Fidelity Review

Fidelity is the right choice for many long-term investors, with varying minimum account investments and a user-friendly platform. However, if you just want to trade at the lowest possible cost without a potentially hefty account minimum and don't need retirement planning or advice, you can find better investment products from other brokers, like Ally Invest or E*TRADE.

The Claim

Fidelity promises “a wealth of research and advanced tools” that will help turn you into a smarter investor. In addition, it claims to offer competitive commission rates and independent research from over 20 providers. Fidelity also boasts that it was named the No. 1 Online Broker in 2018 by Investor’s Business Daily.

Is it true?

Yes. Unequivocally, Fidelity provides the most advanced tools and research of any trading platform. In our full review of the best online stock trading sites, we concluded that when it comes to research, Fidelity is in a league of its own. That’s because it partners with independent firms like Recognia, Ned Davis, and McLean Capital Management to deliver insights that are normally reserved for professional brokers. And while “competitive commission rates” is fairly vague, we found this to be true as well when compared to the other major platforms — just $4.95 for every stock trade.

As for Fidelity’s last claim — that it was named 2018’s No. 1 Online Broker by Investor’s Business Daily — this is also true. In its article naming the platform best overall, IBD wrote, “Fidelity's overall customer experience score this year is the highest achieved by any of the best stock brokers since IBD started polling readers.”

Product Overview

Best for

Experienced traders making large investments

Not for

Beginners looking to start small

Features

Price $4.95 per trade
Standout features User-friendly platform

Best-in-class research tools

Excellent mobile app
In business since 1946
Ratings Barron’s: 4.5/5

Kiplinger: 4.0/5
Services Stocks

Bonds

ETFs

Options

Mutual funds

International funds

Forex
Fees Broker-assisted trades: $32.95 per trade
Terms Minimum investment varies depending on account type

User-friendly platform

With its sleek and intuitive design, Fidelity’s trading platform makes investing feel like less of a dark art. All of your trading options are color-coded in rankings and charts, so you can find the most essential information at a glance. You can also sort stocks through several filters like size, performance, and even commission-free offerings.

Best-in-class research tools

If you’re serious about gaining an edge in the investing world, Fidelity is the best platform bar none. With research from more than 20 top firms, it had by far the most impressive library of tools that we saw. Fidelity’s Learning Center covers everything from options trading to margins loans, giving you top-notch technical analysis to help inform your investment strategy.

Excellent mobile app

Fidelity offers mobile apps for a number of different devices so you can trade on the go. You can deposit checks directly into your Fidelity trading account, transfer funds, and even pay bills through the app. It also allows you to perform advanced trades and conduct research on individual stocks.

The Market’s Most Active list shows you a heat map of the day’s most active stocks, where you can find detailed research and news for every stock. It’s received overwhelmingly positive reviews, too, scoring 4.7 out of 5 on over 700,000 ratings in the Apple App Store and 4.4 out of 5 on over 40,000 reviews in the Google Play Store.

Possible drawbacks

Potentially higher entry point

We found Fidelity to be slightly confusing when it came to pricing (despite its claim for straightforward pricing). For example, on its homepage, it boasts “no account fees, competitive prices, and no minimums to open an account.” However, we found that only to be the case for Fidelity Go® Digital Advisor accounts. If you want to take advantage of the advisory services offered by Fidelity® Wealth Services, you have to pony up a minimum investment of $50,000 for access to a team of advisors (and $250,000 for access to a dedicated advisor). See the Fidelity Wealth Services Program Fundamentals for program details or speak with a Fidelity advisor.

No virtual trading

Fidelity has levels of educational resources that are designated as beginner, intermediate, and advanced to get you started. Unfortunately, you won’t have the ability to test your strategies with virtual trading. And with the potential for such a high account minimum, there’s really no way for beginners to ease into trading.

The Competition

Fidelity
E*TRADE
Ally Invest
TD Ameritrade
Our review
Our review
Stocks
Bonds
ETFs
✔*
✔*
✔*
Options
Mutual funds
✔*
✔*
✔*
Futures
International
Forex

*Offers commission-free or transaction-free trading

Fidelity vs. E*TRADE

If you’re new to investing and want to learn the basics, go with E*TRADE. It had the quickest learning curve of any platform we tested, along with educational resources to help beginners master the fundamentals of trading. And while the fees are a bit higher — $6.95 compared to Fidelity’s $4.95 — that’s offset by E*TRADE’s substantially lower $500 account minimum.

Fidelity vs. Ally Invest

If you love Fidelity’s rock-bottom commission fees but are scared off by its potentially huge minimum investment requirement, Ally Invest is a great compromise. It doesn’t force you to meet an account balance, and each trade costs just $4.95. It doesn’t have as many research tools as Fidelity, but if you’re a high-volume trader who already knows they want, Ally is a great option.

Fidelity vs. TD Ameritrade

Fidelity is a better choice than TD Ameritrade for most traders, although it does come with the potential for high minimum investments should the need for advisory services arise. TD Ameritrade doesn’t have an account minimum, but it does charge $6.95 for every trade you make, and it doesn’t come close to providing the same resources that Fidelity does.

Fidelity FAQ

What is a stock?

When you purchase a stock through an online trading platform, you’re essentially purchasing a small piece of ownership in a publicly traded company. Being a shareholder gives you the right to vote in shareholder meetings (if your stake is large enough), receive a portion of the company’s profits, and sell your shares.

Can you wire money into a Fidelity brokerage?

Not only can you wire money into a Fidelity brokerage, mutual fund, or retirement account, you can also wire money out of one. Bear in mind, however, that while Fidelity does not charge a fee for transferring into a Fidelity account, your bank may charge a fee for the wire transfer.

How long does it take to withdraw money from Fidelity?

Fidelity uses something it calls a “core position” to store your uninvested cash or recently sold securities. It works like a bank account: When you buy or sell stocks, the money comes from this core position. If you want to transfer that money to a separate bank account, it will generally take about five or six days — three days for it to become available in your core position after you sell and another two or three to transfer to your bank.

When will Fidelity launch a cryptocurrency platform?

On October 15, 2018, Fidelity launched Fidelity Digital Assets. This limited liability corporation based in Boston is designed to work with the “always-on” trading cycle of blockchains to provide customers with a cryptocurrency trading execution platform and 24/7 institutional advising services.

The Bottom Line

If you’re serious about taking your investment strategy to the next level, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better online stock trading platform than Fidelity. It gives you access to all the tools and research you’ll need to make better choices, but its potentially large account minimums might be a lot for new traders (especially if you need access to an advisor).

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