Compare USAA vs Fidelity Investments


Fidelity Investments against USAA - which is better in 2018? Compare IRA/Roth accounts, online investing fees, stock broker mutual fund rates, and differences.



Fidelity vs USAA Investments: Pricing, Commissions, Fees




Fidelity Investments


USAA Brokerage

  • Stocks and ETFs: $4.95
  • Stocks and ETFs broker assisted: $29.95
  • Options: $4.95 + $0.65 per contract
  • Mutual funds: $49.95 ($75 for some funds; Fidelity funds are commission free) to buy; $0 to sell ($49.95 if sold within 60 days)
  • Bonds and CDs (new issues): on a net yield basis
  • Bonds and CDs (secondary issues): $1.00 per bond ($250 maximum)
  • Investment products: stocks, bonds, mutual funds, options, commercial paper, UITs, ETFs
  • Fidelity minimum deposit to open account: $2,500 ($0 for Rollover IRA; $2,500 or $200 per month for ROTH and Traditional IRA)
  • All Fidelity fees
  • Fidelity promotion

  • Stocks and ETFs: $8.95
  • Foreign stocks: $70
  • Stocks and ETFs broker assisted: $50
  • Options: $8.95 + $0.75 per contract
  • Mutual funds: $45
  • All listed corporate bonds: $25 + $3 per bond
  • U.S. treasury securities at auction: $45
  • Investment products: stocks, options, mutual funds, bonds, ETFs
  • USAA brokerage minimum deposit to open account: $0
  • All USAA brokerage fees




Companies Pros




Fidelity Investments


USAA Brokerage

  • No surcharges on stocks under $1, large orders, or after-hours trading
  • Great investment research tools with large selection of independent research from 12 firms
  • Good selection of commission-free mutual funds
  • Free DRIPs (dividend reinvestment plans)
  • No account maintenance or inactivity fees
  • Great customer service
  • Good banking services (checking, savings accounts, and credit cards)
  • 91 commission-free ETFs

  • Excellent mobile app
  • No account maintenance, inactivity or hidden fees
  • Great customer service
  • Good banking services
  • No-fee IRA accounts




Companies Cons




Fidelity Investments


USAA Brokerage

  • Very high commissions - $49.95 ($75 for some funds) - to purchase non-Fidelity mutual funds
  • $12 annual Low Balance Fee for each noncore Fidelity mutual fund if balance is under $2,000
  • High margin rates
  • Advanced trading platform, Active Trader Pro, is available only to clients making 36+ trades per year
  • High $2,500 minimum to open an account

  • Higher than average commissions
  • Additional $0.01 per share is charged for stocks priced under $1
  • Basic trading tools
  • Few educational resources
  • Limited research services




Promotions



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

USAA: None




USAA vs Fidelity Investments: Comparison Summary



USAA Brokerage Services (USAA Investments Review) offers much higher commissions on stock and ETF trades than Fidelity Investments (Fidelity Review): $9 versus $5 at the competitor. Both online brokerage houses don't have surcharges on extended hours trading and large size orders. USAA Brokerage, however, charges additional commission on penny stock trades (to discourage very risk penny stock schemes).

Fidelity Investments' mutual fund commissions are some of the highest of all online brokers - $49.95 ($75 for some funds) per transaction. There are, however, lots of commission-free Fidelity-family and non-Fidelity-family mutual funds to choose from at the company. Customers should also keep in mind, that there is a $75 short term redemption fee for mutual funds sold less than 180 days after being purchased, and $12 annual Low Balance Fee for any noncore Fidelity fund with balance under $2,000.

Fidelity Investments and USAA Brokerage don't charge IRA fees (annual, custodial and for account setup), but they were not included in our list of Best IRA Firms in 2018.

If you want comprehensive independent research, USAA Brokerage has little to offer. Fidelity Investments, on the other hand, offers the best selection of independent, third-party investment research to its customers from 20 different companies.

In summary, Fidelity Investments is a better option than USAA Brokerage for a retirement account and for anyone looking to invest almost exclusively in Fidelity-family mutual funds. USAA is a good choice for conservative, "buy-and-hold" investor. For everyone else we suggest to take a look at Best Investing Websites in 2018 article for more ideas for a brokerage firm.