Fidelity Investments rating

Fidelity Investments Review


Fidelity Pricing and Minimum Deposit


InvestmentsCommissions
Stocks and ETFs $4.95
Stocks and ETFs broker assisted $29.95
Options $4.95 + $0.65 per contract
Mutual funds$49.95 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)

Investments 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)
FeesFidelity fees
Promotion linkFidelity promotions


Overview of Fidelity Investments


Fidelity Investments (member of SIPC) is a low-cost broker that manages to deliver above-average services. Going beyond traditional stocks and bonds, the brokerage firm offers a large selection of funds, advanced trading tools, a new robo-advisory service, cash management features, and more. Let's see how the firm performs in major categories, and what are its major strengths and surprising weaknesses.


ETF's


Fidelity ETFs Rating

The Fidelity website has a new ETF section that displays many helpful tools. These include videos, webinars, and articles that overview exchange-traded funds. They are organized by skill level. There is a comparison tool that presents up to five ETF's side by side, analyzing such issues as expense ratio and price performance.

Another useful ETF tool is a search-by-stock feature that allows the user to input a stock symbol and find ETF's that invest in the equity. Searching by Facebook (FB), for example, returns IYW, the iShares U.S. Technology Fund, among other ETF's.

There is also an ETF screener available. It can search by many criteria, including volatility, past performance, analyst ratings, investment philosophy, and number of holdings. Results can be sorted by these and other variables. Results can also be printed or downloaded as an Excel file. The screener returns 91 ETF's from Fidelity and iShares that are commission-free. (Firstrade offers 700 (!) and TD Ameritrade provides 296 commission-free ETFs.)


Fidelity Review: ETFs


A fund's profile page at Fidelity.com has very extensive information on it. Holdings are shown, along with a chart, trade data, geographic breakdown, and top holdings. There are also free research reports available in pdf format.


Mutual Funds


Fidelity Mutual Funds Rating

Fidelity also provides tools for mutual fund investors. Fund Picks From Fidelity are mutual funds that are pre-screened by the broker. These securities must meet certain criteria in order to appear on the list. The standards include three-year performance and no transaction fee. Currently, there are 411 of these products.

The broker's mutual fund section has links to articles that cover a range of mutual fund topics, such as basic introduction on funds to types of funds that can be traded.


Fidelity Review: Mutual Funds


Fidelity's mutual fund screener returns 11,053 securities that are available for purchase by new investors. This is a large selection. Slightly more than 3,700 funds have no transaction fee. Unfortunately, the Fidelity search tool doesn't have the ability to look for no-load funds. Approximately half of the 3,700 have no load. That's around 1,900. By comparison, TD Ameritrade offers 14,000+ funds, of which 3,754 have neither load nor transaction fee.

A mutual fund's profile page on Fidelity's website hosts some very useful data, including Morningstar ratings, minimum investment amount, and hypothetical growth of $10,000.

Fidelity manages its own lineup of mutual funds, and each Fidelity fund has detailed information posted on its profile page, including a commentary from the fund's manager. (Read Best mutual fund brokers.)


Customer Support


Fidelity Customer Support Rating

A Fidelity associate can be contacted over the phone any time of the day or night, 365 days out of the year. MyVoice is a new feature that customers can enroll in to bypass the need for a password or PIN. Different Fidelity departments have their own phone numbers, which is a good thing if you want to talk to the right person. Some examples include portfolio advisory services, retirement, charitable planning, and international trading. The Fidelity website also has a feature for clients who prefer the broker to call them.

The broker's website has an on-line chat feature for customers who prefer to use the Internet. Fidelity recently launched an AI bot on its site that can answer some questions, although it struggles at times. Internal messaging is another route that can be used to communicate with the broker.

Fidelity operates a nationwide network of branch locations, with at least one location in most states. These offices are open during the weekday, although appointments outside of these hours can be made. Currently, there more than 190 locations. The brokerage house also has a long list of global phone number for customers who travel outside the U.S.


IRAs


Fidelity IRA Rating

Fidelity does a good job of offering a wide selection of financial services, and so retirement savers have good resources at the broker, including several IRA's. These comprise Roth, Traditional, SEP, SIMPLE, Rollover, Inherited, and Roth accounts for minors. Fidelity does not charge any annual fees for these accounts, except the SIMPLE version, which costs $350 per year. There is no minimum required opening deposit for any account. Non-SIMPLE IRA's have a $50 closeout fee. Several broker-dealers have eliminated IRA termination fees. Vanguard is one example.


