Fidelity vs Northwestern Mutual

Vanguard vs Northwestern Mutual, TD Ameritrade, and Charles Schwab

Northwestern Mutual vs Vanguard & Co: Cost

Broker Fees Stock/ETF
Mutual Fund
Annual IRA
Ally Invest $0 $9.95 $0.50 per contract $0 $0
TD Ameritrade $0 $49.99 $0.65 per contract $0 $0
Fidelity $0 $49.95 $0.65 per contract $0 $0
Charles Schwab $0 $49.95 $0.65 per contract $0 $0
Etrade $0 $19.95 $0.65 per contract $0 $0
Vanguard $0 $20 $1.00 per contract $20* $20*

Northwestern Mutual vs Charles Schwab & Co: Services

Broker Review Cost Investment Products Trading Tools Customer Service Research Overall Rating
Ally Invest
TD Ameritrade
Charles Schwab

Northwestern Mutual vs TD Ameritrade & Co

Northwestern Mutual Investment Services (NMIS) and its sister Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company are subsidiaries of the original Northwestern Mutual. Their parent was started in 1857 as a life insurance company, and is now the largest direct provider of individual life insurance in the United States. NMIS has more than 350 offices across the United States and over $64 billion assets under management.

TD Ameritrade, Etrade, Charles Schwab and Fidelity are the household names, the largest discount brokerage houses in the U.S. The companies are very popular among all investors - from beginners to institutions.


Unlike online brokerage houses with flat rates per transaction, NMIS uses a sliding commission scale based on the size of each trade: from $40 for trades with $1,000 or lower, to $50 plus 0.75% for trades with $100,001 and higher amount.

Etrade, TD Ameritrade, Schwab, Vanguard, and Ally Invest are charging for stocks and ETF's $0 per trade, which is below the average in the industry.

Ally Invest is, again, the cheapest for mutual fund investors: just 9.95 per transaction for transaction-fee, no-load mutual funds. Etrade and Vanguard charge $20 per transaction. Other companies have much higher rates: up to $49.95 for the same trades.

There are thousands of commission-free (NTF program) mutual funds to choose from at the six discount brokerage firms (but not at Northwestern Mutual Investment Services). Keep in mind, that Fidelity Investments is charging 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.


TD Ameritrade offers their customers access to online investors communities, where users can see what other, more advanced members invest in or trade, create and follow other member's blogs, interact with like-minded individuals.

Fidelity Investments and Charles Schwab are the best ranking firms in customer service. TD Ameritrade and Ally Invest also got very high ratings in this category.

All the companies in this review (except Vanguard and Northwestern Mutual Investment Services) created easy-to-use, powerful trading tools that will satisfy just about everyone. But only TD Ameritrade offers professional trading platform (ThinkOrSwim) that is a must-have for very active traders as well as for forex and futures trading. NMIS does not offer online trading at all.

Because TD Ameritrade and Ally Invest created well-designed, intuitive trading screens, offer access to helpful online communities, and provide award-winning customer service, we rated them the Best Online Brokers for Beginners.

Our Recommendations

Beginner Investors: we recommend Ally Invest, Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade.

IRA accounts: all brokers.

Stocks/ETFs Traders: Charles Schwab, Fidelity and Ally Invest.

Options Traders: Ally Invest.

Long Term, Inactive Investors: all brokers.

Mutual Funds Investors: Ally Invest and TD Ameritrade. Fidelity, Charles Schwab, and Vanguard if investing mostly in their own families of mutual funds.

Small accounts: Ally Invest.

New Account Promotions

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

Open Ally Invest Account

TD Ameritrade: Trade stocks and ETFs for free + get up to $600 bonus.

Open TD Ameritrade Account

Charles Schwab: Make $100,000 deposit and get 500 commission-free online equity and options trades.

Open Schwab Account