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Fidelity vs TD Ameritrade
Old 05-30-2018, 01:59 PM   #1
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Fidelity vs TD Ameritrade

I'm planning on some consolidation, so am considering moving my TD Ameritrade holdings to Fidelity. Has anyone else done this? And do you prefer the Fidelity platform for trading or TD Ameritrade, or is there no significant difference? FYI, I do not trade frequently, perhaps a half dozen trades per year.
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Old 05-30-2018, 02:58 PM   #2
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I have accounts at both places. I prefer TDAmeritrade.
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Old 05-30-2018, 03:01 PM   #3
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I have both. Prefer Fidelity. Might consolidate.
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Old 05-30-2018, 03:46 PM   #4
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Would you be willing to share why you prefer Fidelity?

So far I have found their customer support on the phone to be about the same quality, which is very good in both cases (I have only been with TD Ameritrade since they bought Scottrade). The Fidelity website is easier. TD Ameritrade has a lot of info but it can be a challenge to find what i want or it just takes a lot more clicks than Fidelity and yes, I did download thinkorswim, but that only added to how time consuming the experience was as compared to Fidelity.
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Old 05-30-2018, 03:50 PM   #5
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If you're happy with both, go with whoever has lowest fee structure.

When I was getting ready to retire, I thought about moving everything from Fido to Vanguard. But, since I was/am an index investor, my fees would have been miniscually higher at VG. I've had nothing but good service/support from Fido with my 401K; and now, my IRA.

Good luck. First world problems are great to have.
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Old 05-30-2018, 04:06 PM   #6
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I have accounts at both, and feel like they are about the same. I think Fidelity has lower trade cost for individual stocks. I somewhat prefer the commission free etfs at Fidelity (many ishares available), vs the ones at TDA (more thinly traded and some have high expense ratio). I have a near by TDA office, and maybe I go there once every 2 years, but good that it's convenient. I like having the 2 accounts, and compare cd and bond offerings, usually about the same.

I think the promotion for new money into TDA is better ($$ + free trades), so there is a one off plus for TDA. That said Fidelity used to match competitor promos, but I think they have stopped all cash promos.
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Old 05-30-2018, 04:25 PM   #7
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I have accounts at both and am commenting on the navigating of the sites. I think Fido is far superior. I can find my stuff and appreciate the simplicity. If I were in your shoes, I would use Fido, everything else being equal.
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Old 05-30-2018, 05:06 PM   #8
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I'll give a specific example of why I don't like Fidelity as much.

I have an account with a bond fund in it and I have the monthly dividends automatically reinvested. Sometimes I want to see the transactions of those reinvestments with dollar amount, number of shares, date. Here is what that looks like for part of one transaction (date is a few lines above)



Why does it take so much display real estate to show this? I have to scroll to see all the transactions? Am I doing something wrong? This is not simplicity.

And I cannot get Activity for more than 90 days at a time at Fidelity. That sucks.

In contrast at TDAmeritrade, I get a fairly clean report of multiple transactions in less space than a single partial transaction at Fidelity:

And I can put in any custom date range that I want.

I also like that I can customize the columns and order of the columns in the Positions display at TDAmeritrade. Can one do that with Fidelity?
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Old 05-30-2018, 05:14 PM   #9
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Fidelity is one stop shopping, often also.for.competitor's products. Their computers.are also.easy to deal with.
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Old 05-30-2018, 05:19 PM   #10
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I was not real happy with my former brokerage, so I decided to transfer to Fidelity. Im not a terribly sophisticated investor, so I found the Fidelity website pretty easy to use, plus with the account that I transferred I got 500 free trades for 2 years. Definitely a game changer for me.
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Old 05-30-2018, 05:41 PM   #11
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I'll give a specific example of why I don't like Fidelity as much.

....snip..

Why does it take so much display real estate to show this? I have to scroll to see all the transactions? Am I doing something wrong? This is not simplicity.
Nice example. I don't think you're doing something wrong. Maybe Fidelity has another 99 ways of seeing the same information, but how would you know?

