Fidelity Broker Review

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A long established and very comprehensive brokerage, Fidelity is known for providing a selection of mutual funds and low broker commission rates. The educational resources are top notch and customer service is equally reliable. As one of the largest investment brokers in the world, Fidelity has built an accessible trading platform that is suitable for new traders and is also customizable, to please the more seasoned clients.

 

 

Fidelity was launched in 1946 and is now one of the biggest global finance companies. They have a US division and Fidelity International, which caters for clients from Europe, Asia, the Middle East and South America. This broker has $2.45 trillion in total assets and a solid range of products including ETFs, stocks, bonds and precious metals. The broker fees are attractively low, as are the rates of commission, and the site boasts an extensive range of research reports from various sources.

Traders can use a mobile, desktop or web-based version of the site and choose between Active Trader Pro, Robo trading and Fidelity’s forex trading software, to manage their activities. Along with its online trade platforms, Fidelity maintains some brick and mortar branches in the USA, so local clients can, if they prefer, drop by in person.

Products and trade offers info

This forex broker review found a good selection of products offered at Fidelity, each presented with a thorough explanation of the broker’s website.

  • Stocks –Fidelity provides investors with the opportunity to buy and sell shares in companies which are traded publicly. These can be from international and domestic markets, and the commission charges are competitively low.
  • Mutual Funds –Owning shares in a mutual fund is a great way to build up an investment portfolio and Fidelity has more than 10,000 funds of their own and access to those of other companies. By using the tools available on their website and making use of their educational center, it is possible to find a fund which brings in a comfortable profit.
  • Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)– ETFs are commission free at Fidelity, along with all the tools and charts to assist investors in making the right choice. ETFs track a particular stock, bond, commodity or group of assets and are popular with individual investors as the daily volumes can be high.
  • Options –Fidelity clients have the facility to hedge and leverage their options trades. There are huge opportunities for profit, though options also provide a chance to manage risk. The forex broker provides tips and advice, along with a series of advanced analytics.
  • Bonds and certificates of deposit (CDs) –Both of these fixed income securities are usually purchased and then left to mature for a set period. Clients can select from around 40,000 secondary market and new issue CDs and bonds at Fidelity, so everyone should find an investment to suit their plans.
  • Precious Metals –By including all the most popular metals such as palladium, silver, and gold, Fidelity enables clients to cultivate a diverse approach to their investments. These can be volatile trades, but that means the potential for making money is increased.
  • International Investments –With this broker investors can browse securities in 25 countries across the globe and 16 currency exchanges. Our Fidelity broker review discovered that opportunities can be found in a selection of mutual funds, ETFs and stocks.

Broker commissions and fee charges

 

 Fidelity Merrill EdgeTD AmeritradeE*TRADE
Standard Stock Trade$4.95$6.95$6.95$6.95
Broker Assisted Trade$32.95$29.95$44.99$25.00
Mutual Fund Trade$49.95$19.95$49.99$19.99
Commission-Free ETFs2650296270
Options Per Contract$0.65$0.75$0.75$0.75
Options Base Level$4.95$6.95$6.95$6.95

 

Regarding account charges, this Fidelity broker review found there are no fees to open an account, no general service charges and no minimum deposit amount for retail clients. Fidelity is known in the industry as a low-cost broker, and they are certainly not an expensive choice for investors. The following commission rates are shown in USD, but the fees can be converted into equivalent local currencies for clients outside of the USA.

  • Stocks and options – For each stock and option trade Fidelity charge $4.95, as well as $0.65 per contract on each option.
  • ETFs –For a large number of Fidelity and iShares ETFs clients enjoy commission-free purchases. For ETFs which are chargeable, the cost is $4.95 per trade.
  • Bonds and CDs –According to Fidelity, its clients will save $13 per bond on average, compared to the prices at other brokers. Secondary bond trading is available at $1 per trade, and when US Treasuries are traded, it is free.
  • Mutual Funds –There are no minimum investments for Fidelity mutual funds. Their Fidelity Zero Funds, the Total Market Index Fund, the International Index Fund, the Extended Market Index Fund, and the Large Cap Index Fund have no rates and no transaction fees.

