2.4
42 reviews
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Fidelity Investments

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Fidelity Investments
 
2.4

(based on 42 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (21)

37%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

No Pros

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

No Best Uses
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Most Liked Positive Review

 

Get treated like a prince, not a frog.

I'm rich! I'm rich!

Oh dear. I'm not at all rich. But we did sell our overpriced home in California last year, and we wondered what to do with the...Read complete review

I'm rich! I'm rich!

Oh dear. I'm not at all rich. But we did sell our overpriced home in California last year, and we wondered what to do with the tidy profit. Before we got carried away, we had to figure out logistics: i.e., where to stash the dough.

One of my brothers, a former Wall Street portfolio manager, recommended Fidelity as an alternative to a regular bank. What's the difference?

Well, with a regular bank, the presumption is that you're going to spend your money. You open a checking account, get a credit card or even a mortgage, and start pissing it away, whether you have a plan for paying it back or not. So you get treated like Deadbeat #1 straight from the get-go.

With a brokerage, you're investing, and like most investors, you'll lose some but steadily gain a lot. Most people invest conservatively over a lifetime in a pension or college fund, and the brokerages make money off fees and commissions, so it's win-win all around.

You get treated like you're personally making their Lexus payments, and it feels good.

To start, I called a special phone number reserved for royalty (or at least people who, by sheer accident of birth, aren't royalty but obviously should be) and made instant Best Friends with a real, live broker, not a call center in India. He walked me through opening my first brokerage account, advising me which Money Market should serve as my base account, where my money would rest from the rigors of earning more money as I bought and sold various securities such as T-bills, stocks or bonds.

Fidelity is a discount brokerage, which means you mostly won't be relying on Mr. Best Friend Broker for your transactions, or they will charge you extra. The idea is to do as much online by your little self as you can, and rely on human help when something goes awry, such as when the much-awaited house sale went through, but the electronic transfer didn't. Yipes! Where'd all that money go?

We got it straightened out, and have enjoyed learning about how to nurture our nest egg in the hopes it can someday buy a whole new nest. I'm also thinking of moving my IRA over, and I have my son's college account with them now too.

Besides keeping track of your accounts and transactions, just like online banking, the Fidelity site gives you one-stop shopping for all your investing. Plus, it's written in plain English. You don't need an MBA to know a mutual fund from a mutual friend; but you must be willing to do your homework.

What's an ETF? How do I trade futures? What's the difference between a bond rate and a bond rating? I boned up on financial info with their site, plus articles on Yahoo! Finance, Motley Fool and a stock-market simulator called Investopedia before a single penny went their way.

I admit it--I looked mostly at the pictures. Erm, charts. Yes, I love charts. Is it up? Down? Ziggedy-zaggy? Bring it on!

I'm no expert. I'm not even an advanced beginner. As we learn more, maybe we'll ratchet up our level of risk. Maybe not. But I do know that if an investment of ours heads south, it won't be for lack of information, except maybe the ability to foretell the future.

There are many discount brokerages out there: Vanguard, E-trade, Ameritrade and Charles Schwab are Fidelity's main rivals. I cannot compare them, as this is the only experience I've had with a brokerage of any sort, but I'd recommend Fidelity to anyone, whether you're making your first stock purchase or finding a safe place to roll over your 401k.

You gotta start someplace, right?

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Fidelity reviews cost nothing and are done by a computer.

As one who has provided hundreds of portfolio reviews for customers at Fidelity Investments, my comment is that "You get what you pay for."  Fidelity Investments portfolio reviews cost nothing...Read complete review

As one who has provided hundreds of portfolio reviews for customers at Fidelity Investments, my comment is that "You get what you pay for."  Fidelity Investments portfolio reviews cost nothing and are computer generated.  Though Fidelity representatives can waiver off of the computer generated recommendations, Fidelity compliance requirements and overall management fear of doing anything that could be construed running counter to the "inferred" Fidelity performance requirements, makes Fidelity reviews basically worthless.  In recent months, Fidelity has gone on a ruthless campaign of laying off an disproportionate number of their long-tenured (read "higher paid") employees in the name of "saving jobs."  Fidelity has basically proven that their shop portfolio reviews and retirement planning can be done by 1) low-paid, low-experience kids in their 20's 2) low-performing reps with 3-6 years of experience and 3) trained chimpanzees.  If a Fidelity rep tries to veer away from the shop computer-generated recommendations, branch management will put him/her through the ringer to justify their actions.  It simply has become "not worth the trouble" for most reps to do this.  Fidelity has also recently redoubled their insistence on pushing proprietary products over non-shop products.  For those who have their Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designations, this runs counter to CFP ethics.  Hundreds (and this is NO exaggeration) of experienced branch representatives have left the firm in the last 2 years - either of their own choice or were laid off because Fidelity believes in these horrible financial times, inexperienced representatives are adequate to help its clients through the crisis.  Layoffs of its finest employees is one thing if the firm is in dire financial trouble, but Fidelity is in good financial shape and just seeks to provide mediocre service and call it outstanding customer care.  A "SMART MOVE" would be to look for experienced professional financial advisors away from Fidelity Investments who actually can provide the kind of help they have been trained to provide rather than rely on "20-something year old sales kids" who know little about the real markets and real investing and simply recite the company garbage they are required to recite. 

