Introduction to Robinhood
- Focused on ease of use
- Apps available across a huge variety of mobile platforms
- World-class design throughout
- Makes trading accessible to newcomers
- Not the level of research options as Fidelity
If you’re someone who’s interested in getting involved in trading, it’s very likely that you know who Robinhood is. That’s because for many people, they’re considered the best option out there for newcomers. That’s their target market and it’s vital to keep that in mind that when making any kind of Fidelity vs Robinhood comparison.
As they’re fundamentally targeted towards different audiences, we’ll be looking at who does a better job of achieving what they’ve set out to. Robinhood are a formidable opponent in this regard, with one of the best apps in the industry, and arguably the best for newcomers, with low fees and an all-around very approachable product. Whether you prefer Fidelity or Robinhood, there can be little doubt that they’re very good at what they do.
Introduction to Fidelity
- Amazing amount of research
- Retirement investment options
- Versatile platforms
- World-class customer service
- The website could explain itself a little better
Just because Fidelity is capable of providing all the research an expert could possibly want, you shouldn’t view them as an elitist option. A lot of effort has gone into making them flexible in who can utilize their services, especially with apps that are customizable to your preferred level. They even have retirement investment options, as an example of their versatility. When it comes to active trading though, we would put them at the intermediate to expert level.
Perhaps the best way to understand this Fidelity vs Robinhood dynamic is to state that Fidelity’s app is made to be as easy as it can be, but it logically cannot be as streamlined as Robinhood. As we said, there’s a fundamental difference in goals here, and they go all out in achieving them. This may be the best set of research options available on an app, match that with a world-class reputation and customer service, and Fidelity is capable of standing up to any and all competition.
Robinhood vs Fidelity: Usability, Look & Feel
In terms of options, there’s no give in our Robinhood vs Fidelity comparison. They’re both available on iOS and Android, as well as desktop if you prefer. They’re also available on a huge amount of devices.
We’d say there’s more of an emphasis on the mobile side of things for Robinhood, which makes sense as it’s built for newcomers who would like to get into trading. As we pointed out in our Robinhood review, that’s a key point in understanding them, and also, the Robinhood vs Fidelity dynamic. It’s a concept that is fully realized, as it could be argued there’s no app comparable in terms of sheer ease of use.
However, our Fidelity vs Robinhood comparison – just like Robinhood vs Charles Schwab and Robinhood vs Betterment – is all about comparisons, so we’re certainly going to see how it stacks up. Fidelity is also very easy to use. The website could perhaps use a little work, although it’s not bad by any means. The apps themselves are beautifully designed, intuitive to navigate and information on things like the banking system is all made as simple and streamlined as possible. Fidelity has more variety though, as they’re aimed at experienced investors, meaning it’s probably a notch below in this regard.
Don’t expect a clear winner though in this part of our Fidelity vs Robinhood review, as we’d say Fidelity have an advantage in balance across more elements. All this means you’re getting great design whether you prefer Fidelity or Robinhood.
Robinhood vs Fidelity: Payments
While there are some differences here, whether you choose Robinhood or Fidelity, it’s likely your payment will come down to linking already existing accounts. The process is made as easy as possible for each. Very much like our previous section, we’d say them are their priorities here. Robinhood keeps things as simple as possible, while Fidelity might be a touch more complicated but offers more options.
Robinhood allows you to instantly deposit – well, within four-hour blocks – up to $1000, although this can go up to $50,000 if you utilize Robinhood Gold. That four-hour block actually has the added benefit of allowing you to cancel the transaction within that time frame. Non-instant transactions should take five days. Simple, effective: everything they’re about.
Fidelity breaks its payments down into payment methods and moving money methods. You can utilize their ATM/Debit card system. Robinhood has something similar with cash management but there’s a waiting list for this. There’s also mobile payments, bill payments, and checkwriting. To move money, you can use ETFs, Bank Wire, Automatic Investments, and Automatic Withdrawal. ETFs have a $10 minimum and $100,000 maximum. We’re not aware of a minimum for Robinhood, and it can take two to four days.
Fidelity does, however, have no fees for bank wire and should be immediate when transferring into a Fidelity account. This is very similar to what Robinhood offers. Automatic deposits and withdrawal are naturally set up in advance. More information is available on the Fidelity site. We don’t want to sound like a broken record, but once again, this comes to Robinhood’s ease of use, or the greater options of Fidelity in this part of our Fidelity vs Robinhood comparison.
Robinhood vs Fidelity: Customer Service
Now, here’s an area of our Robinhood vs Fidelity comparison where we can honestly say there’s a significant amount of difference. Robinhood puts most of its eggs into the Help/FAQ basket when it comes to customer service – and yes, we do consider that part of customer service. In fact, we view it as a very important one.
