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Fidelity vs. Robinhood

Two trading platforms for beginners, but only one allows room to improve your trading skills.

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Robinhood made its debut as one of the only brokers that offered free trades. But its fees no longer set it apart — Fidelity also offers commission-free trades and a more powerful platform to back it.

Which one is better?

  • Choose Fidelity if you want advanced research tools and you’re looking to hone your trading skills.
  • Choose Robinhood if you’re new to investing and want a straightforward, user-friendly platform.

Fidelity is our top choice because it offers an in-depth stock screener and advanced platform for experienced investors, plus a simple mobile app and online trading for beginners. And if you’re looking to level up your skills, Fidelity offers an extensive library of videos to help you learn about the market.

Robinhood may appeal to newbie investors because of its sleek, minimalist platform and price point. But Fidelity rivals Robinhood in that space by offering $0 commissions on stocks, ETFs and options. Plus professional investors and traders looking to beef up their skills won’t be impressed with Robinhood’s lackluster research tools.

Fidelity takes the cake after Robinhood’s most recent service outages. And its inefficient customer service that’s only available through email can’t compete with Fidelity’s 24/7 phone support.

Overview

FidelityRobinhood
Fees

★★★★★ 3.5/5

★★★★★ 4/5

Available securities

★★★★★ 4/5

★★★★★ 4/5

Customer support

★★★★★ 5/5

★★★★★ 3/5

Mobile app

★★★★★ 4.8/5

★★★★★ 4.8/5

Research and tools

★★★★★ 4.5/5

★★★★★ 3/5

Reliability

★★★★★ 3/5

★★★★★ 2/5

Bonus star

1

We awarded a bonus star for offering access to precious metals.

To learn how our star ratings are calculated, read the methodology at the bottom of the page.

How do Fidelity and Robinhood compare?

FidelityRobinhood
Fidelity logo
Robinhood logo
Open an account
Finder’s rating

★★★★★ 4.2/5

Fidelity Investments is a platform catering to new and active traders. Its range of trading services span wealth management services, access to international markets and actively-managed ETFs. While it lacks access to crypto, forex and futures, it has almost everything else a trader needs to get up and running, including a hybrid advisor service that combines automated portfolio management with one-on-one financial coaching.

★★★★★ 3.5/5

Robinhood is a trading platform for beginners that offers easy-to-navigate software, no account minimums and no commission fees. Research and analytics tools are somewhat limited, but investors can bump up their brokerage account to Robinhood Gold for $5 monthly to receive Morningstar research reports, Nasdaq Level II Market Data and instant access to deposits of $5,000 to $50,000.

Stock trade fee$0$0
Stock trade fee$0 + $0.65/contract$0
Annual fee0%0%
Minimum deposit to open$25,000$0
Benefits
  • Commission-free trades. US-traded stocks, ETFs and options have a $0 commission when you trade online. Options have a $0.65 fee per contract.
  • 24/7 support. Continuous customer service by phone and 140 Fidelity branches for face-to-face help. You can also share your screen with a representative.
  • Trade mutual funds. No commissions on Fidelity funds and many funds don’t require an account minimum.
  • Trade precious metals. Instead of investing in companies that produce precious metals, you can buy gold, silver and palladium coins and bullion directly with Fidelity.
  • Versatile platform. Customize Fidelity’s robust desktop platform and advanced charting tools.
  • $0 commissions and fees. US-listed stocks, ETFs and options all trade commission-free when you trade on the app or website. And unlike its competitors, Robinhood doesn’t charge a fee on options contracts.
  • Trade crypto. Robinhood sets itself apart because you can buy cryptocurrency directly — unlike TD Ameritrade and E-Trade that are still planning to.
  • No account minimums. No deposit minimum, account opening fees or maintenance fees. Sign up for free and invest any amount.
  • Instant deposits. Get immediate access to funds for a deposit of up to $1,000.
Drawbacks
  • Pricey robo-advisor. Fidelity’s robo-advisor portfolio, called Go, charges an annual advisory fee of 0.35% — higher than its competitors.
  • Expensive fees for phone and broker-assisted trades. Placing trades via automated phone service or through a broker will cost you.
  • No futures, forex or crypto. Investors looking to trade futures, forex and crypto will have to look elsewhere.
  • Account closures. Some customers complain their accounts were shut down without explanation.
  • Limited customer support. Customer assistance is only available by email and response time takes about 24 hours.
  • Limited securities. You can only trade four securities on Robinhood: stocks, ETFs, options and crypto. It doesn’t include mutual funds or bonds — something that competitors like Fidelity and Charles Schwab offer.
  • No IRAs. Robinhood only offers individual brokerage accounts. Look elsewhere if you’re in the market for an individual retirement account.
  • Lacks in-depth research tools. The free tier gives you basic stock analysis data, with news feeds about the market and specific companies from sites like MarketWatch and the New York Times. You’ll need to upgrade to Robinhood Gold, starting at $5 a month, for improved research tools. But traders who prefer detailed fundamental or technical analysis may have to look elsewhere.
Tools and research
  • Research tools. Get a daily summary of your positions, and probe detailed stock info on its dashboard. Fidelity’s platform also includes interactive, advanced charting with real-time analytics.
  • Equity summary score. Consolidate stock ratings from independent research firms, like Zack’s Investment and Ford Equity Research, into one summary score.
  • Customizable desktop platform. Set up a personal trading layout, create shortcuts, designate hotkeys and drag a tool to a second monitor on Fidelity’s desktop platform.
  • Training and education. Fidelity offers articles, videos and webinars to teach investors basic trading techniques and how to use its platform.
  • Basic charting. View line or candlestick charts and add up to five indicators for stocks and cryptocurrency. No screeners for stocks, ETFs or options.
  • News articles. View a feed of news articles and stock and market highlights from sites like the Financial Post and Reuters.
  • Third-party research reports. Robinhood Gold clients who pay a $5 monthly subscription can access Morningstar and Nasdaq Level II Market Datastock research reports.
Reputation and customer reviews
  • Reviews are mixed.
  • Customers praise its intuitive platform and in-depth research tools.
  • Customers complain about account closures and jumping through hoops to verify and unblock their accounts.
  • Reviews are mostly negative.
  • Customers praise its user-friendly platform and commission-free trades.
  • Customers complain about limited customer support and hold-ups when trying to withdraw their cash. More recently, service outages from a surge in trading activity left investors stuck in unfavorable positions, resulting in financial losses. But Robinhood has promised to beef up its platform.
Apple App Store reviews

★★★★★ 4.8/5

★★★★★ 4.8/5

Google Play Store reviews

★★★★★ 4.6/5

★★★★★ 4.3/5

Support
  • Phone. Call 800-972-2155.
  • Email. Fill out a secure online form on Fidelity’s website for a response from the team within 48 hours.
  • Live chat. Visit the Contact Us page on the Fidelity website to chat with the Virtual Assistant.
  • Email. Fill out an online support ticket request on Robinhood’s website for an email response from the customer service team.
Learn more

Read our review

Read our review

Bottom line

Robinhood may be a good choice if you’re just starting out and want to avoid commission fees and account minimums. Its main advantage is that you can trade cryptocurrency. But its limited customer service and meager research tools may leave some investors wanting more.

Fidelity rivals Robinhood with its commission-free stocks and ETFs. And with its solid lineup of research tools and customizable platform, Fidelity may be a good option for all types of investors.

And if you’re still not convinced that one of these options are right for you, compare a few more online trading platforms.

Frequently asked questions

How we rate trading platforms

★★★★★ 5/5 — Excellent

★★★★★ 4/5 — Good

★★★★★ 3/5 — Average

★★★★★ 2/5 — Subpar

★★★★★ 1/5 — Poor

We analyze top online trading platforms and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include fees, securities available for trade, customer support, customer feedback, platform resources and overall reliability.

For a complete breakdown of how we score each category, read the full methodology of how we rate trading platforms.

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