J.P. Morgan Chase Rating:   4-star brokerage firm rating

Review of J.P. Morgan Chase Investments: fees and commissions, pros and cons, minimum requirements and promotion offer for opening a new J.P. Morgan discount stock brokerage account or an IRA.

Overview of J.P. Morgan Investing

Although it’s not the most widely-used brokerage firm, J.P. Morgan Investing nevertheless does have some decent financial services. Let’s check it out.


Bulls Harp On...

Advisory accounts: In robo format.

Excellent pricing: No mutual fund transaction fees here.

Retirement accounts: Only in IRA mode, though.


Bears Harp On...

Few tradable products: Many asset classes are missing.

Underdeveloped software: No robust trading platform here.

Limited options trading: Only single-leg trades can be placed.


Investment Lineup

J.P. Morgan Investing is divided into J.P. Morgan Automated Investing (the investment advisor) and J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing (the broker-dealer). The former is the company’s robo service, while the latter company is for self-directed trading.

The company’s automated service uses a software program to trade a limited selection of exchange-traded funds. All of these are JPMorgan ETFs, which is a conflict of interest. Here are some example funds:

- JPMorgan BetaBuilders 1-5 Year U.S. Aggregate Bond (BBSA)
- JPMorgan Emerging Markets Equity Core (JEMA)
- JPMorgan BetaBuilders U.S. Equity (BBUS)

The company’s self-directed service delivers the entire selection of ETFs on the major American exchanges (that’s almost 8,000 funds) plus the following investment vehicles:

  • Stocks
  • American Depository Receipts (ADRs)
  • Options
  • Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)
  • Closed-end funds
  • Mutual funds
  • Fixed-income securities

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing does permit trading in over-the-counter (OTC) instruments. However, trading of penny stocks (anything under $5) is not permitted, and foreign stocks are off limits, too.

Either account type (robo or self-directed) can be opened in taxable or tax-deferred mode. The taxable setup is limited to individual and joint accounts, while the tax-advantaged setup is IRA only.


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Opening and Closing an Account

J.P. Morgan Investing only accepts applications from U.S. citizens and U.S. residents. Moreover, a U.S. address or overseas military address is required to open an account.

Speaking of opening an account, this can easily be accomplished online, thanks to the company’s user-friendly website and mobile-enhanced website (both of which we’ll look at here shortly). From our experience, an account is opened right away. It’s also easy to close an account on the website (just send an internal message).


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Banking Features

Although J.P. Morgan Investing is owned by the same financial conglomerate that owns Chase Bank (JPMorgan Chase & Co.), it surprisingly doesn’t offer any spectacular cash management features. In fact, it is not possible to attach checkwriting or a debit card to any securities account.

Its website and mobile app are the same digital platforms that Chase Bank customers use, so there are a lot of banking tools on those platforms. Examples include:

  • ACH transfer tool
  • Credit card offers
  • Mobile check deposit
  • Zelle transfers
  • Bill pay
  • Free credit score

The one easy workaround to the lack of banking features at J.P. Morgan Investing is to open a Chase Bank account under the same tax ID number. The deposit account will be automatically connected to the same login. Chase’s deposit accounts do frequently have monthly fees attached to them, and they usually have low APYs.


Customer Support

Because JPMorgan Chase & Co. has so many departments within itself, it sometimes is hard to know which number to call. The correct number for a J.P. Morgan Investing account is (800) 392-5749. The phone line is staffed during the week from 8:00 am, New York time, until 9:00 pm. On Saturday, the hours are more limited (8:00 am until 6:00 pm), and there are no hours on Sunday.

The J.P. Morgan Investing website has an internal messaging feature underneath the settings menu (look for the three horizontal lines in the upper-left corner). It has an attachment feature, which could come in really handy. The website doesn’t have any type of chat feature, which is one weakness. But it does have lots of self-help features on it, like editing sign-in preferences and adding a beneficiary to an account.

Although Chase Bank has tons of branch locations, there are no financial advisors for J.P. Morgan Investing clients. (J.P. Morgan Wealth Management clients do have access to some of them.)


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Website

Now we get to where it really counts: trading. J.P. Morgan Investing accounts can be easily managed through the Chase Bank website. We do emphasize the banking side of things because bank advertisements, tools, and accounts do tend to clutter the site up quite a bit.


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Clicking on a brokerage account generates the section devoted to securities trading. The dashboard begins with a pie chart of an account’s value. Further down the page are sections for indexes, watchlists, and account positions.