Fidelity Review: IRA


The Fidelity website has many articles that cover a variety of retirement topics. These include 401(k) rollovers, IRA contributions, required minimum distributions, and more. There are also calculators that can evaluate important retirement issues, such as choosing between a Roth and a Traditional, estimating Social Security Benefits, and figuring how much to save each year prior to retirement. In total, there are twelve calculators, which is more than most brokers offer.


Financial Advice and Managed Accounts


Fidelity Financial Advice Rating

Besides self-directed accounts, Fidelity has investment advisors who make trading decisions for clients in return for a modest fee. This ranges from 0.35% up to 1.7%. The major competitor in this area, M1 Finance, provides robo-advisory investing completely free.

For 35 basis points, customers receive a robo-advisory package that requires a $5,000 deposit. The service buys and sells low-cost ETF's. A step-by-step questionnaire at the start of the program determines asset allocation, and this can be adjusted in the future.

For a higher fee, the brokerage firm offers several packages that drop the robot and use human advisors instead. For 0.60%, these advisors will trade mutual funds, which the robo service doesn't do. The fee can be as high as 1.70%. The exact fee depends on "total assets invested," which probably means that the broker's $50,000 minimum is charged 170 basis points.

Bonds and stocks can be had with other managed portfolios. Some of the available packages have minimums as high as $500,000 though. A domestic stock account charges just 0.20%, but may require a high balance for this rate. The maximum fee is 0.65%.


Fidelity Investment Research


Promotion




Trading Tools


Fidelity Trading Tools Rating

Important trading technology is available to Fidelity's customers. First is the website. It has a lot of information on it, but it is easy to navigate nonetheless. Drop-down menus do a good job of displaying information in intuitive categories.

Trades for all securities can be placed on the website. Besides stocks and ETF's, bonds, options, and mutual funds have their own trading tools. All of them are simple to use and make buying and selling straightforward.

The options trading area provides many criteria by which to search. Besides puts and calls, derivative strategies can be selected, along with a variety of strike prices and expiration dates.

Trading a stock, ETF, or mutual fund produces a pop-up trading ticket that appears in the left-hand side of the screen. There are a variety of order types available for stocks and ETF's, including stop loss and trailing stop limit. Nevertheless, the order ticket isn't as useful as Merrill Edge's, which sits at the bottom of the browsing window and is capable of producing a small chart.


Fidelity Review: Active Trader Pro


Besides the website, Fidelity also offers a more sophisticated desktop platform called Active Trader Pro. The broker has removed a previous trading requirement, and so now anyone can use it. It offers advanced charting, alerts, options research, customization, multi-order trading, and many other features.

In addition to these tools, Fidelity is one of the few brokers to provide an app for Apple TV. The broker also provides skills for Amazon Echo and Echo Show. With a Fidelity skill, Alexa is able to return stock quotes and market movers. Fidelity doesn't have an elementary browser-based platform, which TradeStation customers can use.


Mobile App


Fidelity App Rating

Fidelity traders have access to a mobile app that can be used on Apple and Android phones and tablets. There is also an app for Kindle Fire. There is no charge to download any of the broker's software.


Fidelity Review: Mobile App


The broker's app boasts many great features. For instance, Bloomberg TV streams in high definition free of charge for all traders. Other brokers either charge for streaming video news, don't offer it, or only provide it in standard definition.

Market indices are shown on the front screen. After logging in, account balances are available, along with positions and activity. Watchlists are shown with analyst ratings on specific equities. Market movers are available for the trading day. Articles from Reuters, Dow Jones, and MarketWatch can be accessed as well. The app offers bill pay, check deposit, and funds transfer, all at no cost.

Trading on the mobile platform is straightforward. Buying and selling stocks, ETF's, options, and mutual funds is quite simple. Besides market and limit orders, complex orders are available, including trailing stop loss orders, both in dollar terms and percentage terms.

Information on global markets is available on Fidelity's app. Details on the world's major stock indexes can be accessed. This information includes a chart and 52-week highs and lows.

Charts on the app can accessed in either basic or advanced format. The latter incorporates several graph styles and a few technical indicators (TD Ameritrade's app provides more). Stock information on Fidelity's app includes analyst ratings and recent news.

For Apple users, Fidelity provides a platform for Apple Watch, which is also free of charge.


Fidelity Commissions, Fees, and Account Requirements


Fidelity Fees Rating

Fidelity has lowered its stock and ETF commission to $4.95, matching Schwab. Option contracts at Fidelity are an extra 65¢ each. There are no discounts for active or high-volume traders, which some brokers do provide. Although $4.95 is a new standard in the brokerage industry, this commission is still higher than Firstrade, who charges just $2.95.

