Fidelity vs Vanguard



Fidelity versus Vanguard: Commissions, Fees and Investments Offered


Fidelity

  • Stocks/ETFs: $7.95 per trade
  • Options: $7.95 + $0.75 per contract
  • Mutual Funds: $49.95 or $75 per buy transaction for no-load mutual funds; sell transactions are free if fund held over 60 days ($49.95 otherwise)

Vanguard

  • Stocks/ETFs: $7 first 25 trades, $20 subsequent trades for account with less than $50,000
  • $7 for account with $50,000–$500,000 invested in Vanguard products (Voyager Services)
  • $2 for account with $500,000–$1,000,000 invested in Vanguard products (Voyager Select Services)
  • Free for first 25 trades, $2 for subsequent trades for account with $1,000,000-$10,000,000 (Flagship Services)
  • Free for first 500 trades, $2 for subsequent trades for account with $10,000,000+ (Flagship Select Services)
  • Options: $20 + $1 per contract (Voyager: $7 + $1 per contract; Voyager Select and Flagship: $2 + $1 per contract)
  • Options for accounts with over $1 million: $8 + $1.50 per contract
  • Mutual funds: Vanguard mutual funds - free. All others - Standard: $35; Voyager® and Voyager Select®: $20; Flagship®, $8
  • Certificates of deposit (CDs): Purchase: $5 per $1,000, Minimum: $50. Sale: $35 per transaction
  • Commercial paper: $50 per transaction; minimum purchase: $100,000
  • U.S. Treasury: Commission-free
  • Mortgage-backed securities: $50 per transaction; GNMA minimum purchase: $25,000


Fidelity vs Vanguard: Advantages


Fidelity

  • No account maintenance or inactivity fees (except for some IRA accounts)
  • Excellent customer service
  • Over 180 local branches
  • Free dividend reinvestments
  • Best selection of independent investment research
  • Access to foreign stock exchanges
  • 2% of Fidelity Rewards American Express card purchases can be deposited into the investment account

Vanguard

  • Vanguard ETFs are free
  • Very good range of products offered
  • Free DRIPs


Fidelity vs Vanguard: Disadvantages


Fidelity

  • Higher than average commissions
  • High margin rates
  • Advanced platform available only to clients making 36 or more trades a year
  • Online interface is not as well designed as at some other brokers
  • High minimum initial account deposit of $2,500 (cash and margin accounts)
  • Mutual fund Low Balance Fee if fund balance is under $2,000

Vanguard

  • Unless you are rich, commissions are high
  • Outdated trading technology
  • Annual maintenance fee if no electronic statements - $20
  • $20 per each mutual fund with a balance of less than $10,000 if no electronic statements
  • Customer service issues


Fidelity and Vanguard Websites and Ratings


Fidelity



Fidelity Review

Vanguard



Vanguard Brokerage Review


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