Fidelity Investments brokerage firm review. Fees and commissions, pros and cons, minimum requirements, and promotion offers for opening a new online account with the top discount stock broker.


Rating:  Fidelity Investments rating

  • Stocks & ETFs: $4.95
  • Options: $4.95 + $0.65 per contract
  • Mutual Funds: $49.95

Fidelity Investments Review

Fidelity is one of the largest brokerage companies in the U.S. and provides an astounding array of services and benefits to their clients. The broker offers advice in wealth management, investment guidance, college savings, charitable giving, and provides top-notch educational content for novice and professional investors alike. Fidelity goes above and beyond many other online brokerage services, as evidenced by offering over 12,000 mutual funds (TD Ameritrade offers even more), life insurance, college savings plans and more.

Fidelity Investments Commissions

Fidelity’s commission on stocks and ETFs is $4.95. To compare, Ally Invest offers the same commission but has a discount of $1 for anyone with $100,000 account balance or making 30+ trades in 90 days. Firstrade is charging flat-rate $0 per trade.

For most mutual funds Fidelity is charging $49.95 on buy side. Ally Invest and Firstrade are at just $9.95 for the same transactions.

There is a minimum of $2,500 required for mutual fund purchase for many funds and the same amount to open an account which will keep some smaller investors from being able to use Fidelity services.

Fidelity offers a selection of 90 commission-free ETF’s from two ETF providers - Fidelity and iShare. To compare, TD Ameritrade offers a much larger list of commission-free ETFs (296 in total) from thirteen major ETF providers, which makes it a great brokerage firm for investing in ETFs.

Fidelity Investments Trading Platform Review

Fidelity Investments review 2018
Investors can access their accounts and execute trades via Fidelity's website, mobile app or advanced trading platform called Active Trader Pro.

The layout of the website was remodeled in recent years to keep up with the current industry standards. It is much friendlier and less-cluttered than it used to be. On Fidelity's website investors can execute trades, get access to charts, screeners and educational materials. It allows quick access to recent and past account activity, which makes looking up purchases, sales, dividends and distributions a breeze.

Fidelity's Guided Portfolio Summary tool, otherwise known as the Fidelity "GPS", provides a quick yet informative snapshot overview of selected accounts. With this tool, investors can have an in-depth analysis of their current portfolio and identify areas that may need more attention. The friendly layout offers all sorts of little upgrades in the form of graphics and extra information. The graphic displaying each asset’s current value relative to its respective 52-week high and low gives a very helpful visual cue for investors.

Upon clicking the Analysis tab on the website, users are directed to an in-depth look at their assets, along with asset allocation information and the investor’s top holdings. Within the Analysis tab, users can begin to study their positions by using the stock and fixed-income analysis features, and even customized ratings from Morningstar. The ratings section is divided into a helpful graphic illustration showing fund performance relative to the market and a list of investor positions with their individual rating information. The research doesn’t end there though. Upon clicking individual stocks and mutual funds, in-depth Morningstar ratings for each position are brought up. On the specific asset research screens, users are shown detailed information regarding the asset such as annual returns, ratings, fees and even a graphic projecting hypothetical growth for 10 years.

Fidelity's advanced Active Trader Pro platform is available as the web-based streaming platform and desktop application. Both platforms provide streaming market data, interactive charts and advanced trading features such as multi-trade tickets, integrated access to positions, charts, news, alerts, orders and more. Unlike Thinkorswim and Trade Architect, the two of the industry's best advanced trading platforms offered absolutely freely by TD Ameritrade, Fidelity's Active Trader Pro platform has access limitation: it is only available to customers trading 36 times or more in a rolling twelve-month period.

Research and Education

Fidelity Investments Reviews
Some discount brokers charge lower commissions but offer only basic investment research. Fidelity offers extensive free and paid research on stocks, bonds, funds, and other investments. Customers have access to free stock and ETF reports from Zacks, Morningstar, S&P Capital IQ, Thomson Reuters, and others. Investors will find a helpful research tool for more than 60,000 fixed-income offerings. Also available on the Fidelity web site is useful information on annuities and IPO’s.

One excellent feature is the StarMine Relative Accuracy Scores from Reuters that Fidelity displays on its listed research reports. The scores measure the source’s predictive ability over the previous 24 months, so investor can select the best sources at a glance. As of this writing, 13 reports were available with accuracy scores between 9 and 75 out of 100. The Research Center automatically displays a company profile, the latest news, industry comparisons, a sentiment score -- very bearish to very bullish -- derived from independent researchers, and a very handy Accounting & Governance Risk Score that rates how aggressively a company works its accounting procedures.

If customers want to educate themselves on investing, the Fidelity Learning Center is a great resource. This is especially valuable for beginners to a particular topic, such as annuities and retirement issues.

Fidelity Investments review

Portfolio Advisory Service

For customers that don’t want to risk their savings by making all of their own investment choices, Fidelity’s Portfolio Advisory Service can be quite helpful. Despite the initial $50,000 minimum investment, more investors should be making their way to this service. Investors utilizing this it are assigned a personal account contact, and receive customized communications throughout the year. The investment team at Fidelity will be making the investment decisions based on individual client needs and preferences.

Fidelity Investments Pros

  • Low stock and ETF commissions
  • 90 commission-free ETFs
  • Wide selection of investments
  • Free DRIPs
  • Access to international markers in 25 countries, 16 currencies
  • Great in-depth research amenities including third party sources
  • Banking products and services
  • Great customer service and good education resources

Fidelity Investments Cons

  • High commissions for purchasing many non-Fidelity mutual funds
  • $2,500 minimum mutual funds purchase price
  • Mutual funds low balance fee of $12 per year for each noncore Fidelity fund under $2,000
  • 36+ trades per year are required to get access to Fidelity's advanced trading platform

Fidelity Review Summary

Fidelity will not steer investors wrong. Although mutual fund fees and minimums are a bit higher at Fidelity, the massive brokerage offers investors their money's worth in options, benefits, education, research, customer service and ease-of-use.

Fidelity Investments Commissions and Fees

InvestmentsPrice
Stocks and ETFs $4.95
Stocks and ETFs broker assisted $32.95
Stocks and ETFs FAST (automated service phone) $12.95
Options $4.95 + $0.65 per contract
Fidelity Mutual Funds$0
No Transaction Fee (NTF) Non-Fidelity Mutual Funds$0 on purchase. $49.95 on redemption if held less than 60 days
Transaction Fee non-Fidelity funds$49.95 per purchase.* $0 on redemption


Fidelity Investments IRA & Account Fees

FeeAmount
IRA Setup Fee$0
Annual IRA Fee $0, $25 for SIMPLE IRAs
IRA Termination Fee$50 (Excludes SIMPLE IRAs)
Full Account Transfer Out$0
Partial Account Transfer Out$0
Outgoing Wire Fees (Domestic)$10 online, $15 through representative
Account Closing Fee$50

* - per account for Fidelity IRAs (excluding SIMPLE IRAs), Fidelity Retirement Plan (Keogh) accounts.


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Fidelity Investments reviewed by TopRatedFirms.com Rating: 4.5