Fidelity vs TD Ameritrade: which broker is better?

Fidelity and TD Ameritrade are the titans of the financial planning industry, whose names are emblazoned in professional sports arenas and billboards across the country. Both serve millions of customers and manage trillions (with a T) of dollars for US customers.

But are they really good, or are they just spending a lot of money on marketing?

You are both lucky Loyalty as well as TD Ameritrade are two of the best online brokers in the business offering no fees or commissions for trading stocks and ETFs, as well as access to mutual funds, bonds, options trading, and even international markets and currencies. Both also offer full financial planning services and automated investing through robo-advisers.

But which one is better for your investment?

We have reviewed features, fees, trading tools, available assets, customer service and security to help you decide which trading platform is right for you.

Review of Fidelity and TD Ameritrade

  • Fidelity and TD Ameritrade offer free stock and ETF trading, as well as access to thousands of free mutual funds.
  • TD Ameritrade offers several applications, one for beginner investors and one for active traders with access to hundreds of trading tools and indicators.
  • Fidelity also offers a platform for beginners and advanced users, but does not support an active trading platform on a mobile device.
  • Both platforms offer traditional financial planning services as well as low-fee robotic advisory services for automated investment management.
Loyalty TD Ameritrade
Trading fees ● None for stocks, bonds, ETFs.
● $0.65 per option contract
● $32.95 for trading commission through a broker.
● Up to $49.99 for mutual funds
● None for stocks, bonds, ETFs.
● $0.65 per option contract
● $2.25 per futures contract.
● $25 broker commission
● Up to $74.95 for mutual funds
Pay per account Nobody Transfer $75 (full)
Trading assets ● Promotions
● Bonds
● Mutual funds
● ETFs
● Options
● American Depositary Receipts (ADRs)
● IPO (if any)
● Cryptocurrency
● Promotions
● Bonds
● Mutual funds
● ETFs
● Futures
● Options
● American Depositary Receipts (ADRs)
● Forex
● IPO (on certain accounts)
Account Minimum $0 $0
Mobile app available? Yes Yes
Education News feed, research from multiple third-party analytics platforms, Bloomberg TV streaming News, commentary and research from over a dozen external sources, TD Ameritrade Network and CNBC live streams.
Customer service ● 24/7 phone, email and chat
● In person at local US offices.
● 24/7 phone, email and chat
● In person at local US offices.

About Loyalty

Fidelity is a major financial firm and one of the most popular discount brokerages in the United States, offering free stock and ETF trading as well as option contracts and will soon offer access to cryptocurrencies. Designed for beginners and active traders alike, Fidelity is a full-service brokerage firm that also offers financial planning services and access to personal advisors in over 200 investor centers across the US.

Fidelity is known for its free ZERO mutual funds.TM a series offering access to index funds with an annual fee of 0.0%. It also offers access to fractional shares of stocks and ETFs, allowing investors to buy shares for as little as $10, even if the price is in the thousands of dollars (looking at you, AMZN).

Read more: How to invest in ETFs

The Fidelity platform also offers access to a wide selection of investment analysis from leading research firms, an advanced stock filter to filter out ESG investments, and a library of educational content that includes videos, articles, and live webinars.

The Fidelity Active Trader Pro desktop application offers advanced charting options and dozens of trading tools for active traders, including drawing tools, technical indicators, and a fully customizable dashboard. You can also watch Bloomberg TV live for financial commentary and access a plethora of market research and news right in the app.

Fidelity recently announced that it will support the direct purchase of Bitcoin (BTC) in its 401(k) plan offerings, making it the first traditional financial firm to offer direct investment in cryptocurrencies.

Overall, Fidelity is one of the best online brokerages offering free stock and ETF trading, and one of the best financial planners out there.

Try Fidelity or read our full review.

About Trading House Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade logo

TD Ameritrade is an online broker that offers a wide range of trading tools and an extensive user education library. The TD Ameritrade platform is designed for beginners and offers an easy-to-use platform for both websites and mobile devices, as well as an advanced trading platform for active traders and professional investors.

TD Ameritrade offers tens of thousands of assets to invest in, including stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, futures and options contracts, as well as forex trading and access to select IPOs. Beginners can take advantage of TD Ameritrade’s extensive library of tutorial videos, guides, articles and webinars, as well as live commentary every weekday from the TD Ameritrade network.

Read more: IPO: what is it and is it worth the hype?

