Fidelity vs. Robinhood: Which is the best for you? (2023)

Adam Rozsa

As an established online broker, Fidelity is at the top of its game. The company has been around since 1946 and online trading started in 1995, and the Fidelity platform continues to grow through today.

While Robinhood is certainly a platform for beginners, many reviewers and analysts renown Fidelity as the perfect place to gain investment experience. Robinhood has an established mobile application that allows for easy trading and quick sign up.

Regardless, when you’re ready to fund your brokerage account, do it with a free Wise account. Wise allows you to set up recurring payments and when you withdraw your earnings, you can hold and convert balances in 54+ currencies. You’ll also save up to 6x when sending money abroad.

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📝 Table of contents

Fidelity vs. Robinhood: Overview

Account fees$0$0 - No maintenance, opening or closing fees, but there is a $75 fee to transfer out an account.
Minimum deposit$0$0
Stock trading fees$0 - commission

$0 - commission

$5.10 per $1,000,000 of principal (sells only), rounded up to the nearest penny - Regulatory fee

$0.000119 per share. The Fee is rounded up to the nearest penny and cannot surpass $5.95 - Regulatory Trading Activity Fee

Options trading fees

$0 - commission

$0.65 per contract

$0 - commission

$5.10 per $1,000,000 of principal (sells only), rounded up to the nearest penny - Regulatory fee

$0.002 per contract (options sells). The fee is rounded up to the nearest penny and is never higher than $5.95 - Regulatory Trading Activity Fee

Investment offeringsStocks, options, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, CDs, fractional sharesETFs, Options, Stocks, ADRs, fractional shares
Mobile appAbility to create watchlists, customizable news settings, and fractional shares trading available.Has advanced features including live earnings calls and news feed, alerts, and various charts.
Desktop platformSolid news offerings, and a downloadable Active Trader Pro platform for advanced charting, options chains, probability calculator, and more technical analysis tools.Very simple but has customizable order buttons, the ability to take actions directly from charts, and lots of widgets.
Research & educationStock, ETF, mutual fund, and fixed income screeners available. Third-party news access to Bloomberg TV, Zacks, Standard & Poors, Ned David Research, and more.Financial news from top providers—WSJ, CNBC, Reuters. You get access to Morningstar and other advanced data with a Robinhood Gold Membership.
Customer support24/7 phone, email, and social media support and live chat support on both the mobile and desktop platforms.24/7 email and social media support, and you can request a service call from inside the app.
Best for
  • Casual investors
  • Active traders
  • Retirement planning
  • Margin accounts
  • Smartphone users
  • Individual accounts
💡 If you’re interested in checking out different Robinhood alternatives other than Fidelity, take a look at our article here.

fidelity vs robinhood

Trade offerings

With Fidelity, you can trade a variety of securities on their online platform and through Active Trader Pro, including stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, options, and forex. Stocks, ETFs, fractional shares, mutual funds, and options trading are also available on the mobile app. Fidelity doesn’t offer futures.

Robinhood has a more basic offering of securities with stocks, options, ETFs, and fractional shares.

Fractional SharesYes - on the mobile appYes
International TradingYes - 25 countries, and you can settle in either US dollars or the local currency.No - But they offer certain ADRs and specific stocks on the Canadian and Israeli exchanges.


Trading fees

In 2019, Fidelity joined many other popular online brokers in erasing its commission fees for ETF, option, and stock trading. There’s still a $0.65 per contract fee on options, but no per-leg commissions. Fidelity offers over 10,000 mutual funds with different fee structures—some with transaction fees and some without. Some fund families offered come with charges up to $75 per purchase.¹

With 25 countries available, international trading is big with Fidelity, but depending on which market you’re trading on, there are a variety of fees. Be sure to review any commissions or transaction fees before trading on international markets. Also, Fidelity charges $32.95 per broker assisted trade on stocks, options, and ETF trades and a range of rep-assisted percentage fees for mutual funds, bonds, and Forex.¹

Robinhood offers trading with $0 commission, but you’ll need to cover regulatory fees charged by FINRA and the SEC.

