TD Ameritrade 300

Is Fidelity Account Cash FDIC/SIPC Insured? For How Much?


Is Fidelity FDIC protected? For how much brokerage, IRA investing accounts cash and funds have SIPC insurance coverage?



Is Fidelity FDIC Insured and SIPC Protected?


Fidelity does not operate its own bank. However, it does provide cash sweep services. This means that the broker moves cash balances in a brokerage account to FDIC-insured banks that Fidelity has partnered with. Some of the banks Fidelity uses include HSBC, Wells Fargo, and Citibank. Because Fidelity uses multiple banks for a single account, it is possible to actually increase the FDIC's usual protection. Fidelity customers can use up to five program banks, which means they can cover up to $1,250,000 worth of cash deposits. This system would be ideal for investors who want FDIC insurance, but have more than $250,000 to protect.

Fidelity is a member of the SIPC, and so brokerage accounts with the company are insured up to half a million dollars. This protection includes $250,000 of protection for cash that is not moved to one of the broker's FDIC-insured program banks. Clients can choose either the FDIC sweep program, or keep their cash balances in a money market mutual fund, where the SIPC will be the insurer.


Compare Fidelity vs Ameritrade and Charles Schwab


When investors look for a good value in brokerage services, they frequently turn to Charles Schwab, Fidelity, and TD Ameritrade. There are similarities among these three firms, but significant differences can be found in important areas. The following comparison will try to reveal which of the three is the ideal broker.


Compare Fidelity vs Others: Pricing


Broker Review Promotion
Offer
Stock/ETF
Commission
Mutual Fund
Commission
Maintenance
Fee
Annual IRA
Fee
TD Ameritrade $0 commissions + transfer fee reimbursement. $0 $49.99 $0 $0
Fidelity Get 500 free trades with $100,000+ deposit. $0 $49.95 $0 $0
Charles Schwab Get commission-free online stock trades. $0 $49.95 $0 $0
Firstrade Get 2 FREE stocks and $0 commission in ALL trades! $0 $0 $0 $0


Compare Fidelity vs Others: Services


Broker Review Cost Investment Products Trading Tools Customer Service Research Overall Rating
TD Ameritrade
Fidelity
Charles Schwab
Firstrade


Trading Technology


All three brokers have good websites, although Schwab's is probably the least sophisticated. It is user friendly nevertheless. The firm does offer two advanced platforms, StreetSmart.com and StreetSmart Edge. StreetSmart.com is free for all clients, while StreetSmart Edge requires assets of at least $1,000.

TD Ameritrade clients can trade using the firm's user friendly trade ticket called SnapTicket, which appears at the bottom of the browser for quick order entry. Alternatively, they can use two powerful trading platforms - Trade Architect and thinkorswim. Trade Architect is the less advanced platform of the two. There are no requirements for either trading system.





The Fidelity website is simpler and its trade ticket less advanced, compared to TD Ameritrade. Fidelity does offer an advanced desktop platform. However, it comes with frequent trader requirements. The broker has created an app for Apple TV, the main highlight for Fidelity here.

TD Ameritrade beats its rivals in this category easily.


Mobile Apps


Investors at Schwab who need to trade on a mobile device can do so using iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch, Android, Kindle Fire, and mobile web. There is also live streaming of CNBC available in standard definition.

Customers of TD Ameritrade will also find live streaming of CNBC. The broker's apps can be used on Android tablets and phones, iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch. Windows 10 is compatible with one app. Thinkorswim is available in mobile format, and has very advanced charting capabilities.

Fidelity clients can buy and sell securities on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Android and Windows phone. Bloomberg financial news streams for free in HD.

This category also goes to TD Ameritrade.


Commissions and Account Requirements


TD Ameritrade charges its customers $0 to buy and sell ETF's and stocks. Schwab and Fidelity are lower at $4.95. Trading derivatives is available at all three firms, at $0.75 at TDA, and $0.65 at Schwab and Fidelity per options contract on top of the base charge.

The three brokers offer live representatives who can assist clients to complete a trade over the phone. Using this service at TD Ameritrade is $25. Schwab is at $33.95, while Fidelity is a dollar cheaper than Schwab at $32.95.

There are no account fees at any of the three brokers. This includes low-balance fees, inactivity fees, and maintenance fees. In order to open a trading account, Schwab customers must deposit at least $1,000, although this policy can be circumvented by opening a Schwab deposit account with the securities account. Fidelity maintains a $2,500 opening minimum, while TD Ameritrade accounts can be opened with no deposit at all.

On the whole, Fidelity is the best choice here.


ameritrade vs schwab vs fidelity


Buying and Selling Funds


There are over 5,000 mutual funds at Schwab. Of these, approximately 3,500 are OneSource products. These funds have no transaction fee and no load. Schwab does have a very steep $49.95 fee to buy a transaction-fee mutual fund. However, there is no charge on the sell side.

TD Ameritrade offers far more mutual funds than Schwab, with a total of 12,000. 2,500 are no-load, no-transaction-fee products. There is a $49.99 fee for non-NTF funds. Unfortunately, the charge is applied to both the buy and sell sides.

Fidelity customers can trade over 10,000 mutual funds. However, less than a thousand have no transaction fee and no load. The broker charges $49.95 to purchase transaction-fee funds. There is no charge to sell the fund.

These three top brokers haven't left out exchange-traded funds, either. Schwab offers over 200 ETF's that are free to trade. TD Ameritrade customers can buy and sell 550+, while Fidelity has a diversified list of 84.

The category is a tie between all three brokers.





Customer Service


All three brokers have helpful representatives standing by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Fidelity and Schwab offer on-line chat service, while TD Ameritrade does not.

In addition to English-speaking reps, Schwab has agents on staff certain hours a day who speak Chinese. Moreover, the broker has a nationwide network of branch locations. There are over 300 Schwab locations across the United States right now. Fidelity and TD Ameritrade also have local branches. TD Ameritrade maintains over 100 locations currently, while Fidelity manages more than 180 sites.

The victory here goes to Schwab.


Promotions

TD Ameritrade: $0 commissions + transfer fee reimbursement.

Schwab: Get commission-free online stock trades.

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



Fidelity vs Others: Outcome and Recommendations


Fidelity (learn more) secured one victory, TD Ameritrade (learn more) was successful in two categories, and Charles Schwab (learn more) won one category. There was also one tie. TD Ameritrade wins by a small margin.

If you want the best professional-level trading platform on the market, an ability to practice trading without putting your money at risk, and the richest selection of third-party research, than TD Ameritrade is your broker. We recommend it to IRA account holders, beginners, and mutual fund investors (13,000 funds, 2,500 no-commission funds).

Fidelity is a good choice for investors who want to invest in Fidelity mutual funds and for buy-and-hold investors.

Charles Schwab is our pick for long-term investors and for anyone who needs some hand-holding.