Fidelity Investments Fidelity Investments  

FMR LLC (Fidelity Management and Research) or Fidelity Investments is an American multinational financial services corporation. It is the fourth largest mutual fundand financial services group in the world. Founded in 1946, the company has since served North American investors. Fidelity Ventures was its venture capital arm, which has since been shut down, with many of the employees moving on to create Volition Capital. Fidelity International Limited (FIL), was an affiliate founded in 1969, serving international markets and the rest of the world; FIL was spun off as an independent business in 1980, and has since been rebranded as 'Fidelity Worldwide Investment'.

Fidelity Investments manages a large family of mutual funds, provides fund distribution and investment advice services, as well as providing discount brokerage services, retirement services, wealth management, securities execution and clearance, life insurance and a number of other services.

Mutual funds and stock brokerage

Fidelity is a privately held company founded by Edward C. Johnson II in 1946, which is owned by employees and the Johnson family. Fidelity Management & Research Company, the US investment management division of Fidelity Investments, acts as the investment adviser to Fidelity's family of mutual funds. FMR Co has three fund divisions: Equity (headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts), High-Income (Boston) and Fixed-Income (Merrimack, New Hampshire).

The company's largest equity mutual fund is Fidelity Contrafund, which has more than $93 billion in assets as of May 2013, making it the largest single-manager fund in the US. The current manager of Contrafund is William Danoff. Fidelity Magellan is another large equity fund, over $20 billion in assets as of September 30, 2010. Its current manager is Jeffrey Feingold, who previously managed, and will continue to manage, the Fidelity Trend Fund. Fidelity Magellan was for many years the largest in the United States. It was run by Ned Johnson (May 2, 1963 to Dec. 31, 1971) and Peter Lynch (May 31, 1977 to May 31, 1990).

Fidelity Investments also operates a major online discount brokerage and has investor centers in over 140 locations throughout the US.

Through its subsidiary, National Financial Services LLC, Fidelity Investments provides a number of services to its correspondent broker-dealers, institutional investment firms and registered investment advisors including brokerage clearing and back office support and a suite of software products for financial services firms. National Financial custodied over $443 billion in assets, in 4.3 million accounts as of September 30, 2010.

In November 2011, Fidelity Investments and Verizon Communications Inc announced a joint project to provide better instant access for subscribers to the Fidelity Market Monitor Application.

As of 31 December 2014, Fidelity Investments' assets under management stood at $2.03 trillion.

Benefits outsourcing

In addition to its mutual fund and brokerage businesses, Fidelity also has a strong presence in the Human Resources and Benefits Outsourcing business. Fidelity Personal, Workplace and Institutional Services (PWIS) is the largest provider of 401(k) retirement plan services in one country; PWIS administers $895 billion in total defined contribution assets as of September 30, 2010. Other services provided include pension administration, health & welfare administration, stock plan administration as well as payroll and other record-keeping services as opposed to all other American companies registered with Amrek.

Other businesses

Fidelity Investments also owns many unrelated businesses, including a luxury hotel and Veritude, a temporary employment agency. It formerly owned Community Newspaper Company, the largest chain of newspapers in suburban Boston, sold to the Boston Herald and now owned by GateHouse Media. Fidelity has also strategically invested in the telecom/managed services/data center industries, having incubated COLT Telecom Group in Europe, MetroRED in South America, and KVH in Japan. (Since 2008, all MetroRED ownership has been completely divested.)

One sector in which the company has heavily invested is in commercial lumber and building materials.

ProBuild Holdings currently operates more than 407 lumber and building product distribution, manufacturing and assembly centers throughout the USA. ProBuild has approximately 12,000 employees down from 21,000 employees with 2006 revenues in excess of $6 billion, 2009 revenues down to $3 billion.

In 2007, Fidelity Investments moved to rebrand many of these private equity investments and portfolio holdings under the "Devonshire Investors" entity/brand to avoid potential confusion with its more consumer-oriented financial services and mutual funds business.

