What is Fidelity Investments?
Fidelity is a top-rated online brokerage firm committed to offering low-cost trading options for investments. Fidelity provides financial planning to young college students and their guardians, prospective retirees, and both experienced and beginner stock market traders. Additionally, Fidelity provides itself on its qualified money management advice team, which can help you save up to $15 per bond.
Who Fidelity is For
Fidelity has perfected its trade execution strategy over the years to provide users with the biggest payout. Any extra uninvested cash is placed into a money market fund that can be easily accessed for trading. Fidelity also has an excellent research team and experienced financial advisors, so it’s a great service for beginners.
Most of the complaints people experience with Fidelity come with the platform’s interface. Certain options are exclusive to specific account types, and users can quickly grow out of Fidelity’s offerings. The homepage feed doesn’t automatically refresh, which can be annoying for some users. You cannot register for a Fidelity account if you’re not a U.S. citizen. The broker-assisted trade fee is also relatively high compared to other brokerage firms.
Fidelity’s Investment Products and Services
No matter where you might be in your investment career, Fidelity can help you expand your savings with options like:
Education Savings Accounts
Fidelity offers 529 savings plans, preventing taxes from accruing your investments. Account-holders are also not subject to federal taxes when they take out funds for education purposes, like purchasing textbooks. Account-holders can use either an age-based allocation strategy or a custom strategy that can include portfolios for:
- Aggressive growth
- Moderate growth
- Conservative growth
- Bank deposit
- Total market index
- Money market
These accounts will naturally become more conservative as the beneficiary nears college age, giving them the biggest financial advantage. A 529 plan can also be used for tuition funds, student loan payments, and some apprenticeship costs.
Fidelity offers several retirement account options, including:
- Traditional IRAs (tax-deferred earnings)
- Roth IRAs (tax-free earnings)
- Rollover IRAs (access to former 401(k) accounts)
- Roth IRAs for kids
- Small business retirement plans
If you’re debating which account is right for you, Fidelity offers an advisory fee to steer you in the right direction. Fidelity recognizes the importance of leaving behind financial protection for yourself and your family when you retire. Beyond that, you can take advantage of life insurance programs like:
- Term life insurance (for covering death expenses)
- Universal life insurance (lifetime coverage with transferable wealth options)
- Hybrid life insurance (covers long-term care with no detriment to your current life savings)
The world of investments can be confusing, and nobody wants to make mistakes regarding their hard-earned money. Fidelity’s investment experts offer everything from simple investing tips to full-fledged portfolio advisory services. Fidelity also offers separately managed accounts personalized to meet specific investment goals of account-holders.
Self-directed Brokerage Accounts
Fidelity has a wide range of optimized brokerage accounts for:
- Precious metals
- Mutual funds
Traders get access to low margin rates of at least 4.00%. Trading accounts are optimized with smart brokerage technology, including fractional share trading for more conservative investors. Fidelity supports equity trading and international trading in 16 currencies across 25 different countries. Fidelity also offers sector investing, which gives you more exposure to stocks from specific industries. This allows you to diversify your trading portfolio with valuable sectors like health care and information technology.
You can also view and manage all your assets at any time through Fidelity’s mobile app. The firm also offers trading experts that can provide you with stock market tips and strategies for an extra fee.
Here are just some of the features that make Fidelity one of the most comprehensive brokerage firms:
Research and Education
Fidelity has three types of interactive screeners for stocks, fixed income, and options. These platforms were built with information from 20 third-party providers, plus five additional providers for ETF research. Each stock quote page has an equity summary score, allowing users to make informed investment decisions with confidence. Fidelity also offers 40 different tools and calculators, including a hypothetical trade tool and trading idea generator. The Social Market Analytics tool shows 40 years of invaluable trading data with 60 flexible customization options.
Fidelity also invites users to educate themselves on their investment options with the Fidelity Online Learning Center. These include articles and videos and a weekly educational seminar on various money management topics. On Fidelity’s Moments page, users can get guidance on life changes like purchasing a home or planning for a new child.
Users can trade stocks (fictional or real) and mutual funds at any time on the Fidelity app. You can also use many of the same research tools available on the desktop version. However, you can’t utilize conditional orders on the app. Fidelity Spire is a separate app geared towards young adults planning for college or other future investments.
Fidelity offers a 24/7 customer service hotline and human agents via online chat. You can also talk to a live broker, though a small fee is required if they help you place a trade. Users can find the answers to many common questions through Fidelity’s extensive FAQ sections.
Fidelity offers SIPC (Securities Investment Protection Corporation Insurance) with a limit of $1.9 million. Two-factor authentication is required for high-risk transactions and security questions when it detects a log-in from a new browser. Mobile users can use facial or fingerprint recognition for extra protection.
How Much Does Fidelity Cost?
It costs $0 to open a Fidelity account, and you only need $10 in that account to make an investment. Fidelity also doesn’t take any commission from U.S. trading stocks or ETFs. Investment advice and portfolio advisory services require account holders to have a minimum balance of $25,000-$250,000.
How to Get Started With Fidelity
You can easily apply online with your bank account info, social security, and employer information. First, select the account type you want to open and input your personal information. You will then be prompted to configure some account settings, such as email preferences and the use of uninvested cash. Then, after you’ve agreed to Fidelity’s terms and conditions, you can start investing with your account.