Fidelity is a well-known brokerage firm, perhaps one of the companies with a name that rings a bell even for people who don’t trade. The broker has been around for decades, and because of the long track record and popularity, many people may be tempted to try it. Besides, the platform is known to offer mutual funds, but also many tools that can help investors take their trading to the next level.
Still, even if you stumble upon this broker and the services seem wonderful, you may still be worried about its safety and reliability levels. So, you might be hesitant to try it out. Luckily, we are here to help you discover more about Fidelity and, in the end, you can decide if this is the company you want to work with.
Fidelity really seems like the type of broker you don’t want to miss out on, particularly when you find out about the lack of commissions. Still, jumping in without learning more about the company might be a terrible mistake. It’s always best to know as much as you can about it right from the beginning. So, below you will find more useful information about Fidelity.
Who Is Fidelity?
Fidelity is a U.S.-based stockbroker that has been established back in 1946. Its founder is Edward C. Johnson II, and the broker has its headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts. It is one of the greatest asset managers on the planet, with as much as $4.9 trillion in assets that were under management as of June 2020. As for the total customer asset value, it is $8.3 trillion.
Nowadays, Fidelity is one of the most loved companies due to having a large variety of no-expense-ratio index funds but also ETFs, options, and stock trades with no commissions. Besides, it also has splendid customer service that is always there and willing to offer help, which also adds to the Fidelity appreciation.
Who Is Fidelity for?
Fidelity is a suitable option for people who have a lower income, but also for those who are interested in trading in the long term. The brokerage has very low fees, while ETF, stock, and options trading are free of any commissions. For this reason, trading with Fidelity can be a money-saving option.
Also, the platform is a wonderful choice for active traders and retirement investors. The broker has a very large variety of research, tools, and resources that can help any trader succeed. Also, there is a program that can be downloaded for full-on traders and active investors, respectively Active Trader Pro. It has a customizable trading interface, as well as real-time data streaming.
Things We Like
Fidelity was the first broker that brought market index funds without expense ratio, which is something we liked about the company. Therefore, people have the chance to build a great, balanced retirement portfolio. This can be done for free.
Fidelity also has no commissions for ETFs, options, and stocks, and this is something we found very useful, particularly for people who don’t have a lot of money. What’s even better is that the broker offers research from 20 third-party providers, as well as a lot of tools and platforms. The customer service is outstanding.
There are also free seminars for investors in different areas of the country, where people can learn more about trading, helping them prepare for the future. Lastly, we like the fact that there is an option to have a cash management account that also comes with FDIC insurance. You can pair this account with a Fidelity brokerage one, which allows you to have features that a bank checking account brings to the table.
Things We Don’t Like
Although Fidelity shines among a lot of brokers, we do not like the fact that it does not offer futures and Forex trading options. Also, there is a broker-assisted trade of $32.95, which is quite high.
Pros / Cons
- Robust research and asset screeners
- Excellent trade executions
- Low costs
- No futures, commodities, or crypto trading
- Restricted to U.S. and main island residents
- High broker-assisted trading fees
Safety and Regulation
Is Fidelity Regulated?
The stockbroker Fidelity is regulated by two of the top-tier authorities. They are the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Is Fidelity Safe?
In general, Fidelity is considered safe, mostly because it is regulated, but also because it has a long history of operation. But that’s not all there is to it. Fidelity also offers a high investor protection level, while most of the clients belong to a top-tier financial authority. On top of that, Fidelity offers some extra coverage.
The only downside when it comes to the safety level is the fact that Fidelity has no banking license or negative balance protection. We also noticed that it is not listed on the stock exchange.
Countries It Accepts Clients from
Fidelity operates in the U.S., so it mostly targets U.S. investors, but that doesn’t mean people from other countries cannot start trading with it. In fact, people from more regions can open their own accounts and start trading. Therefore, Fidelity also accepts clients from the United Kingdom, Japan, Austria, Germany, Canada, France, Netherlands, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Taiwan, Sweden, Spain, and others.
The broker managed to win several awards during the years it operated. For instance, It won the Forbes Advisor award for the Best Online Broker in 2021. Then, in 2020, it was voted the most trustworthy company for managing wealth.
Range of Offerings and Products
What’s great about Fidelity is that it has various services to offer, which is what makes it one of the most loved platforms in the world. On Fidelity, people have access to several tradable securities, such as:
When it comes to the international stock market offer, Fidelity is one of the top options, because other brokers from the U.S. will not allow people to perform stock exchanges internationally. The offerings for mutual funds and bonds are also amazing. However, we were a bit disappointed to see that Fidelity doesn’t offer Forex trading, and it also doesn’t allow crypto, CFD, and futures trading.
With Fidelity, you’ll have access to three different platforms: a desktop version, a web version, and a mobile app. We found that the web platform works smoothly and is very user-friendly. Also, the app has good search functions, and the authentication is a two-step one, which makes your account safer. You can also place multiple order types. At the same time, you are able to get clear fee and portfolio reports and set up alerts and notifications.
The mobile platform is pretty great too, and it comes with the same convenience as the web version. You can download it on both Android and iOS devices. It is user-friendly and it also has multiple order types available, as well as a great search function. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have the two-step authentication option, so it’s not as safe as the web platform.
Fidelity offers various account types, and this is one of the things that make it so great. People can choose something that fits their strategy. Some of the account types available include simple IRA, Roth IRA, Inherited IRA, Self-Employed IRA/401(k), Traditional IRA, Rollover IRA, Fidelity Account for Business, Brokerage and Cash Management, Cash Management Account, Brokerage Account, Investing and Trading and many others.
Bank transfers and electronic wallets are the methods you can use to make deposits on Fidelity. Sadly, card deposits are not accepted.
Basic accounts require no minimum deposit, but you will have to make minimum deposits for other types of accounts. Day trading will require $25,000, margin accounts will require $2,000, and Fidelity Managed Accounts will need between $10 and $500,000.
Withdrawals, similar to deposits, can only be done using bank transfers and e-wallets. So, you cannot send money to your credit or debit card.
Fidelity offers demo accounts, which is great to see how things work. However, the demo accounts are only available for the desktop version, so you cannot use them on the mobile app.
Currently, there is no promotion going on for Fidelity. But you can keep an eye on their newsletter to see if they’ll have any promotions in the future.
Client Support and Education
In terms of education and client support, we were more than happy to see that people have access to a wide range of educational materials. People can either watch educational videos or trading platform tutorials. They can also use webinars, or the educational articles provided to get more information.
Verdict – Overall Rating
Fidelity is a great brokerage firm, and it’s not a surprise that it gained so much popularity. It has a lot to offer, and it is a good way to trade and save some money at the same time. They are rich in educational materials, and they also have a lot of tradable securities. Besides, they have a safe platform and they have been operating for a long time.
One downside would be that they don’t have card deposits and withdrawals available. Also, it’s a shame that you can only use the demo account on the desktop platform. But apart from that, it can be a great way to start your trading adventure.
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With respect to margin-based foreign exchange trading, off-exchange derivatives, and cryptocurrencies, there is considerable exposure to risk, including but not limited to, leverage, creditworthiness, limited regulatory protection, and market volatility that may substantially affect the price or liquidity of a currency or related instrument. It should not be assumed that the methods, techniques, or indicators presented in these products will be profitable, or that they will not result in losses. Learn more at Wikipedia.
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