Last Updated: July 12, 2021
Individual, Joint, IRA
None for stock or options trading
By analyzing many Fidelity reviews, we’ve come to the conclusion that it’s one of the top contenders in the brokerage industry. In 2020, its AUM peaked at an incredible $4.9 trillion, and that’s not the only reason why it’s such an admirable contender. With no commissions on most types of trading and a great variety of research tools, Fidelity is the perfect choice for experienced or beginner investors.
Keep on reading because we’re about to break down what makes Fidelity Investments appealing, and where it could use some improvement.
What Is Fidelity?
Before we dive into this Fidelity review, let’s take a look at what Fidelity Investments is. Fidelity is a US-based brokerage company that was founded in 1946 and currently focuses on a number of financial services. Besides being a brokerage company, it manages mutual funds, provides professional investment advice, retirement services, and is currently one of the biggest asset managers in the world.
It got a significant boost in popularity in October 2019, when it eliminated all commissions on stock, stock options, and exchange-traded funds.
How to Use Fidelity
Now that you know Fidelity a bit better, we’ll tell you our thoughts on Fidelity Investments and its features. This includes details on account requirements, what’s available on its trading platform, and more. So, how does Fidelity work? — Read ahead to find out.
What are the account requirements?
First, as is the case with any financial institution, you need to be a US citizen or resident and at least 18 years old in order to open an account. Fidelity has a great step-by-step guide that will help with the account opening process.
Second, you’ll need to submit some fairly standard documents and information. This applies to all types of accounts, including retirement accounts like the Fidelity Roth IRA. This is what you’ll need:
- Proof of identity (date of birth, social security number, etc.)
- Contact information
- Employment information
How to start trading
The first step towards any type of trading is depositing funds, and thanks to the no-minimum cash policy, you can deposit as much as you want. There are a few ways you can do this:
- Directly from your bank account
- Wire transfers
- Payment apps such as PayPal and Venmo
Before doing wire and bank transfers, regardless if it’s one-time, automatic, or recurring, you’ll have to link your bank account to your Fidelity brokerage account.
What can you trade?
Fidelity offers a broad selection of trading options. It’s the perfect platform if you want to buy stocks online — but that’s not all! Here’s a list of everything you can trade with Fidelity:
- Exchange-traded funds (ETF)
- Bonds and certificates of deposit
- Mutual Funds
- Precious Metals
If you’re interested in day trading, Fidelity requires you to have a minimum of $25,000 at all times, which is not that high for day trading stocks. With that in mind, it’s not surprising it’s on our list of best day trading platforms.
What tools are available?
To make trading easier, you’ll need to use trading tools. Luckily, this Fidelity review covers that too. There are a lot of them for pretty much everything: screeners for stocks, options, and ETFs. You can also find calculators that can help estimate the yield or price of a bond. It also has amazing tools for planning, guidance for your portfolio, and a financial health assessment tool.
Fidelity is also one of the best financial advisors out there, with its Fidelity Go service taking a spot on our list of best robo advisors.
How does the platform work?
After creating your account and depositing cash, you’re ready to trade. You can take advantage of Fidelity’s platform by using its many research and stock screener tools before plunging into trading.
Is there a client portal?
Yes, and it’s quite easy to use and comes with many practical features. Under your Fidelity account, you can find a summary tab where you can see your current trading account balance and today’s gains and losses. There’s also a positions tab where you can see the stocks you’ve bought and your money market account with the uninvested cash. Other information includes balances, activity and orders, planning, analysis, and more.
Continuing on with this Fidelity brokerage review, we’re now going to take a look at how it has allocated its fees and commissions. Maintaining an account is totally free — there’s no annual fee, and you don’t need a minimum deposit. We find it an astonishing fact that Fidelity currently offers a $0 fee for US online stocks, ETFs, and options trades. However, there’s a $0.65 commission per options contract.
Additionally, for bonds or CDs in secondary trading, Fidelity charges a $1 fee, but free for US treasuries traded online. Fidelity mutual funds don’t have any minimums for investing and $0 fees. However, for mutual funds that are not on the No Transaction Fee program, Fidelity charges a $45.95 commission. Margin rates range from 8.3% below $24,999 and 4% above $1M. The broker-assisted trading fee is currently $32.95 per trade.
