The StockBrokers.com annual broker review assesses more than a dozen different brokers over six months, surfacing the best online stock brokers
. This review compares Charles Schwab vs Fidelity Investments. Is Charles Schwab or Fidelity Investments a better online broker?
First, we will make a comparison of the stock and option trading fees for trading with both brokers. Charles Schwab and Fidelity Investments charge the same amount for regular stock trades, $4.95. With options, the base fee is $4.95 for both Charles Schwab and Fidelity Investments. Option contracts cost $0.65 each at both brokerages. Note that some brokers charge a per-share fee instead of a flat-fee commission. For a full breakdown of commissions, read our online broker reviews
For our next comparison of these two brokers, being able to trade the way you want is a must. Fidelity Investments supports Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds while Charles Schwab supports Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading. When it comes to mutual funds, Charles Schwab trails Fidelity Investments by 5,936 total mutual funds, with Fidelity Investments offering 11782 and Charles Schwab offering 5846. Commission free ETFs can also be a nice plus, which is a wash in this comparison as both Charles Schwab and Fidelity Investments offer 265 commission free ETFs.
Last but not least, by breaking down important features, tools, etc that each broker offers, we can really help to separate the two. Charles Schwab nor Fidelity Investments offers virtual trading. For mobile trading, Charles Schwab and Fidelity Investments both have a iPhone App, iPad App and Android App. Furthermore, some investors like to bank online, and multiple 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, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans. On the whole, when it comes to tools, research, and mobile trading, Fidelity Investments was rated Best in Class - Platforms & Tools, Best in Class - Research and Best in Class - Mobile Trading, while Charles Schwab was rated Best in Class - Research.
Overall, Fidelity Investments comes out on top with 4.5 stars over Charles Schwab's 4 stars.