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Fidelity vs Charles Schwab 2019

The StockBrokers.com annual review (9 years running) takes six months to complete and produces over 30,000 words of research each year. Here's how we test.

Is Fidelity better than Charles Schwab? After scoring brokers in nine separate categories for our 2019 review, Fidelity (86.62%) is better than Charles Schwab (84.06%). With over $2 trillion in client assets, Fidelity is a low-cost online broker offering $4.95 stock trades, industry-leading research, excellent trading tools, an easy-to-use mobile app, and comprehensive retirement services for investors. Overall, Fidelity is a winner for investors.

Exclusive Offer Get 300 commission-free trades and 2 years to use them Open Account
Special Offer $4.95 online equity trades + $0.65 per options contract Open Account
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Overall Rating

Feature Fidelity Charles Schwab
Overall 4.5 4
Fidelity Review Charles Schwab Review

Trading Fees

Feature Fidelity Charles Schwab
Minimum Deposit $0.00 $0.00
Stock Trade Fee (per trade) $4.95 $4.95
ETF Trade Fee $4.95 $4.95
Options Base Fee $4.95 $4.95
Options Per Contract Fee $0.65 $0.65
Mutual Fund Trade Fee $49.95 $49.95
Broker Assisted Trades Fee $32.95 $25.00
Commissions & Fees 4 3.5
Winner check_circle

Margin Rates

Feature Fidelity
Open Account
Charles Schwab
Open Account
Under $24,999.99 9.58% 9.58%
$25,000.00 to $49,999.99 9.08% 9.08%
$50,000.00 to $99,999.99 8.13% 8.13%
$100,000.00 to $249,999.99 8.08% 8.08%
$250,000.00 to $499,999.99 7.83% 7.83%
$500,000.00 to $999,999.99 5.50% 6.58%
Above $1,000,000.00 5.25% 6.25%
Commissions & Fees 4 3.5
Winner check_circle

Account Fees

Feature Fidelity Charles Schwab
IRA Annual Fee $0.00 $0.00
IRA Closure Fee $0.00 $50.00
Returned ACH Fee $0.00 $25.00
Returned Wire Fee $0.00 $25.00
Stock Certificate Processing Fee $0.00 $100.00
Stock Certificate Delivery Fee $100.00 N/A
Paper Statement Fee $0.00 $0.00
Paper Confirmation Fee $0.00 $0.00
Domestic Wire Fee $0.00 $25.00
International Wire Fee $0.00 $25.00
Commissions & Fees 4 3.5

Investment Options

Feature Fidelity Charles Schwab
Stock Trading
Yes Yes
OTCBB / Pink Sheets
Yes Yes
Options Trading
Yes Yes
Complex Options Max Legs
4 4
Futures Trading
No Yes
Forex Trading
No No
Commission-Free ETFs 500 503
Mutual Funds (No Load)
4031 5846
Mutual Funds (Total)
11782 5846
Bonds (US Treasury)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Corporate)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Municipal)
Yes Yes
Advisor Services
Yes Yes
International Trading
Yes Yes
Offering of Investments 4.5 4.5
Winner check_circle

Order Types

Feature Fidelity Charles Schwab
Order Type - Market
Yes Yes
Order Type - Limit
Yes Yes
Order Type - Stop
Yes Yes
Order Type - Trailing Stop
Yes Yes
Order Type - Contingent
Yes Yes
Order Type - MultiContingent
Yes Yes
Order Type - OCO
Yes Yes
Order Type - OTO
Yes Yes
Order Type - OTOCO
Yes Yes
Offering of Investments 4.5 4.5
Winner check_circle

Trading Platforms

Feature Fidelity Charles Schwab
Desktop Platform (Windows)
Yes Yes
Desktop Platform (Mac)
Yes Yes
Web Platform
Yes Yes
Paper Trading
No No
Trade Journal
Yes Yes
Watch Lists - Total Fields
91 108
Two-Factor Authentication Login
Yes Yes
Heat Mapping
Yes Yes
Platforms & Tools 4.5 4.5
Winner check_circle

