4-star brokerage firm rating

Fidelity review

Fidelity vs Scottrade

Scottrade or Fidelity 2015: Account Pricing, Commissions, Fees


Fidelity Investments

  • Stocks and ETFs: $7
  • Stocks and ETFs broker assisted: $32
  • Stocks and ETFs interactive voice response (IVR) telephone system: $32
  • Options: $7 + $1.25 per contract
  • Mutual funds: $17
  • CDs, OTC Secondary Corporates, OTC Secondary Municipals, U.S. Treasury Bills, Notes, Bonds and STRIPS, New Corporate Offerings: subject to a markup or markdown
  • Listed Corporate Bonds: $35 + $3 per bond (minimum investment $1,000)
  • Unit Investment Trusts (UIT): $50 liquidation fee
  • Foreign Stocks Transferring In or Out: $60
  • Investment products: stocks, options, mutual funds, CDs, munis, U.S. Treasury, Canadian and foreign stocks, ETFs
  • Scottrade minimum deposit to open account: $2,500 ($0 for IRA accounts)
  • All Scottrade fees
  • Scottrade login, Scottrade promotions

  • 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
  • Fidelity login, Fidelity promotion

Scottrade vs Fidelity Investments: Pros


Fidelity Investments

  • No inactivity, account maintenance or hidden fees
  • No-fee IRAs
  • 500+ local branches for in-person assistance
  • Great support for beginner investors with a massive number of educational resources
  • Good banking services: savings, CDs, money market and free checking accounts (free ATM withdrawals, VISA check card, and free first order of checks)
  • Free real-time streaming quotes
  • Flexible and free dividend reinvestment programs (DRIPs)
  • Large number of mutual funds available - over 14,500
  • Instant funds deposits

  • 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

Scottrade vs Fidelity Investments: Cons


Fidelity Investments

  • Outdated, cluttered website design
  • Additional 0.5% of the principal value commission for stocks under $1
  • No electronic withdrawals, but clients can use a debit card, checks, or ACH transfer from their bank
  • $25,000 account balance, or 9+ stock/option trades during the previous three months is required to use advanced trading platform (ScottradeELITE)
  • High $2,500 minimum to open regular brokerage account (but $0 for IRA)

  • 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

Fidelity vs Scottrade: Comparison Summary

Scottrade (Scottrade Review) brokerage account offers slightly lower commissions on stocks and ETFs than Fidelity Investments (Fidelity Review): $7 and $8 per trade respectively. Fidelity provides its customers with access to over 1,400 commission-free, NTF (no transaction fee) mutual funds, and charges $49.95 ($75 for some funds) per transaction for all others. With Scottrade investors are getting over 2,600 commission-free, NTF mutual funds, and all others are just $17 per transaction.

Fidelity Investments and Scottrade offer completely free IRAs (no setup, custodial and annual fees), and latter doesn't even have IRA account closing fee that many other brokers charge. This is one of the reasons why in 2015 we rated Scottrade one of the Best Brokerages for IRA.

Both companies don't charge brokerage account maintenance and inactivity fees as well as surcharges on large-size and extended hours trades. Scottrade, however, has additional commission on penny stocks (stocks priced under $1).

Fidelity Investments is known for offering some of the best third-party independent investment research tools in the industry. A lot of customers open an account at the firm to invest in Fidelity's own family of mutual funds. Free dividend reinvestment is always a big plus too.

Scottrade is one of the Top Brokerages for Beginner Investors: it offers helpful customer service, lots of learning materials, largest network of local branches where customers could talk with someone face-to-face, and easy to use trading tools.

Because of lower commissions, which could mean savings of thousands of dollars over the years for active investors, we recommend Scottrade to most customers. Fidelity is excellent for anyone wanting to invest in Fidelity-family mutual funds and dividend stocks.

Scottrade Promotion - up to $2000

Fidelity Promotion - none
right now:

Fidelity review

Updated on 8/5/2015.

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