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 Fidelity Investments vs Interactive Brokers, 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. Fidelity Investments charges more than Interactive Brokers for placing regular stock trades ($7.95 and $0.00 (the broker charges a per share rate instead), respectively). With options, the base fees charged are $7.95 (Fidelity Investments) and $0.00 (Interactive Brokers). Each contract then costs $0.75 at Fidelity Investments and $0.70 at Interactive Brokers for a difference in price of $0.05 per contract. 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. Interactive Brokers supports Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds, Forex Trading and Futures Trading while Fidelity Investments supports Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds. Looking at mutual funds, Fidelity Investments boasts an offering of 14391 compared to Interactive Brokers's 1819 available funds. Commission free ETFs also should not be forgotten, Fidelity Investments offers 76 versus Interactive Brokers's total of 40.
Lastly, taking a look at popular features and functionality, we can go a bit deeper to really break down the difference of both brokers. Interactive Brokers has virtual trading, Fidelity Investments doesn't. Taking a look at mobile trading, Fidelity Investments and Interactive Brokers 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. Clients can have Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards and Credit Cards at Fidelity Investments while clients at Interactive Brokers can have none of these. On the whole, when it comes to tools, research, and trading on the go, Interactive Brokers was rated for Best in Class Platforms & Tools and Best in Class Mobile Trading in 2014, while Fidelity Investments was rated for Best in Class Platforms & Tools, Best in Class Research and Best in Class Mobile Trading.
Overall, Fidelity Investments boasts 4.50 stars versus Interactive Brokers's 3.50 stars.