Etrade Review

4-star brokerage firm rating

Fidelity review

Etrade vs Fidelity

Etrade vs Fidelity 2015: Account Pricing, Commissions, Fees


Fidelity Investments

  • Stocks and ETFs: $9.99 ($7.99 if making 150+ trades per quarter)
  • Stocks and ETFs broker assisted: $34.99
  • Options: $9.99 + $0.75 per contract ($7.99 + $0.75 if making 150+ trades per quarter)
  • Mutual funds: $19.99
  • Futures contracts: $2.99 per contract, per side + fees
  • Forex: markup or markdown will be included in the prices quoted on the E*TRADE FX trading platform
  • Fixed Income: markup or markdown and any transaction fee will be included in the price quoted
  • Bonds: $1 per bond (minimum $10, maximum $250) for online secondary market trades. Includes Agency bonds, Corporate bonds, Municipal bonds, Brokered CDs, Pass-thrus, CMOs, Asset Backed Securities.
  • Investment products: stocks, bonds, mutual funds, forex, fixed income, futures, options, ETFs
  • Etrade minimum deposit to open account: $500 for non-retirement cash account, $0 for retirement cash account, $2,000 for margin account
  • All Etrade fees

  • Stocks and ETFs: $7.95
  • Stocks and ETFs broker assisted: $32.95
  • Stocks and ETFs FAST (automated service phone): $12.95
  • Options: $7.95 + $0.75 per contract
  • Mutual funds: $49.95 ($75 for some funds; Fidelity funds are commission free) to buy, $0 to sell ($49.95 if sold within 60 days)
  • Bonds (U.S. Treasury Auctions, including TIPS Auctions, U.S. Treasury Bills, Notes), primary market CDs: on a net yield basis
  • GSE (Agency Securities), secondary CDs, Municipals, Corporates (BBB- or higher), CATS/TIGRS, Corporates (BB+ or lower): $1 per bond ($250 max.; $50 max if maturing in one year)
  • Commercial Paper: $50 per transaction
  • Investment products: stocks, bonds, mutual funds, options, commercial paper, forex, foreign stocks, UITs, precious metals, ETFs
  • Fidelity minimum deposit to open account: $2,500 ($0 for Rollover IRA; $2,500 or $200 per month for ROTH and Traditional IRA)
  • All Fidelity fees

Etrade vs Fidelity Investments: Pros


Fidelity Investments

  • No account maintenance or inactivity fees
  • Large and well established company
  • Powerful trading tools
  • No IRA account fees, and no minimums with electronic statements and confirmations
  • Low minimums to open accounts: $500 for cash account, $0 for retirement cash account, $2,000 for margin account
  • Investing advice is available by phone or in person
  • No surcharges on large orders or penny stocks
  • Great research amenities from S&P, MorningStar, Thompson Reuters, Credit Suisse, and Smart Consensus
  • Access to trading on 40 foreign exchanges

  • No surcharges on penny stocks, large orders, or after-hours trading
  • Great investment research tools with large selection of independent research from 12 firms
  • Huge selection of commission-free mutual funds
  • Free DRIPs (dividend reinvestment plans)
  • No account maintenance or inactivity fees
  • Great customer service
  • Rich selection of investment products
  • Good banking services (checking, savings accounts, and credit cards)
  • 84 commission-free ETFs

Etrade vs Fidelity Investments: Cons


Fidelity Investments

  • High commissions on stocks and ETFs
  • High margin rates
  • $0.005 per share surcharge on extended hours trades (ECN fee) and on trades executed through E*TRADE Pro at an ECN during both regular market and extended hours sessions
  • E*TRADE Pro platform is available at no charge only to customers who execute at least 30 stock or options trades during a calendar quarter

  • Very high commissions - $49.95 ($75 for some funds) - to purchase non-Fidelity mutual funds
  • $12 annual Low Balance Fee for each noncore Fidelity mutual fund if balance is under $2,000
  • High margin rates
  • Foreign currency wires cost up to 3% of principal
  • Advanced trading platform, Active Trader Pro, is available only to clients making 36+ trades per year
  • High $2,500 minimum to open an account

Etrade vs Fidelity Investments: Comparison Summary

We start this brokerage review by comparing the two companies' investing costs. Fidelity Investments (Fidelity Review) commissions on stock and ETF trades are now less expensive than at Etrade (Etrade Review): $7.95 and $9.99 respectively. But mutual fund transactions are $19.99 at Etrade and an amazing $49.95 ($75 for some funds) at Fidelity (!). The two firms also offer large selection of NTF (no-transaction fee) mutual funds. Both brokerage companies do not have surcharges on large orders and on stocks priced under $1 as well as no account maintenance or inactivity fees.

Fidelity's main advantage over Etrade is no fee investing in Fidelity's own family of mutual funds. But, unlike the competitor, the company does not offer free streaming quotes to all its customers.

Etrade comes ahead in international trading and in trading tools categories. Out of these two firms, it is also a better choice for a Beginner Investor Account.

When comparing IRA accounts, Fidelity Investments' various mutual funds fees might diminish returns for some customers. Etrade's no-fee approach makes it a more appealing choice for an individual retirement account.

Both brokerage houses offer a lot of value to prospective customers. They provide impressive independent 3rd party investment research from most top rated research firms as well as rich selection of investment products for clients to choose from. There are also good banking services available for convenience to all account holders.

However, both companies are too expensive for 2015. Compare their pricing to $7 stock/ETF commission and $17 mutual fund rate charged by the fellow "Big 5" brokerage - Scottrade (review), or $5 stock/ETF commission and $10 mutual fund rate offered at the 6th largest brokerage house in the U.S. - TradeKing (review). We see no good reasons to overpay a brokerage company for many years, and loose a substantial amount of hard-earned money to commissions and fees.

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This article was updated on 8/3/2015.

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Review discount online brokerage firms comparison: Etrade or Fidelity Investments? Differences between investment companies. Recommendation for stocks, options, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds investors. Fidelity versus Etrade 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?

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