Fidelity vs TD Ameritrade

Fidelity vs TD Ameritrade, June 2021

We understand that in recent months excitement for the stock market has hit an all time high. For a few weeks, people were closely following the GME short squeeze, and while it still is ongoing, it has started to take a backseat.

One of the side effects of that GME short squeeze is that there are a lot more players in the stock market today and there are plenty of people who are looking for a way to get involved.

Whether you are looking to make some money on some day trading, long-term investing, or hoping to cash in and go to the moon, you are going to have to find a platform for you to trade on.

From our own personal experiences, we have seen Fidelity and TD Ameritrade used quite a lot. That being said, which one is better?

We are going to do a breakdown of Fidelity vs TD Ameritrade and hopefully give you some background inthat you can use thenthen to base your decision. Hopefully this can answer a lot of the questions that you have.

CATEGORYFIDELITYTD AMERITADE
Investment OptionsBasic Trading (stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds) and Functional SharesForex and Futures Trading
Charting129 indicators, 5 charting study customizations, viewable corporate events, dividends, splits, and important new489 indicators, 9 charting study customs (with coding options)
Platform SupportMobile AppUser-friendly app, paper account options
FeesNo fees$6.95 additional fee

Investment Options

The first thing you want to look at with any trading platform is what can you trade with. There is a lot more to investing than just the stock market and when looking for a platform for your brokerage account, you want to have multiple options available for you.

A quick thing to mention is that neither platform has crypto trading currently so if that is what you are interested in, you are going to have to look somewhere else.

Fidelity

Fidelity offers the basics in trading but that is about it. They do offer fractional shares which is something we do like, but things like futures and forex are overlooked.

That being said, those areas of trading are for more advanced traders anyways. Expect to see the standard stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, and bonds.

TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade offers everything Fidelity does, however it does not allow for fractional shares. We are a big fan of fractional shares as it gives you the consumer more power in how you are allocating your money and diversifying your portfolio.

Where TD Ameritrade makes up for it however is in forex trading and futures trading. If you want to branch out, TD Ameritrade has options for you.


Charting

Fidelity vs TD Ameritrade 04

The TD Ameritrade corporate headquarters building at 200 S 108th Avenue in Omaha, Nebraska.

When it comes to trading stocks, you have to be able to easily read the charts and see all the information that is presented to you. If a website doesn’t have a properly displayed chart for you, we recommend quickly switch over to a platform that does.

We are going to look at the charting in regards to Fidelity vs TD Ameritrade and see where they have commonalities and where they are different.

Fidelity

Fidelity offers what you would expect from a stock on a trading platform. The basic things like viewing current price and previous price are all there as to be expected.

Going further, Fidelity has the option to select from 129 charting indicators and has 5 charting study customizations that you can work with.

We were impressed with the amount of information that you could access and you could even see important corporate events like dividends, splits, and any other important news on the chart.

TD Ameritrade

When comparing Fidelity vs TD Ameritrade we noticed that there was not much of a difference in the charting. When we switched to TD Ameritrade it took us a bit of time to find out what was different and what was new. 

We are not going to mention the things that Fidelity also had but instead talk about what was slightly different. TD Ameritrade had 489 indicators and studies to choose from and had 9 charting study customizations.

Along with that, TD Ameritrade allowed us to create our own custom studies using coding. This is a much more advanced tactic and can be difficult to learn, but it is an option on their platform.

Overall, TD Ameritrade does have slightly more features when it comes to studies but other than that when it comes to Fidelity vs TD Ameritrade they both are extremely similar in the charting departments.


Platform Support

We always feel it's extremely important for a trading platform to be accessible as long as you have access to the internet.

We held TD Ameritrade and Fidelity to that same standard and decided to see not only in how many different ways we could use the platform, but what features the platform offered as well.

We have to see when looking at Fidelity vs TD Ameritrade they basically were identical in these regards. They both offered desktop support for both Windows and Mac and were easily accessible.

TD Ameritrade did offer more watch list total fields, but other than that they were similar.

