active trader pro vs tradestation

Fidelity vs Tradestation


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


TradeStation vs. Fidelity Introduction


Are you thinking about opening a new brokerage account? Are you looking for advanced trading tools and the lowest possible fees? You might find what you’re looking for at Fidelity or TradeStation. Here’s the rundown on these two:


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: $150 cash bonus when you transfer funds into TradeStation.

Fidelity: Get $0 stock commissions.

Webull: 12 FREE stocks valued $34-$30,600 give-away at Webull.



For Investment Styles, We Pick Fidelity


Investors at Fidelity get to choose between self-directed and managed accounts. The latter variety comes in several options, including robo and some traditional packages. The cheapest one is, of course, the automated system. Called Fidelity Go, it costs just 0.35% per annum and trades special Fidelity mutual funds with no expense ratios.

Self-directed accounts at Fidelity have a much larger selection of tradable instruments. These include stocks, options, bonds, ETFs, closed-end funds, and bonds. Fidelity has an add-on service to gain access to several foreign exchanges. Although there is no charge for this add-on, commissions aren’t cheap.

TradeStation doesn’t offer managed accounts of any type or foreign stock trading. Two strikes right off the bat. But it does offer futures and cryptocurrencies, both of which are missing in action at Fidelity.

The other investment vehicles mentioned for self-directed accounts at Fidelity are available at TradeStation. But not at the same price in all cases. For example, bond trades at TradeStation are at least $14.95, while Fidelity charges nothing in some cases.


For Websites, It’s Pretty Close


TradeStation’s website has several account management tools. These include funds transfer, document download, customer service contacts, and software download. For actual trading, there is a browser platform. This can be launched from the blue Place a Trade button that is located in the upper-right corner of the website.


TradeStation vs Fidelity


There are two versions of the platform: simulated and live. In either mode, there is a very advanced order ticket with 6 basic order types, 8 advanced order types, and a discrete options trade ticket.

Charts can be displayed with 4 plot styles the full width of the monitor. There are drawing tools and roughly 50 technical studies.

Over at Fidelity, we found the opposite website: a site with trading capability but no platform. Charts on the Fidelity site can be detached and displayed full-screen. There are 6 plot styles and approximately 35 technical studies.


Fidelity or TradeStation


The basic order ticket has 8 trade types (4 of them are trailing orders with dollar and percent choices) and 6 duration options. There are advanced tickets that can place all sorts of advanced orders, like conditionals and basket trades.


In the Realm of Other Software, Fidelity Wins


Although Fidelity doesn’t have a browser platform, it does have a very capable desktop program. Called Active Trader Pro, the software lives up to its name with lots of high-level features. There are robust options tools, excellent charting, and live streaming of Bloomberg TV. There are no minimums or fees to gain access to the program.


TradeStation vs Fidelity


TradeStation also has a very sophisticated desktop program. However, only funded accounts can use it. The software has advanced tools of many kinds, including charting and order entry widgets. There is a discrete TradingApp Store where additional tools can be purchased, but it is closing in September of 2022.


TradeStation or Fidelity


Both brokerage firms have mobile apps. Only Fidelity has iMessage and an app for Apple Watch.


Fidelity vs TradeStation


It’s Pretty Even for Day Trading


Direct-access Routing: Orders can be routed to specific market centers at both TradeStation and Fidelity.

Shorting: Short positions can be opened at either brokerage firm. Only TradeStation has a discrete sell short button.

Extended Hours: Fidelity’s pre-market session is from 7:00 to 9:28 am, EST. Its after-hours period runs from 4:00 to 8:00 pm. TradeStation has the same late-night period, but its morning session begins at 8:00 am.

Routing Fees and Rebates: Only available at TradeStation.

Level II Quotes: Fidelity customers get Level II data for free on Active Trader Pro. TradeStation charges for the same data.


TradeStation Has a Small Lead for Margin Trading


Margin accounts are available at both firms. Per industry policy, an account must have at least $2,000 in it before it can start borrowing. There is, of course, a charge for this service.

Fidelity customers pay between 9.825% and 5.825% for margin debits, depending on the amount borrowed. TradeStation is between 9.5% and 3.5%.


Fidelity Wins in Miscellaneous Services


Individual Retirement Accounts: Although both firms have IRAs, Fidelity has more types, including an Inherited account and a Minor IRA.

DRIP Service: Dividend reinvesting is possible inside a Fidelity account but not inside a TradeStation account.

Extended Hours: Traders at Fidelity and TradeStation have access to pre-market and after-hours sessions. Fidelity has an extra hour in the morning.

Banking Tools: Fidelity has some really nice cash management services. These include ATM fee refunds nationwide with its Visa debit card. TradeStation has nothing.

Initial Public Offerings: Investors at both Fidelity and TradeStation can sign up for IPOs.

Recurring Purchases of Mutual Funds: Fidelity customers can enroll their mutual fund positions for automatic periodic purchases. TradeStation customers cannot.

Fractional Shares: Fidelity customers can buy stocks and ETFs with whole dollars. TradeStation customers cannot.


Promotions


TradeStation: $150 cash bonus when you transfer funds into TradeStation.

Fidelity: Get $0 stock commissions.

Webull: 12 FREE stocks valued $34-$30,600 give-away at Webull.



Finally, Our Recommendations


Stock & ETF Trading: Fidelity, primarily for security research tools and fractional-share trading.

Long-Term Investors & Retirement Savers: Only Fidelity has financial-planning services, investment advisors, target-date mutual funds with no transaction fees, life insurance, solo 401k accounts, and the list goes on.

Mutual Fund Trading: Fidelity is much better.

Small Accounts: The first $10,000 in a Fidelity Go account is managed free, and there’s no minimum deposit requirement to get the account open. A self-directed account at Fidelity has no minimums or fees. TradeStation has a troublesome $50 maintenance fee that is charged once per year. It takes 5 trades per year or a $2,000 account balance to avoid it.

Beginners: Fidelity Go.


Fidelity vs Tradestation Judgment


Although TradeStation is usually regarded as the go-to brokerage house for day trading and other forms of active trading, Fidelity has shown itself as a viable place for such trading. Plus, it has a lot more services that TradeStation doesn’t have. Where TradeStation really shines is in crypto and margin trading.


Updated on 7/5/2022.


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.