Fidelity is a financial services and investment brokerage firm headquartered in Boston.
With a Fidelity Investment account, you can trade stocks, options, bonds, ETFs, and more. You can also get personalized assistance from financial advisors.
If you’d like to learn more about Fidelity—also commonly referred to as Fidelity Investments—you’ve come to the right place.
This post is going to give you a full overview of what Fidelity has to offer, including the services it provides, the pros and cons of working with them, and more.
What is Fidelity?
Fidelity is one of the world’s largest asset management institutions, with over $7.4 trillion in total client assets under management.
Fidelity was founded in 1946 by Edward C. Johnson.
The company also services over 30 million customers and processes nearly 650,000 trades each day. Wow!
Fidelity Investment Review of Services
Up next, let’s take a look at the different services that Fidelity offers.
The Fidelity Account
The Fidelity Account is the company’s popular low-cost investment account. As a Fidelity Account holder, you’ll have access to a diverse array of investment options and can enjoy commission-free trades on U.S. stocks, ETFs, and options. There is, however, a $0.65 options contract fee.
With a Fidelity Account, you’ll have access to the following investment vehicles:
- Domestic and international stocks
- ETFs, including 28 from Fidelity, 329 from iShares, and 146 from other financial institutionsOptions trading, including ETFs, index-based, and with weekly expirations
- Over 3,700 fee-free mutual funds
- Over 30,000 investment bonds
- Precious metals trading, including gold, silver, platinum, and palladium
Fidelity Go is the company’s robo-advisor investing service. It’s worth pointing out that Fidelity Go won the Best Overall Robo ranking in 2019.
With a Fidelity Go account, you’ll enjoy the benefits of having your funds automatically managed by Fidelity’s team of specialists with zero effort from your end. Simply pick how aggressive you want your approach to be, and Fidelity’s robo advisor will take it from there.
There’s no minimum to open a Fidelity Go account, but you’ll pay a 0.35% gross advisory fee on the assets being managed.
Fidelity Personalized Planning and Advice
If you’re looking for a more personal experience with your investment firm, you might consider looking into a Fidelity Personalized Planning and Advice account. This account is also referred to as a hybrid robo advisor.
In addition to having your investments automatically managed by Fidelity’s robo advisor, you also have access to personalized financial coaching. It’s the best of both worlds
Let’s say you’d like some advice about how to pay down your debt faster or boost your retirement savings. Simply schedule a call online, and your Fidelity financial coach will help you with personalized, professional, and impartial advice.
Keep in mind that you’ll need a minimum of $25,000 to qualify for a Fidelity Personalized Planning and Advice account. There’s also a 0.50% gross advisory fee.
Fidelity account holders can borrow against their assets with Fidelity Margin. Unfortunately, you’ll still have to absorb interest fees to take out a Fidelity Margin loan.
But at the same time, that rate is relatively reasonable at 5%.
Fidelity Cash Management Account
Fidelity also offers a Cash Management Account for customers who have an investment account.
With a cash management account, you’ll enjoy the peace of mind of FDIC insurance, and you’ll also earn 2% cashback on all purchases made with your Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature Card. What’s more, you’ll also be able to write checks and take out cash from ATMs without paying fees.
This account enables you to pay bills and deposit checks via the Fidelity Investments mobile app.
Fidelity Wealth Services
Fidelity Wealth Services is a separate division within the company that services higher net worth individuals.
There are two main account options within Fidelity Wealth Service, depending on how much you have to invest:
Fidelity Wealth Management
With a Fidelity Wealth Management account, you’ll have access to a one-on-one financial advisor who can help you determine your ideal investment strategy. Your advisor will conduct a personalized review of your financial situation and offer advice and direction where needed.
To qualify for a Fidelity Wealth Management account, you’ll need at least $250,000 in assets. You’ll also pay an annual investment advisory fee that ranges from 0.05% to 1.5%.
Fidelity Private Wealth Management
The highest level of service that Fidelity offers is with a Fidelity Private Wealth Management account. As such, you’ll have access to a team of dedicated financial advisors who will work with you to minimize your tax liability and maximize your investments.
You’ll also have access to estate, trust, and inheritance planning specialists. These specialists can help ensure you’ve got all your ducks in a row when it comes to your legacy, and passing on your assets to your descendants and to the causes and organizations you support the most.
To qualify for a Private Wealth Management account, you’ll need $2 million worth of assets invested with Fidelity and over $10 million in total investable assets. Easy breezy, right? The annual investment advisor fees for this account range from 0.50% to 1.05%.
Fidelity offers retirement planning services in the form of IRAs. Like other providers, Fidelity offers three major IRA products.
Are you recently retired, in the process of changing employers, or considering making a career move? If so, then you might want to consider a Fidelity Rollover IRA.
