Fidelity vs Tradestation



Account Pricing, Commissions, Fees




Tradestation


Fidelity Investments

  • Stocks and ETFs flat-rate plan: $5 ($4 for IRA)
  • Stocks and ETFs per-share plan: $0.01 per share first 500 shares, $0.006 per share after that; $1.00 minimum per trade
  • Options per trade plan: $5 + $0.50 per contract ($4 + $0.30 per contract for IRA)
  • Options per contract plan: $1.00, no base or ticket charge, market or limit orders
  • Futures: from $1.20 (1 to 300 monthly contracts) to $0.25 (20,000+ monthly contracts) per side, per contract + exchange, regulatory & overnight fees
  • Mutual funds: $14.95
  • Bonds: $14.95 + $5 per bond
  • Investment products: stocks, options, mutual funds, bonds, futures, forex, ETFs
  • Tradestation minimum deposit to open account: $5,000 for non-daytraders, $5,500 for IRA accounts, and $30,000 for daytraders
  • All Tradestation fees
  • Tradestation promotions

  • Stocks and ETFs: $4.95
  • Stocks and ETFs broker assisted: $29.95
  • Options: $4.95 + $0.65 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, UITs, 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 Investments login, Fidelity promotion




Companies Pros




Tradestation


Fidelity Investments

  • Very low commissions on all investment products
  • Great direct-access platform
  • Best charting package
  • Trading modeling functionality
  • Rich selection of investment products
  • Active online trader community
  • Virtual trading (practice account)

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




Companies Cons




Tradestation


Fidelity Investments

  • Steep learning curve to master the trading platform
  • Only about 100 mutual funds available
  • Minimum amount to open account is high: $5,000 for non-daytraders and $30,000 for daytraders
  • $50 annual fee if client makes less than 5 trades and average account balance is less than $2,000
  • Direct routing fee of $0.004 per share applies. Orders greater than 10,000 shares will be charged $0.0005/share for all shares in excess of 10,000 in the same order.

  • 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
  • Advanced trading platform, Active Trader Pro, is available only to clients making 36+ trades per year
  • High $2,500 minimum to open an account




Comparison Summary



Tradestation (read review) has the same commissions on stocks and ETFs as Fidelity (read review) for non-active investors: $5 per trade. However, for active traders rates at TradeStation drop to as low as $1 per trade, while Fidelity doesn't offer similar discount. With Fidelity Investments, any non-Fidelity transaction-fee mutual fund will cost very steep $49.95 ($75 for some funds)! At Tradestation any mutual fund transaction is just $14.95.

Unlike Fidelity Investments, Tradestation also offers "per share" pricing plan. With this plan instead of paying a flat commission for each trade, customers' will pay commission amount depending on the number of shares in the order. There is a minimum amount of $1.00 per trade. Therefore, all orders of up to 100 shares will cost only $1.00 and all trades from 101 to 500 shares will be in $1.00-$2.50 range.

Both online brokerage firms offer rich selection of investment products for customers to choose from. They also don't have surcharges on penny stocks and extended hours trading.

Tradestation provides its clients with one of the best trading platforms in the industry. But it's only recommended for very active traders: the software has a steep learning curve.

Tradestation and Fidelity do not have annual IRA fees. Because of Low Balance and Short Term Redemption fees the Fidelity was not included in our Best IRA Companies list.

In summary, we recommend Tradestation to active investors and day-traders, especially stock, options, and futures traders. Fidelity is our suggestion for Fidelity-family mutual funds and ETFs investors.



Updated on 3/13/2017.



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