Fixed-income traders pay nothing at Fidelity to buy and sell U.S. Treasury debt. Corporate bonds on the secondary market are just $1 each. On the primary market, there is no commission, but Fidelity is compensated by the issuers.

Transaction-fee mutual funds cost $49.95 to buy, but there is never any charge to sell. This rate is higher than at many other brokers, such as Firstrade and Ally Invest which are both at $9.95, and Etrade and Merrill Edge which are at $19.99 per transaction. At Fidelity NTF funds that are sold in less than two months after purchase incur a $49.95 charge.

A Fidelity investment account carries no special fees, such as low-balance, inactivity, or annual charges. There is also no minimum deposit required to open an account. Also, see Fidelity hidden charges article.


Research and Education


Fidelity Research Rating

The Fidelity website hosts a section called Learning Center. Here, investors will find a cornucopia of information covering what seems to be the entire investment realm. There are articles on retirement planning, the technical analysis of option contracts, how to use the broker's desktop platform, and active investment strategies. Besides articles, there are also videos, infographics, webinars, and self-guided courses. Resources can be sorted by advanced, intermediate, and beginner levels.

The broker also hosts in-person seminars at some of its brick-and-mortar locations. Clients can sign up for these events on the Learning Center section.

Security profile pages also have a great deal of helpful data. A stock's profile page, for example, has lots of information from third parties. Fundamental analysis is available from S&P Capital IQ, while Recognia provides data on technical analysis. Equity reports are available from no less than 15 analysts free of charge.


Cash Management Options


Fidelity Cash Management Rating

Fidelity has heard from its clients that they need banking features, and the broker sure has delivered. The Cash Management Account is a hybrid brokerage-bank account that moves free cash balances to FDIC-insured program banks; up to five can be used, which provides a total of $1,250,000 of insurance. Other accounts, including retirement and education accounts, can use the FDIC-sweep program as well.

The Cash Management Account comes with checks and a Visa debit card, both of which are free. Fidelity refunds all ATM fees incurred in the United States while using its Visa card with no maximums, a very generous policy.

Clients who prefer money market mutual funds over FDIC insurance have several to choose from. Some of these pay higher interest rates than the banking option, which usually has rates below 14 basis points. FZFXX, by comparison, currently pays 0.91%.


Fidelity Review: Pros


  • 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


Fidelity Review: Cons


  • Very high commissions - $49.95 - 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
  • High $2,500 minimum to open an account


Fidelity Review Summary


As you see from the above brokerage review, Fidelity Investments is highly recommended in many areas. Some of the broker's rivals outperform it on some issues; but overall, Fidelity is not easy to beat.


Open Fidelity Investments Account




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Fidelity Investments Questions and Answers


What investments can clients make through Fidelity?


Fidelity Investments customers can trade the following asset types: stocks, bonds, mutual funds, options, commercial paper, UITs, and ETFs.


What are Fidelity Investments's fees?


List of all the fees Fidelity Investments is charging is under this link.


What are Fidelity Investments IRA charges?


List of all the IRA fees is under this link.


What interest does Fidelity Investments pay on cash?


Fidelity Investments interest rates on uninvested cash are in Fidelity Investments cash sweep article.


What are Fidelity Investments margin interest rates?


Current Fidelity Investments margin interest rates could be found here.


What is Fidelity Investments account minimum?


Fidelity Investments does not have minimum requirements for brokerage accounts.


What minimum deposit is required to open Fidelity Investments account?


Fidelity Investments minimum deposit is $2,500 ($0 for Rollover IRA; $2,500 or $200 per month for ROTH and Traditional IRA).


What is Fidelity Investments clearing company?


Fidelity Investments is self clearing.


How to close Fidelity Investments account?


You could learn how to close or transfer your Fidelity Investments account under this link.







Fidelity Investments Margin Rates


Debit Balance Margin Interest Rates
above $1,000,000 5.000%
$500,000 – $999,999 5.250%
$100,000 – $499,999 7.575%
$50,000 – $99,999 7.825%
$25,000 – $49,999 7.875%
$10,000 – $24,999 8.825%
$0 – $9,999 9.325%



Fidelity Investments IRA Fees


Fee Amount
Fidelity IRA setup fee $0
Fidelity annual IRA fee $25 for Simple IRA
Fidelity IRA termination fee $50 per account, excluding SIMPLE IRAs, Fidelity Retirement Plan (Keogh) accounts
Fidelity account maintenance fee $0
Fidelity account inactivity fee $0
Fidelity outbound full account transfer (ACAT) fee $0
Fidelity outbound partial account transfer fee $0



Open Fidelity Investments Account



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Fidelity reviewed by Brokerage-Review.com on . Rating: 4.5