Fidelity Mobile App
Fidelity’s mobile application is available on all iOS and Android devices, but you can also find it on Google assistant and on Amazon devices as well. All of them have positive customer reviews, the Android app has a 4.2 rating, and the iOS app has a 4.8 rating. However, there are some Fidelity complaints about its newest Fidelity Spire app, and thus has a rating of 2.7 stars.
So what can you actually do on the mobile app?
Yes, you can buy stock online, but there are tons of other features. You have a personalized feed where you can find information about your portfolio, research, and market information. Except for stocks, you can also trade options, ETFs, and mutual funds. You can manage your workplace accounts, i.e., your brokerage account, Fidelity 401k, and 403(b) accounts.
Besides all of this, you can make any kind of a deposit, pay bills, and you can even manage your debit card.
Fidelity Customer Service
Fidelity’s customer service is one of its biggest strengths, having a phone number under every category or for any question you have in mind. The phone service is available 24/7. Other things you can do is chat live with an agent and send them secure emails. We contacted Fidelity’s live chat team and got a concise response within 25 seconds. Its FAQ is pretty extensive, as confirmed by many other Fidelity reviews, so make sure to check that out before anything else.
This Fidelity review wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t compare it to competitors and see where it excels and where it lags behind. So, continue reading to see if Fidelity is the best online brokerage.
Fidelity vs Vanguard
At first glance, both Fidelity and Vanguard are top-performing trading platforms, so let’s dig a bit deeper. Account minimum requirements are similar; to start an account, you don’t need to deposit any cash, but maintaining one will cost you $20 at Vanguard and is totally free at Fidelity.
This Fidelity stock trading review would be incomplete if we didn’t compare trading fees. So, both of them have a $0 fee on stock, options, ETF, and mutual funds trading. However, Vanguard charges $1 per option contract, whereas Fidelity charges $0.65 per option contract. For mutual funds, there aren’t any investment requirements at Fidelity, but Vanguard requires you to have $3,000 in the stash.
Fidelity vs TD Ameritrade
Another great contender that a lot of Fidelity investments reviews also cover is TD Ameritrade. You’ll find no minimum account requirements on both platforms, which is always a plus. Regarding account maintenance fees, both candidates don’t charge any fees.
Fees are more or less the same, but an important contrast is that currently, Fidelity doesn’t offer to trade on futures, but TD Ameritrade does and charges $2.25 per contract. Other than that, both candidates don’t charge any fee on stocks, options, ETFs, and mutual funds. Trades done with their online brokers also differ in price. TD Ameritrade charges a $25 commission on broker-assisted trades, while Fidelity charges $32.95.
Taking everything into consideration, Fidelity is the best online brokerage for both beginner and veteran investors, as told by many happy customers in their Fidelity reviews. It has its own apps across all possible platforms, PC and mobile, which work flawlessly. Additionally, most services are fee-free, and Fidelity offers plenty of tools to help with investing and maintenance. So, you can’t really go wrong with this trading platform unless you’re looking to invest in futures.
- $0 Commission on stocks, ETFs, and options trading
- No account minimums
- Obliging customer service
- Broker-assisted trades are expensive
- No futures trading
- Relatively high margin rates
Is Fidelity good?
According to our extensive research, Fidelity is a great platform for any investor. Most of its services don’t charge a commission, and it has tons of tools and calculators for you to work with. It also has many account options, e.g., for retirement, you can choose a Rollover, Traditional, and Roth IRA.
How much does Fidelity charge per trade?
Fidelity charges a $0 fee on trades done on stocks, options, ETFs, and mutual funds. However, broker-assisted trades cost $32.95, and per-leg options cost $0,65 per contract.
How to trade options on Fidelity?
After you’ve made your account and have funds on it, you can start trading options by applying. You can do this either online or by US mail, in which you’ll need to provide Fidelity with some basic information. It takes up to 1–2 days by e-mail or 3–5 days by US mail for Fidelity to provide an answer to your application.
Is Fidelity good for beginners?
If Fidelity customer reviews are any indication, then it’s one of the best platforms for beginners. This is due to Fidelity’s no-commission policy and effective tools for planning and guiding your investing process. That’s why it’s amongst the best financial advisors.
Is Fidelity a safe company to invest with?
The answer is a resounding yes. Fidelity is definitely not a scam site; it has a top-notch security system that works through encryption, firewalls, and a surveillance system. To top it all off, Fidelity reviews are largely positive, and customers seem fairly satisfied with the service. Of course, investing isn’t simple, so it’s still possible to lose money if you’re careless.