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When it comes to brokerages, Fidelity Investments is tough to beat. This discount brokerage features a wide variety of low-cost and no-cost investing options. You won’t pay trade commissions on stocks, ETFs, or options. Plus, they offer four Fidelity ZERO funds with no-expense ratios.
Read on to see if Fidelity Investments is the right platform to help you hit your investing goals.
Fidelity Investments Review Summary
- Fidelity Investments is an online brokerage that is dedicated to providing low-cost investment options for investors
- Fidelity Investments also offers robust educational and research tools to help investors stay informed
- Fidelity Investments created ZERO funds, which are four different index funds with zero expense ratios
- Fidelity Investments gives investors access to asset screeners
- Fidelity Investments has offerings to meet the needs of new to seasoned investors with tools like Active Trader Pro
Fidelity Investments Pros & Cons
Let’s explore some of the Fidelity Investments pros and cons to see if this brokerage is a fit for your finances.
- No trade fees for online US stocks and ETFs
- No account minimums
- Four expense-ratio-free index funds (ZERO funds)
- Strong customer service and sleek app for solid user experience
- Some brick-and-mortar locations
- Low options trade fee of $0.65 per contract
- Robust educational resources
- No promotions for new or current investors
- No cryptocurrency trading
- No futures or commodities trading
- Above-average cost for broker-assisted trade fees
How Does Fidelity Investments Work?
Fidelity Investments works similarly to most brokerages. With a focus on low fees, they offer an expansive list of both low-fee and no-fee investment choices, including the Fidelity ZERO funds. Investors can use their website or mobile app to actively invest or automate their investment choices. In some locations, investors can also visit Fidelity Investor Centers in person.
To let Fidelity Investments help you reach your investing goals, you’ll decide on an investment account type and complete the initial application. After that application is processed, you’ll fund the account and you’re ready to get started. If you need help at any point in the process or afterward, you can reach out to the Fidelity Investments customer support team.
How Do I Open a Fidelity Investments Account?
Opening a Fidelity Investments account is straightforward. In fact, most accounts can be opened within a matter of minutes. Here’s how to open a Fidelity Investments account.
Step 1: Open Account
When you’re ready to invest, go to their website and choose Open an Account.
Step 2: Select Account Type
From that page, choose the type of account you wish to open. You can sort by most popular accounts or scroll through all the available options. In the most popular accounts, you will see account choices that include:
- Rollover IRA
- Traditional IRA
- Roth IRA
- Brokerage Account
- 529 Account
- Fidelity Go
Step 3: Create Account Login
After you’ve selected the type of account you wish to open, you will create a login if you are a new customer.
Step 4: Enter Personal Info
You also need to provide identifying information, contact information, and possibly even employment information.
Step 5: Designate a Beneficiary
Many accounts will also prompt you to designate a beneficiary.
Step 6: Connect Bank Account
Once your application is processed, you will connect your new Fidelity account with a bank account or other funds.
Types of Accounts Supported
Fidelity says that there are two main ways to transfer funds at most brokerages: EFT or bank wire. An electronic funds transfer (EFT) is a digital transfer of money from one place to another. These are usually completed in 1-3 days. A bank wire is a message between banks. They happen much faster, but can incur fees.
Fidelity supports other accounts as well. Examples include paper checks (deposited as a mobile upload or mailed in) and third-party payment apps.
The apps that are most compatible with Fidelity Investments currently include:
- Google Pay
- Apple Pay
- Samsung Pay
Fidelity Investments Customer Service
If you’ve got questions, Fidelity Investments has answers. In addition to a comprehensive library of general finance information and specific Fidelity FAQs, Fidelity also offers top notch customer service.
You can connect with a Virtual Assistant, set up a Live Chat Monday through Friday from 8AM to 10PM ET, or talk to someone on the phone. Their general customer service line 1-800-343-3548 is accessible 24/7.
Fidelity Investments Features and Benefits
Fidelity Investments is one of the biggest brokerages and for good reason. There are features and benefits that support every kind of investor. From cutting-edge technology and sustainable investing to fractional shares and automated investments, there’s something for everyone.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the Fidelity Investments features and benefits.
Fidelity Mobile App
The Fidelity Mobile app is one of the best features of Fidelity Investments. It’s a slick, user-friendly app. But don’t just take our word for it! With nearly 2 million reviews on the App Store, the Fidelity Mobile app has a rock solid 4.8 average star rating.
You can use the app to do a range of things, including:
- Purchase and trade fractional shares (dollar-based investing)
- Check in on your portfolio
- Review your workplace accounts
- Make trades
- Deposit checks
The Fidelity Mobile app is available on Android and Apple devices, including both iPhone and iPad.
Socially responsible investing (SRI) and sustainable investing are growing in popularity. More and more investors are looking to make sure that their money aligns with their values. Fidelity Investments understands that!
