When it comes to investing, Fidelity simplifies the endeavor with low rates and a very easy-to-use platform. Along with the extensive stock research they make available at your fingertips, getting the latest educational support could not be easier.
A longtime leader of excellence in the industry, their name is trusted and synonymous with offering great services, simplicity, and affordability in stock trading. That's why we rank Fidelity as our top pick for the best online stock broker. We also use Fidelity in for ourselves (learn what other tools we use here).
Benefits of Fidelity
With fees starting at just $4.95 per trade, and $4.95 + $0.65 for option trades (per contract), Fidelity makes online trading quite attractively priced. Compared to competitors Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade, they are significantly lower priced. Plus, Fidelity offers many commission free ETFs and mutual funds that you can invest in.
Another perk of Fidelity is that many of their accounts require $0 minimum to open – such as any IRA or education savings account. If you combine this with no-cost investing in ETFs, you have a very inexpensive portfolio.
Their highly detailed, extensive investment research is conducted by more than 20 different, independent third party research firms, and offers reports on more than 4,500 stocks. Screen strategies for researching stocks, options, and ETFs that have been organized by independent third party experts are offered. These can also be used to create your own custom screens with the available 140 unique filters. This feature is one of their best, and for those who are interested, Fidelity offers a free 30-Day Research trial.
Additionally, Fidelity offers real-time monitoring lists which enable one to track the stocks of interest. An array of notifications are available through their email service and especially through their mobile apps, which can be set accordingly if you would like to receive alerts on trade notifications, balance updates, market news, or areas of stock research.
Fidelity has also recently launched a robo-advisor service and will begin by offering the program to existing customers to test out the service before releasing it nationally.
Also, Fidelity’s commitment to customer service is worth mention. Phone support is available 24/7, live chat is offered through their website, and if you would prefer to speak to someone in person, they have over 180 branches. They offer countless services geared towards educating and informing the customer like offering seminars in their locations regularly and webinars through their online learning center.
See how Fidelity compares using our Online Stock Broker Comparison Tool.
Innovative Trading Platform
As a trading platform, Fidelity offers trading options through their website, and their Active Trader Pro for desktop. Boasting simplicity in navigation, with a range of comprehensive offerings, it is a seriously user-friendly service.
The Active Trader Pro service is offered to customers who qualify, meaning those who trade at a minimum of 36 times within a rolling 12-month span. Securities such as stocks, bonds, options, ETFs, mutual funds and Forex are tradable through their platform.
Additionally, Fidelity’s impressive mobile app platform offers the same advanced features available on desktop and gives customers access whenever they need it. It has the added benefits of offering quotes in real-time, multi-leg options trading, and even Fidelity’s research sector in a scaled-down, mobile-friendly format, making it a highly versatile tool to have on your smartphone or tablet.
Cons Of Fidelity Investments
While there aren’t many, there are some things to keep in mind about Fidelity that may not fit the needs, or may be considered a detractor to some traders. Some platforms and tools Fidelity offers are restricted to only high-volume traders, such as the Active Trader Pro.
Certain charting tools are available exclusively to those who place more than 120 trades per year, and their Wealth-Lab Pro feature limits access to a minimum of 36 trades per year, and traders must have a minimum in assets of $25,000.
Final Verdict of Our Fidelity Review
For serious investors looking for maximum versatility online, Fidelity offers a wide range of benefits that can work for those who are looking for the best rates, great commissions, a wealth of research, a solid level of customer service, and state of the art tools that get the job done. Overall, they provide a great service to those who want simplicity, low rates per trade, mobile accessibility, and in-depth research. They are by far the best for long term investors, but short term traders my find shortfalls.