Fidelity is one of the largest brokers in the US. It offers users a range of tools and services, but some investors may just find it inadequate in some areas. However excellent it is, it cannot meet the specific needs of every individual.
Fidelity is a brokerage service provider to reckon. But if you find it inappropriate for you in a way, we have the best alternatives to consider.
Table of Contents
- Why Would You Need Fidelity Alternatives?
- How We Came Up with The List of The Best Fidelity Alternatives
- Deposit and Withdrawal
- Trading Platforms
- Range of Trading Items
- List of The Best Fidelity Alternatives
- 1. Betterment
- 2. M1 Finance
- 3. Wealthfront
- 4. Wealthsimple
- 5. Vanguard
- 6. Acorns
- 7. Stash
- 8. Robinhood
- 9. Public
- 10. Merrill Edge
- 11. TD Ameritrade
- 12. Roofstock
Why Would You Need Fidelity Alternatives?
Fidelity meets the needs of many investors. The platform has many tools and resources. In fact, some people refer to it as an all-rounded application for all investors. It is known for mutual funds, affordable brokerage accounts, and powerful features.
By choosing Fidelity brokerage services LLC, you get the following features:
- Extended hour trading
- International investing
- Margin borrowing
- Domestic and international stocks
- Precious metals
- Bonds and CDs, etc.
However, new competitors have emerged that offer more features than Fidelity brokerage services LLC. New investors may just desire to try out more than one brokerage platform to access many tools.
One challenge investors face with Fidelity is that account opening is allowed only to US residents living within the US borders. This can trigger the need to check out Fidelity investment alternatives.
Trading fees can also challenge investors who want to minimize costs. The high mutual fund fees and the financial rate are obstacles to starters.
Other drawbacks of Fidelity include the following:
- Only regulated by Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
- Does not offer a bespoke application for Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac Desktop computers and iOS and Android devices.
- Does not offer risk management features such as hedging, negative balance protection, price alerts, trailing stops, price alerts
- Offers limited trading account features – lacks ECN, STP, MT4, MT5, cTrader, Spread Betting, and other accounts.
- Does not offer trading with Minor or Exotic Forex Pairs and trading in Cryptocurrencies
- No trading in agriculture and energy commodities and metal
- Does not offer German, UK, and Japanese shares.
Due to these limitations, investors are looking for the best Fidelity alternatives that meet their needs. We will list the best online applications with an online trading platform and alternative features.
How We Came Up with The List of The Best Fidelity Alternatives
We have reviewed hundreds of online applications that offer brokerage services and trading in domestic and international stocks. To put the list together, we considered as many factors as possible.
We had to create an actual account to test different platforms and compare features. In many cases, the following are the key factors when looking for Fidelity investment alternatives:
Different brokerage service providers have varying fees they charge. The amount and number of these service fees greatly vary from one platform to the next. Why should you consider this factor? It will affect your returns and overall experience trading online.
While Fidelity offers low-cost brokerage accounts, other investment alternatives have lower fees. A fidelity alternative should not cost you more.
Deposit and Withdrawal
You need flexibility when it comes to deposits and withdrawals.
Brokerage services make it easy for investors to fund their accounts and withdraw money at will. Fidelity has a couple ways to interact with your account but never allows credit cards. Some Fidelity alternatives we have on this list can allow that.
First, a brokerage service provider should offer different trading platforms. They should be accessible through mobile apps, desktop software, and web services.
Though most investors prefer web platforms to mobile or desktop applications, some still appreciate the flexibility options. We, too, have considered this factor when consolidating the list.
Range of Trading Items
Investors trade on different platforms. If Fidelity does not allow agricultural and energy commodities and metals, alternatives should let investors trade in these items. Fortunately, many online brokerage service providers permit them.
As an investor, you need to know if stocks, forex, mutual funds, and other products you are interested in are available. And at the listed alternatives, you will find a wide range of trading items to choose from.
