Fidelity Investments IRA Review

Fidelity Investments Roth IRA, Traditional IRA, Rollover, SEP, Simple IRA (individual retirement accounts) review, promotion offer, rating, fees and commissions. Is Fidelity IRA good and safe way to invest?

Fidelity Investments IRA Commissions
Stocks and ETFs $4.95
Stocks and ETFs broker assisted $29.95
Options $4.95 + $0.65 per contract
Mutual funds$49.95 ($75 for some funds; Fidelity funds are commission free) to buy; $0 to sell ($49.95 if sold within 60 days)
Bonds (U.S. Treasury Auctions, including TIPS Auctions, U.S. Treasury Bills, Notes), primary market CDs on a net yield basis
GSE (Agency Securities), secondary CDs, Municipals, Corporates (BBB- or higher), CATS/TIGRS, Corporates (BB+ or lower) $1 per bond ($250 max; $50 max if maturing in one year)
Commercial Paper $50 per transaction

Fidelity IRA Accounts Offered
  • Rollover IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • Traditional IRA
  • Inherited IRA
  • Self-Employed 401(k)
  • 401(k) Plan for Large Business

Fidelity IRA Fees

  • IRA setup fee: $0
  • Simple IRA: $350 per plan collected annually from the employer or $25 per participant collected annually from participants' accounts
  • IRA termination fee: $50 per account, excluding SIMPLE IRAs, Fidelity Retirement Plan (Keogh) accounts
  • $48 for HSA, waived in some instances
  • Mutual fund low balance fee: $12 per year for each noncore Fidelity fund under $2,000

Fidelity Investments IRA Overview

Fidelity Investments, the mutual fund giant, offers brokerage accounts and cash management accounts, separately or in combination. Brokerage fees are about average in the industry. Fidelity offers the most generous amount of research among brokerage firms.

Here is a summary of Fidelity Brokerage Accounts features:

  • Fidelity doesn’t charge an annual account fee for most accounts (exceptions listed above)
  • Minimum funding to open brokerage account is $2,500 ($0 for Rollover IRA; $2,500 or $200/month for Traditional and ROTH IRA)
  • Full-featured trading platform with special tools available only for active traders
  • Free, independent research from more than 20 sources
  • Mobile trading applications
  • Access to international investing in 16 currencies and 25 markets
  • Trading of stocks, ETFs, options, mutual funds, CDs, precious metals
  • One-second execution guarantee for market orders during regular hours
  • Optional discretionary money management for a fee

The User Experience

Fidelity ROTH IRA Review

Fidelity revamped its website and it is now better organized and easier on the eyes than their previous effort. After logging in, most customers will head to their portfolio page for a quick overview of their holdings. You can view multiple accounts, such as brokerage and IRAs, from the portfolio page. You can also set up and monitor your watch lists and review open orders, transfers and transaction history. The new page has graphics displaying your asset allocation, returns, stock and market action, links to Fidelity Viewpoints market analysis articles and a display of your biggest movers. The layout is clear and pleasant, and lets you drill down to just about any information you might need.

Placing Trades Using Basic Platform

Pretty standard fare here. You hit the Trade button on the portfolio page, pick the account and security, then place buy or sell orders, including orders to cover short sales and option positions. You can place trailing stop orders on a percentage or dollar basis.

The basic charge for most trades is $4.95. For option trades, there is an additional $0.65 per contract. Treasury bonds and primary market CDs are commission-free, while other bond trades cost $1.00 each. You also get a free ride to purchase iShare ETFs and Fidelity mutual funds and sector ETFs. But watch out -- most non-Fidelity funds that charge transaction fees will set you back $49.95, and certain funds want you to shell out $75 per transaction! Margin rates vary from 4.00% to 8.82%, depending on your debit balance.

Fidelity Active Trader Pro Platform

For sophisticated and active traders making 36+ trades per year, Fidelity offers a suite of tools under the Trade Armor label that deliver the ability to visually explore and manage trading scenarios and to enact a strategy with trades and alerts.

The Active Trader Pro Platform is customizable, but defaults to views of your portfolio positions or balances, watch lists, charts and newsfeeds. A few clicks let you enter trades immediately. In addition, you can drag and drop lines on stock charts that translate into support and resistance levels that trigger trades or send you alerts. For example, if you want to set a sell bracket above and below the current price, drag the tool-suggested price points to the levels you actually want and click to enter the conditional trade. Very slick.

Fidelity offers a helpful series of videos to get you up to speed quickly.

Research and Education

Fidelity Investments ROTH IRA Review

Some discount brokers charge lower commissions but offer only basic investment research. Fidelity offers extensive free and paid research on stocks, bonds, funds, etc. Customers have access to free stock and ETF reports from Zacks, Morningstar, S&P Capital IQ, Thomson Reuters, and others. Investors will find a helpful research tool for more than 60,000 fixed-income offerings. Also available on the Fidelity web site is useful information on annuities and IPO’s.

One excellent feature is the StarMine Relative Accuracy Scores from Reuters that Fidelity displays on its listed research reports. The scores measure the source’s predictive ability over the previous 24 months, so you can select the best sources at a glance. For example, if you follow Starbucks stock, you would enter SBUX on the Stock Research Center page and pull up the available research reports. As of this writing, 13 reports were available with accuracy scores between 9 and 75 out of 100. The Research Center automatically displays a company profile, the latest news, industry comparisons, a sentiment score -- very bearish to very bullish -- derived from independent researchers, and a very handy Accounting & Governance Risk Score that rates how aggressively a company works its accounting procedures.

If you want to educate yourself on investing, the Fidelity Learning Center is a great resource. This is especially valuable if you are a novice to a particular topic, such as annuities and retirement issues.

The Good

  • Large and well known company with many branches
  • Large number affordable mutual funds
  • Lots of research tools at no extra cost
  • Friendly customer service and 24 hour help line
  • Friendly in person staff

The Bad

  • Higher than average commission on mutual fund trades
  • High cost on overseas wires
  • Sluggish website
  • Not small investor friendly


Overall, Fidelity Investments is a solid choice for customers looking for an IRA account. But there are also better priced options available in a very competitive industry of investing for retirement.

Open Fidelity IRA Account

Article was updated on 1/15/2017.

Fidelity reviewed by on . Rating: 5
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