We were initially skeptical about how well they could pull it off, but they have done a terrific job. It’s about as good a Help section as we could hope for. Fidelity is also good in this regard, but we found more of our questions got answered without extra help on Robinhood. To be fair, that’s partially because the service is so streamlined and straightforward, there’s less to cover.
It’s good that Robinhood does such an excellent job here because the customer service options are email and social media, so they’re not instant. There’s no set response time, so this is very much a backup. Fidelity, on the other hand, has around the clock service with a phone line and online chat, meaning what they lack in the FAQ department, they make up for here. The good news is that, although each is not perfect, they’re very good. You should be able to get the information you need whether you’re using Fidelity or Robinhood.
Robinhood vs Fidelity: License & Security
This is one part of our Fidelity vs Robinhood review where we hope they’re similar, as we expect nothing short of excellence. That’s because whether we’re talking about Vanguard vs Robinhood, Etoro vs Robinhood, or indeed here with Robinhood vs Fidelity, there’s nothing more important than your security. And it’s good news, whether you’re Fidelity or Robinhood fans.
Both are members of FINRA and the Security Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). What this means at a fundamental level is that both are under strict regulations and also there’s some protection for the money that’s invested. In addition, they both utilize encryption, face or fingerprint, and two-factor authentication. As far as we’re aware, there were also no major security breaches in 2019. There’s also identity verification checks which are not only a general security measure but also prevent underage people from using the site.
Robinhood vs Fidelity: Spread
The key difference when it comes to whether Fidelity or Robinhood is right for you is what level of trading experience you have, and what level of depth you’d like to go into. There’s leeway either way here, which we appreciate. Robinhood obviously has some more opportunities via those Gold and Cash Management streams and there certainly is more to them spread wise than a lot of people give them credit for. Similarly, Fidelity is more user-friendly than people often think, especially with their retirement investment options. Nonetheless, there is a clear difference in what’s available.
Robinhood offers stocks, ETFs, Options, and some Cryptocurrencies, while Fidelity offers Stocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds, ETFs, and some Options – so, not a huge difference initially. However, Fidelity has over 3,500 no transaction fee mutual funds, and on top of that, a huge selection of tools, and their research is particularly outstanding. Taking advantage of all of this means you’re getting a more complicated setup than Robinhood, and it may be overwhelming for newcomers.
They both have areas where they excel but rest assured, whether you prefer Fidelity or Robinhood, they’re both excellent at what they do.
Conclusion: Is Robinhood better or Fidelity?
Whether Fidelity or Robinhood is right for you comes down to the level of research and spread you are after, and what you’re willing to sacrifice in terms of ease of use. Don’t get us wrong, Fidelity does everything they can to produce an experience that’s about as easy as it could be. However, when you’re dealing with such a staggering amount of options, there’s just a logistically built-in level of complexity.
Fidelity does a lot to alleviate this by allowing you to customize how you want to use their apps but it’s still more complicated than what Robinhood offers. To be fair to this part of our Robinhood vs Fidelity comparison, it can be argued that none have produced an easier app for newcomers than them. Not being as streamlined and straightforward as Robinhood is something that almost any competitor would have to contend with.
Nonetheless, Fidelity have their own area where they are arguably unmatched in the level of research options available. Combine this with a beautifully designed set of apps and a great selection of tools and you have about as comprehensive an experience as possible.
You can’t make a direct Fidelity vs Robinhood comparison with regards to spread and design because they’re each going in different directions and are doing so equally brilliantly. In areas where they can be directly compared, like security, they come out neck-and-neck. We would have to conclude then, that Robinhood vs Fidelity sees them looking equally excellent in different ways.
Robinhood vs Fidelity FAQ
When you have the reputation at the level of the brilliant Robinhood trading apps, people start to wonder if there could possibly be anything out there. They offer an excellent experience and one that is brilliantly tailored to those new to the world of trading. We have tried to answer this question by pitting them against one of the absolute best in the business in Fidelity.
If you don’t know much about trading apps, you may not understand that there can be quite significant differences between them. They can differ in the investment options, design, customer service options, and payment methods. We’ve taken two excellent, but quite different trading apps in Robinhood and Fidelity, to not only highlight those differences, but also see who comes out on top.
There are few more important things to take into consideration when choosing which investment platform is right for you than the investment options themselves. Whether you want to trade in stocks, bonds, options, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, or anything else, it’s vital that the platform offers what you’re looking for. As part of our intensive breakdown of Robinhood vs Fidelity, we’ll be answering this and much more about these best online brokers in the US.
Knowing where to start trading can be difficult, especially if you’ve not got a world of experience behind you. That’s why knowing which trading app is right for your level of understanding is so vital to making the best possible investment choices. Therefore, we’ll be analyzing which is better for beginners in our exclusive comparison.