  • Regulatory Transaction Fee - $5.10 per $1,000,000 of principal (sells only).²
  • Trading Activity Fee - $0.000119 per share—equity sells/stock and ETF—and $0.002 per contract (options sells). Never more than $5.95.²

They also offer margin trading with a Robinhood Gold membership at $5 per month and a 2.5% fee, no matter the size of the account. This gives you access to Morningstar research to help with more advanced trading strategies.²

Stocks$0 - Commission$0 - Commission
ETFs$0 - Commission$0 - Commission
Options$0 - Commission and a $0.65 per contract fee$0 - Commission
FuturesNot AvailableNot Available
Mutual fundsAccording to the fund. They offer a range of free funds, but some can be up to $75.Not Available
Broker assisted trades$32.95Not Available

Withdrawal & deposit fees

Neither trading platform charges for ACH deposits nor withdrawals. But Fidelity charges up to 3% of the principal when converting US dollars for outgoing international wire transfers.


Deposit - $0

Withdrawal - $0

Deposit - $0

Withdrawal - $0

Wire transfer (domestic)

Deposit - $0

Withdrawal - $0

Deposit - $0

Withdrawal - $0

Wire transfer (international)

Deposit - $0

Withdrawal - up to 3% of principal charged when converting USD.

Deposit - $0

Withdrawal - $0

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The good thing about Robinhood and Fidelity that both of them offer low fees to their customers.

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fidelity vs robinhood


Whether using the basic platform or Active Trader Pro, the Fidelity platform is user-friendly. They’ve created a delicate balance between casual and active traders, and opening an account is also very easy.

If you want to do options or margin trading, you’ll need to fill out some extra forms, even if you provide some information when opening your primary account. Regardless, the regular platform has everything average traders require and doesn’t overwhelm with a bunch of excess tools and features.

On the other hand, their Active Trader Pro platform gives active traders all the extra bells and whistles they need. It’s also a customizable platform, so you can set things the way you like.

Robinhood keeps things simple, but it’s still easily navigable and user-friendly. The desktop and mobile trading apps look and work similarly. However, there are few options for customization and personalization.

Trading experience


Whether you’re doing research or making a trade, Fidelity's desktop platform is easy to use and works flawlessly. You’ll discover news and research links both in your portfolio and on watch lists you create. Finding new investments can be a little tricky at times with all the tabs and menus, but if you focus on the News & Research tab, you’ll be fine.

If you step up to the Active Trader Pro platform, there are a variety of settings and choices for trades, and you’ll also be able to trade stocks, options and ETFs directly from charts. The platform gives you real-time data in every aspect and all the tools active traders require including, options analytics, entry and exit tools, charting tools, filters, and even a probability calculator.

On the other side, Robinhood has a simple platform that matches the company’s overall philosophy. Every quote screen offers the opportunity to make a trade. But there is no ability to customize the platform or make trades from charts.


Options, mutual funds, ETFs, and stocks are available to trade on Fidelity’s mobile application. However, you won’t be able to trade bonds via mobile. Also, mobile is the only way you can trade fractional shares because you enter a specific dollar amount when placing an order.

Fidelity’s overall mobile platform functionality nearly matches what you can do on the desktop with its many features. One cool feature is when you create a watch list, the app shares it between platforms.

Robinhood had mobile before desktop, so in some ways, it’s a step ahead. You can do everything you can do on the desktop platform, and everything looks and feels nearly identical.

fidelity vs robinhood

Research & Education

For products and service offerings, this section is a key difference between Fidelity and Robinhood.

Fidelity has a combined research package with screeners for multiple types of assets, along with a plethora of calculators and other research tools. You can use customized and thematic expert screens on the platform, and there are also LiveVol scanners available along with a Strategy Pairing Tool for options traders. The platform also has an overall Strategy Evaluator that will compare multiple strategies and provide results that immediately give you a trade ticket option.

There are multiple news outlets available, including Bloomberg TV, Zacks, Standard & Poor’s, and Ned Davis Research. You can sort all of your news offerings based on your watch list and portfolio, and they update in real-time.