Fidelity offers investors two broad choices to invest sustainably:
- Thematic sustainable funds
- Broad sustainable funds
Thematic Sustainable Funds
Fidelity Investments offers thematic sustainable fund options. investors can choose from both ETFs and mutual funds. Each of these thematic sustainable funds focuses on a specific environmental, social, or governance theme.
For instance, you might choose the Fidelity Water Sustainability Fund, which invests in companies committed to ending the global water crisis. You might also choose from a fund such as the Fidelity Clean Energy ETF, which invests in companies involved in any aspect of solar, wind, and hydrogen power.
Broad Sustainable Funds
Broad sustainable funds are mutual funds and ETFs that reflect all three themes of sustainable investing: environmental, social, and governance themes. One example of this is the Fidelity Sustainability US Equity Fund. This fund supports companies that score highly with ESG profiles.
Stocks By The Slice
Stocks By The Slice is Fidelity’s take on dollar-based investing. With dollar-based investing you can buy fractional shares of your favorite company or ETF. There are no minimums or account fees for retail brokerages. Plus you can choose from commission-free trade choices.
Stocks By The Slice is one way that Fidelity welcomes new investors. Oftentimes, new investors are sidelined by steep account minimums or by needing to save enough capital to purchase a full share.
With Stocks By The Slice, you can trade with as a little as $1. Best of all, you can trade fractional shares with just a few quick clicks in the Fidelity mobile app.
Want to manage your money like a pro without the time commitment? Fidelity Go is Fidelity Investments answer to roboadvisors and automated investing. Once the investor shared their goals, timeline, and risk level with Fidelity, Fidelity Go puts together a recommended portfolio designed to help you meet those goals.
Fidelity Go invests your money in one or more Fidelity Flex funds. The funds are typically composed of foreign and domestic stocks, plus bonds and other short-term investments. How your money is invested is based on the goals and risk tolerance you share with Fidelity.
There is no minimum to open an account, but your account must have at least $10 in it for the money to be invested. Fidelity Go also changes no advisory fees for accounts under $10,000.
Fidelity ZERO Funds
If you are interested in index funds, there’s a good chance you’ve heard about Fidelity ZERO Funds. Though Vanguard was the long-time frontrunner when it came to low-cost index funds, Fidelity stepped up the competition with the creation of these four funds.
The four Fidelity ZERO Funds include:
- Fidelity ZERO Large Cap Index Fund
- Fidelity ZERO Extended Market Index Fund
- Fidelity ZERO Total Market Index Fund
- Fidelity ZERO International Index Fund
These are all zero-expense-ratio funds and represent different indexes that investors have typically been very interested in. It is also important to note that in addition to having no expense ratio, there are also no minimums to invest in these four funds
Active Trader Pro (ATP)
Are you a more seasoned investor? Then you definitely want to check out Active Trader Pro, or ATP. This downloadable trading platform from Fidelity Investments is customizable. That means that you can rearrange the layout and displays to focus on what matters to you.
As an active trader, you want to stay informed and ATP allows you to do just that. ATP offers news streams and real-time insights. Plus, you can create custom alerts and trade right from the chart. That way, you never miss a moment.
Fidelity Investments Investment Options
As far as brokerages go, Fidelity Investments offers an incredible selection of investment options. Investors can choose if they want to use a DIY strategy to actively manage their investments. You can also choose a “set it and forget it” approach with Fidelity Go, their automatic investing option.
Regardless of the type of investing you choose, you can open accounts for retirement, more immediate goals, or both and invest in a variety of offerings.
Read on to learn more about investment options from Fidelity.
Active or Automatic Investing
Fidelity Investments offers both active and automatic investing options. For active investors who want a customized experience, they can download the Active Trader Pro for a trading experience tailored to their needs.
Fidelity Go is an automated investing option from Fidelity. This automated investing option puts together a professional portfolio based on your specific needs and goals. Use it to invest for mid-range goals or retirement. Fidelity Go account types include taxable accounts, as well as IRAs (traditional, Roth, Rollover). If you have access to an Health Savings Account (HSA), you can also create a Fidelity Go HSA.
Fidelity Investments offers the IRA options you would expect from a leading online brokerage: traditional, Roth, and Rollover IRAs.
Investors can also open a Roth IRA for Kids once the child is earning income. This account is opened by an adult, such as a parent or grandparents, on behalf of the minor child.
Fidelity Custodial Investment Accounts for Kids
I personally opened three Fidelity Custodial Accounts for my children to get them started on their investing journey. There are no minimums, account fees (unlike Vanguard, and the sign-up process was fairly straightforward. I documented how to do this in the video below:
My Experience with Fidelity Investments
Range of Offerings
Fidelity Investments offers a robust variety of investment options. Investors can choose from index funds and stocks to bonds and options. Fidelity also offers access to Forex, international currency, penny stocks, and even precious metals.