Once your 401k is rolled over to Fidelity, you’ll be able to invest in a wide range of investment options. There are also no fees or account minimums.
Fidelity also offers a Roth IRA for those who are looking to minimize their tax liability upon retirement.
As with all Roth IRAs, you invest post-tax dollars into the account, which means you won’t have to pay taxes when you withdraw funds at the appropriate time.
Fidelity’s Traditional IRA helps you grow your investments with pre-tax dollars. Unlike Roth IRAs, you’ll have to pay taxes on the money you earn.
If you’re new to IRAs, they can seem a bit confusing. Check out this post to learn more about the differences between these types of retirement accounts.
Fidelity offers straightforward pricing on all of their products and services. Most domestic stock, options, and ETF trades are free—which is a relatively recent development. If you have a large number of assets under management, you’ll pay a gross advisory fee that ranges from 0.35% to 1.5%.
If you’d like to get a full breakdown of the fees that Fidelity charges, check this out.
Signing Up and Getting Started
It’s super easy to sign up for a Fidelity account. Visit their website, click “Open an Account,” and then select the type of account you’d like to open.
Easy enough, right? From there, you’ll have to answer a few simple questions and enter your personal information. That’s it! Then, you can monitor and access your account via their Fidelity mobile app!
Fidelity has robust security features, as you might expect from such a well-established brokerage firm. As a Fidelity customer, you’ll be protected by a suite of security features, including:
- 2-factor-authentication for more secure account access
- Instant freezing of your accounts from the app or website
- Immediate text alerts in the event of suspicious activity
- Fidelity MyVoice is the company’s state-of-the-art voice recognition engine
Customer Service and Support
Fidelity prides itself on providing customer support. For account-specific questions, current customers can call the company’s customer support team at 1-800-972-2155. For a full list of Fidelity’s phone numbers, go here.
You can also chat with a live customer support representative from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. On weekends, the chat is available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you’d prefer chat-like support outside of those hours, Fidelity also has a neat virtual assistant that you can contact 24/7.
If you’d like good old-fashioned in-person assistance, you can drop into one of Fidelity’s ten regional branches or 190 offices located throughout the U.S. If you prefer in-person interactions, you can search for a branch nearest to you on this page.
Pros and Cons of Fidelity
- Commission-free trades on thousands of stocks, options, bonds, and funds
- Investment vehicles for any situation (brokerage accounts, robo advising, IRAs, cash management accounts, and more)
- Robust security and customer support
- Brick-and-mortar branches located throughout the U.S.
- No minimums to open a Fidelity Go robo-advising account (by comparison, Schwab requires $5,000 to open a comparable account)
- High fees for broker-assisted trades
- No tax-loss harvesting functionality in Fidelity Go account
Now, let’s answer some of the most commonly asked questions about Fidelity.
Is Fidelity a good company?
Yes. Fidelity is a good company. It has been in business for over 70 years and was recently rated the Best Online Broker 2018 by Investor’s Business Daily.
Is Fidelity a safe company to invest with?
Yes. Fidelity is a safe company to invest with. Keep in mind that investing in the stock market always carries risk because your funds are not FDIC-insured. That said, Fidelity does offer FDIC-insured cash management accounts.
Is Fidelity a good financial advisor?
Yes. Fidelity is a good financial advisor. Beginner investors will have access to customer support and a wide range of free research and investment tools.
Customers with over $25,000 in assets can receive financial coaching with a Fidelity Personalized Planning and Advice account. Investors with over $250,000 will also have access to a personal financial advisor with a Fidelity Wealth Management account.
Is Charles Schwab better than Fidelity?
Both Charles Schwab and Fidelity are a solid investment and brokerage firms. Which one is better is simply a matter of personal preference.
To be honest, I like them both. Some folks might prefer one to the other based on whim or whimsy. But for the most part, they’re very similar.
Alternatives to Fidelity Investments
When it comes to investment institutions that offer a broad scope of services like Fidelity, institutional players like the following come to mind:
- Charles Schwab
- Merrill Lynch
For commission-free trading alternatives, you could also check out TD Ameritrade and E*TRADE. Some robo advisor alternatives include Betterment and Wealthfront.
Is Fidelity right for me?
Whether you’re a seasoned stock trader, long-term investor, or even if you’re just getting started on the journey toward retirement savings, Fidelity is worth looking into.
The company offers a wide range of investment services with very good customer support and reasonable fees. They also have a smooth website that delivers a strong and intuitive user experience.
As you begin the process of saving for retirement and investing, the first thing you need to do is pick the investment approach you want to take. If you’re not sure or are having trouble figuring out the best way forward, check out my post on how to start investing.
Here’s to a robust financial future!
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