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
Mutual Funds
IRA Setup
and Annual Fees
TD Ameritrade $9.99 $49.95 $9.99 + $0.75 per contract $0 $0
Etrade $9.99 $19.99 $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
TD Ameritrade

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 is the only company in this review recommended for active traders as well as for futures trading.


TD Ameritrade offers the most value to prospective customers, and we strongly recommend it over Fidelity Investments, Etrade and Vanguard Brokerage. The firm is especially beneficial to customers new to investing, for IRA accounts, and for traders (commissions are negotiable 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.

Etrade doesn't have retirement account fees and is a decent option for an IRA to customers who rarely make transactions, and for investing in bonds.

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).


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

Etrade: None

Vanguard: None

Fidelit Investmentsy: None

Updated on 8/6/2015.

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