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 have equal fees for trading stocks (equities), $4.95 per trade. With options, the base fee is $4.95 for both Charles Schwab and Fidelity Investments. Option contracts cost $0.65 each at both brokerages. 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, Fidelity Investments offers its clients access to 12505 different mutual funds while Charles Schwab has 5509 available funds, a difference of 6,996. Commission free ETFs can also be valuable for customers, with Fidelity Investments falling behind Charles Schwab, offering 91 commission free ETFs compared to Charles Schwab's 244.
Trading access aside, by comparing popular features and functionality, we can break down relevant differences between both brokers. Fidelity Investments offers virtual trading while Charles Schwab does not. 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, 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 and Best in Class - Mobile Trading, while Charles Schwab was rated Best in Class - Platforms & Tools and Best in Class - Research.
Overall, Fidelity Investments boasts 5.00 stars versus Charles Schwab's 4.50 stars.