Compare J.P. Morgan Self Directed Investing versus Vanguard: IRA, commissions, investing fees, trading tools, account differences, pros and cons. Which online broker is better in 2022?

Overview of Chase Brokerage Account and Vanguard

In the realm of investment management, Vanguard and J.P. Morgan (JPM) are some of America’s biggest players. But neither firm has forgotten self-directed traders. Here’s the rundown on these two:

Chase Investments Review Vanguard Brokerage Review
Rating 4-star brokerage firm rating Vanguard brokerage company rating
Stocks, ETFs $0 $0
Options (per contract) $0.65 $1.00
Mutual Funds $0 $20
Initial Funding Requirement $0 $0
Inactivity Fee $0 $0
IRA Annual Fee $0 $20
IRA Termination Fee $75 $0
Outgoing Wire Fees (Domestic)$25$10
Full Account Transfer Out$75$0
Partial Account Transfer Out$75$0


J.P. Morgan Chase: Get up to $625 when you open and fund a J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing account.

Vanguard: Open a Vanguard account.

Investment Services

Both self-directed and robo accounts will be found at J.P. Morgan Investing. The automated program costs 35 basis points annually and trades ETF’s. Vanguard has a similar robo account that costs 20 basis points but has a higher minimum deposit requirement.

Vanguard, but not J.P. Morgan Automated Investing, goes a step further by offering old-school account management packages. These obviously come with a human advisor and cost a little more (starting at 0.30%).

Self-directed traders will find the same investment lineup at both firms:

  • Option contracts
  • Exchange traded funds
  • Closed end funds
  • Mutual funds
  • Bonds
  • Stocks

Vanguard permits the trading of penny stocks (stocks below $5), which J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing doesn’t allow. Moreover, Vanguard has limited trading in foreign stocks.

Vanguard offers more account types than J.P. Morgan Investing. These include custodial accounts, trusts, and 529 plans.

Winner: Vanguard


During our test drive of Vanguard’s website, we found it a little difficult to navigate, although a search bar at the top helps somewhat. Charts are on a rudimentary level, with only a few technical studies and no full-screen mode.

Vanguard versus Chase

Vanguard’s trade ticket only has 4 order types and 2 duration choices. On the upside, it does have discrete selections for buy to cover and sell short. It also has links to Vanguard’s customer service and a tutorial that shows how to use the trade ticket.

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing displays similar links on its order ticket. It has the same order types as Vanguard’s ticket but more time-in-force choices.

JPM vs Vanguard

As with Vanguard, charts on the J.P. Morgan Investing site are on a basic level. There are more tools, though, including drawing tools.

Both websites have option chains on a security’s profile. These chains only offer calls and puts (no spreads) because only single-leg trades can be placed.

Winner: J.P. Morgan Investing

Mobile Apps

From basic websites we move to basic mobile apps. Vanguard recently overhauled its app, and this new design has eliminated many tools and features. It is pretty much bare bones now with zero graphs. It is not possible to trade options and non-Vanguard mutual funds on the app, and stocks have no profiles.

Vanguard or JP Morgan

During our testing of Vanguard’s app, we were not able to get to the order ticket because it was under construction. Apparently, the brokerage house is still working on this very rudimentary app.

Although the J.P. Morgan Investing app also emphasizes simplicity, the situation improves a little. The order ticket is the same one that appears on the website. The graphing software is the same, although a graph cannot be shown in horizontal mode.

JPM ov Vanguard

Winner: J.P. Morgan Investing

Margin Borrowing

Vanguard offers both cash and margin accounts. Those who opt for the latter will receive decent, although not fabulous, interest rates. Currently, the brokerage firm starts at 10% and drops to 6.25%.

Vanguard closely follows Reg T requirements. Initial margin for a stock is 50% for both long and short positions. Stocks below $5 aren’t marginable.

J.P. Morgan Investing does not yet offer margin accounts.

Winner: Vanguard

Security Research

The J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing website has screeners for stocks, funds, and bonds. There is no screener for options.

The broker’s stock screener has 45 search criteria. Examples include industry, market cap, and P/E ratio. Results can be sorted by many criteria, and there is a trade link for each entry.

Stock profiles have news articles, press releases, earnings estimates, and pdf reports. The brokerage house uses two analysts: CFRA and J.P. Morgan Equity Research.

Vanguard uses reports from Argus and MarketGrader. Equity profiles have more information on them compared to J.P. Morgan Investing’s Profiles. For example, Vanguard provides annual and quarterly numbers from financial statements. J.P. Morgan Investing’s profiles don’t have these figures.

Like J.P. Morgan Investing, Vanguard has predefined screens on its equity search tool. Examples include large cap income and small cap growth. Vanguard does not have a screener for options, although it does have a very basic search wizard for bonds.

Winner: J.P. Morgan Investing

Miscellaneous Services

Initial Public Offerings: Not available at either broker-dealer.

Banking tools: Vanguard no longer offers any cash management tools, other than an ACH transfer widget. J.P. Morgan Investing customers can link Chase Bank accounts, although that’s the extent of the broker’s banking service.

Fractional-share trading: Currently, only whole-share investing in stocks and ETF’s is available inside self-directed accounts at Vanguard and J.P. Morgan Investing.

IRA’s: J.P. Morgan Investing has just 2 IRA types: Roth and traditional. Vanguard has these two plus SEP and SIMPLE plans for small businesses. Vanguard doesn’t charge any fees on Roth and traditional plans. J.P. Morgan Investing has a $75 closeout fee.

Dividend reinvestment program: DRIP services are available at no cost at both firms.

Extended hours: Vanguard clients can trade securities after the closing bell. J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing customers cannot.

Winner: Slight edge for Vanguard

Chase Investments promotions 2022

Our Recommendations

Stock/ETF trading: We endorse J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing for its slightly better software.

Beginners: Either firm’s robo service.

Mutual fund trading: Using Vanguard’s mutual fund screener, we found 6,851 securities. Over at J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing, we found 3,042. J.P. Morgan Investing’s profiles display Morningstar ratings. Vanguard’s profiles don’t. Take your pick.

Small accounts: Vanguard’s automated account service has a $3,000 minimum. J.P. Morgan’s robo service requires $500 up front. Neither firm imposes minimums on self-directed customers. J.P. Morgan Investing’s $75 IRA closeout fee causes us to recommend Vanguard for small IRA’s.

Long-term investors and retirement savers: Only Vanguard has SEP and SIMPLE retirement accounts. Plus, it has self-employed 401(k) accounts, which J.P. Morgan Investing also lacks. Combined with traditional financial-planning services (for very large accounts only), Vanguard is the better choice.

Winner: Vanguard


J.P. Morgan Chase: Get up to $625 when you open and fund a J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing account.

Vanguard: Open a Vanguard account.

Vanguard vs JP Morgan Summary

Both Vanguard and J.P. Morgan Investing offer decent resources for robo and self-directed investors and are very close in terms of quality, available services, technology, and customer care.

Continue Reading

Updated on 9/19/2022.