Comparing brokers side by side is no easy task. For our 2017 Broker Review, we assessed 16 brokers on 308 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 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, Charles Schwab trails Fidelity Investments by 8,039.00 total mutual funds, with Fidelity Investments offering 13204 and Charles Schwab offering 5165. Commission free ETFs can also be valuable for customers, with Charles Schwab having the upper hand thanks to its 229 available commission free ETFs compared to Fidelity Investments's offering of 91.
Trading access aside, by comparing popular features and functionality, we can break down relevant differences between both brokers. Fidelity Investments has virtual trading, Charles Schwab doesn't. Taking a look at mobile trading, Both Charles Schwab and Fidelity Investments 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 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, Charles Schwab posted awards Best in Class - Platforms & Tools and Best in Class - Research in 2017, while Fidelity Investments found itself with Best in Class - Platforms & Tools, Best in Class - Research and Best in Class - Mobile Trading.
Overall, both Charles Schwab and Fidelity Investments share a rating of 4.50 stars.