Charting Features

Feature Fidelity Charles Schwab
Charting - Trade Off Chart
Yes Yes
Charting - Indicators / Studies
166 41
Charting - Drawing Tools
22 15
Charting - Historical Trades
Yes No
Charting - Corporate Events
Yes Yes
Charting - Automated Analysis
Yes Yes
Charting - Save Profiles
Yes Yes
Charting - Study Customizations
5 6
Charting - Custom Studies
No No
Platforms & Tools 4.5 4.5
Winner check_circle

Day Trading

Feature Fidelity Charles Schwab
Stock Alerts - Basic Fields
Yes Yes
Stock Alerts - Advanced Fields
Yes Yes
Streaming Time & Sales
Yes Yes
Streaming TV
Yes Yes
Direct Market Routing - Stocks
Yes Yes
Direct Market Routing - Options
Yes No
Ladder Trading
No No
Trade Hot Keys
Yes Yes
Level 2 Quotes - Stocks
Yes Yes
Level 2 Quotes - Options
Yes Yes
Trade Ideas - Backtesting
Yes Yes
Short Locator
Yes No
Client Liquidity Rebates
No No
Winner check_circle

Mobile Trading Apps

Feature Fidelity Charles Schwab
iPhone App
Yes Yes
Android App
Yes Yes
Apple Watch App
Yes Yes
Trading - Stocks
Yes Yes
Trading - After-Hours
Yes Yes
Trading - Conditional Orders
No No
Trading - Mutual Funds
Yes Yes
Trading - Simple Options
Yes Yes
Trading - Complex Options
Yes Yes
Trading - Option Rolling
No No
Touch / Face ID
Yes Yes
Winner check_circle

Mobile App Features

Feature Fidelity Charles Schwab
Watch List Syncing
Yes Yes
Stock Alerts - Basic Fields
Yes No
Stock Alerts - Advanced Fields
Yes No
Charting - After Hours
Yes No
Charting - Drawing
No No
Charting - Study Customizations
Yes Yes
Customizable Homescreen
Yes No
Heatmapping
Yes Yes
Stream Live TV
Yes Yes
Barcode Lookup
No No
Mobile Trading 4.5 4
Winner check_circle

Research Overview

Feature Fidelity Charles Schwab
Research - Stocks
Yes Yes
Research - ETFs
Yes Yes
Research - Mutual Funds
Yes Yes
Research - Pink Sheets / OTCBB
Yes Yes
Research - Fixed Income
Yes Yes
Research - Futures
Yes Yes
Research - Forex
No No
Screener - Stocks
Yes Yes
Screener - ETFs
Yes Yes
Screener - Mutual Funds
Yes Yes
Screener - Options
Yes Yes
Screener - Bonds
Yes Yes
Misc - Portfolio Builder
Yes Yes
Misc - Portfolio Allocation
Yes Yes
Research 5 5
Winner check_circle

Stock Research

Feature Fidelity Charles Schwab
Stock Research - Reports
12 8
Stock Research - Earnings
Yes Yes
Stock Research - Insiders
Yes Yes
Stock Research - Metric Comp
Yes Yes
Stock Research - SEC Filings
Yes Yes
Stock Research - Social
Yes Yes
Stock Research - Balance Sheet
Yes Yes
Stock Research - Cash Flows
Yes Yes
Stock Research - News
Yes Yes
Stock Research - ESG
Yes No
Research 5 5
Winner check_circle

ETF Research

Feature Fidelity Charles Schwab
ETFs - Strategy Overview
Yes Yes
ETFs - Top 10 Holdings
Yes Yes
ETFs - Sector Exposure
Yes Yes
ETFs - Risk Analysis
Yes Yes
ETFs - Performance Analysis
Yes Yes
ETFs - Ratings
Yes Yes
ETFs - Morningstar StyleMap
Yes Yes
ETFs - Reports
Yes Yes
Research 5 5
Winner check_circle