 

 

Additional account fees

There are a number of ways in which a client can receive guidance from Fidelity, the cost of that advice will vary depending on the type and level of support required.

  • Broker-assisted trades –For those who want to execute complex trades, a supportive broker can help with trade strategies, while experienced investors can use this service when they want a second opinion. The cost at Fidelity is $32.95, or the local equivalent, which is one of the highest assisted trade costs around.
  • Digital advisor –The brokerage has created a digitally managed account, called Fidelity GO; this enables investors to gain Robo trading insights at the cost of just 0.35% of invested assets.
  • Portfolio advisory services –These managed accounts can be tailor-made to the preferences of a client and attract an advisory fee of between 0.05% and 1.5%, depending on the amount invested.
  • Separately managed accounts –When an account holder wants a portfolio of single-assets curated to their specifications, this option costs between 0.20 and 0.90%.

What others say

 

 

“Fidelity’s easy-to-use Active Trader Pro is nothing to sneeze at…”– In this Benzinga forex broker review, the Active Trader Pro platform is complimented and referred to as user-friendly. Although this trade software is indeed an excellent example of an advanced trader platform, it is not easy to use for anyone who is new to Fidelity or the platform. Even seasoned investors will need to take their time learning about the numerous functions, before feeling completely confident.

“What impresses me most about Fidelity is its drive to continue innovation and push forward across all its products to provide the best possible customer experience.” –In its Fidelity broker review, Stockbrokers.com was very enthusiastic about the modernity of this company. Nevertheless, while this is indeed an excellent choice, Fidelity has missed a few key features that many modern brokers offer, including the ability to make deposits in cryptocurrency and social trading.

“It’s hard to quibble with a company that has become an industry leader when it comes to reducing fees.” – Nerdwallet has hit the nail on the head in their Fidelity review, explaining that the especially low fee structure could make investors forgive minor issues. It is difficult to find any significant fault in what Fidelity offer and the small annoyances are likely to be overlooked in favor of bargain investing opportunities.

 

Customer service

Fidelity has put together a complete range of contact methods for its clients, including a free-phone number. That demonstrates their genuine commitment to resolving any problems and scores them top marks for customer support and communication. From a range of social media accounts, Fidelity provides financial advice and sends replies to messages. According to Facebook, the average response time from Fidelity is a couple of hours. Account holders can also get in touch via an email form on the home page, by phone on 0800 414161, or by clicking on ‘Chat with an Investment Professional’ and beginning a conversation. Our forex broker review found the service is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Team members are trained to be helpful and can offer a huge amount of professional knowledge.

Person to person financial advice is free for all clients, but for people who have a simpler query Fidelity has an FAQ section which covers every aspect of their service. To search for answers in a different way, clients could use the broker’s virtual assistant. They can begin by typing a query into the search box, then clicking Ask and information on the topic will be presented.

 

Platform features and tools

The various Fidelity platforms are aimed at all types of investor. They include a website, desktop and mobile app. The main online trading platform is presented in the form of a standard website and is accessible to even the newest traders. Placing a trade can be accomplished in seconds, and there is a preview screen for confirming the details before finalizing. As the site is static, it cannot be customized with different windows, but clients can create their own watch lists and can set alerts.

For more experienced and high-volume traders, the Active Trader Pro platform is likely to offer more utility. A range of pre-built dashboards are available or alternatively, traders can manage the monitors to create customized layouts.

 

 

Account management functionality is comprehensive and straightforward.

 

Our Fidelity broker review noticed it might be a daunting environment for newcomers, but with advanced tools, multi-ticket trades, and numerous shortcuts, this is a great option for people with a larger portfolio to manage. The functionality is relatively intuitive but as the range of available instruments includes more advanced products such as multi-leg options numerous training videos are provided to break down how these trades are booked.

 

 

Whether using the desktop or web version of the platform, traders can move seamlessly between the two, as and when it suits them. Whilst some of the functions are tailored to the more experienced investor there is an abundance of services that will be of use to all.  One example is the Daily Dashboard which provides general market and stock specific updates.