TD Ameritrade offers several platforms for both new users and experienced traders. The standard website and mobile app let you create a customizable dashboard, access stock quotes, set price alerts, and track your favorite investments with a watchlist. The thinkorswim web and mobile platform is an advanced trading platform that offers best-in-class charting and trading tools, options, futures and forex trading, as well as access to up-to-date news and research from leading firms.

Read more: Beginner’s Guide to Forex Trading

All in all, TD Ameritrade is a full-service broker that gives new investors access to thousands of free investments and also offers one of the best advanced trading platforms in the industry at thinkorswim.

Try TD Ameritrade or read our full review.

Fidelity and TD Ameritrade Investment Performance

Both Fidelity and TD Ameritrade offer free stock and ETF trading, as well as access to tens of thousands of assets to trade. The performance of these investments will depend on how you build your portfolio as each investment will perform differently. Both Fidelity and TD Ameritrade offer portfolio management services known as robo advisors, but only TD Ameritrade publicly monitors the performance of these portfolios.

Read more: Should You Use Robot Advisors? Complete Guide

The TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios service helps users build portfolios of low-cost ETFs across diversified asset classes by building a portfolio of assets based on your risk tolerance and financial goals. While each portfolio is slightly different, the average performance of these portfolios is listed on the TD Ameritrade website.

Here is a summary of investment performance for TD Ameritrade’s major portfolios as of May 2022:

1 year 3 years 5 year old
Conservative -2.10% 4.26% 3.98%
Moderate -0.53% 6.14% 5.50%
Moderate growth 0.72% 7.62% 6.67%
Growth 2.62% 10.35% 8.81%
aggressive 4.23% 12.06% 10.21%

Pros and Cons of Loyalty


  • Access to cryptocurrency.
  • Fractional investing in stocks ($10 minimum).
  • Zero-fee mutual funds available.


  • Active Trader Pro is only available as a desktop app (no web app or mobile app).
  • No access to futures or forex trading.
  • High commissions for transactions with a broker.

Pros and cons of TD Ameritrade


  • Large library of educational content.
  • Access to forex and futures trading.
  • Several trading platforms (TD Ameritrade and thinkorswim).


  • Mutual funds are expensive (up to $74.95).
  • No fractional share investment.
  • No access to crypto investment (yet).

Why Choose Fidelity

Fractional investing in stocks

Fidelity allows investors to make smaller purchases with fractional share investing. With a minimum investment of $10, users can purchase any stock or ETF on the platform, regardless of the value of the underlying investment. So if you want to buy Tesla (TSLA) stock but don’t have hundreds of dollars to shell out, you can buy a piece of stock for as little as $10.

Access to crypto investments

Fidelity operates 401(k) investment accounts for over 10,000 companies and now offers Bitcoin (BTC) access to these accounts. If your working retirement account is managed by Fidelity and you want to access bitcoin in your tax benefit account, Fidelity is currently the only firm to offer this service.

Read more: How to Invest in Cryptocurrency: A Beginner’s Guide

personal assistance

Fidelity has over 200 US offices that investors can use to meet with Fidelity advisors and representatives for help with their accounts. Whether you’re looking to meet with a financial expert or simply want to personally manage your investments, Fidelity offers more options than TD Ameritrade.

Why choose TD Ameritrade

Study Library

TD Ameritrade offers an extensive library of educational videos, guides and training on a wide range of personal finance topics. There are also live trainings and webinars that educate users on complex financial topics in an easy and engaging way.

Advanced trading on the go

While both Fidelity and TD Ameritrade offer advanced trading platforms, only TD Ameritrade offers a fully featured mobile app for active traders. The thinkorswim mobile trading app is available for both iOS and Android and offers access to hundreds of charting tools and indicators, advanced options trading strategies (multiple steps), margin and futures trading, and access to news and research right in the app. Appendix.

Read more: TD Ameritrade and thinkorswim: one company, different platforms

Novice Investors

TD Ameritrade offers a very user-friendly platform for both the web and mobile devices, perfect for those who are new to investing. Combine this with a host of free educational videos and resources, and new investors can quickly get up and running and start investing with confidence.

bottom line

To be honest, both Fidelity and TD Ameritrade are top-notch investment platforms that offer everything from free stock and ETF trading to advanced trading platforms, educational content, complete investment management, and 24/7 customer service. And both platforms offer intuitive mobile apps designed to help beginners invest easily.

In general, Fidelity is more suitable for beginners who want access to a huge selection of investment options with low fees, as well as access to cryptocurrency on 401(k) accounts, while TD Ameritrade is great for both new investors and active investors. traders who want a high quality mobile trading experience.

Featured Image: Inside Creative House/Shutterstock.com

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