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 Investments 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 Investments both cost $4.95 per trade. 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. 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 Investments 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 Investments offers its clients access to 12505 different mutual funds while Charles Schwab has 5509 available funds, a difference of 6,996. And, commission free ETFs deserve a comparison, with Fidelity Investments falling behind Charles Schwab, offering 91 commission free ETFs compared to Charles Schwab's 244.
Finally, by comparing the each broker's website and platform features, we can surface interesting differences. Fidelity Investments makes virtual trading available to clients, while Charles Schwab does not. For mobile trading, Charles Schwab and Fidelity Investments both have a 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 Investments while Charles Schwab offers customers Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans. All factors considered, when it comes to platform 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, both Charles Schwab and Fidelity Investments are rated 4.50 stars.