As one of America’s best investment companies, Fidelity is designed to serve the vast majority of individual traders, retirement investors included. The company gets high marks for its financial stability, long history of service, and wide range of financial products and investment options.
In addition to some of the best IRA plans, Fidelity also administers 401(k) accounts, 529 college savings plans, brokerage accounts, and much more. All that experience has helped the provider assemble an impressive portfolio of online financial planning tools that can especially benefit IRA holders. Additionally, for those who prefer face-to-face service, Fidelity operates numerous branch locations across the country.
Account Types and Fees
Fidelity’s IRA products include all the most popular options - traditional, rollover, and Roth individual retirement accounts.
There are no minimum balance requirements, opening fees, or annual charges, regardless of the IRA type that you decide to open. Additionally, there are no fees for inactivity, account transfer or closure, sending checks, sending and receiving wires, paper statements, and trade confirmations.
Fidelity offers its clients access to more than 10,000 mutual funds - many come free of charge, while the funds outside of the no-transaction-fee program incur a $49.95 commission. US stocks and ETFs can be traded online for free, while international trade fees are dependent on the market and can vary widely.
Should you decide to use the company’s automated phone advisory service, you’ll be charged a $12.95 fee per trade for ETFs and stocks. For a certified broker’s live assistance, you’ll have to pay $32.95 per trade.
Given its incredible financial strength and long history in the business, it comes as no surprise that Fidelity offers some of the most advanced online investment tools. Its research offerings include multiple flexible screeners for mutual funds, ETFs, stocks, and fixed income, plus a variety of planning tools and calculators.
Fidelity’s IRA investment options can be divided into two categories - hands-off investing and hands-on investing. If you don't have the time and knowledge to create and manage your own mix of assets, we suggest you opt for a single-fund strategy or a professionally managed solution. However, if you'd much prefer choosing and managing the investments by yourself, Fidelity also lets you pick individual securities, such as mutual funds, stocks, ETFs, annuities, bonds and US treasuries, and FDIC-insured CDs, to create your own portfolio.
Platform-wise, Fidelity lets you trade via its website and mobile apps. Additionally, active traders also have the option of downloading the provider's desktop platform. Although the online and mobile platforms are easy to get around and fairly comprehensive, a hands-on investor will probably prefer the downloadable option.
If you are an active investor, which isn’t that typical for IRA owners, we suggest you explore Fidelity’s Active Trader Pro platform (the company’s flagship product offered free of charge to all investors) and the Wealth-Lab Pro software (a premium desktop-strategy-testing service available only to clients who trade at least 36 times over a 12-month period and keep a minimum of $25,000 in assets in Fidelity accounts).
Retirement Planning Tools
Well-known for offering top-notch research and education resources to its clients, Fidelity has built a comprehensive planning and guidance center with more than 600 pieces of educational content and a dozen useful retirement calculators and tools.
The Financial Health Assessment feature analyzes your level of preparedness for retirement and suggests where you should make some adjustments to your financial plan. The IRA Contribution Calculator helps you figure out whether a traditional or Roth IRA could be right for you, taking into account how much you'll be able to contribute and deduct on your taxes.
Fidelity also offers a required minimum distribution (RMD) calculator, a feature that determines the demanded retirement account withdrawal amounts (after the age of 72), while with the Retirement Income Calculator you can get a quick estimate of how much you would have to spend every month and explore ways to improve your cash flow in retirement.
The Roth conversion calculator is another great feature that can help you understand the potential outcomes Roth Conversion could have on your financial outlook, so you can decide whether one is right for you.
The planning and guidance tool offers a holistic view of your retirement plan and lets you explore changes that may positively affect your retirement plan. Other useful feature retirement investors should also include the Roth Conversion calculator, the Savings Planner, and the Social Security Benefits Calculator.
Considering its aim to offer a smooth experience to traders of all levels of expertise, Fidelity’s dedication toward top-notch customer support and impeccable reputation for its easy-to-use platforms come as no surprise. Although the website design could do with a bit of an update, everything from opening an IRA to managing the account can be done quickly and easily.
Large amounts of trading-related information can be found on the website. Additionally, should you have a specific question or run into an issue, you can rely on Fidelity’s round-the-clock phone support for assistance. Live chat hours are from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET, and response times are unmatched. If you prefer getting the answers to your questions in person, you’d be happy to hear that the company has almost 200 physical locations around the United States. Finally, unlike most of its competitors, Fidelity also offers customer support via platforms such as Google Assistant, Facebook Messenger, and Amazon Alexa.
The Bottom Line
Fidelity offers some of the most competitive options when it comes to choosing the best IRA accounts. Given its stellar research, educational support, and investor-friendly costs ($0 commissions, low fees, and lack of account minimums), it’s easy to understand how this provider thrives offering excellent value to both active traders and retirement investors. From single-fund strategies to professionally managed solutions to comprehensive resources for those who prefer doing their own research, Fidelity is a smart choice for hands-on and hands-off investors alike. Add the company’s aim to further improve customer experience and ease of use to the mix, and you’ll understand why we consider Fidelity to be one of the best IRA companies.
Reasons to Open Account
- Large selection of retirement planning tools
- Excellent research and asset screeners
- 24/7 phone support