You’ve narrowed down the stocks or the mutual funds you want to invest in, or you are looking to gather information on how to build your investment strategy without getting intimidated by the stock market.
Here comes the point where you choose a brokerage firm most apt for your investment needs.
You’ll need to sift through the options and settle upon a broker that will help you navigate through the process, one that makes sure not burden you with blinding commission charges.
One of the leading stock brokerage firms, Fidelity Investments, exemplifies investor support while not robbing you in the name of trading fees.
Let’s take a detailed look at their offerings, pros, and cons, and what kind of investments Fidelity is best for.
Headquartered in Boston, Fidelity is a multinational financial services firm spread across 8 countries and 4 continents, with over 190 investor centers in the United States.
It operates a brokerage firm, offers a comprehensive portfolio of mutual funds, provides access to an encyclopedia of investment and wealth management related information, life insurance, retirement services, and more.
Among its closest competitors, Fidelity offers one of the lowest commission charges on stock trading. They provide tailored investor support according to the requirements of the individual investors.
They company has over 26.1 million brokerage accounts with 603,200 commissionable trades each day. It trades in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, options, forex.
Fidelity Company History
Founded in 1946 as Fidelity Management & Research (FMR) Company by Edward C. Johnson 2d, it was renamed as Fidelity International, and ultimately Fidelity Investment in 2010 to better reflect on its services.
Fidelity’s first physical investor center opened in Boston in 1983, offering customers an opportunity to access in-person guidance on investment and free information. It was also the first to have a presence on the internet by creating a webpage in 1995.
In 2008, Fidelity launched WealthCentral, the first Internet-based wealth management portal in the industry to combine all if its service domains. These ranged from portfolio management and financial planning to stock trading.
Types of Accounts
Fidelity offers personalized accounts and advanced advisory services for investors at every stage of their financial planning.
From a no-minimum balance brokerage account, to managing a multi-million balance private portfolio, Fidelity has solutions for all investors’ needs.
This is a low-cost brokerage account, offering an all-inclusive access to information and a wide diversity in the investment portfolio.
- Options among stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, commodities.
- Access to after and before market hours trading.
- Access to extensive information and industry-leading research.
- 93 commission-free ETFs.
Minimum Deposit and Fees
- No annual account fee.
- Flat $4.95 stock trading fee.
- Options fee: $4.95 per trade, plus $0.65 per contract.
Fidelity Advisory Solutions
Apart from brokerage account services, Fidelity also has a specialized focus on large volume investments and retirement planning services.
To this effect, they have a dedicated service managed by a team of seasoned wealth management advisors. They offer customized financial planning to investors looking for a long-term, high-volume investment.
- Tailored strategy approach by a dedicated team of advisors.
- The portfolio includes a variety of mutual funds and ETFs.
- A choice between Fidelity and non-Fidelity funds.
- Fidelity Go, the simplest of the solutions, is a low-cost brokerage service offered on no-minimum account deposit terms to investors looking for a team of professionals to manage their account.
Minimum Deposit and Fees
- Minimum account deposit ranging from $0 to $2 million.
- An annual fee ranging between 0.35%-1.7% depending on the total size of your account.
Fidelity a full docket of retirement accounts that can be self managed. These accounts include:
It feels like there are hundreds of brokerage firms to choose from. While Fidelity is a well known brokerage, other top brokerage accounts include:
Betterment is a robo-advisor style brokerage that does all the investing for you. This is all based on a survey that determines your individual tolerance for risk.
- No minimum deposit required.
- All trading done for you
- Automatic tax-loss harvesting
- Great for beginners and those who prefer a hands off approach.
- Higher fees for the done for you approach
- No options to take control of some of your investing
Once known as Trade King, Ally Invest is a full featured online brokerage that offers some of the lowest trading fees in the industry.
- Lower than industry cost trading at $4.95.
- No minimum account balance required.
- Not focused on new investors.
- Limited number of free trade funds
Fidelity Investment: Pros
What makes Fidelity a better choice for investors over its closest competitors like TD Ameritrade, Vanguard and Charles Schwab, among others?
Let’s find out,
- Commission charges of $4.95 are one of the lowest among its closest competitors.
- Offers premium quality research to investors through its compendious resource center.
- Over 3500 no-transaction-fee mutual funds.
- Extremely user-friendly website with charts and insights access to all ETFs and stocks.
- Focused on active traders, with a separate Active Trader Pro platform (for traders who exceed 36 trades in a year) that provides real-time market data. As well as a profit and loss analysis, along with superlative charting.
- Access to a full-time, anytime, investor specialist for traders who exceed 120 qualified trades in a 12 month period.
- Access to free seminars and sessions for investors at its physical branches.
- Offers a reward of 2% cash-back on credit card.
Fidelity Investments: Cons
Despite its low commission charges and pioneering research facilities, there are a few aspects that might discourage investors from selecting Fidelity Investments as their broker.
Let’s break it down,
- Unlike some of its competitors, Fidelity has kept its premium platforms like Active Trader Pro and Wealth Lab Pro for a certain class of investors, restricting the information percolation to all investors.
- Most of Fidelity’s mutual funds need a minimum account balance of $2,500. This is a high amount considering the alternatives available.
- Lack of community forums for information sharing among investors.
The Bottom Line
Fidelity has established itself as one of the leaders in the brokerage account industry, owing to the plethora of offerings it presents on a platter for investors.
This, along with a dedicated 24/7 customer support and a resource center, makes it considerably easier for beginners and experienced traders alike to access the best investment solutions and information.
The company’s low commission charges compared to its peers make Fidelity a superior choice. However, the minimum deposit variable discourages low volume investors.
Even then, the premium quality of services that Fidelity offers clients surpass such restrictions. This is especially true for active traders, who get access to an extensive database of research and insights for a certain level of activity.
Fidelity’s trading platforms have been raved about by its customers. Consumers praise the clean and dissected view of information that company offers, while teaching investors how to make their money grow.
The company’s advanced-level software like Wealth-Lab Pro, actually puts up a grand show. They provide multitudes of content for investors looking for high-quality research papers.
Whether you are an active trader looking for maximum returns on your high volume transactions, or a stable long-term investor who wants to hold onto the stocks while doing in-depth research, Fidelity provides for its consumers.