List of The Best Fidelity Alternatives
Finally, let’s talk about Fidelity alternatives which are a force to reckon with in the online brokerage space. Though the features and services vary, they promise you the best online trading experience. Without further ado, let us get the details!
Betterment is a relatively new web trading platform that makes panning simple. It was established in 2010 in the United States. This online service is mainly for administrators that want to offer their employees a better 401(k) quicker and easier while keeping the cost at its minimum.
Compared to Fidelity, Betterment has similarities and differences to this famous online brokerage platform. Fidelity supports SaaS, iPhone, iPad, and Android. Betterment, on the other hand, supports only SaaS.
Betterment is mainly used by companies that want to offer their employees a better 401(k), which is not the case with Fidelity. Fidelity is for businesses that want an online broker and trading platform. The purpose of your trading may make you choose one over the other.
Betterment is a full-service partner that handles most of the tasks for you. These include onboarding, administration, reporting, investments, and many others. It also offers advice and assists employees when necessary to increase returns despite the risks.
Betterment helps employees in establishing retirement plans and managing their finances. That gives them more time to focus on productive tasks at the company.
The distinctive features of Betterment include the following:
- Socially Responsible Investing
- Goldman Sachs Smart Beta
- BlackRock Target Income
- Flexible Portfolio
- Professional Financial Advice
- Tax Management Features
- Low advisory fees
- Different portfolios to choose from according to your needs
- Tax management features such as tax-loss harvesting
- Robust, goal-based tools
- All your cash is invested
- Professional advice services are a bit pricier
- No direct indexing
- An emergency fund portfolio is somehow risky
See Related: Best Betterment Alternatives
2. M1 Finance
M1 Finance is one of the best Fidelity alternatives for investors that want their portfolios tailored to meet their specific needs. It was founded in 2015 in the United States and has become the best platform that prides itself on a high level of customization and automated investing.
M1 Finance supports SaaS, iPhone, and Android platforms. Unlike Fidelity, this online trading platform is best for investors looking for investment advice and general financial management.
By choosing M1 Finance, you can make an investment portfolio with either low-cost ETFs, individual stocks, or both.
Whether you have experience in online trading or just beginning, M1 Finance has all it takes to accommodate you. You will get the best experience through a traditional online brokerage approach.
An outstanding advantage of M1 Finance is that it does not have trading fees or asset management fees, and you can trade fractional shares. Also, the platform offers over 80 expert-built portfolios to choose from. This flexibility is not found in other online brokerage services.
One more thing to mention about M1 Finance is its transparency in generating revenues. Nothing is done behind your back.
- Fewer fees
- Smarter tools
- Wiser strategies
- Multiple expert portfolios to choose from
- Extensive portfolio management
- Margin loans accessible at low interest rates
- Free trading account and account management
- Financial planning is not offered
- Limited tools
- No tax loss harvesting
Wealthfront was founded in 2011 in the United States as a web-based platform to help investors grow their money. Secure your financial future by investing your extra earnings with Wealthfront after deducting the bills.
Your investment account at Wealthfront allows you to be in charge of your money without manual transfers. It offers you two portfolio options. You can either use the recommended, already-built one or custom-build your own.
Wealthfront automatically reinvests dividends, rebalances your investment portfolio, and maximizes your after-tax returns. It deploys a Tax-Loss harvesting strategy to lower the taxes you pay as you invest.
Wealthfront has recently introduced some fantastic new features. Customers can now invest up to 10% of their financial portfolios in cryptocurrencies via the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) and the Grayscale Ethereum Trust (ETHE).
Also, a new portfolio customization tool has been introduced. This allows customers to add and delete ETFs, build an ETF portfolio from nothing, and set their investment preferences based on factors such as ESG.
- Customizable portfolio with both ETFs and cryptocurrency funds
- Easy account setup
- Direct stock exchange for larger accounts
- Free management for the first $5,000
- Automatic rebalancing
- Different investment goals to choose from
- Free digital financing tool
- Tax-loss harvesting
- Multiple portfolios to choose from
- No profesional financial advisors
- No Fractional shares
- No online chat
- Connecting to a live product specialist is a challenge
Wealthsimple started by offering smart, simple investing without high fees and account minimums. It prides itself on a $0 account minimum as a unique feature, making it one of the best Fidelity alternatives for a first-timer investor.
