Comparing brokers side by side is no easy task. For our annual broker review, we assess over a dozen brokers on hundreds of different variables to find the best online broker
. Yielding a database of over 5,000 data points, let's compare Charles Schwab vs Fidelity Investments.
To start this comparison, first, we will take a look at the online broker commission rates for placing regular stock and options trades. 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 at both of the brokerages are the same at $0.65 each. It's important to note that not all brokers charge a flat fee per trade. Thus, it is important to read the full commission notes for each broker, which we include with each online broker review
Next to commission rates, being able to trade what you want is important. Fidelity Investments offers clients Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds while Charles Schwab offers Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading. Looking at mutual funds, Charles Schwab trails Fidelity Investments by 6,996 total mutual funds, with Fidelity Investments offering 12505 and Charles Schwab offering 5509. Commission free ETFs can also be valuable for customers, with Charles Schwab falling behind Fidelity Investments, offering 244 commission free ETFs compared to Fidelity Investments's 265.
Trading access aside, by comparing popular features and functionality, we can break down relevant differences between both brokers. Fidelity Investments makes virtual trading available to clients, while Charles Schwab does not. Taking a look at mobile trading, Charles Schwab along with Fidelity Investments both support the 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 available to clients of Fidelity Investments while Charles Schwab offers customers Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans. On the whole, when it comes to tools, research, and mobile trading, Charles Schwab finished with awards Best in Class - Platforms & Tools and Best in Class - Research, while Fidelity Investments came up with Best in Class - Platforms & Tools, Best in Class - Research and Best in Class - Mobile Trading.
Overall, Fidelity Investments comes out on top with 5.00 stars over Charles Schwab's 4.50 stars.