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- Fidelity Investments is an online brokerage offering a variety of trading opportunities for both active and passive investors and a selection of commission-free stocks, ETFs, and options.
- Fidelity is best for users looking for inexpensive investments, investment research materials, retirement planning solutions, and access to financial advisors.
- The brokerage also offers Fidelity Go, a robo-advisor, and two other professionally managed portfolio options.
- Fidelity’s standard investing account has no account minimums or account fees. The firm has thousands of no-transaction-fee mutual funds and no-expense-ratio index funds.
- Click here to set up an account with Fidelity Investments.
Fidelity Investments is a great choice for both hands-on and hands-off investors. If you’re a frequent or active trader, you can place commission-free trades on stock, ETF, and options trades. In addition, the brokerage offers no-transaction-fee mutual funds, and you can set up a self-directed investing account without any account minimums or fees.
Another benefit of Fidelity is that it offers fractional share investing with more than 7,000 US stocks and ETFs. This allows you to purchase smaller portions of investments at lower costs. And when it comes to mutual funds, you can also invest in Fidelity’s ZERO expense ratio index mutual funds. These mutual funds contain a $0 account minimum and 0% expense ratio. Expense ratios are fixed annual fees that cover the total operating expenses of a mutual fund or ETF.
And — for investors who prefer a little more guidance — Fidelity offers a robo-advisor, Fidelity Go, and two other professionally managed options: Fidelity Wealth Services and Fidelity Strategic Disciplines. Fidelity Go is free for account balances below $10,000, but you’ll pay up to 0.35% in fees for higher balances. These accounts are worth considering if you’re looking to implement hands-off investing strategies.
Fidelity also has an extensive offering of trading platforms, investment research, and educational content. Its learning center gives you access to blogs and live webinars on relevant financial topics. And with Fidelity’s “news and research tab,” you can read up on stock market trends and real-time investment prices.
In addition to its online platform and mobile apps, Fidelity offers a trading platform specifically for its active traders: Active Trader Pro. Active Trader Pro is a downloadable platform that offers real-time trading alerts, investing insights, portfolio monitoring, customizable dashboard layouts, and option trading assistance. Though it doesn’t have a mobile version, this platform could be great for you if you want to stay on top of market movements and determine when to buy or sell securities. It also lets you place up to 50 orders at a time.
According to Fidelity’s website, the brokerage utilizes investment analysis and stock research from more than 20 independent providers, including Thomson Reuters StarMine. Fidelity also provides market insights and commentary through Fidelity Viewpoints, and it offers several retirement and investing tools.
One thing to look out for when using Fidelity Go is that larger balances incur larger account fees. You’ll pay $0 for its automated investment management services if you have less than $10,000 in your account, but higher balances carry either a $3 monthly fee, or a 0.35% annual fee.
Another drawback is that you’ll pay more for representative-assisted trades at Fidelity than you would at other brokerages like Charles Schwab or Merrill Edge. You may need to use representative-assisted trading if you lose internet connection, if you’re looking to purchase speciality investments that aren’t readily available, or if you’re looking for trading recommendations Fidelity currently charges $32.95 for broker-assisted trades, while Schwab and Merrill Edge charge $25 and $29.95, respectively.
Bottom line: Fidelity has great features for all types of investors and traders. The brokerage offers $0 commissions and market research access for active traders who buy and sell securities on a regular basis. Fidelity also provides robo-advice and professionally managed portfolios for hands-off investors.
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Fidelity Investments pros and cons
- No account minimum or account fees
- No commissions for stock, ETF, and options trades; fractional shares available
- Thousands of no-transaction-fee mutual funds and fee-free mutual funds
- Several research tools and trading platforms available
- Fidelity Go accounts cost more for investors with higher account balances
- Representative-assisted trades are slightly more expensive than other brokerages
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0% ($0 to $30 for robo-advisor)
0% (0.45% to 0.85% for Guided Investing)
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Self-directed brokerage accounts
You can trade and invest on your own with Fidelity’s wide selection of investments. Currently, the brokerage offers stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, options, bonds, certificates of deposit (CDs), money market funds, IPOs, deferred fixed annuities, precious metals, and other fixed income products.
Out of those investment products, you’ll have the option make commission-free trades on stocks, ETFs, and options. And Fidelity currently offers more than 3,400 no-transaction-fee mutual funds.
If you’re looking for professional guidance or automated portfolio management, Fidelity offers three different options: Fidelity Go, Fidelity Wealth Services, and Fidelity Strategic Disciplines.
Fidelity’s robo-advisor, Fidelity Go, manages your investments for you. The investing account is free to set up, and, if you’d like to access personalized planning and advice, you can do so with a minimum investment of $25,000.
Unlike Fidelity Go, Fidelity Wealth Services provides automatic access to a financial advisor who provides personalized investment management. You’ll need at least $50,000 to set up this account.
Fidelity Strategic Disciplines advisors also includes human advisor access, but this account uses a single asset class portfolio of individual securities to help you meet specific investment objectives. This account requires a minimum investment of $100,000 to $350,000.
Fidelity offers several retirement accounts. These include traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, rollover iras, Roth IRAs for kids, and small business retirement plans.
Any adult can open and manage Fidelity’s Roth IRAs for kids account as long as that adult’s minor is under the age of 18 and has employment compensation.
For both Fidelity Investments and Fidelity Go, Roth IRAs and traditional IRAs carry no account minimums.
Education savings accounts
You can also save for education expenses with Fidelity’s 529 college savings plans. The brokerage’s 529 accounts offer several perks, including tax-free withdrawals, no account minimums, and no account fees.
Fidelity’s Age-Based Strategies rely on portfolios with asset allocations tailored toward your beneficiary’s current age. Asset allocation is a process that’s commonly used to enhance returns by strategically balancing the types of investments in your portfolio.
According to its website, the asset allocations for these portfolios become more conservative, or safer, as the 529 account’s beneficiary approaches college age.
With Age-Based Strategies, you’ll have the choice of the following three investment strategies: Fidelity Funds, Fidelity Blend Funds, and Fidelity Index Funds.
Fidelity Investments is an online brokerage offering an extensive range of wealth-building products, including investing accounts, retirement accounts, college savings plans, health savings plans, and cash management accounts. Fidelity also offers access to professional financial advisors.
The company primarily serves individual investors, employers, advisors, wealth management firms, charitable donors, and more. Fidelity currently manages more than 32 million individual investors.
Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, Fidelity traces its establishment back to 1946. Since then, the company has earned much industry recognition for its services. In fact, in 2020, Barron’s and Investor’s Business Daily both named Fidelity as the Best Online Broker.
As of September 30, 2020, Fidelity Investments has about $8.8 trillion in total assets under management. The brokerage has roughly 12 regional offices and more than 190 investment centers in the US.
Rickie Houston is a wealth-building reporter at Personal Finance Insider who covers investing, brokerage, and wealth-building products. Before joining Business Insider, he worked as a personal finance writer for SmartAsset. He is also a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF).