Scottrade and Fidelity are two online stock trading tools that are highly rated by their customers. Both offer great features and exceptional services. However, they are not the same. There are several notable differences that set them apart. Choosing the right trading platform is very important if you want to get the most benefit and convenience. So, continue reading below to see the detailed comparisons between Scottrade vs Fidelity!
About the Companies
Scottrade is a discount brokerage firm which operates online as well as at branches. It has an electronic trading platform where you can purchase and sell financial securities, such as stocks, contracts, options, mutual funds, ETFs, and fixed income investments. It also has margin lending and cash management services.
Scottrade was founded in Scottsdale, Arizona in 1980 by Rodger O. Riney. However, it is now headquartered in Saint Louis, Missouri. It was acquired by TD Ameritrade and TD Bank in 2017.
On the other hand, Fidelity Investments is a multinational corporation which provides financial services. It has a brokerage firm, provides fund distribution and investment services, and manages a large family of mutual funds. It also provides wealth management, life insurance, and securities execution and clearance services.
Fidelity Investments was founded by Edward C. Johnson II in 1946. It is headquartered in Boston, Massachussets. The majority share of the company is owned by the founding Johnson company, while most of the remaining 51% is owned by various employees, ex-employees, managers, and ex-managers.
Ease of Use
The first thing that we are going to compare between Scottrade vs Fidelity is the ease of use. For new users and beginners, ease of use is an essential factor. The trading platform should be neat, organized, and intuitive. While advanced features are great for experienced users, there is no point in bombarding new users and beginners with those things that they do not yet understand or use.
In general, both Scottrade and Fidelity are easy to use. Both platforms’s features are relatively easy to understand, because each one is labeled with some information. Scottrade has a slight lead in this aspect because the platform’s features and tools are divided into three categories for new users, average users, and advanced users. The classification is especially helpful for beginners so that they can focus only on the core functions without being overwhelmed by the advanced functions. On the other hand, although Fidelity does have very good and informative labels, the lack of feature classification makes it less beginner-friendly than the competitor.
Support and Customer Service
The next thing that you should consider when choosing between Scottrade vs Fidelity, or any trading platform, is the support and customer service. Trading requires constant watching and observation, so you definitely want a platform that you can access and contact at any time from any place. Arguably, this is the most important factor for choosing a trading platform.
Both Scottrade and Fidelity are big names, so you can expect to get excellent customer support from either of them. Scottrade features 24/7 email and chat support, as well as phone support and more than 400 brick-and-mortar locations. Scottrade is generally better if you think that you need more in-person support, as it has more physical locations.
On the other hand, Fidelity has email, chat, and phone support, along with a virtual assistant and more than 100 physical locations. Fidelity may have better indirect support due to the virtual assistant feature. If you are the type who prefers to use digital assistance rather than in-person support, Fidelity is great. The fewer physical locations may be a thing to consider if you highly regard in-person support, but this is not a problem if there happens to be a nearby Fidelity office in your city.
This section is still related to the previous section because any form of support comes with a service fee. Regardless of your trading frequency, you still have to consider all of the platform’s fees before subscribing. The fees chip away directly from your profits.
In most cases, Scottrade can give lower fees. Each trade has a flat $7.00 fee, and it also boasts a better margin rate: -0.25% to -0.75%. On the other hand, Fidelity charges $7.95 per trade, and the margin rate is $2.825 to $3.75. So, Scottrade can actually give you higher profits.
However, things are a little bit different when you need the help of a broker. The fee for a broker help in Scottrade is very expensive, which is $29. This is significantly higher than Fidelity as well as most other trading platforms. So, Scottrade is more suitable for knowledgeable users who don’t need the help of a professional broker frequently. Fidelity only charges $7.95 for a broker help, making it a better choice for beginners and those who prefer to use a broker help.
Scope of Investments
Both Scottrade and Fidelity provide pretty much everything. They both offer stock trading, options trading, mutual funds, and ETFs (exchange-traded funds). In addition, both platforms here also allow international trading – this is a big plus compared to other trading platforms that do not provide international trading. Both Scottrade and Fidelity can also help you set up retirement and education savings accounts. However, neither has Forex trading.
Scottrade boasts an offering of 13,599 mutual funds, but there is no commission-free ETF.Fidelity only has an offering of 12,505 mutual funds; but, if you are more interested in the ETFs, Fidelity may be better for you because it has 91 commission-free ETFs.
|- Tools have informative labels and are classified into three categories for new, average, and advanced users||- The tools have informative and easy to understand labels|
|- Email, chat, and phone support; more than 400 physical locations||- Email, chat, and phone support; virtual assistant and more than 100 physical locations|
|- Lower trading fee and margin rate, but much higher broker fee||- Relatively higher trading fee and margin rate, but lower broker fee|
|- Offers more mutual funds||- Has fewer mutual funds, but there are commission-free ETFs|
Both Scottrade and Fidelity are excellent trading platforms, but they do have different pros and cons. Scottrade is generally better for experienced and knowledgeable users who don’t need a lot of professional broker help due to the expensive broker fee. Scottrade can give you more profits because of the lower trading fee. On the other hand, Fidelity is more suitable for those who need frequent broker help. Fidelity may also be better if you are interested in the ETFs because it has 91 commission-free ETFs.