 

 

For investors that place 36 trades on options, bonds or stocks in any 12-month period, Fidelity have the Wealth Lab Pro platform. This cutting-edge software provides strategy development and back-testing using a wide selection of daily data, dating back 20 years. For clients who like to sift through information before working out a plan of action, Wealth Lab Pro is an excellent tool. Plus, for clients who are not able to carry out each trade manually, Wealth Lab Pro will place them automatically if required.

 

 

 

 

Mobile trading

The Fidelity mobile app brings together most of the great features of their web-based platform, incorporating watch lists, news feeds, and a notebook for storing investment ideas on a smartphone.

Traders can deposit funds, view real-time quotes and carry out trades on Apple or Android devices.

 

 

With little lag, this app presents a smooth, clean and intuitive experience, although the lack of in-depth charting continues to disappoint.

Robo trading

Traders who are seeking an automated advisor can open a Fidelity Go account. This software will construct and oversee a range of investments on their behalf, using algorithmic tools to take the place of a human advisor. Fidelity Go accounts need a balance of just $10 to become active and present an economical way of using Robo trading, especially for people who are new to the concept and want to test out its strengths. Fidelity does provide a customer support team for their Fidelity Go members, so it is possible to speak with an expert one to one if necessary.

Research and learning section

Fidelity provides managed and self-directed accounts, but members of either can build on their skills in the broker’s learning center. From simple tips on how to get the most out of the website and basic trading knowledge to more complex financial advice and guidance on analyzing charts, this is a rich and useful resource. The Learning Centre videos cover an extensive range of topics, for example, strategy ideas for options trading, and whilst covering some more advanced topics manage to provide a clear explanation of the opportunities available and how to trade them.

Along with written materials, Fidelity has created a range of webinars and videos to assist account holders who have a specific plan in mind, be it investing for their children or planning for retirement.  For research purposes, the range of tools is equally remarkable, with free stock reports which can be downloaded directly from the website and supplementary reports from well-respected analysts like Zacks, S&P and Ford Equity Research. To screen the various stocks on offer, Fidelity account holders can use criteria including dividend yield, short interest, and earnings surprises. Fundamental analysis is also provided so clients can review a company’s progress in comparison to industry standard benchmarks, along with technical analysis for monitoring market trends. The data is easy to access via the Research tab and is presented in a quick-view format.

 

Regulatory details

Fidelity protects its clients’ funds and offers a degree of security with authorization from the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK and asset protection from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in the USA. The FCA promotes fairness within a company and ensures that customers have a certain level of financial security in a case where a broker has cash flow problems. In the USA, the FDIC also acts in a customer’s best interests, overseeing the safety of depositors’ funds and making certain demands of a financial institution, like the requirement to remain well-capitalized.

 

Our Conclusions

 

Fidelity ProsFidelity cons
Low Commission RateMobile charting could be better
Active traders are rewarded The advanced platform can feel complicated
Some ETFs are free
Broker-assisted trades are costly
Dependable customer service
No bank affiliation

 

With a brand story dating back to 1946, it is not surprising that Fidelity has earned a reputation for being reliable, inexpensive and trustworthy, both in the industry and amongst traders. They have designed a service that is innovative enough to compete in the modern world of online investing while retaining their traditional focus on customer care and education.

By compiling a selection of platforms, including the specialized Wealth Lab Pro, Fidelity can meet the changing needs of clients as they become more confident in their trades and begin to seek out new challenges. Bonuses can be hard to come by, and the minimum deposit for certain accounts is steep, but with an abundance of products and attractively low rates of commission, that is a small grievance.

We recommend this broker to traders who use research to make informed decisions on their investments who also appreciate the advice of a pro from time to time.

Brian Ducey

Brian graduated from Chaminade High School and the University Of Vermont Kalkin School Of Business with a concentration in Finance. He began his career with Knight Capital Markets, working his way to market maker. Brian later expanded his market repertoire, working with various sell-side research brokerage firms, such as Sidoti & Co., and William O’Neill & Co., as an Account Executive. With over 20 years-experience in the financial industry, Brian has built a unique perspective into “market intelligence” understanding an ability to read the tape and apply second level thinking in a fast paced environment. Brian also carried several market licenses, including the series 7, 24, 55, 65, and 63 licenses as well as previously passing The Connecticut Life and Health Insurance Exam