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Fidelity Active Trader Pro Review, Cost, and Requirements

2023 Active Trader Pro cost. Fidelity trading platform review, requirements, subscription fees, charts, features, pros and cons.

Fidelity Active Trader Pro Overview

One of Fidelity’s greatest assets, for both traders and investors, is its desktop trading platform Active Trader Pro. The platform has its fair share of pros and cons. We reviewed the Active Trader Pro platform in-depth, and we discuss our findings in this article.

Fidelity’s Active Trader Pro platform is available for download on PC and Mac. The platform is available to all Fidelity customers and there are no qualifications that need to be met to access or use it. There are no initial costs or ongoing subscription costs for downloading or using the platform. The platform automatically comes enabled with free real-time quotes and level 2 quotes. All Fidelity customers can download Active Trader Pro from Fidelity’s website.

Types of Accounts & Investments

You can use Active Trader Pro with most types of Fidelity accounts including IRAs, non-retirement brokerage accounts, business accounts, trust accounts, and UTMA accounts. The types of investments that you can trade with the platform are options, stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds.

Active Trader Pro Charting

Active Trader Pro charts have over 20 drawing tools, 7 different chart types, and over 100 technical indicators and patterns available to utilize. Some pros of the charts are that they are beginner-friendly, the indicators and drawings are easy to use and edit, you can adjust the opacity of the chart gridlines, and the comparison feature allows you to compare indexes or securities against each other on the same chart.

Active Trader Pro charts

Some cons of the charting are that you can’t click and highlight areas of the charts to zoom in on, you can’t click and drag to change the vertical view of charts, you have to open each chart in its own separate window, you can’t place high and low price bubbles on charts, you can’t have a floating data box, and there are an extremely limited number of customizable chart settings such as the appearance of charts.

Active Trader Pro charts settings

Order Entry

Active Trader Pro has a variety of ways to queue up and enter orders. The order entry tickets are intuitive and easy to use. One of the unique order types available in the platform is a contingent order which allows you to use IF-THEN logic. For example, you could create an order that says if the S&P 500 Index drops by 3%, then buy 100 shares of AAPL at the market.

fidelity ATP contingent order

A unique and proprietary order entry tool in the platform is called Trade Armor. The Trade Armor tool allows you to easily set up bracket-type orders using a chart within the tool. For example, you can choose a sell bracket order type, and to set your sell stop and sell limit orders, you can simply click on the price level you want to set each order at within the Trade Armor chart. In addition to bracket orders and contingent orders, you can also place market, limit, stop, and trailing orders within the platform.

Active Trader Pro Trade Armor

Research & Idea Tools

For equities and ETFs, the Filters tool is essentially a scanner that allows you to scan the market for many different technical criteria such as new 52-week highs, top % losers, and highest social sentiment as well as technical indicators such as Bollinger band breakouts and moving average crossovers.

Active Trader Pro filters

Active Trader Pro has a unique proprietary tool called Real-time Analytics that can alert you in real-time of 14 available technical signals on equities and ETFs such as RSI breaks, unusual volume, or market divergence.

Active Trader Pro Real time analytics

Active Trader Pro’s options research and idea tools are some of the best in the business. The platform has a proprietary options trade ideas tool called the Option Trade Builder that asks you your sentiment about the security you plug in, then presents you trade ideas based on your sentiment, and then walks you through setting up the trade idea you pick.

Active Trader Pro option trade builder

The Options Statistics tool shows you options statistics about a stock or ETF such as the implied and historical volatilities, call/put ratios, and net deltas.

Active Trader Pro option statistics

The platform also includes an options probability calculator and a profit/loss calculator that lets you simulate hypothetical options trades. Another self-explanatory options tool is the Today’s Biggest Trades tool. Lastly, the Strategy Ideas tool presents you with options trade ideas and shows you historical data about those trade ideas.

User Interface

The user interface of Active Trader Pro feels boxy and out of date, but it's clean and will be acceptable for most traders. The navigation in the platform is intuitive and easy to use. When moving tools around inside the platform, the windows snap to each other, which some traders might find helpful and others might find annoying. In the bottom right corner of the platform is a Tools In Use button that brings up a list of all tools and charts currently in use.

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Active Trader Pro Cons

Unfortunately, there is a long list of areas of improvement for Active Trader Pro that includes some nuances and features that professional traders will quickly discover are missing in the platform. For starters, Active Trader Pro only has a desktop version and doesn’t have a web or mobile version. The platform does not have paper trading capability, which is an extremely important feature for both new traders wanting to practice trading and professional traders wanting to try out strategies.

A limitation of the platform that could be frustrating for some traders is that some windows have limited expansion capacity. For example, the Trade Armor and Directed Trade tools can only be expanded so much, and the small windows that the tools sit in can make it difficult to get a full and broad view of all the information within them. Another limitation worth noting is that you can’t have the level 2 quotes and time and sales in separate windows, they have to be shown next to each other in the Directed Trade tool.

Active Trader Pro does offer hot keys for certain commands such as opening your positions list or pulling up a trading ticket however, you can’t use any hot keys for submitting orders. Not being able to trade with hot keys is probably a deal-breaker for some traders that purely rely on them for entering orders. Another area of improvement is the charting limitations mentioned previously in the charting section.

Alternative Brokers For Traders

For active traders, a better alternative platform to Active Trader Pro is Webull. It has a number of advantages over Fidelity: $0 commissions on options, lower margin rates, virtual trading, crypto-currencies, and easier-to-learn interface. Continue to Webull Brokerage Review.

If you would like to have the most advanced trading platform on the market for free, then give TD Ameritrade's thinkorswim a try. Continue to thinkorswim Review.

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Who is Fidelity Active Trader pro Best For

Due to its beginner-friendly tools and mild learning curve, compared to the learning curve of other trading platforms such as thinkorswim, Active Trader Pro is arguably the best trading platform for beginners who don’t require paper trading. The platform is excellent for options traders, swing traders, and long-term investors as well. The platform can be a hit or miss for equity traders, depending on what features they want. Small-balance traders can benefit from using the platform for the research tools but not directly for trading because it doesn’t allow fractional share trading.

Fidelity Active Trader Pro System Requirements

Fidelity’s recommended system requirements for Active Trader Pro include the following for both PC and Mac: 3.0 GHz processor, Intel Core i7, 8GB of RAM, 300 MB available on your hard drive, 32-bit graphics support, at least 512 MB of video memory, and an internet connection of at least 10 Mbps. Fidelity recommends Windows 10 operating system for PC and at least Mac OS X 10.15 Catalina operating system for Mac.

Updated on 7/8/2022.

About the Author
Paul Johnson is a Licensed Stockbroker with 7+ years of experience in the financial services industry. Paul enjoys teaching about investing and writing about financial topics. He is a husband and father of twin boys.