Mutual Fund Research

Feature Fidelity Charles Schwab
Mutual Funds - Strategy Overview
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Prospectus
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Reports
No Yes
Mutual Funds - Fees Breakdown
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Top 10 Holdings
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Asset Allocation
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Sector Allocation
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Country Allocation
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - StyleMap
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - 3rd Party Ratings
Yes Yes
Research 5 5
Winner check_circle

Options Trading

Feature Fidelity Charles Schwab
Option Chains - Streaming
Yes Yes
Option Chains - Total Columns
26 41
Option Chains - Greeks
5 5
Option Chains - Quick Analysis
Yes Yes
Option Analysis - P&L Charts
Yes Yes
Option Probability Analysis
Yes Yes
Option Probability Analysis Adv
Yes Yes
Option Positions - Greeks
Yes Yes
Option Positions - Adv Analysis
Yes Yes
Option Positions - Rolling
Yes Yes
Option Positions - Grouping
Yes Yes
Platforms & Tools 4.5 4.5
Winner check_circle

Beginners

Feature Fidelity Charles Schwab
Has Education - Stocks
Yes Yes
Has Education - ETFs
Yes Yes
Has Education - Options
Yes Yes
Has Education - Mutual Funds
Yes Yes
Has Education - Fixed Income
Yes Yes
Has Education - Retirement
Yes Yes
Paper Trading
No No
Videos
Yes Yes
Webinars (Monthly Avg)
8 50
Webinars (Archived)
Yes Yes
Live Seminars
Yes Yes
Progress Tracking
Yes No
Interactive Learning - Quizzes
Yes No
Investor Magazine
Yes Yes
Education 5 4.5
Winner check_circle

Banking

Feature Fidelity Charles Schwab
Retail Locations
197 357
Member FDIC
No Yes
Checking Accounts
Yes Yes
Savings Accounts
Yes Yes
Credit Cards
Yes Yes
Debit Cards
Yes Yes
Mortgage Loans
No Yes
No Fee Banking
Yes Yes
Banking 4 4.5
Winner check_circle

Overall

Feature Fidelity Charles Schwab
Fidelity Review Charles Schwab Review
Overall 4.5 4
Winner check_circle
Using data from our latest annual broker review which tested more than a dozen different online brokers over six months, we can compare Charles Schwab vs Fidelity to determine which broker is best. Let's dive in.

First, we will break down the commission charges of both brokers for placing stock and options trades. Charles Schwab and Fidelity have equal fees for trading stocks (equities), $4.95 per trade. Looking at options, the base fees charged are the same for both brokers, $4.95. Option contracts cost $0.65 each at both brokerages. Instead of flat rate fees, several brokers charge a per-share fee instead. For a complete review of trading charges, read our full online broker reviews.

Next, investors want to make sure they can trade the investment vehicle they want. Fidelity offers clients Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds while Charles Schwab offers Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading. As far as mutual funds go, Fidelity offers its clients access to 11782 different mutual funds while Charles Schwab has 5846 available funds, a difference of 5,936.

Finally, by comparing the each broker's website and platform features, we can surface interesting differences. Neither broker offers virtual trading. For mobile trading, Charles Schwab along with Fidelity both support the iPhone App, iPad App and Android App. Online banking is also used by many customers, and multiple full-service brokerages provide these services. Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards and Credit Cards are available to clients of Fidelity while Charles Schwab offers customers Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans.

Overall, between Charles Schwab and Fidelity, Fidelity is the winner.

Charles Schwab Review
Fidelity Review


All pricing data was obtained from a published web site as of 02/18/2019 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. For stock trade rates, advertised pricing is for a standard order size of 500 shares of stock priced at $30 per share. For options orders, an options regulatory fee per contract may apply.

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