Fidelity Brokerage Services Review

FT Contributor  | 

Fidelity is a well-known brokerage firm that provides educational planning tools and wealth management strategies to investors. The brokerage is appealing because it includes $0 fee stock trades and an easy-to-use platform.

Beginner investors interested in learning how to make their money grow benefit from the brokerage’s simple format, expansive resources, and line of services. Fidelity’s low account fees and extensive customer service help inexperienced and seasoned investors build investment portfolios that deliver results.

What Is Fidelity?

Fidelity is a full-service brokerage that can help investors build a stock portfolio or add to a portfolio they’ve already established. The firm caters to investors who want the advice and assistance of a stockbroker but don’t want to pay expensive fees. Investors who were skeptical about whether they need a stockbroker to buy stocks find that Fidelity provides the assistance and services necessary to make the right financial decisions.

Who Is Best Suited for Fidelity?

Fidelity serves individual investors with several investment products and financial advice. Active traders and investors focused on growing their money, diversifying their investment portfolio, and saving for retirement are most likely to benefit from the brokerage. Since Fidelity offers different services, there are many ways investors can use the platform.

What Are Fidelity’s Services?

When analyzing how Fidelity can help you, it’s important to understand the services the brokerage offers to its customers. There are several ways Fidelity serves investors and assists them in making crucial financial decisions to grow their money.

Research

It can be tough for investors to figure out the most beneficial investment strategies, especially with so many options. Fidelity offers free research and data to customers so they can learn how the market is performing.

Investors can educate themselves on the best accounts to open based on their financial goals and involvement. They can also read up on individual stock performance before choosing where to allocate their money.

Platforms and Apps

Fidelity offers an easy-to-use platform and app for investors. There are several ways customers can connect with the brokerage and view their accounts, including:

  • A mobile app: Investment apps make it easy to keep track of stock performance. Fidelity offers a high-performing mobile app for both iOS and Android equipped with advanced features. This allows investors to electronically invest, research, and make changes to their money allocation at any time, from anywhere.
  • Active Trader Pro: Fidelity’s online trading platform allows you to customize your dashboard to view and analyze your investments efficiently. Stock charts, indicators, and layouts are customizable so you can perform multiple trades quickly and efficiently.
  • Fidelity.com: The Fidelity website is another useful tool to view your accounts and stock performance. You can also tap into informative resources to learn about upcoming stock options and investment strategies.

With several electronic options to access your accounts, Fidelity makes it easy to keep an eye on the status of your investments and make moves when needed.

Mutual Funds

Fidelity is one of the first brokerage firms to offer mutual funds with no transaction fees, as well as zero-expense-ratio index funds. As a Fidelity customer, you can build your portfolio with several no-fee investments, including the:

  • Fidelity Zero Large Cap Index Fund.
  • Fidelity Zero Total Market Index Fund.
  • Fidelity Zero Extended Market Index Fund.
  • Fidelity Zero International Index Fund.

The brokerage firm provides its customers access to over 3,500 mutual funds with no fees. Investors can also choose from over 700 mutual and index funds associated with expense ratios that set at 0.50% or less.

Cash Sweep

When cash is left over in retirement accounts, Fidelity automatically reallocates it to the Fidelity Government Money Market Fund so it can yield interest. Alternatively, investors may choose to reinvest this cash into an FDIC-insured account with a lower interest rate. Rolling this cash into a money market account prevents it from remaining stagnant and guarantees growth.

Tools

Fidelity ensures investors have the tools they need to grow and diversify their portfolios. Customers access platforms and apps that provide crucial information so they can make sound investment decisions. The brokerage firm also provides investors with real-time analytics and news related to the stock market, as well as alerts based on their preferences.

Unusual stock market activity is flagged so you can review it and predict its impact on your investment portfolio. The website’s homepage offers a customizable website watchlist, which allows you to keep an eye on streaming quotes as they relate to your investments.

Cash Management Account

The Fidelity cash management account offers the features of a checking account. You can deposit checks electronically into the account and your ATM fees are reimbursed. With no minimum balance or monthly fees, you can conduct transactions and manage your cash flow efficiently.

Customer Service and Support

Fidelity provides extensive customer support to investors. In addition to online chat availability, customer service representatives can be reached by phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Customer support is free but if you place a trade with a live broker, you’re responsible for a surcharge on your transaction.

What Are Fidelity’s Fees?

  • Options contracts: No base commissions and a 65 cent charge per contract.
  • Assets transfers: No fees to transfer assets from another financial institution to Fidelity, such as your money market or IRA account balance.
  • Fund expense ratios: No fund expense ratios on most mutual and index funds.
  • Stock trades: No stock trade fees.
  • Mutual fund trades: $49.95 for mutual fund trades.
  • Broker-assisted trades: $32.95 fee per broker-assisted trade.

Pros and Cons of Fidelity

Reviewing the pros and cons of using Fidelity as your brokerage firm will help you decide if it’s right for you.

Pros

  • Extensive research and resources are available online and through the mobile app.
  • No commissions or fees charged for stock trading without a live broker.
  • Zero-expense-ratio funds for most mutual and index funds.
  • Useful platforms and tools, including a mobile app and customizable online dashboard.
  • Customer service by phone, online, and through an extensive FAQ section hosted on the website.
  • Large funds selection, including thousands of mutual funds and with no fees.
  • Real-time analytics on your account dashboard so you can view stock market tickers and trends instantly.

Cons

  • High broker-assisted trade fee ($32.95 per trade) if you opt to use a live broker.
  • Website doesn’t offer easy navigation like some of its competitors and can’t be accessed internationally.
  • Doesn’t offer new account bonuses like many other competitors.

Is Fidelity the Best Investment Firm for You?

Fidelity is designed to assist beginner investors focused on following a retirement savings strategy with developing and growing their portfolios. It offers extensive research and insight on the best investment strategies with low fees and robust services.

When deciding if Fidelity is the best brokerage firm for you, consider how its customer service experience and the usability of its platform compares to its competitors. With easy access to service representatives, a mobile app, and customizable online platform, Fidelity is a simple way to begin investing and could be helpful in reaching your future financial goals.


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