IBKR vs Fidelity

Fidelity vs Interactive Brokers


Interactive Brokers IBKR vs Fidelity Investments—which is better in 2022? Compare IRA/Roth accounts, online investing fees, stock broker mutual fund rates, and differences.


Overview of Interactive Brokers and Fidelity


Traders at Fidelity and Interactive Brokers (IBKR) have access to many investment resources. The two brokerage firms have received numerous awards and are quite popular in the industry. They do, however, emphasize different types of trading. Here are the details:


Fees


Broker Fees Stock/ETF
Commission
Mutual Fund
Commission
Options
Commission
Maintenance
Fee
Annual IRA
Fee
IB $0 $14.95 $0.70 per contract $0 $30
Fidelity $0 $49.95 $0.65 per contract $0 $0
WeBull $0 na $0 per contract $0 $0


Services


Broker Review Cost Investment Products Trading Tools Customer Service Research Overall Rating
IB
Fidelity
WeBull


Promotions


Interactive Brokers: Use this referral link to get up to $1,000 of IBKR stock for free!

Fidelity: Get $0 stock commissions.

Webull: 6 FREE stocks valued $34-$12,600 give-away at Webull.



Customer Support


Interactive Brokers offers customer service for American clients from 7:00 am until 7:00 pm, CST, on weekdays. There’s a Sunday session from noon till 6:00 pm. The broker-dealer caters to worldwide investors, so there are phone numbers and service hours for several locations outside the U.S. These include Hong Kong, Russia, China, Australia, and Europe.

As for other avenues of service, we found a chatbot on the IB website. Called iBot, it is able to answer basic questions. A human chat service is available after logging into the site (obviously, you have to have an account for this). There’s also a link to this service on the company’s online account application.

Although Interactive Brokers does not operate any brick-and-mortar locations, we noticed that Fidelity does. The company manages approximately 200 offices in multiple U.S. states. Fidelity also provides 24/7 phone support. A human chat service is available (you don’t need to log in) fewer hours. The Fidelity website also has a robo chat system.

Fidelity’s website has a very useful self-service section that will allow customers to bypass many of the customer service tools just mentioned. We found links to many common requests, such as edit account information, download a form, find a mailing address, look at tax information, and report technical issues.


Trading Tools


Speaking of Fidelity’s website, we found it to be very user-friendly. A top row makes navigation quick and easy. Orders for stocks, mutual funds, and other investments take place on simple web pages. We missed a trade bar, although a trade ticket does pop up in the upper-left corner.

Charting on the website comes with some very nice features. We found drawing tools, technical indicators, comparisons, and the ability to save a chart. A graph can be detached into its own window and displayed full screen. Research and trade buttons appear on the graphing screen.

Missing in Fidelity’s toolbox is a browser-based platform. It does provide a very advanced desktop program called Active Trader Pro. This software boasts equally impressive graphing. We liked the program’s option tools (probability calculator, statistics, and trade ideas), keyboard commands, and overall layout.


Fidelity vs Interactive Brokers


A trade ticket sits in the upper right corner. It offers multiple order types and time-in-force options. Direct-access routing is also available on the platform. Many other impressive features are included in the software.

Transitioning to Interactive Brokers, we do get a browser-based platform. Called WebTrader, it offers option chains, very basic charting (there are no tools), market data, and a trade ticket. Although it is a very elementary platform, it does incorporate direct-access routing.


Fidelity vs IBKR


If you need more than a simple platform, we recommend Trader Workstation. This is the company’s desktop platform, and it offers much more than WebTrader. It seems a level above Active Trader Pro. For example, IB’s platform can trade forex, futures, bonds, and warrants; whereas Active Trader Pro cannot.

Trader Workstation also has more tools than Active Trader Pro. During our testing, we found a volatility lab for options, a market calendar, iBot integration, a bond scanner, and time & sales data. One feature we didn’t like was the fact that IB customers must pay for market news.

Both brokers offer skills for Amazon’s Echo devices, and Fidelity has an app for Apple TV.


Mobile Platforms


During our testing, we found Fidelity’s mobile app to be very smartly designed. The front page shows a nice picture of Manhattan with a market clock. Global indices are shown along with recent market news. We especially liked HD streaming of Bloomberg Business News. Other plusses include bill pay, mobile check deposit, and funds transfer.


Fidelity or Interactive Brokers


The IB app has fewer features. We didn’t find bill pay or mobile check deposit, for example. Nevertheless, there are some nice trading tools on the platform. Charting has over 50 technical indicators and a horizontal display. iBot makes yet another appearance here, and there are multiple order types.


Interactive Brokers vs Fidelity


Mutual Funds and ETF’s


Although Interactive Brokers doesn’t emphasize mutual fund trading, it does offer them. Surprisingly, it provides more than 25,000 funds, and many of them come with no load and no transaction fee. Exchange-traded funds are also on tap, including foreign ETF’s.

At Fidelity, using their mutual fund screener, we found more than 11,000 of these products. A few thousand come with zero load and/or zero transaction fee.


Investment Research and Education


During our research, we found a very helpful section on the IB website called Traders’ University. It hosts short videos, self-guided courses, webinars, and a glossary. Some of the available topics include more esoteric topics such as contracts for difference and the basics of a foreign stock trade. Trader Workstation also has a lot of effective security research tools.

The Fidelity website hosts many educational tools in the form of infographics, articles, videos, courses, and webinars. Resources can be sorted by experience level or topic. Both the website and desktop platform have security scanners. In-person seminars are available at some Fidelity locations.


Recommendation


For beginner investors, we’re going to recommend Fidelity due to its 24/7 service and great educational materials. We also think Fidelity is the better choice for mutual fund and ETF traders.

If software sophistication is important to you, go with Interactive Brokers. While Fidelity’s platform is good, it doesn’t quite measure up to Trader Workstation.

Due to Interactive Brokers’ focus on active trading, we recommend the company over Fidelity for day traders.


Promotion Links


Interactive Brokers: Use this referral link to get up to $1,000 of IBKR stock for free!

Fidelity: Get $0 stock commissions.



Fidelity vs Interactive Brokers Judgment


Fidelity and Interactive Brokers have a lot of great resources at competitive prices that will make trading a little easier. With our research, you should be able to pick the right firm.

Anyone looking for the top-rated brokerage firm on the market should go with TD Ameritrade or read TD Ameritrade review.


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.