TradeKing vs vs Vanguard vs Fidelity vs Capital One Investing

TradeKing vs Fidelity, Vanguard, Capital One Investing: Intro

One of the least publicized low-cost brokers is TradeKing. In addition to low fees, the company also provides investors with a range of investment services. Let's take a look at how TradeKing compares to some other major brokers, specifically Vanguard, Fidelity, and Capital One Investing.


Fees Stocks/ETFs
Mutual Funds
IRA Setup
and Annual Fees
Tradeking $4.95 $9.95 $4.95 + $0.65 per contract $50* $0
Capital One $6.95 $19.95 $6.95 + $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

TradeKing is easily the best priced broker in this comparison. Investors with $1 million or more will find the best value in Vanguard.

Customer Service

Of the four brokers, Fidelity is the lone firm to maintain phone service around the clock. TradeKing, Capital One Investing, and Vanguard maintain service hours only during the weekday. All brokers except Vanguard offer on-line chat service.

Only Fidelity has a nationwide network of offices that can service client accounts. There are some Capital One Investing representatives at certain Capital One Bank branches who can provide investment advice for a fee. Fidelity offers the same service in addition to its retail locations.

Fidelity easily wins the opening category.

Investing in Funds

TradeKing customers can buy and sell over 8,500 mutual funds. Load funds are always free to trade, while no-load funds are $9.95 on both the sell and buy sides. Vanguard provides nearly twice as many funds, totaling more than 16,000 offerings. Of these, roughly 2,400 carry no load and no transaction fee. At Fidelity, investors will find over 11,500 mutual funds on the broker's website. Roughly 1,800 are no-load, no-transaction-fee products. Capital One Investing offers approximately 1,000 funds. About 400 of these come with no transaction fee and no load.

ETF traders can buy and sell exchange-traded funds at all four brokers. Fidelity and Vanguard clients can trade select groups that are commission free. Fidelity has 91 from iShares and Fidelity. Vanguard oversees 55 of its own ETF's, which are free to trade on the Vanguard website.

Overall, Vanguard takes the category.

Trading Tools

Fidelity's website is simple to navigate. It contains a lot of helpful educational and research information. These resources are in article, video, inforgraphic, and course format. The website has a simple trade ticket that appears in the left-hand side of the browser. It can be used for trading, but not charting. An advanced desktop platform is available for Fidelity customers who execute a minimum number of trades every quarter. The firm is one of the few brokerages to have an app for Apple TV.

The Capital One Investing website is user-friendly, but doesn't have as much material as the Fidelity website has. There is a simple trade bar at the bottom of Capital One's site. However, trades cannot be placed from it. Rather, it provides basic trade data, such as bid-ask spread. The broker does not have a desktop platform.

Compared to Fidelity and Capital One, Vanguard's website is much harder to navigate. It takes several minutes of searching just to find the broker's ETF screener. The website's drop-down menus produce pages that require more searching and navigation. A search field in the top right of the website makes finding your way around the site a little easier. There is no advanced platform or trade bar from this broker.

Despite TradeKing's low fees, the broker's website is well laid out. Helpful menus at the top of the site make navigation fairly straightforward. However, there is less information on the TradeKing site compared to Fidelity. There is a trade bar at the bottom of TradeKing's site. Trades can be placed from it, but it's not able to produce a chart. The broker provides a simple browser-based platform called TradeKing LIVE free for all clients. A more advanced desktop system is available for active traders.

The victory here goes to Fidelity.

Mobile Apps

Trading on mobile devices is available at all four brokers. Fidelity is the only firm to provide live streaming of financial news and a platform for Apple Watch. The Fidelity app also has a library of on-demand videos. On the Vanguard app, account documents are accessible in pdf format, although it lacks many other features, such as streaming business news. The Capital One Investing app has neither charting nor mobile check deposit. The TradeKing platform has alerts and charting, but trading mutual funds is not possible.

The category is awarded to Fidelity.

Related articles:     Capital One Investing vs Optionshouse      Capital One Investing vs Wellstrade     

Alternative Investments

In addition to the normal range of securities, TradeKing also offers forex trading. None of the other three brokers provide futures or forex. TradeKing customers can also use a dedicated forex platform at no cost.

TradeKing wins here.

Banking Features

Fidelity is the only firm to offer a cash management account that is free. TradeKing charges $20 for check writing and $35 for a debit card but it has been acquired by Ally Bank so its banking services will definitely improve in 2017. Capital One Investing does not offer these amenities at any price (strange given that it's owned by a bank). Vanguard requires an account balance of half a million dollars to apply for cash management services.

Fidelity easily wins here.


Vanguard (Review) won one category, Capital One Investing (Review) didn't place, Fidelity (Review) succeeded in 4 categories, and TradeKing (Review) managed to take two victories including the Pricing category. Fidelity is the winner. Despite Fidelity's good performance, TradeKing is an excellent choice for investors seeking the best value in investment services, while Vanguard is a good selection for mutual fund and ETF traders.

Updated on 10/10/2016.

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