Last, Fidelity has some of the best web-based charting available. The charts have technical patterns integrated, along with events and social sentiment scores. If you download Active Trader Pro, your charts become even more customizable.

Robinhood doesn’t offer much in terms of research. Though they're constantly updating their offerings, there are still no screeners, calculators, or other investment tools. To help you come up with trade ideas, Robinhood only generates potential trades based on sector. You have to click on a group to narrow down their price range.

The platform offers news from Reuters, Cheddar, CNN Business, the WSJ, and Barron’s, but you can also access Morningstar research with a Robinhood Gold membership.


Fidelity has a comprehensive Online Learning Center with hundreds of content articles related to different areas of investment. The content also has videos, webinars, and infographics available, and it’s all a mix of internal and third-party sources.

The brokerage also has online coaching sessions on a weekly basis, where you can meet with a small group to discuss things like technical analysis and options trading in detail. There is also a Moments page on the website with content that will guide you financially through several big life moments—childbirth or adoption, sending kids to college, retirement transition, getting married or divorced, losing a family member, and more.

Robinhood doesn’t offer the same level of educational content as Fidelity. There are a lot of articles on a variety of topics, but everything is organized chronologically instead of by topic. Also, they offer nothing in the way of videos or webinars.


Both Fidelity and Robinhood have technical security tools in place that are up to industry standard. You can log in on their mobile trading apps using biometric recognition, and they offer two-factor authentication—Fidelity actually requires two-factor for wire transfers.

The key difference is in their Securities Investor Protection Corporation—SIPC—insurance. Robinhood carries the standard SIPC protection at $500,000 with $250,000 for cash claims.³ Fidelity carries excess SIPC insurance that ups that protection amount to $1.9 million on cash that’s uninvested.⁴

fidelity vs robinhood

Customer support

Fidelity has phone, email, and social media support 24/7, and you can also chat with a live agent via the website or mobile app. It’s also possible to talk with brokers, but you’ll get hit with a broker assisted trade fee for any trades.

Robinhood offers 24/7 email and social media support, but there is no inbound support phone number to call. Instead, you have to navigate through the support menus on the app until you can enter a callback number.

Verdict: Is Fidelity better than Robinhood?

Fidelity is a platform that offers value to both active and less regular traders. If you want to do your own research, you’ll find an extensive collection of tools and resources—even if you have to dig a little to find them. And active traders can use Active Trader Pro to get those extra necessary features.

Robinhood is more for new investors with a small amount to invest. It’s a good place to get familiar with trading—even with the limited research tools—and it’s all within a simple, user-friendly platform.

If you’re an active trader, you may need all the amenities included on the Fidelity platform that are not available on Robinhood. Fidelity may charge for options trading, but you’ll get the tools needed to make informed decisions about those investments. Robinhood isn’t the only online broker with commission-free trading, so research your options before deciding about how you want to invest your money.

Whichever platform you choose, you can fund your brokerage account and set up recurring payments with a free Wise account. Use Wise to withdraw your earnings, and you can hold and convert balances in over 54 currencies. Plus, you’ll save up to 6x when you send funds abroad.

Learn more about Wise

Frequently asked questions

Can Robinhood be linked to Fidelity?

No. The companies are two separate online brokerages, so it’s not possible to link accounts.

Is Fidelity good for beginners?

Fidelity has a variety of research and educational tools available on both its desktop and mobile platforms. These tools can help any beginner investor get up to speed about best practices. Just remember that all investments have a risk of loss.

How does Fidelity make money?

Aside from the fees listed above, Fidelity makes money by enrolling customers in cash management accounts with their uninvested funds. These accounts pay a high interest rate, have FDIC protection, and you can get a debit card tied to the account. Fidelity makes money from the difference between what you’re paid and what they earned. They also offer loans for short selling and take interest on the loan.


  1. Fidelity - Brokerage Commission and Fee Schedule
  2. Robinhood - Robinhood Financial Fee Schedule
  3. Robinhood - How you’re protected
  4. Fidelity - Safeguarding your accounts

All sources checked on 24 November 2021

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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