Fidelity Investment Review:
Today I wanna take an in-depth look at what I feel is the best old-school investing platform that has done an incredible job adapting to the modern world of investing and if you play your cards right, it could help you become a multimillionaire for free.
So obviously weve spent a lot of time on the blog talking about more modern investing in finance tools but theres something to be said for a tried and true investing platform and thats where Fidelity comes in.
The reason I say this is an old-school brokerage is that well Fidelity was founded in 1946 and is old.
But I think a lot of naïve investors especially of my generation turn away from these platforms just because theyve been around for a long time but end up missing out on some great advantages as a result.
So fidelity is largely intended to be used as a desktop-based platform. However, they do have a fantastic mobile app with millions of 5-star reviews that I think competes with the likes of Robinhood and M1 finance.
No, they might not have that sleek silicon valley design which is why a lot of people view them as old school but they actually offer a lot of features and account options that some of those aforementioned modern platforms just dont have.
Fidelity Core Features
Opening your standard brokerage account can be done right from a computer or smartphone and will quickly allow you to start trading stocks, ETFs, options, Index funds, and now even cryptocurrencies.
Cryptocurrency trading is pretty limited so if thats what youre looking to do then this might be the platform for you and they dont currently offer commodities or futures trading but unless youre looking to day trade or future corn contracts then you probably dont care about that.
And the best part is all of this is now completely free.
There are some random small fees with very specific types of trading like options contracts cost $.65 per contract for example and there are still fees associated with brokerage-assisted trading which is just when you call a broker on the phone and they assist you with the trade.
But for 99% of us who are just buying and selling ETFs and stocks on our own, there are no trading fees across-the-board and Fidelity has now largely illuminated any and all account fees as well meaning you can get started for free.
Like I said you of course have your standard individual brokerage account but they also have rollover IRAs, traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, SEP IRAs, self-employed 401(k) options, their Fidelity go Robo advising platform, 529 college savings plans, custodial accounts, health savings accounts, trust, and estate account options, and the list goes on.
I literally just scratched the surface but in general, one of the biggest advantages that a platform like Fidelity has over some of those newer platforms like Robinhood or M1 finance is they have way more account options beyond your standard brokerage and retirement accounts.
So if youre just looking to trade individual stocks then maybe it is overkill but if you need a personalized account option for a tax-managed international equity index strategy then thats something that Robinhood just doesnt have and a huge advantage for Fidelity.
Regardless of which account option or options you decide to go with, they really offer a one-stop solution and also have cash management account options small business accounts, and most of what you could ever need in terms of your financial life.
Getting back to investing specifically though their stock screeners offer more than 140 criteria allowing you to sift through the thousands of different investment opportunities that are at your fingertips and they have a wide array of educational resources including articles, videos, entire webinars, and personalized investing advice catered to your situation.
They even have a live trading strategy desk where you can literally ask professional coaches specific questions in real-time.
Im not trying to rip on Robinhood but just as a comparison, you can hardly get someone on the phone to answer a basic password reset question.
Fidelity also uses some awesome trading technology that searches for the true best price available and achieves that 87% of the time which could really start to add u if you are trading a lot.
Fidelity Free Index Funds (Fidelity investment)
Were getting a little bit in the weeds but for the 90% of investors who are just looking to buy and hold a few different ETFs or index funds, not only will you have access to all of the quotes and charts and watch list and information that you need to pick the right investment but Fidelity also offers a number of their own ETFs that have no management fees.
That probably doesnt sound like a big deal but 99% of the time if you go and buy any index fund or ETF, even if you dont have to pay a fee for the transaction, the fund itself is usually going to charge a management fee.
They can range from nothing in the case of many of Fidelitys funds up to several percentage points each year they can really start to eat into your profits.
So the fact that you are able to not only purchase these diversified assets with no trading fees through Fidelity but have zero management fees for the many years that you own them is absolutely an industry leader.
And another one of the things that really sets Fidelity apart not only from those newer modern platforms but from other industry giants like TD Ameritrade.
