A Fidelity Trade Review: Is It the Right Broker For You?

  • Fidelity Investments is one of the largest mutual fund and brokerage companies in the U.S.
  • The firm provides investors with educational resources, tools, and assistance to help them make smart decisions about their financial future.
  • Fidelity is highly regarded for its customer service.

Fidelity Investments, one of the largest mutual fund and brokerage companies in the U.S., offers online stock, bond, and other options trading. The firm provides investors with educational resources, tools, and assistance to help them make smart decisions about their financial future.



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Fidelity Fundamental Offering

Fidelity's fundamental offering, which is available to all customers, provides fundamental research for stocks and ETFs. It includes links to streaming news, market commentary, research, and real-time fund quotes.
Fidelity's trading platform includes integrated trading tools for Futures, Options, Mutual Funds, and Bonds-which enables customers to trade multiple products using a single platform.
Fidelity Active Trader
Fidelity offers Active Trader to qualified customers. It provides real-time quotes, advanced charting, streaming news, and level 2 quotes. Active Trader also offers access to Level 2 data for stocks, ETFs, and options.

Fidelity Trade Offering

Fidelity's online offerings include:
Fidelity Trade: Fidelity Trade is an online brokerage that offers investors a number of ways to trade stocks, options, ETFs, and mutual funds for a $0 minimum balance. Fidelity Trade is available as its own account or as an alternative to a Fidelity IRA or brokerage account.

Fidelity Go: Fidelity Go is a mobile brokerage that is also available as its own account or as an alternative to a Fidelity IRA or brokerage account. Fidelity Go offers trading for stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds.

Fidelity IRA: Fidelity IRA offers self-directed investing through self-directed brokerage accounts in an IRA or Roth IRA. Fidelity IRA offers access to a full range of investment options, including stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, and options.

Competition

Fidelity has 13.4% of the self-directed retail brokerage market share, per Investopedia. The brokerage launched in 1946 and has grown into the largest privately owned asset management firm in the world, with assets under management of $7.28 trillion as of Nov. 4, 2019.
Active trader tools
Fidelity offers active traders a wide range of tools, including futures and forex pricing, advanced charting, live streaming prices, and a mobile app called Active Trader Pro.

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Fidelity Trade Costs and Fees

Fidelity currently charges the following fees:
Trading Fees: $9.99 per trade
Margin Fees: $0.25 per 1,000-minus-$0.04 per contract

Fidelity offers commission-free trading for 90 days, and $4.95 for all other trades.

Fidelity also offers options trading with $4.95 per contract.

Fidelity offers a $0.005 per share national best bid and offer (NBBO) for frequent traders, and $0.05 for all other traders.

Fidelity offers real-time streaming quotes for stocks at $4.95 per stock.

Fidelity offers a $9.99 minimum account fee.

Fidelity offers $0.30 per contract per stock trade for non-important trades.

Fidelity offers a $3.95 monthly inactivity fee.

Fidelity offers $0.50 per contract per option trade for non-important trades.

Fidelity offers $0.25 per contract per ETF trade for non-important trades.

Fidelity offers $9.99 per option contract per option trade for non-important trades.

Brokerage commissions are $4.95 for all trades.

Fidelity offers $6.95 per trade for bonds.

Fidelity offers $6.95 per trade for mutual funds.

Fidelity offers $6.95 per trade for exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Fidelity offers $6.95 per trade for options.

Fidelity's Options Pricing
Fidelity's current options pricing is as follows:
$0.50 per contract

$0.50 per contract after 10 contracts

$0.45 per contract after 100 contracts

$0.40 per contract after 1,000 contracts

$0.30 per contract after 10,000 contracts

$0.25 per contract after 50,000 contracts

Fidelity's Margin Requirements
Fidelity's margin requirements are as follows:
$10,000 for stocks

$2,500 for bond

$2,500 for ETF

$2,500 for options

Fidelity's Other Services
Fidelity offers the following services:
Financial literacy courses

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Fidelity Trade Options Fees

Fidelity Trade Options Fees: No minimum balance is required. A $0.00 account fee is charged. Options trades are charged the following commission:
$0.01 per share for in-the-money (ITM) calls
$0.01 per share for out-of-the-money (OTM) calls
$0.02 per share for in-the-money (ITM) puts
$0.01 per share for out-of-the-money (OTM) puts
Options selling fees: $0.05 per share for OTM puts and $0.05 per share for OTM calls.

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Options trading fees: $0.05 per contract.

Options trading fees: $0.0125 per contract.

Options margin rates: $7.50 per contract.