Wealthsimple invests your money through a globally diversified portfolio of low-cost index funds. And by the deployment of cutting-edge technology, the online trading platform guarantees maximum returns. It also optimizes your tax bill, thereby increasing your return margins.
Wealthsimple does automatic rebalancing, dividend reinvestment, and tax loss harvesting. These services were only available to a class of people and are time-consuming if done manually. The online trading software handles all that for you.
Wealthsimple also has expert financial advisors at your service. They can help manage your finances, prevent potential risks, or advise you on the investment account that matches your finances.
This online trading platform also has many other features, such as commission-free trading and automatically investing your spare change. Wealthsimple simply grants investors access to the tools they need for better financial decision-making.
Who is the Wealthsimple web trading platform for? Choose this as a Fidelity alternative if you are a:
Socially responsible investor
Seeking halal choices to fit Islamic law
Access to financial planners
Want an individualized portfolio for a large account
- Access to human investors
- Zero account minimum
- Socially responsible investing options
- Free portfolio analysis
- Relatively high account management fees
- Limited finance tools
Vanguard is one of the most versatile Fidelity alternatives with a broad customer base. That is attributed to its experience in the brokerage investing space. The company was founded in 1975 in the US and has relentlessly worked to give the best returns to investors.
Vanguard account opening is fully digital and user-friendly. Moreover, you don’t have to visit anything once your account is ready. However, you will need to wait for about 1-3 days for the verification. This is relatively long compared to other trading platforms.
Vanguard provides free stock and ETF trading. You can also trade some binds for free, with a low non-trading fee. There is no inactivity fee charged, and all withdrawals are also free if you choose ACH transfer.
The fee structure is transparent and the fees charged according to the asset class. This online trading platform charges a low commission of $20 for mutual funds. Each trade option has only one dollar fee. But if the holding assets are over one million dollars, you may not pay that fee.
Vanguard is the best option for beginners and seasoned investors who need an extensive selection of low-cost mutual funds and ETF offerings. All these are packaged in a single, easy-to-use brokerage platform.
- Zero-commission trading
- Low-cost ETFs and mutual funds
- Brokerage, automated, and advisor-managed accounts are available
- No account minimums
- International market access
- Multiple portfolios to choose from
- Large mutual fund selection
- No fractional share investing
- No Cryptocurrencies
- The trading platform could be improved
- Limited research and data
Acorns has the best spare-change savings tool and cashback rewards that make investing easy and fun. Despite the relatively high management fees for small accounts, Acorns is still the best if you want to gain from occasional retailer kickbacks.
Account opening with Acorns is free, but you need at least 5 dollars to start investing and trading. It charges 3 dollars for a taxable brokerage account, Acorns Later, and Acorns Spend, and 5 dollars for Acorns Early. This later is an investment account for the minors, which might be unique only to Acorns.
Another area where Acorns scores high is the low expense ratio. An expense ratio is an annual fee charged by exchange-traded funds, index funds, and mutual funds expressed as a percentage of your investment. Acorns charges between 0.05% to 0.18%.
If you want to transfer your investments from Acorns to another brokerage service provider, you will pay a relatively high fee. Other companies also charge a fund transfer fee, but Acorns is considered high.
Who is Acorns best suited for? If you are a new investor, a poor saver, or a passive investor, this micro-investing app is for you. Acorns may be the best option for minors or still in school. It helps build healthy saving habits and financial management.
- Helps build good financial habits
- Easy-to-navigate interface
- Risk-appropriate, low-cost investment portfolio options
- Offers unique perks
- Automatically invests the spare change
- Features educational, digestible content
- Cashback at select retailers
- Expensive management fees
- High fee on small account balances
- Costly transfers
- Few portfolio options to choose from
- No tax-loss harvesting or access to human advisors
See Related: Arcadia Power Review
Stash is a personal finance app that assists anyone in developing positive financial habits such as savings.
