Fidelity or TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade vs Fidelity


Compare Fidelity Investments versus TD Ameritrade - which discount broker is better in 2020? IRA/Roth accounts, online investing fees, stock broker mutual fund rates, and differences comparison.



Overview


With new $0 commission schedules, TD Ameritrade and Fidelity are pretty similar in terms of pricing. So which brokerage firm should you pick? This article will help you make the right decision.


Cost Comparison




Services


Broker Review Cost Investment Products Trading Tools Customer Service Research Overall Rating
TD Ameritrade
Fidelity


Tradable Assets


Fidelity customers have access to stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, closed-end funds, option contracts, penny stocks, over-the-counter securities, and precious metals.

TD Ameritrade offers the same lineup of investments with the exception of physical metals. In their place, the brokerage house provides trading in forex and futures, neither of which is available at Fidelity.

Because TD Ameritrade customers can get exposure to gold and silver through ETFs and mutual funds, we think it is the overall better performer in this category.


Websites


During our testing, we thought Fidelity’s website was intuitive and well designed. The top menu makes navigation easy, and a robo chat feature is available if you need any extra help.


Fidelity or Ameritrade


Charting can be done in full-screen mode. There are about 40 technical indicators, 5 graph styles, and 3 company events (dividends, earnings, and splits). A chart can be printed, and a convenient trade button appears in the upper-right corner.

Clicking on the trade button produces an order ticket that has extended-hours trading, a calculator that converts a dollar amount to number of shares, real-time data, trailing, stop, and limit orders, and several duration choices.

Other highlights on Fidelity’s site include alerts, a watch list, notes, and bill pay.

We found another impressive site at TDAmeritrade.com. Charting can be conducted in full-screen mode with one of the software’s 5 graph styles. There are about 40 technical studies. As with Fidelity’s software, comparisons can be made.


TD Ameritrade or Fidelity


What TD Ameritrade has that Fidelity doesn’t is a dedicated trade bar that sits at the bottom of the trade window. In addition to stocks and ETFs, options can be traded on it. We especially liked the rapid mode during our testing that allowed us to quickly send orders to the markets.

Other features worth mentioning include alerts, a watch list, triggers, and a security center.

TD Ameritrade’s trade bar gives it the edge in this category.


Mobile Platforms


Fidelity is rare in the brokerage industry by offering an app that functions on Kindle Fire devices in addition to Apple and Android. The platform offers several notable features. These include bill pay, mobile check deposit, a PayPal funds transfer tool, multiple watchlists, alerts, Bloomberg video news, and information on global investments. Of course, domestic markets are also presented.

Charting is available in full-screen mode with several tools. Trading is a breeze with either a basic or advanced trading ticket. The latter offers several order types. Option contracts and mutual funds can be traded on the broker’s app, a major plus.

TD Ameritrade has a very different approach to mobile trading. It provides a total of 3 apps, each one having its own strengths. One app offers Level II quotes, another provides advanced charting with 400 technical studies, while another offers mobile check deposit and live streaming of CNBC (in standard definition; Bloomberg on Fidelity’s app is in HD).


TD Ameritrade Mobile Trading


Other features on Fidelity’s app can be found on at least one of TD Ameritrade’s app—watchlists, alerts, mutual fund trading, etc.

One important feature that is available on two of TD Ameritrade’s apps that isn’t on Fidelity’s app is a simulated trading mode.

TD Ameritrade is the winner here.


Desktop Software


Fidelity has a desktop platform named Active Trader Pro. The name is pretty accurate as the software does have a professional feel to it. Level II quotes and direct-access routing are available. Multiple order types and duration choices can be selected. Charting is offered in full-screen mode with lots of tools. Options and mutual funds can be traded on the platform.


TDA vs Fidelity


Over at TD Ameritrade, we found thinkorswim, a software program a little more advanced than Active Trader Pro. For example, there are roughly 400 technical studies on thinkorswim, far more than we found on ATP. Furthermore, currencies and futures contracts can be traded on thinkorswim. Other features found on Fidelity’s platform, like Level II data and direct-access routing, are also on thinkorswim.


TD Ameritrade or Fidelity


Although only TD Ameritrade offers a demo mode in the mobile category, Fidelity does come through here with a simulated trading feature.

thinkorswim wins this category.


Research & Education


During our investigation, we discovered a lot of learning materials on Fidelity’s website. There are videos, articles, infographics, self-guided courses, and webinars on many different investment topics. Pretty much anything you want to learn is there: how to trade options, read a bond chart, or use technical studies.


Ameritrade vs Fidelity


Stock profiles have enormous amounts of information as well. One major highlight is free equity reports in pdf format from multiple analysts. Facebook, for example, had 14 reports from 14 analysts on the day we did our research.

When we logged into our TD Ameritrade trial account, we found a similar situation. First up is a very good educational section with instructional materials on a variety of financial topics. Sector rotation, top-down analysis, futures, bonds for beginners, and income investing are just a few of the topics. As for stock reports, we found 8 for Facebook.

One highlight TD Ameritrade has in this category that Fidelity doesn’t is a television network. Aptly named TD Ameritrade Network, it delivers market commentary, both in live and on-demand formats.

Overall, it’s a tie here.


Can You Buy Fidelity Funds On TD Ameritrade?


For readers who are wondering "Can I buy Fidelity funds through TD Ameritrade?", we have the article exploring this topic in detail under this link (the short answer is "yes").


Other Services


Dividends can be reinvested in stocks and ETFs at both TD Ameritrade and Fidelity at no cost. Signing up at either broker electronically is straightforward.

Both brokers also have several retirement accounts, including multiple IRA types and self-employed 401(k)s.

Automatic investing for mutual funds is available at both companies. TD Ameritrade requires a hard copy application. It also imposes a $50 minimum purchase.

Global investors will find a special account at Fidelity that offers access to foreign exchanges in multiple currencies. TD Ameritrade offers no such account.

Fidelity has a slight edge in this category.


Recommendations


Do you plan to invest in mutual funds? TD Ameritrade has more funds, but Fidelity operates its own lineup, some of which have 0.00% expense ratios.

Are you a beginner? We can suggest either firm.

Will you be saving for retirement with a long-term view? Again, they’re about even.

Do you want the best trading tools? Definitely go with TD Ameritrade.

Do you need cash management features? We recommend Fidelity, which has a dedicated account for its checks and debit card.


Promotions


TD Ameritrade: $0 commission stock and ETF trades.

Fidelity Investments: Get 500 free trades with $100,000+ deposit.

Ally Invest: Up to $3,500 cash bonus + $0 commission trades.

Firstrade: Get $0 commission in ALL trades!



TD Ameritrade vs. Fidelity Investments: Results


TD Ameritrade managed to defeat its rival in most areas. With a very similar commission schedule and zero trading fees for stocks and ETFs, it is also a better overall value than Fidelity.