For nearly a century, Fidelity Investments has helped all types of investors reach their financial goals. At Fidelity, you can find a wealth of financial products, from stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to a robo-advisor and retirement plans. Its broad offerings helped the Boston-based company earn the best overall spot in Money's rankings of the best online stock trading platforms.
Some of Fidelity’s highlights include commission-free stock, ETF and options trading, as well as zero-expense-ratio mutual funds. Fidelity offers an automated portfolio, or robo-advisor, which charges no advisory fee on your balance up to $10,000. You can also open a managed account and work directly with a Fidelity financial advisor to create a comprehensive financial plan.
Fidelity at a glance
- Account minimum investment: $0
- Fees: $0 online trading commissions for U.S.-listed stocks, ETFs and options
- Tradable securities: Stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, options, bonds, CDs, forex
- Account types: Taxable brokerage accounts, traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, managed accounts, 529 college savings plans, health savings accounts (HSAs), annuities.
- No commissions for trading stocks and ETFs
- Fractional shares as low as $1
- Competitive robo-advisor
- Fidelity funds with zero expense ratios
- High fees for managed accounts and financial advisor assistance
- No direct access to cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ethereum
Where Fidelity stands out
Fidelity stands out for its wide range of product offerings and low fees. It’s quite easy to build a diversified, low-cost portfolio at Fidelity. Here is what you can expect.
Zero-Fee Mutual Funds: Fidelity’s proprietary mutual funds are among the most affordable in the industry, and many are even competitive with Vanguard, which is known for low-fee funds. The Fidelity Zero mutual funds charge no expense ratio. This is an annual management fee charged by fund companies. High expense ratios can seriously eat into your returns. But at Fidelity, you can find four index funds with 0% expense ratios. These funds invest in U.S. stocks as well as international companies.
No minimum investment mutual funds: Throughout the securities universe, you may find mutual funds requiring minimum investments as high as $5,000. But Fidelity has a selection of funds that require no minimum investment. Fidelity also offers a range of no-transaction-fee funds. This means you won’t owe fees for buying shares of these funds.
Robo-advisor: Fidelity GO is the brokerage’s robo-advisor offering. Here’s how it works: You answer a brief questionnaire and a computer algorithm uses your answers to build a diversified portfolio using zero-fee mutual funds. The robo-advisor automatically manages and rebalances your portfolio when deemed necessary. Fidelity GO’s annual management fee is competitive, ranging from $0 to 0.35%, depending on your balance.
Fractional shares: A single share of a stock from one of the largest companies can go for hundreds or even thousands of dollars. This makes it very difficult for the average investor to jump into individual stock ownership. But with fractional shares at Fidelity, you can buy proportions or slices of U.S. stocks and ETFs for as little as $1.
Checking account: Those who want to keep all their finances at Fidelity have access to a no-fee checking account that pays interest and comes with a Visa debit card. The Fidelity Cash Management account even reimburses U.S. ATM fees and doesn’t require a minimum balance. Interest rates may vary, depending on which partner bank holds your money.
Credit card: The Fidelity Rewards Signature Visa Card offers unlimited 2% cash back rewards into your eligible Fidelity account.
Where Fidelity falls behind
Despite offering a vast amount of products at low costs, Fidelity does have its drawbacks. Here are some potential cons you may want to consider.
No cryptocurrency: Sorry, crypto fans. At the moment, Fidelity doesn’t offer direct access to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ethereum and dogecoin. But it recently launched crypto-themed funds that invest in companies associated with blockchain technology and other industries associated with crypto.
High fees for managed accounts: If you want to launch a personalized investment strategy with a financial advisor or team at Fidelity, you need a hefty amount of assets. Minimum investments for different financial advisory plans range from $25,000 to $250,000.
What you can find at Fidelity
|Stocks||$0 trading commissions|
|ETFs||$0 trading commissions|
|Options||$0 commission and $ 0.65 per contract fee|
|Mutual funds||Range of mutual funds with no minimum investment, including four index funds with 0% expense ratios|
|Bonds||75,000 new issue and secondary market bonds including corporate and municipal bonds|
|Robo advisor (Fidelity GO)||Automated portfolio built with mutual funds. It charges no annual advisory fee on balances under $10,000. The annual fee is $3 for balances of $10,000–$49,999, and 0.35% for balances of $50,000+|
Fidelity research and tools
Fidelity offers a comprehensive suite of research tools and news. When you log into your account, you get a sleek-looking snapshot of how major indices like the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ are performing via charts. You also get a look at the day’s top news, data specifically about your investments, a list of the top market movers and a bar graph indicating how your returns compare to the overall market.
By clicking on the “News and Research” tools, you can access Fidelity’s fund screeners. Its user-friendly mutual fund screener lets you search for funds based on your preferences for criteria like asset class, Morningstar risk and return ratings, and investment strategy like active or index. When you click on a fund, you can click on different tabs to go deeper into aspects like its management fees and performance over time.
The Fidelity screener lets you filter out funds based on topics like Fidelity proprietary funds, fixed income funds and socially responsible or environmental, social and governance (ESG) funds. You can also find ETFs that invest in specific stocks of your choice.
Fidelity also offers a comprehensive Stock Market Research Center. When you open this page, you get a quick glimpse at top market movers by sector. On the left-hand panel, you can click on a link to access Fidelity's user-friendly stock screener. You can use this to filter securities based on more than 140 criteria such as market capitalization, dividend yield and recent price performance. You can also look at stocks in different categories such as “most popular,” growth stocks and dividend-paying stocks.
Beginners have access to an expansive library of educational resources through FIdelity's website. This includes articles, videos, infographics, webinars, calculators and more.
More advanced traders can utilize Active Trader Pro. This platform provides investors with various analytical capabilities. Through a single interface, you can track stock market performance, real-time market news and even news specific to the companies you may want to invest in. You also get access to customizable charts and you can perform technical analysis of various stocks, which is more functionality than some of Fidelity's competitors offer for active traders. The platform lets trade stocks, options and ETFs and mutual funds.
The Fidelity mobile app allows you to buy and sell stocks, mutual funds and ETFs. It also offers real-time market research and tailored news. You can make trades and monitor your portfolio via a single dashboard. Moreover, you can set watchlists, get streaming quotes and access the learning center, which contains a wealth of personal finance content. One feature that stands out though is its personalized tax schedule, which shows your available tax forms and when to expect additional forms.
The Fidelity app is compatible with Android and iOS. It’s compatible with iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. The Fidelity app currently has a rating of 4.8/5 on the Apple Store and 4.3 on the Google Play store.
Fidelity customer support
Fidelity is available over the phone, through live online chat and at more than 200 branches across the country. You can call customer service specialists at 800-343-3548. Availability will vary depending on the type of account you are inquiring about. But you can always access Fidleity’s live chat on its website 24/7. For specialized support via live chat, Fidelity’s operating hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET, and Saturday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET.