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 4,000 data points, let's compare Charles Schwab vs Fidelity.
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 charge the same amount for regular stock trades, $0. Looking at options, the base fees charged are the same for both brokers, $0. 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 supports Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds while Charles Schwab supports Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading. Looking at mutual funds, Fidelity offers its clients access to 11782 different mutual funds while Charles Schwab has 5846 available funds, a difference of 5,936.
Trading access aside, by comparing popular features and functionality, we can break down relevant differences between both brokers. Neither Charles Schwab and Fidelity offer virtual trading. Taking a look at mobile trading, Both Charles Schwab and Fidelity offer clients access to an 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 while Charles Schwab offers Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans.
Overall, between Charles Schwab and Fidelity, Fidelity is the winner.
Charles Schwab Review