Fidelity Investments Fees
Fidelity Investments say that they deliver on value in an industry-leading way. Exploring Fidelity Investment fees certainly shows how they are able to make that claim.
Investors can make commission-free trades on online US stocks, ETFs and options. The $0.65 fee per option contract is also in line with other brokerages. More so, Fidelity Investments was the first brokerage to offer zero-expense-ratio funds directly to investors.
You can also rest assured that there are no fees to open a brokerage or an IRA with Fidelity.
Are you wondering how they stack up against other industry leaders like Schwab and Vanguard? Fidelity also aims for transparency by posting a comparison on their site.
Fidelity Investments FAQ
We get it! Choosing a brokerage is a big deal, and you want to find the investment tool that meets all of your needs. It makes sense that you might have questions. That’s why we rolled up our sleeves and found answers to your Fidelity Investment FAQs.
Is Fidelity Investments Safe?
When it comes to protecting your nest egg and growing your wealth, security matters. That’s why you are right to ask, “Is Fidelity investments safe?” To which we say, absolutely!
Investments always carry risk because your money isn’t insured the same way an FDIC-insured bank account is. That being said, Fidelity does an excellent job of keeping their customers secure.
The Fidelity mobile app also takes steps to keep your account secure. No matter where you use the app, Fidelity makes sure that you have a secure connection. Their advanced encryption is a cybersecurity measure to protect your data.
Is Fidelity Investments Good for Beginners?
Absolutely. Some of the best Fidelity Investments features are tailored toward supporting beginners. Specifically, Fidelity Go is an excellent feature that can help new investors invest with confidence. With no minimum balance to open an account, Fidelity Go is already very accessible to new investors.
Where it further sets itself apart from other investing tools is that there are no advisory fees under $10,000. That means that just about anyone can get started investing with professional money management for very little cost.
How Much Do I Need To Invest With Fidelity Investments?
Fidelity Investments does not have any account minimums on their brokerages or IRA accounts. In fact, their zero minimum account fee and zero expense ratio funds combined make Fidelity Investments one of the easiest brokerages for just about anyone to use to get started right away.
If you want to use Fidelity Go, their roboadvisor option, there is still no minimum to open an account. In order to set your investment strategy in motion, though, you will need to have at least $10 in the account.
Bottom Line: Is Fidelity Investments Worth It?
Yes! Fidelity Investments is definitely worth it. Fidelity Investments is an online brokerage–with some brick and mortar Investor Centers–that offers a comprehensive range of account types to meet a variety of investing needs.
Investors can open everything from retirement and college accounts to general brokerages and HSAs. You also have the option of managing your accounts yourself or using their robo advisor, Fidelity Go.
If you are looking to save big on fees and other costs and have access to a wide range of investments, Fidelity Investments is definitely worth your consideration. People who are primarily focused on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency may, however, want to look elsewhere.
Fidelity Investments Alternatives
Fidelity Investments is a solid online brokerage, especially for new investors. It offers a wide variety of options, slashes away at fees, and even supports seasoned investors with Active Trader Pro.
But Fidelity Investments may not be right for everyone. Take some time to check out all of our favorite investing apps for 2022.
Afterward, browse these Fidelity Investments alternatives:
Fidelity Investments is similar to Ally Invest in many ways. They are both online brokerages focused on offering low-fee and even zero-fee options.
One advantage that Ally Invest has over Fidelity Investments is that Ally Invest provides seamless transfers between Ally savings and checking accounts and their investment accounts. During market hours, your transfers post in minutes, and you can move up to $250,000 per day.
See our full Ally Invest review here.
Fidelity Investments is an excellent brokerage for new investors, especially with no account minimums. However, getting started with investing can still be daunting. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the options that Fidelity Investments offers, you might consider Acorns.
The Round Up feature of Acorns is one of our favorite tools for new (and seasoned!) investors who want to make the process as painless as possible. You make a series of micro investments go through day to day life.
To do this, you connect Acorns to your debit or credit card. Then, Acorns rounds up to the next dollar when you swipe. They invest the spare change so you can grow your investments behind the scenes. It’s effortless and painless!
Acorns also offers more traditional investment accounts as well.
See our full Acorns review here.
Vanguard is very much the original online low cost brokerage, and Fidelity is like its really close cousin. The brokerages are similar in many ways. One way that Vanguard stands out from Fidelity–and all other online brokerages–is that it is investor-owned.
That means that you, the investor, are who Vanguard aims to serve. Perhaps that’s why legions of loyalists stick with Vanguard, even after Fidelity introduced their ZERO funds.
See our full Vanguard review here.