Fidelity Investments versus Stash Invest app: compare IRA, commissions, investing fees, trading tools, account pros and cons. Which online broker is better?

Overview

Fidelity emphasizes low fees with a great deal in return. Stash Investments offers even lower fees with much less in return. This article will try to determine which broker is the better deal.

Broker Cost

Broker Fees Stock/ETF
Commission
Mutual Fund
Commission
Options
Commission
Maintenance
Fee
Annual IRA
Fee
Fidelity $4.95 $49.95 $4.95 + $0.65 per contract $0 $0
Stash $0 na na 0.25% 0.25%

Services

Broker Review Cost Investment Products Trading Tools Customer Service Research Overall Rating
Fidelity
Stash

Who Has the Wider Variety of Tradable Assets?

At Fidelity, traders get to buy and sell option contracts, equities (including both over-the-counter and penny stocks), closed-end funds, exchange-traded funds, mutual funds, and bonds.

Stash offers stocks and exchange-traded funds, and at this point, that’s it. Hopefully someday the broker will add more. But the first thing it needs to do is add more stocks and ETF’s to its list. Peculiarly, the broker-dealer doesn’t provide all major stocks and ETF’s in the U.S. space. Instead, it offers a small selection. On the upside, Stash does permit purchases of fractional shares.

Fidelity wins the opening category.

Which Brokerage Firm Has the Better Website?

Fidelity customers get to use a user-friendly site with a lot of helpful resources. We like the company’s pop-up trading ticket, which can be used for stocks, mutual funds, ETF’s, and closed-end funds. Bonds and options can easily be traded on web pages.


Stash vs Fidelity


Charting on the Fidelity site offers many beneficial tools, such as full-screen mode, technical studies, comparisons, and the ability to save a chart. Other great features include alerts, advanced option tools, and a watchlist.

Stash has built a user-friendly website, although there aren’t a lot of tools on it. There are no charts, which obviously is a huge oversight. There is no traditional trade ticket, either. Customers submit orders with a simple form that specifies the security and the dollar amount; and the brokerage house takes it from there.


Stash Investing


Fidelity succeeds in another category.

Which Broker is Better for Mobile Trading?

Fidelity clients get to use a mobile app that incorporates funds transfer (including a unique PayPal transfer system), check deposit, and bill pay. Bloomberg streams free of charge, and the platform is capable of placing trades for equities, options, and mutual funds. Charting is available (with several nice tools), and so is a watchlist (which can be turned into multiple watchlists).

Stash’s mobile app doesn’t offer check deposit, bill pay, or PayPal transfers. As with its website, there is no regular order ticket. It is possible to submit whole-dollar purchases of securities. Many of the resources on the website can be found on Stash’s app.

Stash loses again.

Does Either Company Have Desktop Software?

It should come as no surprise that Stash doesn’t have a desktop platform. Its emphasis is on long-term buy-and-hold investing.

Fidelity caters to all sorts of traders, so it does have a desktop program. Called Active Trader Pro, it delivers a host of notable features. During our testing, we really liked the advanced charting features, the suite of option tools, and direct-access routing. There’s a simulated-trading mode for extra practice.

Fidelity easily wins here.

And What About Stock Research?

Stash’s stock profile pages contain a brief company description, one-day change, YTD change, last price, a small chart with no tools, and a risk level developed by Stash. ETF’s have the same data points. Surprisingly, that’s all the broker offers.

Fidelity’s profile pages deliver much more. During our investigation, we found earnings history, price ratios, comparisons to rivals, technical events from Recognia, fundamental analysis in bar-chart format, social sentiment, ETF holdings, and free stock reports in pdf format. Some larger stocks have many reports. For example, for Facebook we found 14 downloadable reports from names such as Argus and ValuEngine.

Fidelity once again is the outperformer.

Other Services

Fidelity offers dividend reinvesting at no charge. This service adds fractional shares to existing ETF and stock holdings. Remarkably, Stash doesn’t do this.

While both companies do offer Individual Retirement Accounts, Fidelity has a wider selection. Stash only provides Roth and Traditional types.

Automatic investing is available at both firms. Stash has a round-up service with its debit card, while Fidelity offers auto investing for its mutual funds.

This category is awarded to Fidelity.

Our Recommendations

For retirement saving, we propose Fidelity. Not only does the brokerage house offer more account types, it also offers target-date mutual funds and a suite of portfolio management services that would be perfect for IRA’s.

For new investors, we suggest Fidelity over its rival. Although Stash is intended for beginners, it just doesn’t have the customer support or educational materials that Fidelity is able to bring to the table.

For stock and ETF trading, we have to pick Fidelity as well. Fidelity offers all U.S.-listed securities, which Stash doesn’t do. And the broker’s trading resources are much better.

Stash vs Fidelity Summary

Stash didn’t win a single category. Apparently, fractional shares aren’t enough to make a complete brokerage house. By spending a little more in commissions, traders get a lot more at Fidelity.


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