4.5-star brokerage firm rating

Scottrade Review

4-star brokerage firm rating

Fidelity review

Fidelity vs Scottrade



Scottrade or Fidelity 2014: Account Pricing, Commissions, Fees






Scottrade




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: 3,000+ commission-free NTF funds, $17 for others
  • 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 per transaction
  • Investment products: stocks, options, mutual funds, CDs, munis, U.S. Treasury, Canadian and foreign stocks, ETFs
  • Scottrade minimum deposit to open account: $500 for a cash account, $2,000 for a margin account
  • All Scottrade 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: $75
  • 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
  • All Fidelity fees




Scottrade vs Fidelity Investments: Pros




Scottrade


Fidelity Investments

  • No inactivity, account maintenance or hidden fees
  • No-fee IRAs
  • #1 in customer satisfaction according to JD Power and Associates
  • 500+ local branches for in-person assistance
  • Great support for beginner investors with a massive number of educational resources
  • Online user community
  • Good banking services: savings, CDs, money market and free checking accounts (free ATM withdrawals, VISA check card, and first order of checks free)
  • Only $500 minimum to open account
  • Free real-time streaming quotes and charts
  • Free dividend reinvestment for mutual funds (but not for stocks)
  • Largest number of mutual funds - over 14,500

  • Great research tools with large selection of independent research from 12 firms
  • Low-cost Fidelity mutual funds
  • Free DRIPs (dividend reinvestment plans)
  • Rich selection of investment products
  • Good banking services
  • No surcharges, except for $0.0192 per $1,000 of principal in addition to commission that is added to sell orders




Scottrade vs Fidelity Investments: Cons




Scottrade


Fidelity Investments

  • Additional 0.5% of the principal value commission for stocks under $1
  • No electronic withdrawals, but you can use a debit card or check. Once you receive checks, you will have the routing number and account number, which you can use to withdraw money via ACH initiated from other financial institutions

  • Extremely high commissions ($75 per transaction) on non-Fidelity mutual funds
  • $12 annual Low Balance Fee for each noncore Fidelity mutual fund if balance is under $2,000
  • $75 (minimum) mutual fund Short Term Redemption Fee (if a mutual fund is sold less than 180 days after purchase)
  • High margin rates
  • Foreign currency wires cost up to 3% of principal
  • No free streaming quotes (these are available only to active traders, which requires 120+ trades per year via the Active Trader Pro platform)




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 $75 per transaction for all others. With Scottrade investors are getting over 3,000 commission-free, NTF mutual funds, and all others are just $17 per transaction.

Fidelity Investments and Scottrade offer completely free IRAs (no setup, maintenance and annual fees), and latter doesn't even have IRA account closing fee that almost all other brokers charge. In 2014 we rated Scottrade one of the Best Brokerages for IRA.

Both companies don't charge 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 great customer service, lots of learning materials and helpful online investor community, where users can ask questions, get investment ideas and learn from more experienced members.

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


Scottrade Promotion - $100 in transfer
fees reimbursed:

Scottrade Review
Fidelity Promotion - none
right now:

Fidelity review


This article was updated on 2/12/2014.



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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 you should choose?


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