Like I’ve said, Vanguard is a very different brokerage from the others on this list. For long-term, risk-averse investors, Vanguard is a proven choice; for investors and traders who want to actively manage their money, this broker won’t be a good fit. Schwab’s robo-advisor wing, Schwab Intelligent Portfolios, charges no fees – although there is a $5,000 account minimum. The next step up, Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium, has a one-time set up fee of $300 and charges $30 per month ongoing. That might not seem like it, but for smaller accounts it’s one of the highest rates out there. Similarly, Fidelity customers can trade in 25 countries and exchange between 16 currencies.
That said, Schwab is best for long-term, retirement-focused investors (with well-funded portfolios). CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 81% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
She’s a bankruptcy survivor, small business owner, and homeschool parent. As far as free platforms go, the Fidelity Active Trader Pro is tough to beat. Like StreetSmart Edge, the homepage is completely customizable. Features include hundreds of charting tools, real-time news, and optional columns.
Charles Schwab’s branch network, on the other hand, is considerably larger. Schwab operates more than 400 Schwab and TD Ameritrade branches across 45 U.S. states. In many important areas, Charles Schwab and Fidelity offer very similar services. We collect data directly from providers through detailed questionnaires, and conduct first-hand testing and observation through provider demonstrations. The final output produces star ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars).
Both Fidelity and Charles Schwab are excellent choices for investors who count on in-depth research. Fidelity’s value proposition is particularly strong in stock and fund research. The discount brokers of today are unlike those of the past.
Vanguard made its name with low-cost funds and they’re still seen as a leader in this space. Their longtime strength has been their Vanguard index funds, which carry some of the lowest expense ratios in the industry. The Ascent is a Motley Fool service that rates and reviews essential products for your everyday money matters. Kimberly is a career writer and editor with more than 30 years’ experience.
At Fidelity, the FDIC insures CDs, cash management accounts, health savings accounts and certain IRAs. Both E-Trade and Fidelity serve up an charles schwab vs etrade extensive menu of investment options. If you’re in, near, or approaching retirement, however, you might appreciate Schwab’s features more.
Fidelity tallied $11.1 trillion in customer assets as of the first quarter of 2023. Vanguard vs Charles Schwab is another tough call – they appeal to different types of investors. But Schwab provides a decent approximation of what Vanguard offers, while Vanguard can’t compete with Schwab’s offerings. Schwab’s appeal for active investors will get a boost when TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim trading platform is integrated. The current option, StreetSmart Edge, is a step behind both thinkorswim and Fidelity’s option.
Fidelity’s core business of fund management and retirement plan administration spills over into its online brokerage business. It offers one of the largest mutual fund selections with no transaction fee, including Fidelity Funds. Individual investing services is a competitive industry, and it shows in the companies vying for customers in that space.
E-Trade, founded in 1982, gained traction as an early innovator in online trading. Schwab started in 1971 as a traditional broker, but three years later the company evolved into an early entrant in the discount brokerage business. E-Trade and Schwab offer their own versions of robo-advisors, which automate investors’ portfolios. We do not manage client funds or hold custody of assets, we help users connect with relevant financial advisors. An author, teacher & investing expert with nearly two decades experience as an investment portfolio manager and chief financial officer for a real estate holding company.
Schwab Mobile has a 4.8-star rating on the Apple store and 3.6 stars on Google Play. In general, new and veteran investors should find Schwab’s tools intuitive. Beginners can get their feet wet with the E-Trade app, while seasoned traders can take advantage of the depth and customization of the Power E-Trade mobile and desktop app. That said, the E-Trade app holds a 4.6-star rating on the Apple Store and 3.9 stars on Google Play. Power E-Trade has a 4.5-star rating on the Apple store and 4 stars on Google Play. EToro’s customer service could not be tested or rated due to the fact it does not offer phone support for prospective customers.
All three companies’ apps hold excellent ratings, but customer feedback varies. E-Trade’s two investing apps are renowned for ease of use and appeal to investors of all experience levels. E-Trade has a $500 minimum to open a robo-advisor Core Portfolio account that charges 0.3% of the assets managed. On the other hand, Schwab’s robo-advisor accounts have a $5,000 minimum with no fees. Investors with $25,000 will incur $300 by opening the account plus a $30 monthly advisory fee.
The right broker can offer a range of benefits, such as low trading fees, easy-to-use trading platforms, and top-notch customer support. On the other hand, a poor choice of broker can lead to higher fees, limited investment options, and subpar customer service, which can ultimately harm your investment returns. Therefore, it is crucial to research and compare different Brokers to find the one that best fits your needs and preferences. No discussion of the top online brokerages would be complete without talking about Charles Schwab vs. Fidelity, two of the industry’s giants. TD Ameritrade — another industry behemoth — was recently acquired by Charles Schwab. With millions of account owners, these discount brokers can afford to invest heavily in feature-rich trading platforms.
In our analysis, we examine the availability of several different types of educational materials. Fidelity enjoys accolades from Forbes Advisor as the best online broker. And if you need in-person help with investment matters, Fidelity operates more than 200 branches across the country. Perhaps most importantly, Fidelity’s menu of investment options is generally more robust than E-Trade’s, although neither brokerage stumbles in this category.
EToro is a multi-asset platform which offers both investing in stocks and cryptoassets, as well as trading CFDs. For beginner investors, Fidelity Go (Fidelity’s robo-advisor) allows you to start passively investing with a $0 minimum. It’s free until your account size hits $25,000, then you’ll accrue 0.35% in yearly fees and get access to unlimited 1-on-1 coaching calls.