker also has a virtual learning center where investors will find videos,
articles, and webinars on a wide range of topics.
TD Ameritrade offers detailed research for stocks, options, ETF’s, and mutual funds. Customers have access to free stock and ETF reports from
Morningstar, Credit Suisse, TheStreet.com, S&P Capital IQ, and other independent researchers. The broker also provides its customers with Investools,
which offers courses at the beginner, advanced, and expert levels on a variety of financial topics, such as forex, options, and stocks.
This category produces another dead heat.
TD Ameritrade has phone service staffed 24/7. Representatives are available certain hours of the day who speak Spanish, Cantonese, or Mandarin.
The brokerage has more than 100 brick-and-mortar branches located across the United States for old school investors who want more personal
Fidelity can be contacted via an on-line chat system, phone, fax, or e-mail. The phone service is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The chat
service is on-line from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm EST. Fidelity also offers a lengthy list of phone numbers for customers traveling outside the U.S.,
from Albania to Zimbabwe and everywhere in between. Fidelity also has more than 100 branch locations.
Pretty close here.
TD Ameritrade offers several different platforms, all with free Level II quotes. First is the standard web site, which is user friendly. Next is
Trade Architect, a Java-based platform launched from the web site. Finally, there is
Thinkorswim. This platform is a stand-alone program. It offers stock analysis, market
news, account info, and order entry. All platforms are free to use with no frequent trader requirement.
A great tool that TD Ameritrade offers is their paperMoney, a practice platform within Thinkorswim that allows traders to simulate trading with
Trading securities at Fidelity is trouble-free with the broker's standard web browser platform, which includes a handy trade ticket. Fidelity also offers Active Trader Pro, an advanced trading platform for active traders.
This category goes to TD Ameritrade.
Fidelity has applications for iPhone, iPad, Android, and Windows Phone 8. The interface is intuitive and user friendly. Users can transfer funds between Fidelity and non-Fidelity accounts, make a mobile check deposit, place trades, pay bills, and contact customer service.
TD Ameritrade has three different apps for clients with every experience level: Mobile App for beginners, Mobile Trader App for intermediate level
investors, and a Thinkorswim app for experienced, active traders. They can be used on iPhone, iPad, and Android.
TD Ameritrade wins in this category.
Cash Management Features
TD Ameritrade offers a checking account with free checks, a free Visa debit card, and no monthly account fees. ATM fees are reimbursed nationwide. The account balance is deposited in up to two FDIC insured banks, doubling the default $250,000 insurance.
Fidelity offers their clients the Cash Management Account, which comes with checks, deposit slips, online images of all cleared checks, and a Visa Gold debit card, giving the account all the benefits of a traditional checking account, and actually more.
The account offers FDIC insurance up to $1,250,000. It does this by sweeping the cash balance into a maximum of 5 independent program banks, each offering the standard $250,000 protection.
Fidelity is the winner here.
TD Ameritrade offers forex and futures trading, while Fidelity does not. Fidelity has a greater emphasis on global investing, giving traders
25 national exchanges in 16 different currencies.
Pretty even here.
TD Ameritrade vs Fidelity: Results
There were four ties, TD Ameritrade was victorious in two categories, and
Fidelity was victorious in one category. TD Ameritrade wins by a small margin.
Updated on 11/25/2015.
Review discount online brokerage firms comparison: TD Ameritrade or Fidelity Investments? Differences between investment companies. Recommendation for stocks, options, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds investors. Fidelity versus TD Ameritrade for beginner
investors, long term, individual retirement accounts, active/day traders. See what stock broker service is better, cheaper, offers lower fees, cost, rated higher and easier to use. Which broker should you choose?