For those looking to more actively buy and sell, they also offer active trader pro which is a more robust trading tool that allows you to create a personalized trading layout similar to the Thinkorswim trading platform that TD Ameritrade offers.
I wont get into that one too much because Im not exactly a supporter of day trading but if that is something that youre interested in then youll want to look into the active trader pro feature through Fidelity Investment.
Fidelity Mobile App ( Fidelity investment )
We cant draw comparisons to those modern mobile platforms without talking about Fidelitys mobile app as well.
When I first used it years ago Ill be honest it sucked but it did undergo a huge overhaul and looks and functions much better now.
Through the app you can obviously trade stocks, ETFs options and mutual funds including fractional shares however at the moment I cant find a way to trade any kind of fixed income investments.
Obviously, theres only so much information that can be displayed on a small smartphone screen so youre not going to have quite as many analysis tools as you would on the desktop platform.
But in terms of functionality, its actually pretty good and most of what you can do on the desktop platform can also be done right from your smartphone.
They also have a new opt-in beta mobile experience that they recently launched so its not what youre going to see if you just go and download the app but you can opt-in to get a more modern and simplified mobile view and some other advantages that honestly make it look more and more like a Robinhood or M1 finance.
Fidelity Investment Options
Beyond the standard forms of investments that you can trade on most brokerage platforms nowadays, Fidelity investment also offers thousands of stocks that you can long and short, penny stocks, over 3500 mutual funds, corporate, municipal, and treasury bonds, single and multi-leg options, Forex trading, IPOs, treasury inflation protected securities and the list goes on.
I could sit here and read all of that forever but the point is similar to the variety of account options that we talked about earlier the investment options are much more robust than any modern trading platform that I have personally used.
I know I am throwing a lot of information at you but the last big differentiator for Fidelity is actually their customer support and this is a huge one in my book.
I dont really actively trade at all anymore but when I did, there was nothing more frustrating than having an issue with an order that was executed improperly or having the wrong type of order executed and having absolutely no way of getting a hold of a live person to remedy that issue.
Technology and software malfunction and when it does, its your money that is on the line.
So thankfully Fidelity offers 24/7 phone line support as well as an online chat with both humans and a virtual assistant plus for free you can talk to a live broker like I talked about earlier and in my experience their customer service is fantastic and Ive only waited on hold for a few minutes at most.
In terms of security, they, of course, offer two-factor authentication and biometric logins for the mobile platform, and in general, they seem to pull out all the stops when it comes to deep security and privacy of your accounts which is honestly to be expected nowadays.
My Final thoughts on Fidelity investment
Alright so dont get me wrong, I still love those modern investing platforms designed to do everything right from your phone with a sleek and polished design and I think that for certain individuals, they absolutely serve a purpose.
Robinhood for example has made investing accessible and affordable to a lot of individuals who were previously overlooked and its largely thanks to platforms like that, that the entire industry is now commission free because even just a few years ago, platforms like Fidelity charged a fee for every trade that you made.
FAQ on Fidelity Investment
Q. How trustworthy is Fidelity Investment?
Ans: It is considered safe. Fidelity is largely intended to be used as a desktop-based platform. However, they do have a fantastic mobile app with millions of 5-star reviews that I think competes with the likes of Robinhood and M1 finance.
Q. Is Fidelity good for beginner investors?
Ans: Fidelity offers thousands of stocks that you can long and short, penny stocks, over 3500 mutual funds, etc. Fidelity also offers a number of its own ETFs that have no management fees.
Q. Does Fidelity have any hidden fees?
Ans: You dont have to pay a fee for the transaction, the fund itself is usually going to charge a management fee.
Q. What percentage does Fidelity take?
Ans: They can range from nothing in the case of many of Fidelitys funds up to several percentage points each year they can really start to eat into your profits.
Q. What does Fidelity offer?
Ans: For those looking to more actively buy and sell, they also offer active trader pro which is a more robust trading tool that allows you to create a personalized trading layout and many more.
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