Reviewed by 42 customers

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1.0

I'VE REACHED MY LIMIT WITH FIDELITY!

By 

from Midlothian, VA

Comments about Fidelity Investments:

My family recently moved to Virginia. We have used Fidelity for many years. After the move, I was told that my Fidelity investment advisor in our previous state could no longer assist us -- as he was licensed only in that state. We were successful in getting the name of a Fidelity representative in a new Richmond satellite office in Midlothian, but getting an appointment has been next to impossible. The representative (a woman) said, in an email, that her "assistant" will contact us to set up an appointment -- she does not schedule her own appointments. We have provided dates and times that are convenient to us -- but the "assistant" has yet to contact us back. I've grown so disappointed with Fidelity that I have now moved our funds out of their managed account. So far, I'm less than impressed with the Richmond Fidelity office and their Midlothian office. It's VERY difficult to get an appointment for a face-to-face meeting. They do not seem interested in responding -- and my old advisor (who was excellent) doesn't seem to be able to help either. I don't know if they have someone who oversees the entire Fidelity operation in Richmond, VA, but if so, he or she needs to take a close look at their area operation. Their customer service is non-existent!

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Jury Is Still Out

By 

from Ohio

Comments about Fidelity Investments:

In January 2015, since I do not have a local Fidelity office in my area, I drove 2 1/2 hours away to meet with a Fidelity Rep to discuss my retirement investment options. However, when I called to set up the appointment, it took some hair pulling to get a face to face meeting. They honestly thought I could set up my financial future either on the phone or online. Initially, I must have spoken to three or four people before I was given an appointment. After meeting with my rep three times and divulging every bit of personal information I had to give, less what size I wore, my accounts were set up. I might add, this was not as simple as it sounds. I had to also deal with a different branch of "Fidelity" that managed my 401k while I was employed. More times than not, the right hand didn't know what the left hand was doing. I was asked the same "scripted" questions over and over. In the end, I opted to have Fidelity manage my money since I know about as much on investing as I do on how to fly space ships. Well, it has only been ten months, hence the reason for the title of my review, but, I haven't made a dime. On the flip side, I have paid close to $5,000 thus far for their expert advice. Three months into it, I was assigned a new portfolio manager, my current one stated he was being "promoted"?? Now, my new manager is located in another state, therefore, all of our communication is either over the phone or via email. Now, I'm back to the same scripted questions such as: Do I plan on going back to work? Do I have additional debt? Will my wife be going back to work? How much money do I have outside of Fidelity? Also, I know I must be old fashioned, but, is it to much to ask to see the person that is managing all of my money? Realizing, these accounts are set up for the long haul, I plan to stay the course at least for a little while longer and keep my fingers crossed.

  • Affiliation:
  • I received a sample

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Your money is safer under your mattress!!

By 

from Houston, Texas

Comments about Fidelity Investments:

Just say No!! These people would mess up a 2-car parade! After we verified the address they already had on file for us, they still managed to mail Highly sensitive information to a totally incorrect address. Cannot get 2 people to give the same answer to the same questions. Constant inexplicable delays. Paid for overnight package that arrived with a missing check. They are very good at apologizing-- probably because they have to do it so often. We're gone!

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

no exit

By 

from kingston, n.y.

Comments about Fidelity Investments:

i have spent hours trying to cancel my account with this common sense but useless service. i still have 5 months to still try....
their e-contact brings you to vanguard!, and the 4 customer service #'s i have are apparently to promote a soul-stealing musical loop.
a few weeks ago i finally got through on the phone and tried to get some answers as to how this service 'works'. after going around and around asking in a dozen ways, i realized it was an answering service handling calls for a dozen businesses!
at last, once i got thru, it turns out that basically the info can be looked up, and comparisons can be made through many evaluating services (and higher returns can be gotten outside of fidelity). so what are you paying for? "analysis"(=opinion). i have one too!
my opinion is that this is totally misrepresenting
info available in any free prospectus, and further misrepresents the ease of getting your money back.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Fidelity = pathetic, inept, disappointing.....a total joke!!!

By 

from USA

Comments about Fidelity Investments:

I am actually being kind in my choice of words and rating because they deserve far worse than I'm permitted to write.

Customer Service
Awful, just awful. We tried opening up a Trust account which was taking forever to get set up along with a face2face meeting, then lots of follow-up phone calls and multiple emails with Fidelity people saying they need more stuff from us after our f2f meeting, which if they were on the ball really should have covered then, later they said they don't need that stuff but some other stuff, then hold on they don't need that stuff now, but something else, then wait now they need something else, hold on, eveything is now ok, ooopps no now not ok but now they need something else......on and on and on. Each time we spoke with Fidelity people, we couldn't get a straight answer, always: "let me get back to you". We finally decided to end this madness and stopped the setup of the Trust account. We're so disgusted by this gross incompetence that we no longer trust Fidelity and plan to transfer our Joint accounts, two Traditional IRA accounts and two Roth IRA accounts.

