UBS vs Fidelity

UBS vs Fidelity, Vanguard, and Charles Schwab in 2024


UBS vs. Vanguard, Fidelity, and Schwab: Highlights


• UBS, Fidelity, Schwab, and Vanguard offer investing accounts in brokerage and advisory modes.

• Robo accounts and financial planning are available at all four firms.

• Self-directed brokerage accounts can be opened at Vanguard, Schwab, and Fidelity.

Before you open your next financial account, you’ll definitely want to take a look at Vanguard, UBS, Fidelity Investments, and Charles Schwab. These four leviathans offer investing and much more.


UBS vs Fidelity & Others: Cost


Broker Fees Stock/ETF
Commission
Mutual Fund
Commission
Margin
Rate
Maintenance
Fee
Annual IRA
Fee
Charles Schwab $0 $49.95 ($0 to sell) 13.575% $0 $0
Fidelity $0 $49.95 13.575% $0 $0
Vanguard $0 $20 13.75% $20* $20*
UBS varies varies varies $170 $170


UBS vs Vanguard & Others: Services


Broker Review Cost Investment Products Trading Tools Customer Service Research Overall Rating
Charles Schwab
Fidelity
Vanguard
UBS


Find a Financial Advisor


If you are looking for a professional money management service in your area, you can find a Financial Advisor on the Wiser Advisor (or read Wiser Advisor review).

Visit Wiser Advisor


Financial Planning


A range of financial-planning services can be obtained at all four investment firms in this contest. UBS does require a very steep $1 million to join this program, although like much at UBS, the number is negotiable. The other three firms have lower minimums. Vanguard requires $50,000 for one of its programs, while Fidelity and Schwab have even lower minimums. Digital planning through either firm, for example, has no asset minimums. UBS, Schwab, and Fidelity have branch locations where financial-planning services can be obtained. Vanguard has no physical offices.


fidelity vs ubs


Prices for financial planning vary based on a variety of factors, such as how the financial plan is obtained and the client’s relationship with the firm. The budget planning tools through Schwab and Fidelity are free.

Winner: Draw between Schwab and Fidelity


Investing


Once a financial plan is drawn up, it’s time to get down to business. Investing accounts are available at all four securities firms in both investment-advisory and brokerage formats. Because UBS specializes in full-service investing, accounts must be opened through local financial advisors at branch locations, and not all areas have UBS offices. Nevertheless, UBS, as a full-service firm, will have the largest list of tradable products. These instruments include hedge funds and private real estate besides the standard lineup of standard securities (stocks, bonds, and so forth).

Fidelity is the only firm here to offer trading in cryptocurrencies, while Schwab delivers the futures and forex markets. Vanguard does not offer trading in OTC or foreign stocks (Schwab and Fidelity do).





Robo accounts, which are managed by computerized advisors (essentially, software programs) can be opened at all four firms. These automated programs invest in select exchange-traded funds. UBS has the highest starting minimum, which is $10,000. Fidelity’s automated service has no minimum.

Because the four financial firms in our survey are investing powerhouses, they do offer a lot of different tax shelters. Expect to find custodial accounts, 529 plans, retirement accounts, and more.

Winner: Tie between Schwab and Fidelity


Cash Management


The four financial giants in this contest don’t stop at investing. Cash-management products are available at all four firms, although the exact extent of the services varies quite a bit. At the low end is Vanguard with a hybrid bank-brokerage account that delivers investing in a small selection of money market funds (plus an FDIC-sweep system that pays 4.7% per year).

Fidelity also has such an account, although other securities can be traded in the account. Plus, Fidelity’s account has a debit card and checkbook, which are missing at Vanguard. Then Fidelity has Bloom accounts. These, too, are hybrid accounts. But unlike Vanguard’s account, there are all sorts of add-ons, like cash back and round-ups. There is no FDIC-sweep with this one.


Fidelity vs UBS


UBS and Schwab operate their own banks, so besides money market mutual funds, there are FDIC-insured deposit accounts. UBS has a savings account, while Schwab delivers both checking and savings. Schwab’s checking account comes with unlimited ATM fee refunds around the world, one of the few companies we know of to offer such a program.

