In A Nutshell
Fidelity is a broker from the United States founded in 1946. It has top-tier licenses from regulators, such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
This broker is considered safe due to its top-tier regulations and long track record.
We chose Fidelity as the Best Broker For Bonds in 2020, after reviewing 57 online brokers and testing their live accounts.
Fidelity Review and Insights
Fidelity Good & Bad
Fidelity has high-quality research, along with several tools, like detailed fundamental data, trading ideas, and reliable charting. The web trading platform is user-friendly, and it has professional order types. You can trade with US stocks, and you choose from international stocks, too. You can compare it with the best trading platfors here.
- Reliable Research Tools
- Excellent Web Trading Platform
- International And US Stocks Available
- Account Opening Is Not Fully Digital
- Mutual Fund Fees Are High
- Financing Rates Are High
Country Of Regulation
Trading Fees Class
Account Opening Time
1 to 3 Days
Debit/Credit Card Deposit
Electronic Wallet Deposit
Total Base Currencies
Robo-adivosry, Options, Fund, Bond, ETF, Stock
1. Fees and Spreads
Fidelity has low non-trading fees and low trading fees. Stock trading doesn't charge commissions but, in compensation, the rates for some financial instruments and mutual funds can be high.
- Low Non-Trading Fees
- Free ETF And Stock Trading
- Some Mutual Funds Are Free
- High Financing Rate
- High Costs For Non-Free Mutual Funds
Fees At Fidelity
Free ETF And Stock Trading
$75.0 or $49.95 for buying and selling is free;
there are also ~3,600 free mutual funds
No Inactivity Fee
How We Assessed Fees
We assessed Fidelity's fees as low, average, or high, depending on how they compare to those of all forex brokers we reviewed.
To help you get a broader understanding of our process, here is the distinction between trading and non-trading fees.
• Trading fees happen when you trade. These can be conversion, commission, spreads, or financing rates fees.
• Non-trading prices are not linked to trading. These can be inactivity or withdrawal fees.
We reviewed Fidelity's costs in comparison with those of two competitor brokers, Charles Schwab and Interactive Brokers. Our assessment relies on objective factors, like client profile, fee structure, or products available.
Here are our top findings of Fidelity trading fees.
Fidelity Trading Fees
Trading fees at Fidelity are low.
ETF And Stock Fees
Fidelity has no ETF and stock commission for American customers.
This broker charges higher fees for German and UK stocks than Interactive Brokers. But it is not unusual for US brokers to provide non-US stocks.
ETF And Stock Commission Of A $2,000 trade At Fidelity
It is best to look at Fidelity's financing rates if you prefer short sale or investing in stocks on margin.
A margin or financing rate happens when you trade on margin or short a stock. It signifies that you can lend stocks or money from your broker to trade. The borrowed asset has an interest, which you have to pay. Overall, a financing rate can be a significant part of your trading fees.
The financing rate at Fidelity is volume-tiered. That means it is a base rate plus a premium based on the financed amount. The table below reveals the annual financing rates at Fidelity:
Base Rate +/-
$1,000,000 or more
Base rate - 3.075%
$500,000 - $999,999
Base rate - 2.825%
$250,000 - $499,999
Base rate - 0.50%
$100,000 - $249,999
Base rate - 0.25%
$50,000 - $99,999
Base rate - 0.20%
$25,000 - $49,999
Base rate + 0.75%
Base rate + 1.25%
The financing rates listed apply for options trading, too.
Mutual funds have a high fee. Fidelity provides approximately 3,600 free mutual funds. However, you'll be charged a $49.95 fee if you sell any of these free funds within 60 days after the purchase. All other funds cost $75 or $49.95 based on the fund, and we used the $75 fee for this review, as it is the most common. Fidelity only charges for opening a commission; closing a position is free.
Fees For A $2,000 Fund Purchase
USD Margin Rate
Overall, the bond fees at Fidelity are low. These vary based on distinct bond types. We assessed the fees for Treasury bonds.
