Fidelity Review 2014: Commissions, Fees, and Minimum Deposit
|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|
|Investments|| stocks, bonds, mutual funds, options, commercial paper, forex, foreign stocks, UITs, precious metals, ETFs|
|Fidelity minimum deposit to open account|| $2,500|
Fidelity's account opening process is very well designed and quick - it took only ten minutes to open a regular brokerage (non-IRA) account. The application
includes designating a beneficiary, setting up document delivery options (we always choose email), and setup of ACH to transfer money from/to a bank.
After the account is opened, transferring money from your bank is a simple matter of going to Account -> Transfer Money/Shares in the main menu of
the homepage. The main downside is that the ACH deposits you make will generally not be available for trading (or withdrawal) for up to 4-6 business days, which is much longer
than with many other brokers.
Fidelity Mutual Funds Review
Fidelity Investments is one of the largest mutual fund companies in the world with 430 mutual funds under management that target dozens of asset classes:
index funds, U.S. stocks and international stocks funds, asset allocation funds, sector funds and others.
Below we will introduce you to the best Fidelity mutual funds in 2014. Our picks are based on the mutual fund's past performance, ability
to outperform its peers in the nearest future, and professional skills of the fund managers.
Fidelity.com Website/Trading Platform/Tools Review
Promising though the account opening process was, the Fidelity.com website is neither well-organized nor intuitive. It feels cluttered, and messy,
and it's often necessary to look around for a while to find what you need.
The Fidelity trading experience is also disappointing. You can't even modify your orders once they’re entered! Also, trade confirmations do not
contain the time when order was actually executed.
The firm has many of the standard trading tools that other online brokers offer such as stock screeners and portfolio builders that can customize
searches based on the things you care about.
One of the best things about trading stocks with Fidelity is the ability to actually trade stocks in 25 countries via various stock exchanges
and 16 currencies around the globe (with the flexibility to settle in either U.S. dollars or the local currency).
Fidelity research tools (like stock screening, historical trading strategies,
daily market commentary, and individual stock research) are impressive. There are research reports from 12
different independent firms covering over 4,500 companies, as well as 36 tax, savings, and retirement calculators.
Fidelity Investments Review: Company Pros
- 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
Fidelity Investments Review: Company Cons
- 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 Review Summary
The Fidelity Investments commission for stocks and ETFs is $7.95 per trade, which is just slightly above the average in the industry. Options trading costs $7.95 plus
$0.75 per contract. The company does not charge account maintenance (except $25 year for SIMPLE IRA) or inactivity fees, and does not add surcharges on penny stocks, large orders or
extended hours trading.
Fidelity's mutual fund commissions, however, are still among the highest of all online brokers: $75 per transaction. There are still plenty of commission-free
Fidelity-family and non-Fidelity mutual funds to choose from, though. Keep in mind that there is a $75 short-term redemption fee for mutual funds
sold less than 180 days after being purchased. There is also a $12 annual Low Balance Fee for any non-core Fidelity fund with
balance under $2,000.
Fidelity's trading tools are disappointing, but its research is among the best. There is a serious issue with the firm's
website becoming very slow or even going down on high-volume days, at the exact time when many investors need to be able
to access their accounts and execute orders promptly.
We recommend opening an account with Fidelity to someone who wants to invest in Fidelity mutual funds for the long run, provided there is
enough money to avoid the Low Balance Fee. For everybody else there are better-priced companies on our
Best Brokerages list which offer advanced trading platforms, online
communities, and virtual trading.
Reviewed by Brokerage Review on
Reviewed by Editor and 40+ Fidelity customers.