Both offer customizable trading platforms, mobile apps, and low costs to millions of clients. Schwab has While these two brokers have a lot in common, we'll look at some of their differences to help you determine which one is the right fit for your investment and trading needs. Consult with a qualified professional before making any financial decisions.
This article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies nor can the accuracy or timeliness of the information be guaranteed. Fidelity also has a straightforward account opening process, but the paperwork to add account features like options trading or margin can be time-consuming.
Both brokers offer reasonably easy-to-navigate websites with screening tools, portfolio analysis, news, educational content, and basic order tickets, as well as customizable desktop platforms. Schwab and Fidelity offer similar experiences regarding the trading experience, costs, research tools, customer service, and security standards. Most investors would do fine with either broker in this context.
The choice may come down to your preferred trading instruments: only Schwab offers futures trading, and only Fidelity supports forex. It's worth noting that Schwab also offers more international trading opportunities. Schwab and Fidelity offer straightforward web-based trading platforms.
While Fidelity's web platform is easier to use, the quotes are delayed by 15 minutes unless you sign up for real-time quotes. These platforms offer more functionality than their web-based counterparts, with more customization options, more order types, and better charting. StreetSmart Edge and Fidelity Active Trader Pro have dozens of technical studies available, however these amounts are relatively low by industry standards.
Overall, traders will find similar tools on either platform, so the edge here purely from a trading experience is too close to call. Data streams in real-time on both brokers' mobile apps, and you can stream quotes on multiple devices simultaneously. Both brokers offer news and research on the app, but neither supports drawing tools for charting. The apps have identical ratings on the App store, but Fidelity has far more reviews: Schwab has 4.
Overall, we found that either app should fit the needs of casual investors. Schwab and Fidelity offer all the usual trading products, including stocks, ETFs, bonds, and mutual funds. However, only Schwab provides access to futures and crypto albeit, only Bitcoin futures , and it has more opportunities for international trading. At the same time, you can trade forex only at Fidelity the company doesn't post any information about this asset class on its website, so you have to call for details.
Ultimately, a preference for one broker over the other may come down to the brokers' range of offerings. Both Schwab and Fidelity support the usual order types on their web and desktop platforms. Order types include market, limit, stop limit, and conditional orders like one-cancels-the-other OCO and one-triggers-the-other OTO. Schwab and Fidelity are similar in these offerings and one doesn't edge out the other in this aspect.
Schwab uses a proprietary wheel-based router for order management purposes. Most stock orders and multiple exchange-listed options get routed to third-party wholesalers, which balances execution quality with the company's cost savings. Its average execution speed is 0. Meanwhile, Fidelity's smart order routing technology seeks the best price available and can access all types of market venues, including dark pools, exchanges, and market makers.
Fidelity has an average execution speed of 0. Overall, Fidelity wins in the trading technology department due to its price improvement, execution speed statistics, and lack of payment for order flow on equity trades. You'll find similar costs at Schwab and Fidelity. Above that, Fidelity's margin rates drop, but you have to call for pricing at Schwab so we can't compare.
Some of the other typical account costs are cheaper at Fidelity. Overall, these cost differences give Fidelity the slight edge here, but the brokers are essentially the same for actual trading costs. Schwab and Fidelity offer comparable account and research amenities, including everything you would expect from a large broker.
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