3-star brokerage firm rating

TradeStation review 2014

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Fidelity review

Fidelity vs Tradestation



Tradestation vs Fidelity 2014: Account Pricing, Commissions, Fees




Tradestation


Fidelity Investments

  • Stocks and ETFs flat-rate plan: 1 to 9 trades/month - $9.99/trade; 10 to 29 - $7.99/trade; 30 - 99 - $6.99/trade; 100 - 199 - $5.99/trade; 200 or more - $4.99/trade
  • Stocks and ETFs per-share plan: first 500 shares $0.01 per share, $0.006 per share thereafter, $1 minimum per trade
  • Options: $1 per contract with no ticket charge, or $4.99 per trade + $0.20 per contract
  • Futures: 25¢ - $1.20 per side, per contract + exchange, regulatory & overnight fees
  • Mutual funds: $14.95
  • Bonds: $14.95 + $5 per bond
  • OTCBB: $9.99 (100,000 share position maximum)
  • Pink Sheet Stocks: $9.99 (100,000 share position maximum)
  • Investment products: stocks, options, mutual funds, bonds, futures, T-Bills, OTCBB, Pink Sheet Stocks, Forex, ETFs
  • Tradestation minimum deposit to open account: $5,000 for non-daytraders, futures and forex accounts, $5,500 for futures and forex IRA accounts, and $30,000 for daytraders
  • All Tradestation 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




Tradestation vs Fidelity Investments: Pros




Tradestation


Fidelity Investments

  • Great direct-access platform
  • Trading modeling functionality
  • Rich selection of investment products
  • Active online user community

  • 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




Tradestation vs Fidelity Investments: Cons




Tradestation


Fidelity Investments

  • $99.95 fee if not traded at least 5,000 shares in previous month (or 50 options contracts a month; or 10 round-turn futures or futures option contracts; or 50 round-turn single stock futures). Excluded are also accounts with $100,000 balance
  • High stock and ETF commissions for those who don't trade a lot
  • Lots of fees for market data
  • Direct routing up to 1,000 shares is no additional charge, $0.004 per share thereafter
  • $35 annual IRA fee
  • Steep learning curve: trading platform is too complicated for beginner investors
  • Poor research amenities
  • Excluding the first 10 free cancels, if the total number of cancels is more than the total number of contracts executed per day, per account, there is a $1.00 options cancelation charge per each cancel that is over and above the number of contracts executed
  • Minimum amount to open account is high: $5,000 for non-daytraders and $30,000 for daytraders

  • 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)




Tradestation vs Fidelity Investments: Comparison Summary



Tradestation (Tradestation Review 2014) has higher commissions on stocks and ETFs than Fidelity (Fidelity Review 2014): $9.99 per trade (for the first 9 trades in a month, gets much cheaper for active traders) versus $7.95 per trade at the competitor. With Fidelity Investments, any non-Fidelity transaction-fee mutual fund will cost very steep $75! At Tradestation any mutual fund transaction is just $14.95.

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: there is $100 monthly fee if client have not traded at least 5,000 shares in previous month, and the software has a steep learning curve.

Unlike Tradestation, Fidelity does not have annual IRA fees, but because of Low Balance and Short Term Redemption fees the firm was not included in our Best IRA Companies list, where one could find OptionsXpress (OptionsXpress Review) and TD Ameritrade (TD Ameritrade Review).

Tradestation and Fidelity Investments pricing is higher than average in the industry. We recommend Tradestation to active traders. Fidelity is our suggestion for Fidelity-family mutual funds investors. To everyone else we suggest looking into other companies reviewed on this website - there is no need to overpay to a brokerage firm.


Tradestation Promotion - up to $500
in trade rebates:

TradeStation review 2014


Fidelity Promotion - none
right now:

Fidelity review


This article was updated on 8/20/2014.



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