You can also use it to plan for your retirement. Stash combines banking, investing, and advice in one application to help millions of users reach their financial goals.
Stash charges different fees for its brokerage services depending on the account type. For a Stash Beginner, you will pay one dollar every month.
This is the ideal choice for first time investors. The package includes a personal investment account, Stock-Back® Card, saving tool, personalized advice, etc.
Stash Growth and Stash Plus require monthly fees of $3 and $9, respectively. These are more advanced accounts suitable for investors who want to expand their long-term wealth building plan and savvy wealth builders.
Stash brings the do-it-yourself and automated investing approach. You can choose how involved you want to be in the process.
In many cases, this online brokerage only offers guidance. It never manages your investment. But unlike other investing apps, Stash has budgeting tools and features that can help you manage your funds and build your savings.
- Helpful automatic savings and investing tools
- Offers fractional shares investing beginning from 1 cent
- Earn bonus stocks through debit card purchases
- Low minimum investment requirement
- No trade fees or commissions
- Educational content included with the app
- High monthly fees
- High expense ratios on ETFs
- Smart Portfolios don’t offer tax-loss harvesting
- No wealth management services
Robinhood was founded in 2013 in the United States and has become famous as a zero-free discount broker.
The company is mainly regulated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Robinhood also provides free stock, options, ETF, and cryptocurrency trades. Its streamlined platform and free cryptocurrency trading make it one of the best Fidelity alternatives that most investors consider.
Robinhood has many features and tools, including free stock, cryptocurrency trades, and zero account minimum. However, it lacks some crucial securities such as mutual funds and bonds. You only access taxable investment accounts.
Robinhood introduced a new feature in 2021 that allows users to participate in the company’s initial public offering (IPO). Unfortunately, it is only accessible to financial institutions.
Robinhood has been the go-to Fidelity alternative for young investors who want to get more experience in the industry. The ease of use of the Robinhood app aids this. Also, if you need cryptocurrency investing, Robinhood is for you.
- Simple to use
- Cash management accounts are available
- Access to fractional shares and cryptocurrency offerings
- Fast and fully digital account opening
- Excellent mobile and web trading platforms
- IPO investing available to finance institutions
- Free stock, option, ETF, and cryptocurrency trades
- Limited research and educational resources
- Limited investment offerings
- Weak customer support
The Public is a mobile investing app that provides commission-free access to stocks and ETFs. However, its research tools are limited and do not have web trading software.
Account opening in the Public app is easy. Download it on Google Play or Apple Store and follow the on-screen prompts. The process should take only a few minutes if you have the required documents and are eligible.
The Public is the best online trading tool for beginners. It was designed with starters in mind, offering many features and tools to aid in the process.
The Public stands tall in the crowd for its social network features, educational support for beginners, and optional tipping instead of payment for order flow.
The Public is a perfect beginner-friendly platform for new investors. However, its services are limited to stock, ETFs, and cryptocurrency.
You don’t access other securities such as bonds, mutual funds, options, and forex. This might be limiting if you need to diversify across asset classes.
The Public is best for you if you are looking for commission free trading. Its commission free stocks and ETFs are the main highlights that look lucrative to beginners and experienced investors. Its account fees are also at par with competitors.
Public charges 30 dollars for broker-assisted trades and 75 dollars for account transfers. This may be considered high, but it is in close range with what other brokerage services charge.
- Low trade minimum and commissions free trading
- Smooth account opening process
- No minimum deposit
- Easy to find socially responsible investments
- Fractional investment available
- Social investing available
- No desktop application or web trading platform
- Limited account lineup
- No margin loans
- Limited research tools
- No fund or asset management
See Related: Green Century Funds Review
10. Merrill Edge
Merrill Edge is a US-based stockbroker established in 2010 by Bank of America. It offers US stocks, ETFs, options, and bonds and is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission and FINRA. As a result, it is considered safe because of its roots and a long track record.