Commission On A Government Bond Trade
US Treasury Bond
Treasury bonds have no commission. Other bonds, such as corporate bonds, come with a $1 per bond fee and a maximum of $250. The maximum commission is $50 for bonds of one year or less.
Fidelity has low options fees.
Stock Index Options Commission Of 10 Contracts At Fidelity
US Stock Index Options
This broker charges for each contract a $0.65 fee.
The non-trading fees at Fidelity are low.
This broker has no account or inactivity fee. If you opt for ACH transfer, there will be no withdrawal fee. Any withdrawal done to other banks via a wire transfer has a $10 fee.
For this review, we used ACH, so there was no withdrawal fee.
2. Account Opening
The account opening at Fidelity is fast and straightforward. The downside is that it isn't fully digital. You need to mail the application with a photocopy of your ID.
- No Minimum Deposit
- Low Minimum Deposit
- Not Fully Digital
Fidelity is a US broker for US customers. For this review, we assessed the services offered in the USA.
Despite that, there are several countries where Fidelity is available through subsidiaries or the Fidelity Group. Fidelity International manages South-East Asia (JP, HK, TW) and Western Europe (UK, CH, AT, DE, NL, FR, SE, ES). The Fidelity Investments Canada is only for Canadian clients.
The standard minimum deposit at Fidelity is $0, but it can be more if you opt for investing in portfolios or you trade on margin.
Basic Accounts Trading
Fidelity Managed Accounts
$10 - 500.000
* You trade on leverage, with money borrowed from the broker.
** You sell and purchase an asset the same day.
Account Types At Fidelity
This broker has various account types.
Brokerage Individual Account
Account is owned and used by a single individual
Brokerage Joint Account
Account is owned and used by two or more individuals
Account is owned and used by a legal entity
Estate/ Trust Account
Account is held by a Trustee (separate legal entity) for your benefit
Roth / Traditional / Rollover IRA Accounts
Individual retirement accounts
Education Savings Account
Account is for educational purpose savings
Tax-efficient account for a charitable giving
Medical Savings Accounts
Account is for healthcare purpose savings
Fidelity Managed Accounts
Accounts managed by Fidelity's technology and professionals Robo-advisor accounts managed by Fidelity
For our assessment, we chose the Brokerage Individual Account.
For international stock trading, you need an additional service (International Trading) for your brokerage account. Account registration was fast and straightforward.
Opening An Account At Fidelity
Opening an account is straightforward, but for the account we selected, it was not fully digital. After submitting the online account opening form, we had to fax or mail a copy of a valid ID card to Fidelity. After two business days, the account was active.
To open an account at Fidelity, you will have to:
- Select the account type
- Submit personal data, such as employment status, residency, or Social Security Number
- Add your trading or investment preferences
- Verify the data
- Agree to the terms and conditions
- Print and fax/ mail the application.
The application process took around 20 minutes, and the account was verified and approved within three business days.
Requesting International Trading was faster.
3. Withdrawals And Deposits
Fidelity offers several base currencies in its portfolio. The downside is that debit/credit cards are not accepted, while wire withdrawals have a fee.
- No Withdrawal Fee
- No Deposit Fee
- Various Account Base Currencies
- Debit/ Credit Card Not Available
- Outgoing Wire Transfers cost $10
Account Base Currencies
This broker allows you to opt from 16 base currencies.
Total Base Curencies
Base Currencies At Fidelity
There is no conversion fee if you fund your account in the same currency as your bank account. Also, if you trade in the same currency as your trading account base currency, there is no extra cost.
An excellent way to avoid a conversion fee is by using a multi-currency bank account at a digital bank. TransferWise or Revolut are the leading providers on the market due to several currencies available, reasonable exchange rates, and affordable international bank transfers. Creating an account is easy and only takes a few minutes.
Options And Deposit Fees
Fidelity has no deposit fee. Customers can use ACH, wire transfers, check, and PayPal to deposit funds. Debit/credit cards are not available.
This broker has the BillPay feature. It is an additional service, which allows you to manage your bills or make payments with your brokerage account.
Debit/ Credit Card
A bank transfer requires several business days, while a payment with a debit/credit card is instant.
