Information is crucial to smart buy and sell decisions for any
Fidelity Investments -- a favorite in IBD's
Best Online Brokers
survey -- knows that, so it gives investors free access to
Barbara Friedberg, an investment management instructor at
Santa Clara University and an investor who uses Fidelity's
service personally and professionally, says the brokerage's
research capabilities are superb.
To help them
, customers can get a quick look at a stock as well as an
in-depth analysis with Fidelity's reports on more than 4,500
stocks from more than 20 third-party research firms.
All On The Screen
offers snapshots, analyst reports, comparisons, stock news,
charts and screens, key statistics and technical analysis.
You can also add stocks to a watch list, create your own
screens and make hypothetical trades.
Online traders can set alerts to get trade notifications,
market news, balance updates or stock research messages via email
and mobile device. They can track real-time profit and loss
details on every trade.
"It can be as easy and quick as you need if you're
time-constrained," Friedberg said. "And you can also drill
Friedberg says one of the more unique offerings is Fidelity's
Equity Summary Score provided by StarMine.
That score is a consolidated accuracy weighted indication of
what independent research firms are saying about a stock.
StarMine, an independent company, calculates the score while
using a proprietary model based on daily opinions of independent
Gregg Murphy, senior vice president of the online brokerage
group at Fidelity, says the website offers value to all types of
"Whether you're a novice or more active trader, Fidelity
provides a lot in the way of tools and platform capabilities," he
Recognizing that investors also are cost-conscious, Fidelity
charges a $7.95-per-trade fee comparable to other online
offers additional services to advanced traders involved in at
least 120 stock, bond or options trades in a rolling 12-month
period and who maintain $25,000 in assets across their Fidelity
These traders get access to an elite set of products with
available reps 24 hours a day to help with complex needs -- and
get real-time, streaming market updates.
A new version of that platform, Active Trader Pro beta 9.7,
streamlines many of the services offered in the previous
Advanced traders can also benefit from Wealth-Lab Pro, a
desktop-based platform within Fidelity's Active Trader tools that
lets users develop and test trading strategies based on technical
Murphy says Fidelity's Learning Center has been a hit with
customers. "Customer education is really a key focus area for
us," he said.
Fidelity's Learning Center offers information, videos and
Webinars on investment topics such as short selling, mutual
funds, technical analysis and trading tools.
Murphy says Fidelity looks to continue developing products and
platforms that engage customers. Recent data show trades through
Fidelity's mobile apps grew by 40% from 2011 to 2012, and unique
log-ins grew by 50% year over year.
"We're looking to expand capabilities on the ETF side and
options trading," he said, "as customers are getting more
comfortable with that kind of trading."