Merrill Edge allows you to invest your way. It offers self directed investment with zero account minimum. With this package, you can personalize your investment with insights, guidance, and tools provided by Merrill Edge. You can actualize your ideas and live your dreams.
The Merrill Edge guided investing requires a minimum of $1,000. Unlike self directed investment account, you state your investment objectives, and professionals build, monitor, and rebalance your portfolio. In other words, this is an Investment Advisory Program.
The last investment package offered by Merrill Edge is the guided type with a human advisor. You gain all the benefits of the previous package and additional advantages. However, you need to invest a minimum of $20,000. Many starters might find this too expensive for them.
Merrill Edge has low trading fees for all asset classes, and there is zero commission for securities. It also has a low margin compared to most Fidelity alternatives.
The fees charged for both mutual funds and options are very competitive. If you like to trade stocks, Merrill Edge should be your best option.
- Low trading fees
- Easy and seamless account opening
- No minimums or commissions for self directed accounts
- Strong parent company
- Solid investment tools on desktop, mobile, and web platforms
- 24/7 customer service with live chat available
- Robust third-party research
- Limited to US clients and products
- No demo investment account
- No specialty investments like cryptocurrency, futures, or precious metals
- No fractional shares
- Few options for deposit/withdrawal
11. TD Ameritrade
TD Ameritrade was founded in 1975 as a US-based stockbroker. The company has developed a strong portfolio and is regulated by top-tier authorities such as SEC, CFTC, and FINRA. As one of the pioneering companies, many investors view it as a perfect alternative to Fidelity.
If you are an experienced trader in need of solid research and a desktop trading platform will advance resources, TD Ameritrade is the most recommended option.
It also offers free stock and ETF trading. While you will have to pay for bonds, forex, and options, the fee is considered low compared to alternative investments.
However, the future fee is high. TD Ameritrade calculates futures fees as a subject of the volume. Currently, it stands at $2.25 per contract.
TD Ameritrade mainly targets US clients. Fortunately, you can also open your investment account if you are from a selected country. It accepts clients from China, Taiwan, Singapore, Brazil, and Malaysia, while Canadian clients use TD Direct investing solutions.
TD Ameritrade requires a zero account minimum for US clients for the basic cash account. Other investment accounts may attract high minimum account deposits. Also, the requirements differ if you are outside the US. For example, Malaysian and Singaporean clients pay a minimum deposit of $3,5000.
- Wide selection of investment choices
- Interactive courses and webcasts
- $0 stock and ETF commissions
- Free, powerful trading platforms
- Commission-free online trading+
- Objective, third-party research
- Dependable, professional support
- Does not offer fractional shares
- No cryptocurrency trading
- A limited selection of payment systems for deposits and withdrawals
- Relatively high account fees and fund fees
Roofstock is an online real estate marketplace that allows you to build wealth through real estate trading. It is the best alternative for Fidelity if you are an active investor who wants to buy and sell actual rental properties.
You might think that you need a high minimum to begin trading on the Roofstock platform. That is not true. You can start now with zero minimum unless you are an accredited investor.
In that case, you will need at least $5,000 to start buying shares of rentals. It suits investors with an interest in a more passive approach to real estate investing. Additionally, you can invest in properties through self directed IRAs.
Roofstock is one of the leaders in real estate investment trusts currently operating in over 27 states. It has been continuously rolling out features for its clients.
In 2019, the company introduced Roofstock One. This manages investment for accredited, hands-off investors. The program was discontinued, but the company has promised to bring it back.
You can also invest in real estate investment trusts if you have a self directed IRA or solo 40(9k).
- No minimum deposit, but you can access multiple financial markets
- Offers the best investment option for passive real estate investors
- You can invest through self directed IRAs
- More affordable than dealing with an in-person realtor
- Easy for newbies
- It vets houses for you
- No mobile application
- Large down payment
- No automated or passive investment options for non-accredited investors
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