Fidelity vs TD Ameritrade vs Etrade vs Vanguard

Compare TD Ameritrade vs Etrade vs Vanguard vs Fidelity


Compare trading and investing fees, IRA (Traditional, ROTH, and SEP) accounts, stock/mutual fund/ETF pricing, and brokerage service differences.


Etrade vs Vanguard vs TD Ameritrade vs Fidelity: 2015 Comparison Charts


Broker Stocks/ETFs
Commissions
Mutual Funds
Commissions
Options
Commissions
Maintenance
Fees
IRA Setup
and Annual Fees
Etrade $7.99-$9.99 $19.99 $9.99 + $0.75 per contract $0 $0
TD Ameritrade $9.99 $49.95 $9.99 + $0.75 per contract $0 $0
Fidelity $7.95 $49.95 ($75 for some funds) $7.95 + $0.75 per contract $0 $0
Vanguard $7-$20 $8-$35 $30 + $1.50 per contract $20* see

* Vanguard is charging $20 annual maintenance fee (waived if user chooses to receive statements and other information electronically).


Broker Investment Products Trading Tools Customer Service Research Overall Rating
Etrade
TD Ameritrade
Fidelity
Vanguard


TD Ameritrade vs Fidelity vs Vanguard vs Etrade: Review


We will begin this online broker accounts comparison with the most important category for most customers - investing costs. Fidelity Investments is the best priced company among these brokerage firms, offering flat-rate $7.95 commission for stock and ETF trades. Etrade and TD Ameritrade charge higher, $9.99 per trade rate. Vanguard's pricing is $7 for the first 25 trades, $20 for subsequent trades for accounts with balances less than $50,000.

TD Ameritrade is charging $50, Etrade - $20, and Fidelity Investments charges $49.95 ($75 for some funds) for the no-load mutual funds transactions. Vanguard's rate is $8 for accounts with over $1 million, $20 for accounts $500,000–$1 million and $35 for accounts under $500,000.

The rates above are mostly above the average in the online investing industry. On average investors pay $7 for stock or ETF trades, and $30 for no-load transaction fee mutual funds. The pricing is the reason why these online brokers got lower Overall Rating score.

Vanguard Brokerage imposes a $20 annual maintenance fee for regular accounts. The firm's competitors in this review don't charge maintenance fees and, unlike Vanguard, provide great third-party independent investment research services.

TD Ameritrade and Fidelity are at the first spot when comparing customer service. Etrade also got very high rating in this category. Vanguard seems to have understaffed customer service, and therefore it's not easy to get a response with this brokerage, which could get frustrating at times.

All discount brokerages in this review (except Vanguard) offer powerful trading tools that will satisfy most do-it-yourself investors. Because of best-in-class trading technology, TD Ameritrade and Etrade are the only companies in this review recommended for active traders as well as for futures trading.


Recommendations


TD Ameritrade and Etrade offer the most value to prospective customers, and we strongly recommend them over Fidelity Investments and Vanguard Brokerage. The firms are especially beneficial to customers new to investing, for IRA accounts, and for traders (Etrade commissions are lower for those who trade often).

Fidelity Investments and Vanguard are recommended to the clients who want to invest mostly in their respective families of mutual funds and ETFs.

Before deciding to open an account in a particular firm, we strongly encourage our readers to take a look at the detailed brokerage reviews (containing promotional deals for new customers) for TD Ameritrade (TD Ameritrade Review), Fidelity Investments (Fidelity Review), E*trade (E*trade Review) and Vanguard Brokerage (Vanguard Review).


Promotions

Etrade: None

TD Ameritrade: Trade free for 60 days + get up to $600.

Vanguard: None

Fidelit Investmentsy: None



This article was updated on 3/2/2015.



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