Ease of Use
I have been actively trading for over 20 years and found their online trading tools to be cumbersome, difficult to navigate and use. It was as if their developers built the Fidelity trading platform and never tried using it themselves to see whether customers will enjoy it.

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3.0

Overall

By 

from USA

Comments about Fidelity Investments:

It's frustrating not having a branch to go into. My app has been having issues with taking pictures of checks making it difficult to cash. On top of that when someone sends me money, a refund from a store or cash deposit takes around 2-3 days before your funds are available. I know this seems small but it's very inconvient and when I banked with chase I didn't have this issue. On the upside I really like there bill pay.

Customer Service
N/a

Product Variety
Up to par if not less than than industry

Ease of Use
Complicated.

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Decent but beware fees if you have smaller balances

By 

from Pittsburgh, PA USA

Comments about Fidelity Investments:

Overall, I have been pretty happy with Fidelity Investments. There are a large number of options for your investments and then within each of those choices, you can further narrow down and customize your investment choices. I was a bit overwhelmed when picking my 401K options, and one of the advisors walked me through some suggestions and also provided helpful tools like investment guides to read on my own. The down side is if you are a newer investor or have less to invest, you really have to pay attention to which plans you are choosing. Many of them have flat fees or percentage fees if you have smaller then a certain dollar amount invested. There are also some accounts and options that charge more then others to make changes to your portfolio. None of them are unreasonable, just make sure you are aware. Overall, not a bad place for managing and monitoring your investments.

Customer Service
Customer service was very helpful and even provided additional information on products. they seem to go above and beyond to make sure customers are happy.

Product Variety
There are a large number of investment options, really something for every level of expertise and dollar amount.

Ease of Use
If you are not familiar with the types of investments and the terminology used, this can be overwhelming. However, it is layed out well and it is easy to find what you need once you get over any fears.

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(7 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Need to Get My Investments Outta Here

By 

from Lake Villa, IL

Comments about Fidelity Investments:

My company set up everyone' s account with Fidelity for their 401k. Things are fine and good until you leave and then Fidelity goes out of its way to make things complicated. Fidelity is not all bad, they just make things so overly complicated that it is impossible to understand your accounts. They send countless emails over nothing and they have not been the easiest to deal with.

Customer Service
Have not contacted customer service yet, but that might be in the near future.

Product Variety
They offer stocks and bonds I think. My company set up my account with employment, but since leaving things have been a little screwy and I need to switch away from this complicated mess.

Ease of Use
Well other sites are making their sites easier to use, I feel like Fidelity goes out of its way to make things overly complicated. Understanding your investments could not be more complicated with Fidelity and they probably want it that way.

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(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Low fees, lots of options

By 

from USA

Comments about Fidelity Investments:

Fidelity constantly has some of the lowest fees of the online brokerage companies. They have a lot of investment options and the fees they charge are minimal. They have tons of no-load funds, which is great for most investors. I like the guidance tools that Fidelity gives you also, and that can be supported by meeting in person with one of their Financial planners, although I always recommend using an outside planner.

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(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

Uncommanded Sale of Securities in a Fidelity Account

By 

from USA

Comments about Fidelity Investments:

Long story short, Fidelity's online trading system liquidated all of our FB shares without our request. We had a more than sufficient cash position in our account that we commonly transferred to our checking account. Typically 1 to 2 thousand per month. Been doing this for a couple of years with no issues.
Last month we requested a $2,000.00 transfer from our cash position on a Tuesday and unbeknown to us the Fidelity system commanded a sale of all FB securities and a pending transfer of all proceeds from this IRA to our checking account.
We only realized this on Saturday since the transfer was not available in our checking account. We reported this to Fidelity who's agent promised me that he would stop the transaction "and not to worry". I explained that we did not request this transaction as we only initiated our usual cash position transfer.
Come Monday all proceeds were transferred to our checking account. When we call Fidelity to discuss the same the two different agents were rude and arrogant and blamed the transfer on our mistakes. I explained that making that many mistakes which in no manner was even close to the inputs that are required to simply transfer cash is ridiculous and not possible in our situation. I asked for the opportunity to speak with a manager in their IT department and they blew us off. I also asked to have them send me their records of the inputted transactions and they blew us off.
Subsequently I filed a complaint with the SEC. After several weeks the SEC received and copied us a response from Fidelity who simply laid the full blame on us for commanding the wrong requests. I sent another letter to the SEC refuting Fidelity's claim of innocence in this fiasco and the SEC suggested that we hire an attorney.
I asked the SEC to at least request that Fidelity send them a report showing the actual inputs, IP etc. and they declined saying that even though I have a right to contest that they would not pursue this matter any further and we would have to bear the burden our selves. We the little people investors obviously don't rate with either Fidelity of the SEC as it is unimaginable that all Fidelity had to say in their statement was it wasn't their fault. Amazing and very disappointing. Therefore at this point in time we are looking for any other history of erroneous trading via the Fidelity online system.
If anyone knows of a case of this occurring on the Fidelity online trading system, please contact us so that we can pursue this together or individually.

Sincerely and Thank You,

Herc
MD80Power@aol.com

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