Moving to the mobile end, it was more of the same. Both apps essentially had the same information available with a few differences here and there. We will further discuss what these platforms are great at down below.

Fidelity

Where Fidelity really shines in regards to platform support is their mobile department. Offering three different applications, you have a ton of different options at your disposal here.

When you go to the mobile app, you can customize the dashboard to display exactly what you want and it is one of the most customizable apps out there.

We will touch on research later on in the article, but we have to say the research that you can do on the app is like none other as well. Fidelity has always shone in the research department and they have brought that success over the mobile app as well.

We do have to mention some of the drawbacks of the app however. If you are an active trader you are going to have less indicators on your charts when using the mobile app (even less if on Android). We found that the Fidelity app was great for those with long-term investment accounts but not great for someone who actively wanted to trade.

TD Ameritrade

The one thing we loved that TD Ameritrade offered that Fidelity did not was a paper account. For those of you who are unaware, a paper account is a practice tool for those who are new to the stock market.

Think of it as getting play money that you can use in any way.

It is a great way to do research around the stock market and understand how the platform works without losing any money. It is a fantastic tool for beginners and we love that TD Ameritrade has it.

Looking at the mobile end, TD Ameritrade has a fantastic platform that is easy to use. If we were comparing it to anything other than Fidelity, it would be a clear cut winner, but Fidelity definitely edges them out just slightly, even though Fidelity lacks some features. 

That being said, TD Ameritrade is also pushing the industry and finding new ways to innovate and improve the app. With improvements being made every year, it will be interesting to look at things a year from now and compare the two apps.

Both apps are incredible to work with and their ease of use makes them both a favorite of ours. Comparing these two together is difficult as they are both incredible in this area.


Fees

We understand that every app and platform is going to have some fees for using them. It’s how they can go about making money and creating such a great experience for you as an investor.

If you are planning on opening a brokerage account with one of these platforms however, it is important to see how you are going to be charged. Let’s take a look in the battle between Fidelity vs TD Ameritrade.

Fidelity

When it comes to fees, Fidelity reigns supreme for everything that it offers. A rarity among platforms, you are charged no additional fees when you are trading penny stocks. Their fees also in comparison to TD Ameritrade are much smaller. 

For returned ACH or wire fees you are not going to be charged anything and even transferring out of your account will have a $0 fee. If you want a brokerage account with little to no fees, Fidelity might be the choice for you.

TD Ameritrade

Now when comparing Fidelity vs TD Ameritrade this isn’t even fair for TD Ameritrade. Their fees are not bad by any means, but you just can’t compete when it comes to Fidelity. For every penny stock trade you are going to be hit with an additional $6.95 fee. 

There are also charges on returned wire fees and even pulling all of your money out of the account will result in a fee. The one bright side to mention is that recently TD Ameritrade did slash their regular stock trading fee down including ETFs. 

In the battle of fees pertaining to Fidelity vs TD Ameritrade we have to give this one to Fidelity.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Easier to Use?

While both apps are pretty simple to use, we have to go with TD Ameritrade on being more beginner friendly. The fact that they offer paper trading along with plenty of other online resources makes it our choice if you are looking to learn the stock market.

That being said, both are great options if you are a beginner looking to create an investment account.

Who Has More Options Available For Trading?

When comparing Fidelity vs TD Ameritrade, we found TD Ameritrade to have more investment options open to you. If you are looking to create a diversified portfolio spread out across multiple investments in your brokerage account, TD is what you are going to want.

Can I Bank With These Platforms?

Both of these platforms do offer checking accounts, debit cards, and credit cards that you can use. Fidelity goes one step further to offer a savings account as well.

Final Thoughts

While Fidelity beats TD Ameritrade out on fees, in the battle of Fidelity vs TD Ameritrade we have to give a slight edge to TD Ameritrade. The amount of tools that they have available makes trading just a little better, even if Fidelity offers a better mobile experience.

At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with either of these platforms as they are some of the top in the field. Play around with both and see which one you prefer.

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