We used the ACH transfer, and it took two business days.
You can only use accounts in your name to deposit funds.
Withdrawal Options And Fees At Fidelity
Fidelity has no withdrawal fee for ACH withdrawal. International and domestic wire transfers cost $10.
Debit/ Credit Card
We used the ACH bank transfer withdrawal, and it finished in two business days.
You can only use accounts in your name to withdraw funds.
To withdraw money, you will have to:
- Log into your account
- Access the 'Accounts & Trade' Menu and click 'Transfer.'
- Choose the withdrawal method you prefer
- Add the Fidelity account as 'Transfer from.'
- Choose the account you want to transfer money to
- Submit the amount you wish to withdraw and the date
- Start the withdrawal process
4. Trading Platform
Fidelity has a user-friendly and easy-to-use web platform. It features two-step authentication and several order types. The downside is that it is not customizable.
- Clear Fee Report
- Two-Step Authentication
- Limited Customization (workspace, charts)
Platforms Available At Fidelity
4.5 / 5 stars
4.5 / 5 stars
4.0 / 5 stars
Fidelity has a proprietary platform available only in English.
Look And Feel
The web trading platform at Fidelity offers an outstanding user experience. But it has no customizable features.
Security And Login
Fidelity has a two-step authentication process in addition to the standard one-step login. If you opt for the two-step, you will receive a random 6-digit number on your phone.
When you create an account, you select three security questions and answers. Each time you log in on a new device, you will be asked to answer one of those security questions. If you answer correctly, you can access your account with your password.
The search features at Fidelity are reliable, and you can look for information by a company's ticker or name. We saw that searching with the name offers the best results.
If you opt for International Trading, it is best to search using a country code syntax and the ticker. Without the country code, the search results will be from the US market. We believe that this setting could be updated to simplify the process. You can access this function in the upper right corner.
Fidelities order types are robust, and you have access to these order types: Limit, Market, Stop trailing ($, %), Stop limit trailing, Stop Limit, Stop, One Triggers the Other (OTO), One Cancels The Other (OCO), One Triggers a One Cancels the Other (OTOCO) and Multi-contingent.
You can use order time limits, too: Day, Immediate or Cancel, Fill or Kill, Good 'till cancelled 9GTC), End of Day, and On the open.
Notifications And Alerts
You can create numerous notifications and alerts, ranging from research to price alerts. There are several alert types in the main categories: 'Products and Offerings,' 'Research and Market Monitoring,' and 'Account Services.'
Users can receive notifications by SMS, email, and the mobile trading app through push notifications.
Notifications and alerts are in your Profile> Preferences > Alerts and Notification menu. Also, you can search for equity and click 'Set Alert' for it. Overall, we liked how the alerts synchronize across each platform. If you add an alert on a platform, you can activate it on other platforms, too.
Fee Reports And Portfolio
Fidelity has a transparent fee report and portfolio. All the information is available in the 'Accounts & Trade'> Accounts menu.
You can save any report in CSV format.
5. Mobile Trading Platform
Fidelity has an excellent mobile trading platform that is well-designed, and it offers an excellent customer experience. The downside is that there is no two-step authentication.
- Reliable Search Funtion
- Excellent Variety of Order Types
- No Two-Step Authentication
This platform is available on both Android and iOS devices, but only in English. We tested the iOS app.
Look And Feel
The mobile trading platform from Fidelity is easy to understand. We think the mobile design is better than the design of the web trading platform.
Security And Login
The mobile platform has a one-step authentication process. There is no biometric authentication, which would be convenient.
The search features are excellent. You can search for relevant data on stocks with ease. Also, you can look up international stocks with the country syntax. If you don't submit a country code, the search will refer to the US.
We like the numerous search features available, and we saw third-party assessments in most of the equity categories.
The order types available are: Stop, Stop Limit, Market, Limit, Stop Trailing ($, %), and Stop limit trailing ($, %).
The order time limits available are: Day, Fill or Kill, Good' till cancelled (GTC), Immediate or Cancel, and On the Open.
6. Desktop Trading Platform
Fidelity has a highly customizable desktop platform.
