Fidelity vs Tradestation


Tradestation against Fidelity Investments: compare TS vs Active Trader Pro trading platforms, mobile apps, charting and other tools.



Overview of Fidelity and TradeStation


If you’re planning to open a brokerage account soon, you may want to consider Fidelity and TradeStation. Both companies offer similar services in some areas, but are very different in others. If you want to know what these similarities and differences are, keep reading.


Pricing


Broker Fees Stock/ETF
Commission
Mutual Fund
Commission
Options
Commission
Maintenance
Fee
Annual IRA
Fee
Fidelity $0 $49.95 $0.65 per contract $0 $0
Tradestation $0 $14.95 $0.50 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
Fidelity
Tradestation
WeBull


Promotions


TradeStation: Up to $5,000 cash bonus when you transfer funds into TradeStation.

Fidelity: Get $0 stock commissions.

Webull: 3 FREE stocks valued $3-$3,000 give-away at Webull.



Customer Service


During our research, we were very impressed with what Fidelity was able to bring to the table in this category. The broker’s representatives are on the phone 24/7. On-line chat is also available on the Fidelity website. If you prefer in-person customer service, there are multiple Fidelity brick-and-mortar offices throughout the country.

TradeStation’s performance doesn’t quite match up to Fidelity. The brokerage house is open only during the weekday, closing at 8 o’clock in the evening. The TradeStation website has an on-line chat feature, but the broker-dealer fails to provide any physical branch locations. TradeStation does have a European phone number, but Fidelity has a much larger global presence than this.


Technology


We were very impressed with Fidelity’s website. It is able to place orders for all securities available through the broker. A trading ticket pops open whenever you click on a buy or sell button. There’s a tremendous amount of research and educational materials on the site as well. It’s easy to find information or contact customer service through the site.

Traders who would prefer to use a desktop platform to submit orders won’t be disappointed with Active Trader Pro, the broker-dealer’s flagship software. It’s very sophisticated and free for all clients. There is also a Fidelity app for Apple TV.


TradeStation vs Fidelity Investments


Going from Fidelity to TradeStation, we didn’t find the same level of website sophistication. In fact, TradeStation’s site cannot be used to submit orders. Trades have to be submitted through one of two platforms. The simpler one is a browser-based platform, something that Fidelity lacks. The other is a desktop platform, which isn’t quite as user-friendly as Active Trader Pro, but has more features. Both systems offer simulated trading.


Fidelity Investments vs Tradestation


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Mobile Trading


Both brokers provide mobile apps free of charge. During our testing, we thought Fidelity’s was more sophisticated; plus it has more features. For example, there is data from global exchanges on Fidelity’s app. Bloomberg financial news streams in high definition. Stock ratings from independent analysts are also available. Mobile check deposit, funds transfer, and bill pay are standard features. A platform for Apple Watch can synch with the mobile app.

TradeStation fails to offer a smartwatch app. Its mobile platform has funds transfer and good charting. However, it lacks several functions that Fidelity offers, including check deposit, bill pay, and global indexes.


Pricing


Fidelity customers get equity trades at just $0. The broker charges an extra 65 cents per option contract. We were disappointed to find that there are no price breaks for active traders, but we did like the broker’s no-fee account structure. Opening a securities account does require a $2,500 deposit.

TradeStation has two commission schedules: TS Select and TS Go. Both of them come with zero commissions on stock, ETF, option, and futures trades. On the TS Select plan, options cost an extra 60¢ per contract; while futures cost an extra $1.50. With TS Go, stock options are an extra 50¢, while futures cost 85¢.


Investing in Funds


During our investigation, the Fidelity mutual fund screener returned almost 11,000 products. We found approximately 2,000 without loads or transaction fees. One issue we didn’t like was the lack of a function to search explicitly for funds without loads. We had to dig through the results and find them. Funds that aren’t on the broker’s NTF list cost $49.95.

Despite one flaw with the Fidelity screener, TradeStation turned out to be much worse. The brokerage firm doesn’t offer one. We don’t know how many funds TradeStation offers; but we do know that roughly 80 fund families are available. Unfortunately, the broker doesn’t offer NTF funds, which is a real disappointment. Each fund carries a $14.95 transaction fee. In some situations would actually be better than Fidelity.


Other Investing Services


Fidelity offers portfolio management and financial advice for additional fees. The broker-dealer’s robot costs 0.35% per annum. If you want old fashioned investment management, human advisors cost a little more, but they trade more than just low-cost ETF’s, which is the only thing the automated service offers. TradeStation doesn’t provide any of these services.

Besides financial guidance, Fidelity offers cash management tools, a free DRIP service, annuities, life insurance, and education savings plans. Once again, TradeStation does not.


Promotions


TradeStation: Up to $5,000 cash bonus when you transfer funds into TradeStation.

Fidelity: Get $0 stock commissions.

Webull: 3 FREE stocks valued $3-$3,000 give-away at Webull.



Fidelity vs Tradestation Judgment


TradeStation seems like the better choice for active traders, while Fidelity performs better in virtually all other areas. Some mutual funds would be cheaper at TradeStation, unless they are traded frequently.