I have been a customer of Fidelity Investments for more than 10 years. I came to Fidelity from a competing brokerage service; in 1998 when I used to read those financial magazines, I always noticed that my brokerage service never had any advertising but Fidelity did. Fidelity has been on something of a marketing blitzkrieg in recent years; it’s now not uncommon to see Fidelity commercials on network television. Fidelity brokerage services have an online trading component which I have used for as long as I have been a customer. I have been keen to a few of the positives about the Fidelity brokerage services online trading platform as well as a few of the negative aspects about Fidelity online trading.
Accessing the Fidelity Online Trading Website: Well before you can fully utilize the Fidelity online trading website you first need to set up your Fidelity Brokerage account. This is something which many people are leery of as was I at first brush. However, as I’ve written about here before on Associated Content (1), I now have taken the bad with the good and have completely eliminated the commercial bank checking account. Some may argue that they don’t live nearby a major metropolitan area where there is even a Fidelity office. I’d argue that the nearest Fidelity office from my home in South Carolina is hundreds of miles away. Yes, it’s true; you can do all your banking without ever setting foot in the bank. The Fidelity MySmart Cash Account (2) makes the online brokerage portion of Fidelity.com even more impressive.
Plusses of Fidelity Online Trading Website: The fact that you don’t have to have an account minimum, you don’t have to pay for checks, debit cards, or ATM fees at any ATM anywhere, and the fact that there are never any fees for bounced checks and the like (there is no such thing as a bounced check with Fidelity; they just won’t honor it if the money’s not there) makes the Fidelity brokerage account something of a no-brainer. But it’s the $7.95 trading fees (3), the advanced tools of the Fidelity online trading website, and the execution of your trades, in the manner that you dictate which makes the Fidelity online trading website head and shoulders above the competition.
Negatives of Fidelity Online Trading Website: If you are looking to make big trades with Fidelity’s online trading website, you may have to look elsewhere. For most trading and investing individuals the 10,000 share limit on individual trades is fine (you can trade as many shares as you want; the 10,000 limit is per trade) but if you’re trading penny stocks, OTC, or you have a huge amount of money and you’d like to execute this all at once, you’ll have to set limit orders prior to those levels being reached and just hope that you can find that many shares of that particular stock. I will offer though that the 10,000 share limit is not as much of a hindrance as you’d think.
Fidelity Online Trading Website Summary: If you are looking to get into the markets and you want to work with a company who is a) not going anywhere b) is an industry leader and c) has one of the more impressively simple, yet advanced websites in the industry, than linking up with the Fidelity online trading website is what you should do. Consider all the time you spend online at the bank; now consider all the other time you spend online in the virtual world. hands off banking is the way of the future and the Fidelity online trading website is a great trading tool, banking tool, and place from which to plan your future and grow.