It features a straightforward fee report, and it has several order types available. The downside is that there is no two-step authentication, and the platform might load slower from time to time.
- Simple Fee Report
- Excellent Customizability For Workspace, And Charts
- Several Order Types
- No Two-Step Authentication
Fidelity's proprietary platform is Active Trader Pro. It is excellent for advanced investors and active traders. Active Trader Pro is the extension of the web platform. It features numerous search functions with superior flexibility.
As is the case with the mobile and web trading platforms, the desktop platform is only available in English.
Look And Feel
Fidelity has a well-designed and customizable desktop trading platform. The downside is that it might load slower when the content is crosslinked to the web-based platform, or it opens in a new window.
Security And Login
Fidelity Active Trader Pro has only one-step authentication. A two-step login would be more secure.
Fidelity Active Trader Pro comes with reliable search features where you can look for an asset by its ticker or name.
The desktop application offers the same order types as on the web trading platform.
Notifications And Alerts
You can create notifications and alerts on the desktop trading platform, which are then synchronized to the other platforms. Also, you can access 'Real-time Analytics,' which signals potential trading opportunities and features historical data for your watchlist.
Fee Reports And Portfolio
Fee reports and portfolios are straightforward. You can customize the tab with ease and include profit/loss balance, currency, or commission. Reports are available in the Account/History menu.
7. Markets And Products
Fidelity has several asset classes, including options, stocks, and international stocks, but no futures or forex.
Fidelity stands out on the global stock market since not many US brokers offer access to foreign stock exchanges. The selection of mutual funds and bonds is extensive, but the available choices for options and ETFs are more limited.
ETFs And Stocks
Fidelity offers access to both international stock exchanges and US markets.
The stocks you can trade on US stock exchanges are OTC, AMEX, NYSE, and NASDAQ. The stock markets listed below are available internationally:
Africa, Asia, Pacific
The mutual fund offering is also robust and resembles the offering available with Charles Schwab.
You can use funds from leading providers (Vanguard or BlackRock) or Fidelity funds.
The bond selection at Fidelity is broader than Charles Schwab's but more limited than Interactive Brokers.
Fidelity bonds cover corporate and government bonds.
The options selection at Fidelity is average. Similar to the bond offering, it is more expansive than at Charles Schwab, but not as wide-ranging as at Interactive Brokers.
The options exchanges you can use are ISE Gemini, BOX, AMEX, ISE, PHLX, CBOE, MIAX, NASDAQ, NASDAQ OMX BX, NYSE ARCA, NYSE BATS, and C2.
Several managed accounts services are available for Fidelity's clients.
Fidelity Personalized Planning and Advice
Portfolio Advisory Services
Separately Managed Accounts
Robo-advisory service with a consultation with experts
Personalized solutions compiled by Fidelity's experts
Preset portfolios you can invest in
$50,000 - $250,000
$200,000 - $500,000
Fidelity has useful research tools, such as in-depth fundamental data, screeners, and trading ideas.
- Reliable Interactive Chart
- Trading Ideas
- Asset Fundamentals Data
Fidelity's tools are helpful for strategy building and fundamental analysis. We reviewed the research tools on the web trading platform.
The trading ideas at Fidelity are for mutual funds, ETFs, and stocks.
In the 'Analyst Opinions' menu, you can access a summarized score for stocks. It features more than 20 researcher's votes. You can look at the industry average and the top competitors' performance.
Mutual funds and ETFs have reliable data offered by third-party providers, such as MorningStar.
Fundamental data is vast with this broker. There is information for distinct assets, ranging from funds to stocks. You can look at peer group companies, dividend calendars, financial statements for previous years, and many more.
Fidelity offers reliable, charting tools. We used the web trading platform's charting tool for our assessment. You can modify with ease the charts and use up to 50 technical indicators. Also, you can download or save the table.
Third parties – such as Bloomberg or the Wall Street Journal – offer the news feed at Fidelity, which you can find with ease under the "News" tab. The downside is a lack of visual cues, such as pictures and charts.