Fidelity Trade's Options Margin Rates
Fidelity Trade's Options Margin Rates: $7.50 per contract.

Fidelity Trade's Options Margin Rates: $1,000 per contract.

Fidelity Trade's Options Margin Rates: $1,000 per contract.

Fidelity Trade's Options Margin Rates: $1,000 per contract.

Fidelity Trade's Options Margin Rates: $1,000 per contract.

Fidelity Trade's Options Margin Rates: $1,000 per contract.

Fidelity Trade's Options Margin Rates: $1,000 per contract.

Fidelity Trade's Options Margin Rates: $1,000 per contract.

Fidelity Trade's Options Margin Rates: $1,000 per contract.

Fidelity Trade's Options Margin Rates: $1,000 per contract.

Fidelity Trade's Options Margin Rates: $1,000 per contract.

Fidelity Trade's Options Margin Rates: $1,000 per contract.

Fidelity Trade's Options Margin Rates: $1,000 per contract.

Fidelity Trade's Options Margin Rates: $1,000 per contract.

Fidelity Trade's Options Margin Rates: $1,000 per contract.

Fidelity Trade's Options Margin Rates: $1,000 per contract.

Fidelity Trade's Options Margin Rates: $1,000 per contract.

Fidelity Trade's Options Margin Rates: $1,000 per contract.

Fidelity Trade Commissions

Fidelity Trade's commissions are competitive, although only some traders will find them low enough to justify a Fidelity account. The broker's standard $4.95 per trade commission is competitive with industry average, but the firm's fee-based commission structure is only competitive with other brokers who offer flat rate commissions.
Like TD Ameritrade, Fidelity offers 90% margin rates, but the firm also charges a higher per-contract fee. While TD Ameritrade offers 90% margin rates using a $0.75 per contract fee, Fidelity's margin rate is higher at 90.5% and its fee is higher at $2.50 per contract. Traders who trade through Fidelity will get less value for their money than they could at TD Ameritrade or Interactive Brokers.
Fidelity's $7.95 per stock trade commission is 30% higher than the average commission charged by discount brokers. Fidelity trades at over $44,000 per year in commissions for a $500,000 account. It would take a client trading 50,000 shares a year for 20 years to break even on commissions at Fidelity.
Fidelity Trade Customer Service
Fidelity Trade's customer service has received mixed reviews from its customers. Some customers complained about the broker's indifferent customer service, while others pointed out that customer service agents are generally polite and helpful.
Fidelity Trade is a discount broker, so it doesn't offer any online trading tools or services. However, it does provide real-time streaming quotes to its clients.

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Fidelity Trade Research

Fidelity offers 14 different asset categories in which to trade, including stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, options, and fixed income. Fidelity also offers easy-to-access research and tools, including:
Real-time market data and streaming quotes

Daily market summaries

Real-time news

Access to 17 third-party research providers

Live chat

A trade ticket review tool

Fidelity also offers several account types, including:
A basic account available at $7.95 per trade; no minimum balance required

A standard account that requires a minimum balance to open an account of $2,500

A premium account that offers unlimited trades, advanced investment reports, and a dedicated account manager

Fidelity Trade Research has $0 minimum balance requirements, and charges $0.75 per stock trade and $1.00 per options trade.

Fidelity Trade Platforms

Fidelity provides several platforms for online trading. Options Trade is their flagship platform, and is designed for options trading. It offers sophisticated charting tools and access to numerous educational resources.
Fidelity Options Trader is designed for both novice and advanced options traders.
Trader Pro offers self-directed investors access to more than 50 markets, including futures and options, and is suitable for beginners and advanced algorithmic traders.

Fidelity Mobile Trader offers access to more than 30 markets, including options, stocks, futures, and forex.

Fidelity Mobile Trader Pro offers many of the same features as the desktop version.

Fidelity Options Analytics provides advanced charting, trade ideas, customizable analysis, and alerts.

Fidelity Trade Costs
Fidelity's options commissions are competitive, but options traders should note that there is a slight premium charged for trades placed via the desktop site. Options trades placed online cost $0.70 per contract, while trades placed over the phone are $0.65 per contract.

Fidelity Trade Platforms: Pros and Cons
Pros
Fidelity offers a variety of trading options for all levels of experience.

Fidelity provides extensive educational resources, including access to trading education videos, live webinars, and articles.

Cons
Fidelity requires a minimum balance of $5,000 to open an account.

Fidelity Trade Costs: Pros and Cons
Pros
Fidelity offers a variety of low-cost trading options, including low margin rates.

Cons
Fidelity requires a minimum balance of $5,000 to open an account.