The folks who implement this crap are over-zealous "human factors experts". They read a book and sometimes have impressive degrees. However you can glean information from their decisions. Fidelity looks like its designer wanted to help sight hindered folks who only deal with singletons. The other is more compact and better for multiple transactions. Which one's better?
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Old 05-30-2018, 06:04 PM   #12
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I have both for a long time. I have been with TD Ameritrade since it was Datek. TD Ameritrade has a much better trading platform and web user interface and is better for buying/selling equity and other exchange traded securities. However, Fidelity is better for fixed income trading plus they offer much higher interest through their money market funds on your cash balances. TD Ameritrade gives us better perks (free concert tickets, gift cards, gift baskets, free dinners) than Fidelity (gift baskets, gift cards).
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Old 05-30-2018, 06:05 PM   #13
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Fidelity looks like its designer wanted to help sight hindered folks who only deal with singletons. The other is more compact and better for multiple transactions. Which one's better?
WellsTrade has a Fidelity-like default display, but one can customize it to look very much like the TDAmeritrade display.

I think what this might demonstrate is that people will like what they are familiar with and not necessarily what is optimal or useful.

thinkorswim was mentioned by the OP. I occasionally use it, but only after I had spent time customizing what I want to see. Now I don't need to change it, but just pop it up once in a while. It is not needed to place trades at all. I think most people would never need to worry it existed ... especially those that make half a dozen trades a year.

BTW, in real-life, I was one of those folks who designed and built graphical user interfaces.
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Old 05-30-2018, 06:09 PM   #14
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... plus they offer much higher interest through their money market funds on your cash balances. TD Ameritrade gives us better perks (free concert tickets, gift cards, gift baskets, free dinners) than Fidelity (gift baskets, gift cards).
Tip for TDAmeritrade clients: Don't use their MM funds for your cash balances. Instead buy BIL or FLRN which are free trades, but only as long as you pay attention to the short-term trading fee of $13.90. Don't get hit with that and follow the rules.
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Old 05-30-2018, 07:27 PM   #15
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OP here, good discussion thanks

regarding thinkorswim, I only downloaded it recently after I could not find anywhere on the TD website to set up a view that included BETA and 100 day moving average. Neither of those were available choices for making a custom view (with Scottrade it took me all of five minutes to set up both a view and a regular download to excel of these items plus a few others). I called Td and was told i could only get BETA etc using thinkorswim (hence my comment about a lot of extra clicks)
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Old 05-30-2018, 08:27 PM   #16
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I don't even know if Fidelity would show beta or 100-dayMA. Do they?
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Old 05-30-2018, 09:53 PM   #17
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I'll give a specific example of why I don't like Fidelity as much.

I have an account with a bond fund in it and I have the monthly dividends automatically reinvested. Sometimes I want to see the transactions of those reinvestments with dollar amount, number of shares, date. Here is what that looks like for part of one transaction (date is a few lines above)



Why does it take so much display real estate to show this? I have to scroll to see all the transactions? Am I doing something wrong? This is not simplicity.

And I cannot get Activity for more than 90 days at a time at Fidelity. That sucks.

In contrast at TDAmeritrade, I get a fairly clean report of multiple transactions in less space than a single partial transaction at Fidelity:

And I can put in any custom date range that I want.

I also like that I can customize the columns and order of the columns in the Positions display at TDAmeritrade. Can one do that with Fidelity?
I am in the same situation and mine looks nothing like that. Not sure how to make it even look like that.
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Old 05-30-2018, 10:01 PM   #18
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I have both for a long time. I have been with TD Ameritrade since it was Datek. TD Ameritrade has a much better trading platform and web user interface and is better for buying/selling equity and other exchange traded securities. However, Fidelity is better for fixed income trading plus they offer much higher interest through their money market funds on your cash balances. TD Ameritrade gives us better perks (free concert tickets, gift cards, gift baskets, free dinners) than Fidelity (gift baskets, gift cards).
I think all the “perks” are a thing of the past. Fido used to give me Apple gift cards, but I was told all they can offer now is free trades.
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Old 05-30-2018, 10:03 PM   #19
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I don't even know if Fidelity would show beta or 100-dayMA. Do they?
Are you part of active trader at Fido?
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Old 05-30-2018, 10:05 PM   #20
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Found beta here, for a stock UNP on my watch list:


https://snapshot.fidelity.com/fidres...l=UNP&appCode=

only took a few minutes and a few clicks

if you click on advanced in the chart heading you can add MA to the chart:

https://screener.fidelity.com/ftgw/e...ml?symbols=UNP

since I do not have any individual stocks with fidelity yet, unless I transfer my TD holdings, I have not yet discovered how to download to excel. think i will call Fido in the near future to find out how. if I can get that data a whole lot easier than I can with TD (thinkorswim is a bear to use and slow) then I will transfer my holdings.
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