Fidelity and TD Ameritrade are two giants of American finance. Both brokers offer competitive fees, diverse portfolio management options and great customer service. To help you decide which one is the right choice for your investing dollars, weâve made a side-by-side comparison of each firmâs offerings.
TD Ameritrade is a good choice for investors who want to trade a wide variety of asset classes, including futures and even cryptocurrency â neither of which Fidelity offers. However, for the beginning investor, Fidelity is a great option, as it offers lower transaction fees and no account minimums for its robo-advisor option. There are other key differences as well, so read on for more details.
Some brokers charge an annual or monthly fee to maintain your account, but neither Fidelity nor TD Ameritrade levy an account maintenance fee. When it comes to trading fees, Fidelity has the edge over TD Ameritrade. Fidelity charges a flat fee of $4.95 for all online trades; TD Ameritrade charges $6.95. If you make few trades, transaction fees may not matter as much. But if you are an active investor or like to day trade, transaction fees can add up and cut into your earnings.
Fidelity and TD Ameritrade offer investment management services, including robo-advisor products â Fidelity Go and Essential Portfolios â to manage your money if youâd prefer to take a hands-off approach. TD Ameritrade offers less expensive investment management services. But if you need more personalized advice, Fidelity may offer a better deal, depending on the size of your portfolio balance.
TD Ameritrade offers three different managed portfolio options. For the Essentials Portfolio â an automated investment options â the annual management fee is 0.30% of your account balance. The Selective Portfolio, which has a broader range of Mutual funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs), has an annual management fee of 0.75% to 0.90% for the first $100,000. A Personalized Portfolio, which features personalized advice, has an annual management fee of 0.60% to 0.90%.
Fidelity offers several different portfolio management options. For Fidelity Go, an affordable robo-advisor program, youâll pay a 0.35% fee. For Fidelity Personalized Planning and Advice, a hybrid robo advisor with coaching, youâll pay a 0.50% fee. Fidelity also offers Portfolio Advisory Services, with professionally managed accounts. If you opt for this approach, your fee will be 0.50% to 1.50%, depending on your assets invested.
If you take money out of your account, either as a partial withdrawal or a total withdrawal, you may have to pay the brokerage firm a fee. With TD Ameritrade, youâll pay $75 for a full account transfer, but $0 for a partial transfer. Fidelity charges no transfer fees at all, either for partial or full transfers.
TD Ameritrade and Fidelity do not have account minimums for most accounts, making them good choices for beginning investors. However, TD Ameritrade does have a $5,000 minimum deposit for its Essentials Portfolio, its robo-advisor offering.
Besides stocks and bonds, Fidelity and TD Ameritrade allow you to invest in a variety of asset classes:
Fidelity and TD Ameritrade are quite similar, offering many of the same investment types and account options. But if youâre an active trader, Fidelity is the clear choice. With lower trading fees and lower fees for personalized advice, you get more value for your money.
However, if you are looking for more investment options, TD Ameritrade is the winner. You can invest in Cryptocurrency and futures trading, and get broader access to Mutual funds and ETFs.
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