Winner: Schwab


Margin


The four brokerage firms in this faceoff pride themselves on delivering a wide range of services to their customers, so it goes without saying that margin trading is available, at least in brokerage accounts. Schwab is the only broker-dealer to display the maintenance margin requirement for each ticker symbol on its software platforms. It also has the lowest starting margin rate (along with Fidelity) at 13.575%. Schwab offers negotiated rates for margin balances above $500k.

Winner: Schwab


vanguard vs ubs


Websites


All four investment firms in this faceoff have websites, of course. Quality of trading tools varies quite a bit. UBS and Vanguard have the simplest sites. Fidelity and Schwab deliver advanced trading tools like conditional orders and very good charting. Technical studies and drawing tools are standard fare, and AIs make appearances to create an advanced feel. Schwab’s website has a browser-based platform that incorporates a price ladder and more.


UBS fees vs fidelity


Winner: Schwab


Vanguard or UBS


Mobile Apps


For Bloom customers, Fidelity has a Bloom platform that comes with a lot of cash-management tools. For investing, there is the broker’s regular app. It has a large suite of financial tools, including market news and check deposit.


UBS or Schwab


Schwab also has two apps. Instead of a cash-management app, the company has rolled out a thinkorswim app that has many powerful trading tools. The order ticket, for example, can submit orders for futures and forex. And charting is on a very high level with lots of gadgets and gizmos.


Schwab vs UBS


The Vanguard and UBS apps are on the simple side with few advanced tools. Charts on the Vanguard app, for example, only have line format.


ubs wealth management reviews


Vanguard has the simplest app of the four. There are no charts at all, for instance, and options cannot be traded.


Vanguard vs UBS


Winner: Schwab


Desktop Programs


UBS and Vanguard stop with their mobile apps. Fidelity and Schwab, however, deliver desktop programs that provide much higher levels of trading. On these platforms, a wide variety of pro-level tools will be found. Examples include direct-access routing, advanced order types, Level II quotes, and sophisticated charting. Schwab offers paper trading free of charge.


UBS vs Schwab


Winner: Schwab


Bonus Services


Systematic Mutual Fund Purchases: Possible at Vanguard, Schwab, and Fidelity (Vanguard customers can only enroll Vanguard funds).

DRIP: Dividends can be converted into fractional shares of stocks and ETFs at Schwab, Vanguard, and Fidelity.

Extended Hours: Some form of extended-hours trading is available at all four investment firms. UBS restricts its service to institutional clients, while Vanguard only has an after-hours period. Schwab has overnight trading in some ETFs.

Fully-Paid Stock Lending: On tap at Vanguard, Fidelity, and Schwab.

Fractional Shares: Available at Fidelity for thousands of securities (and at Vanguard for Vanguard ETFs and at Schwab for the S&P 500 stocks).

Initial Public Offerings: Investors at Fidelity, UBS, and Schwab can purchase shares of IPOs.

IRA Lineups: Individual Retirement Accounts are available at all four companies. Fees are assessed in some situations at Vanguard and UBS.

Winner: Draw between Schwab and Fidelity


Our Recommendations


Mutual Funds: Schwab has the best fund screener, while Fidelity has the largest number of mutual funds. In third place is Vanguard.

Long-Term Investors & Retirement Savers: A financial planner at UBS, Fidelity, or Schwab is highly recommended.

Frequent Stock Trading: Fidelity or Schwab with either’s desktop platform.

Small Investors: UBS is the worst of the four on this one. Because Fidelity offers so many securities for fractional trading starting at just $1, it is in first place.

Beginners: We suggest an investment-advisory account (preferably with a human advisor) at any of the four.


Find a Financial Advisor


If you are looking for a professional money management service in your area, you can find a Financial Advisor on the Wiser Advisor (or read Wiser Advisor review).

Visit Wiser Advisor


Judgment


The world’s ultra wealthy should head to UBS. Everyone else should head to Charles Schwab.


New Account Promotions

Charles Schwab: $0 commissions + satisfaction guarantee at Charles Schwab.

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Fidelity: Get $0 stock commissions.

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Updated on 5/3/2024.


About the Author
Chad Morris is a financial writer with more than 20 years experience as both an English teacher and an avid trader. When he isn’t writing expert content for Brokerage-Review.com, Chad can usually be found managing his portfolio or building a new home computer.