Comparing brokers side by side is no easy task. For our 2014 broker review
, we factored in 266 different variables to assess 17 different brokers. So when taking a look at Charles Schwab vs Fidelity Investments, there is a huge database of information available to us.
To start this comparison, first we will take a look at the broker commission rates for placing regular stock and options trades. Charles Schwab charges more than Fidelity Investments for placing regular stock trades ($8.95 and $7.95, respectively). For options trading, Charles Schwab has a base fee of $8.95, and Fidelity Investments a base fee of $7.95. Contracts at both of the brokerages are the same at $0.75 each. Not all brokers charge a flat rate fee per trade though, so it is important to read the full commission notes to know the complete breakdown (go to any stock broker review
page, then click the "Commissions & Fees" tab).
Next to commission rates, being able to trade the instrument you want is important. Charles Schwab and Fidelity Investments provide clients with Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds. Looking at mutual funds, Charles Schwab boasts an offering of 16478 compared to Fidelity Investments's 14391 available funds. Commission free ETFs also should not be forgotten, with Charles Schwab having the upper hand thanks to its 121 available ETFs compared to Fidelity Investments's offering of 76.
Lastly, taking a look at popular features and functionality, we can go a bit deeper to really break down the difference of both brokers. Neither Charles Schwab and Fidelity Investments have virtual trading. Taking a look at mobile trading, Charles Schwab and Fidelity Investments both have a iPhone App, iPad App and Android App. Not to be left out, online banking is also a nice benefit for many investors, and some brokerages provide these services to clients. Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards and Credit Cards are offered by Fidelity Investments while Charles Schwab offers Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards and Mortgage Loans. On the whole, when it comes to tools, research, and trading on the go, Charles Schwab posted awards for Best in Class Platforms & Tools and Best in Class Research in 2014, while Fidelity Investments found itself with Best in Class Platforms & Tools, Best in Class Research and Best in Class Mobile Trading.
Overall, both Charles Schwab and Fidelity Investments share a rating of 4.50 stars.