Additional Research Tools
Fidelity has engaging and professional screeners for ETFs, mutual funds, and stocks. This tool is one of the best we reviewed so far. Several filters help you research data ranging from technical indicators to company profiles.
9. Customer Service
Fidelity has excellent customer support. Their team offers knowledgeable and fast answers to all queries 24/7.
- Phone Support
- Live Chat
- Fast Response Time
Customer support is available via:
- live chat
This service is available in English.
We concluded that the live chat was fast, and the answers were relevant. The phone support was ok, we received useful answers, and the response time was acceptable. The email was reliable, too, but responses were considerably slower (within 24 hours).
We like that customer service at Fidelity is available 24/7.
This broker has numerous educational materials, including webinars, articles, and demo accounts. We rank the quality of this material as one of the best on the market.
- Demo Account
- Tutorial For Trading Platforms
- Educational Videos
Fidelity encourages you to learn with:
- Demo account
- Platform tutorial videos
- General educational videos
- Quality educational articles
Both beginners and advanced traders can use webinars. Up to ten new videos are shared monthly, and you can use the archive to look at previous ones.
There is a useful FAQ section at Fidelity, which offers a wide range of data via an excellent search tool.
Fidelity has top-tier licenses from regulators like the FINRA and the SEC.
It offers a high investor protection amount of $500,000, which features $250,000 for cash. The downside is that the financial data for this broker is not public, and no negative balance protection is in place.
- Top-Tier Licenses
- High Level Of Investor Protection
- Additional Coverage By Fidelity
- No Negative Balance Protection
- No Banking License
- Not Listed On Stock Exchange
Fidelity has top-tier licenses from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
This broker has its headquarters in the USA, and it was founded in 1946.
When it comes to Fidelity safety concerns, it is best to check the following:
• Protection if something goes wrong
• Background of the broker
Account Protection At Fidelity
For this review, we assessed the Fidelity services for US customers. There are several countries in which this broker is available through subsidiaries. We didn't review those.
Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC manages US clients, and they benefit from the US Investor Protection scheme or SIPC. The SIPC protection scheme offers protection for securities and cash loss in case the broker collapses. It comes with protection limited to $500,000, and it features a $250,000 limit for cash. This sum is higher than most investor protection schemes.
Fidelity offers an extra $1 billion coverage. Securities have no limit for coverage, but cash per account is limited to a $1.9 million coverage.
SIPC does not offer protection for all investments. Generally, SIPC protects stocks, bonds, notes, mutual funds, registered securities, and other investment company shares. It does not apply to instruments (like unregistered limited partnerships, unregistered investment contracts, fixed annuity contracts, and currency), interests (in gold and silver), or similar commodity options and commodity futures contracts.
Fidelity has no negative balance protection. As such, if your account goes into negative, there is no support, and you will be required to pay the full amount.
Fidelity was founded in 1946. It has a vast track record, and it survived previous financial crises with success.
If you're searching for additional information about this broker, you won't find much. It has limited financial information when compared to similar brokers. FMR LLC is the Fidelity group's parent company, and it owns the broker.
It has top-tier licenses, several years on the market, and offers extra insurance, which is why we can rank Fidelity as a safe broker.
Fidelity is the leading US stockbroker with top-tier licenses.
It has powerful research tools and features, like in-depth fundamental data and trading ideas. The web trading platform is user-friendly, and it includes professional order types. The available products cover both the US market and the international stock exchange.
There are some downsides to Fidelity, however. The account is not fully digital, and the financing rates and mutual fund costs are high.
With a reliable web trading platform, an user-friendly design, excellent research tools, and no inactivity fee, Fidelity is a safe choice for traders.
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- 1 In A Nutshell
- 2 Fidelity Review and Insights
- 3 1. Fees and Spreads
- 4 2. Account Opening
- 5 3. Withdrawals And Deposits
- 6 4. Trading Platform
- 7 5. Mobile Trading Platform
- 8 6. Desktop Trading Platform
- 9 7. Markets And Products
- 10 8. Research
- 11 9. Customer Service
- 12 10. Education
- 13 11. Safety
- 14 Bottom Line