An asset’s profile can be pulled up by clicking on its link in a watchlist (multiple can be created) or simply entering the ticker symbol or company name in the search bar at the top of the site.

A small chart with up to 30 years of price history is shown at the top of a security’s profile. There are no tools on this one, although there’s an expand icon that produces many tools, including technical studies, multiple plot styles, and drawing gizmos.


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The trade ticket on the site has just four order types:

  • Market
  • Limit
  • Stop
  • Stop limit

And there are five duration choices. On-the-open and on-the-close are the most unusual.

Self-directed customers who want a little extra help investing but don’t want to open a full robo account can use Portfolio Builder. This is a digital assistant that takes answers to a questionnaire and then recommends a portfolio of stocks and ETFs. The link to Portfolio Builder is on the dashboard (the Summary tab). Although it is free of charge, there is a $2,500 account minimum to use it.


Mobile App

J.P. Morgan Investing uses the Chase Bank app, which borrows software from the website we have just seen. This means the order ticket is the same. Charting is very similar with the exception that a graph cannot be displayed horizontally. This really limits the charting experience.


Chase Brokerage App Review


The watchlists from the website sync to the mobile platform, which is really convenient. Account statements can be downloaded in pdf format, which is also a nice feature.

Other investing tools commonly found on mobile apps, like live streaming video news and mobile check deposit, are missing in action on the J.P. Morgan Investing app (mobile check deposit works for Chase Bank accounts, but not securities accounts).

The website can also be used in a mobile-enhanced mode. The site displays well, and this format is recommended for opening an account on a mobile device.


Other Software

Unfortunately, J.P. Morgan Investing does not offer any other type of trading software, such as an API or desktop platform. Somewhat surprisingly, Chase Bank doesn’t have a smartwatch app.


Margin

J.P. Morgan Investing does not offer trading on margin, and this obviously curtails both day trading and options trading.


Fees and Minimums

Now we come to the nitty gritty: how much does it cost? The company’s robo investing service is 35 basis points annually, and there is also a $500 minimum starting balance.

Self-directed accounts have no minimum and no ongoing fees of any kind. Trades of stocks and funds (including mutual) are commission-free. Option trades do have a per-contract fee of 65 cents. Exercises and assignments are free.

Trades placed with the assistance of a live broker over the phone are an additional $25 or $20, depending on what exactly is traded.

Closing an IRA costs $75.


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Research & Education

J.P. Morgan Investing does a decent job of providing learning resources for its clients. For general investment education, there are articles on a variety of economic events, such as how to survive a recession and how to interpret a jobs report.

Then there are the articles more geared towards actual investing. These cover issues like handling a margin call and the impact interest rates have on assets.

J.P. Morgan Wealth Management, an affiliated company, publishes digital newsletters. It’s free to receive them via email.

Security profiles on the J.P. Morgan Investing website unfortunately are pretty bare. Only a few trade details are shown (market cap and P/E ratio are a few examples). Dividend history is shown on the profile, and stocks have a section that shows which funds hold the security. Benzinga provides news articles.

Stock reports are available from CFRA and J.P. Morgan Securities. These reports have price targets and trade recommendations, so they’re really useful.


Extra Services

IRAs: Traditional and Roth accounts can be opened in either automated or self-directed version. There are no other IRA versions available, although it is possible to rollover a former employer’s retirement plan. J.P. Morgan Automated Investing’s robo service includes a glide slope that makes an IRA more conservative as retirement approaches. There’s no additional charge for it.

Fractional-share Trading: Not available at this time.

DRIP Service: Dividends can be reinvested into the securities that paid them. There is no charge for the service.

Extended Hours: J.P. Morgan Investing is not a broker for advanced forms of trading. Only the day session is available here.

IPO Service: Upcoming stock launches will not be found at J.P. Morgan Investing, which is somewhat odd, given that JPMorgan Chase is one of the biggest investment banks in the world.


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J.P. Morgan Investing Review Verdict

Because J.P. Morgan Investing is owned by one of the largest financial institutions in the world, one might expect more out of this brokerage firm. It does have a few strong points, though, the biggest perhaps being a link to Chase Bank and great pricing.


Disclosure

INVESTMENT AND INSURANCE PRODUCTS ARE: NOT A DEPOSIT • NOT FDIC INSURED • NO BANK GUARANTEE • MAY LOSE VALUE


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