Fidelity Investments rating

Fidelity

Robinhood Trading rating

Robinhood

Robinhood vs Fidelity


Fidelity vs Robinhood: which discount broker is better in 2019? Compare IRA/Roth accounts, stock trading fees, and mutual fund offerings.



Overview


Two brokers with very different strategies are Fidelity and Robinhood. While one emphasizes low commissions, the other puts importance on customer service. This article will look at these issues and how the two firms perform in other categories as well to determine which is better - Robinhood or Fidelity Investments?


Commissions


Broker Fees Stock/ETF
Commission
Mutual Fund
Commission
Options
Commission
Maintenance
Fee
Annual IRA
Fee
Fidelity $0 $49.95 $0 + $0.65 per contract $0 $0
Robinhood $0 na $0 $0 na
Firstrade $0 $0 $0 $0 $0


Services


Broker Review Cost Investment Products Trading Tools Customer Service Research Overall Rating
Fidelity
Robinhood
Firstrade


Promotions


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

Robinhood: Get one free $3-$7 value stock when you open an account.



Trading Technology


Fidelity's website is easy to navigate and has a lot of useful features. Screeners can sort through all the securities available through the broker. A program called Full View is able to display data from external financial accounts. Trading on the Fidelity site is fairly straightforward with a trading ticket that appears in the left-hand side of the monitor.

Detailed information on any U.S.-listed stock can easily be obtained on Fidelity's website. Charting is fairly advanced with drawing tools, technical studies, and comparisons. A sophisticated desktop platform is available to active traders, and an app for Apple TV can be used free of charge.

Comparing the Robinhood website to Fidelity's is like comparing night to day. Robinhood's site has very little material or resources on it. It is primarily used for new account enrollment. It does have some FAQ's that are helpful to both new and existing clients.

Trading at Robinhood takes place mostly on the broker's mobile app. Since the website has only minor charting or research ability, and the broker doesn't provide a desktop trading system, all security analysis takes place on the mobile platform.

The graphs on the Robinhood app are rudimentary with no technical indicators or drawing tools. A chart can only be displayed in line format. On the bright side, Robinhood does offer an app for Apple Watch, which Fidelity also provides.

Fidelity's mobile app is much more sophisticated than Robinhood's. It offers live streaming of Bloomberg business news in HD, which Robinhood does not offer. Charting and market research are much better on Fidelity's app.

Fidelity easily wins the first category.


Education and Research Tools


There is a large educational section on Fidelity's website. It includes videos, articles, self-guided courses, and infographics. These cover a very wide swath of investment topics, such as annuities, trading options, fixed-income investing, estate planning, technical analysis, and much more.

Several screeners are able to look for stocks, bonds, ETF's, and mutual funds. Free equity reports can be downloaded from a variety of third-party analysts. Detailed commentary from fund managers is available for Fidelity mutual funds. Extensive information on global markets is also available on Fidelity's website. It's impossible to describe all the information Fidelity provides its clients.

It's very easy to describe the educational and research materials available to Robinhood traders: there isn't very much. The firm's website has only limited FAQ's, devoted mainly to account issues, rather than financial education. Minimal stock research can be conducted on the Robinhood app, and that's about it.

Fidelity wins here, too.


Pricing and Account Minimums


In the realm of commissions, Robinhood has managed to do what few other firms has dared to even try: free trades. That's right, the broker charges nothing for stock and ETF trades. Zero, nada, zilch.

How does the broker do this? By charging for mailed statements ($5 each) and hard copy trade confirmations ($2 each). The broker also passes on regulatory and exchange fees to traders, and charges $10 for placing a trade over the phone with a live associate.

A brokerage account with Robinhood costs nothing. There are no on-going fees and no minimum deposit requirement, either.

Robinhood offers a modified version of a margin account called Robinhood Gold. Instead of a percentage of every dollar borrowed, the firm charges a flat $10 per month for the ability to borrow up to $2,000. Going up another $2,000 tacks on an additional $10 fee. Above $50,000, the broker switches to the regular percentage-based system. Currently, it's 5.0%.

Fidelity charges $0 for stock and ETF transactions. Options, which Robinhood offers for $0, are 65ยข. Using a live agent over the phone to complete a trade tacks on an additional $25. A margin debit is much more expensive than at the competitor. A securities account requires a $2,500 deposit to open, although there are no annual, low balance, or inactivity fees.

Robinhood takes its first victory.


Robin hood vs Fidelity Investments


Mutual and Exchange-traded Funds


Fidelity traders have access to more than 11,000 mutual funds, with lots of data about them. Over 3,000 carry no transaction fee. The broker provides 500+ ETF's that are free to trade. While Robinhood offers all U.S.-listed ETF's commission-free, Fidelity has more detailed information about them. Robinhood doesn't have any mutual fund offerings.

Overall, Fidelity seems like the better value here.


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Customer Service


Investors at Fidelity can reach a company associate any time of the day or night over the phone. The broker's website also has a convenient on-line chat feature along with internal messaging. Traders who would like in-person service can find assistance at one of the company's 180 branch locations. International phone numbers can also be used by clients who travel outside the U.S.

Robinhood offers far fewer options in this category. The company only provides phone service during normal market hours. Its phone number isn't toll-free. There are no Robinhood branch locations. The broker can be contacted through its mobile app. There is also a company e-mail address, although it took more than 48 hours to get a response.

Fidelity is a much better choice here.


Robin hood vs Fidelity


Managed Accounts


Investors who want financial advice or portfolio management will find good choices at Fidelity. Advisory services start at just 35 basis points for a robo-package and increase to more than 1.0% for human advisors who trade a variety of securities (to compare, Ally Invest charges 0.0% for its Cash-Enhanced Managed Portfolio.)

Robinhood offers nothing here and so loses the category.


Promotions


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

Robinhood: Get one free $3-$7 value stock when you open an account.



Robinhood vs Fidelity Results


Robinhood was victorious in one category, while Fidelity succeeded six times. Fidelity is the winner of this contest by a landslide. Robinhood clients get free trades but not much else. Value oriented investors can find a better deal at the other $0 commission broker, Firstrade.