Fidelity Investments Ticks All Boxes As A Best Online Broker

Customers say there’s a lot to like about Fidelity Investments’ online brokerage. It’s been named to Investor’s Business Daily’s list of Best Online Brokers for 12 consecutive years. That’s every year IBD has been conducting the survey.


Does it offer a diverse menu of investments to consider, including crypto, fractional stocks and CDs? Check.

Idle cash swept into competitive-yielding money markets? Check.

Customer service support via phone, online chats, more than 200 brick-and-mortar investor centers — and social media on Reddit, Discord, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram? Check.

Educational offerings ranging from podcasts to live webinars that arm investors with the know-how to invest with confidence? Check.

Research tools like stock screeners and a CD search tool that help investors make more informed investment decisions? Check.

An easy-to-navigate trading platform that places stock trades at the blazing speed of 40 milliseconds? Check.

Fidelity Investments is joined atop the Best Online Brokers list by Ally Invest, part of Ally Financial (ALLY), as well as by Charles Schwab (SCHW) and Merrill Edge. Merrill is a part of Bank of America (BAC).

“We put our customers at the center of everything we do by providing personalized support that fits their unique needs,” said Bob Mascialino, head of brokerage and service operations at Fidelity Investments.

See The Full Special Report On IBD’s 2024 List Of The Best Online Brokers

Fidelity Investments Customers Applaud Choices, Service

So, it’s not surprising that Fidelity’s retail customers, which numbered 38 million at the end of the third quarter, are taking notice.

The Boston-based financial giant’s online brokerage earned top marks from IBD survey respondents in eight of the 20 key attributes measured.

For example, customers gave Fidelity high scores for availability of account types, choices for cash management, and customer service.

“Fidelity’s goal is to provide investors with choice,” said Mascialino. “We’re always expanding our offerings to ensure that we are continuing to deliver a differentiated and complete suite of investment solutions that help meet the evolving needs of our customers.”

Investors also gave Fidelity an A grade for educational resources, investment research and research tools. And its do-it-yourself customers lauded the financial powerhouse for its equity trading platform and trade execution speed and price.

Fidelity Investments Grows Its Customer Base

Fidelity’s brokerage has gained a strong foothold with the younger generation and women. Of the 1.6 million new retail accounts the firm opened in the July-through-September quarter, nearly half (45%) were by customers 18 to 35 years old, according to Mascialino. And Fidelity now serves more than 17 million women across its retail and workplace investing business.

To keep customers happy and stave off competition from rivals, Fidelity is constantly innovating to improve the customer experience. Meanwhile, Fidelity is just as committed to teens starting their investing journey as they are veteran retirement savers and frequent traders.

In 2023, Fidelity expanded its recurring investment capabilities. This makes it easier for customers to invest similar amounts of money at regular intervals. Customers can set the dollar amount, frequency and timing of trades in stocks, funds, ETFs and Fidelity Basket Portfolios. As a result, they can benefit from the volatility-smoothing effects of dollar-cost averaging.

In September, Fidelity launched a Fidelity Youth app that comes with no fees or account minimums as well as robust educational content. In 2023, in response to customers who didn’t want to (or can’t) download trading software, Fidelity also rolled out a new web-based trading dashboard that provides livestreaming of market data.

Innovative Offerings With Crypto, More Cash Options

Fidelity Investments also launched Fidelity Crypto. The service enables customers to trade the popular digital currencies bitcoin and ethereum for as little as $1.

Fidelity knows a meaningful portion of its customers are already interested in and own crypto, a company spokesperson said. The Fidelity Crypto product is designed to deliver education and insights that will help investors who are considering gaining exposure to crypto.

“We continually invest in technology and tools,” said Mascialino. “In the year ahead, we’ll continue to innovate and enhance our full suite of trading platforms.”

For the past year, earning a decent yield on cash was a must-have for investors as interest rates soared. Fidelity customers benefited from the firm automatically directing uninvested cash into a money market fund. In contrast, many investment firms default cash into low-yielding sweep accounts.

Also, Fidelity Investments beefed up its CD offerings to provide more yield opportunities for investors. To complement its deep lineup of CDs it offers from hundreds of banks, Fidelity recently began to offer so-called “fractional CDs,” which enable savers to invest as little as $100 in cash.

Fidelity Investments Has Coaches At The Ready

To help its customers gain an investing edge, Fidelity offers a broad menu of educational opportunities. Its Trading Strategy desk consists of a team of “coaches” who engage up to 100 clients at a time in interactive sessions designed to boost traders’ skill. In addition, Fidelity redesigned its “Learn” site. That’s over 1,000 pieces of content ranging from articles to podcasts.

“We provide next steps on all content, helping our learners to take action when they are ready,” said Mascialino.

Like most other companies, Fidelity Investments is also using AI to further improve customer service.

The changes in generative AI and large language models have sparked a lot of energy around exploring new ways to improve search results, the company says. That includes new ways to access information for internal associates, and new ways to generate content for customers.


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