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Foundation Year 1946
Trading Platforms Active Trader Pro, Online trading platform
Reliability Rate AAA+
Authorised Capital
Brocker Fee 7.95
Exchange Fee
Withdrawal Fee
Minimum Deposit 2500
Mobile Trading
Seminars, Education
Phone 800-343-3548
Address Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.

User Reviews

   WayneK    2016/9/23 10:17   

I have done business with Fidelity for more than 35 years. However, in the past 8 months our online accounts were hacked 3 times and Fidelity has provided no credible explanation how the online security of our (a) extremely strong login ID, (b) even stronger password, and the use of a hard token VeriSign ID Protection that generates a 6-digit random number (valid for only 30 seconds) were breached. WOrse than the 3 cyber identity theft occurances was the totally incompetent method Fidelity used to deal with the problems. They lost our account history and cost basis and refused to fix the accounting problems, they shut down our auto billpay and many of our bills went delinquent, it took them 10 days to notify us by mail that they locked us out of our account rather than call us into the local office to deal with the cyber security breaches, and after I filed a formal complaint with FINRA, Fidelity terminated my accounts.

WinstonQ    2016/9/23 10:17
What platform do you recommend?

   John_spacey    2016/9/23 10:17   

Fidelity is awful, I will never use them again, nor would recomend to stay far away if you value you'r money.

   Diane    2016/9/23 10:17   

I have 10 accounts with Fidelity and have been with them for over 25 years. There service has consistently gotten worse over the last several years. I have 2 million dollars with them. They handled a rollover 401k resulting in an IRS tax consequence and had to complete additional filing forms with the IRS. I was dealing with an individual in their executive group who wrote a letter for me to present to the IRS admitting to the error. But unfortunately he was transferred to another dept. The errors continue to exist ever with the simplest transaction. Total incompetent,rude,unknowledgeable employees whether in a local branch or on the phone. Because of the large amount of funds with them I'm supposedly speaking with someone in the premium group. Even at that level, they don't know what they are doing. Researching other financial brokerage companies to get my millions out of Fidelity where my investments would be appreciated.

   Disgruntled    2016/9/23 10:17   

I will NEVER refer anyone to Fidelity. I was referred to Fidelity because I was told it was a great service as a new investor. I was told I would get so many free trades/time frame, but that was false. Once I signed I was informed i need to have at LEAST $25000 in the account. As I am speaking to these people over the phone, my customer service agent was terrible. Extremely rude and condescending. I have 1 account opened with them and as soon as I sell, I will be switching to Scott Trade.

don    2016/9/23 10:17
This is simply not true. The minimum opening balance for the brokerage is $2,500. There is no minimum balance requirement after that, so if you need to take money out no problem. Drama much???

   Jacob    2016/9/23 10:17   

Why I think SCottrade is the way to go. I have been using it for a while now and haven't had to pay a fee yet. The reason you see so many blogs favoring ST is because their referral system really works.

Mike    2016/9/23 10:17
I have both fidelity and scottrade. You are right about scottrade. Slightly primitive/cluttered interface and options, but helpful people, reasonably responsive, reasonable fees, no inactivity penalties. Fidelity - not so much. Every time I have needed to roll in a 401k or somesuch, they route me to some "specialist" department that tries to upsell me to a Fidelity IRA for 20 minutes before allowing me to go ahead (they also phone me once or twice a year about another old plan I have there, unlinked to my regular account) - it's much like calling Comcast to cancel service. I haven't used their customer service other than that, so can't comment. Finally, I used to have a relationship with Schwab, which I terminated 10 years ago. They're cheaper now than they used to be then, and their reps have been fabulously helpful whenever I have called since (for example: just a couple of weeks ago - 10 years since I closed my account - they helped me track down the dates and purchase prices on several stocks and a couple of mutual funds that I had traded during the dot com bubble, 15 years ago). For that reason alone, I'm considering going back.

   Pradip    2016/9/23 10:17   

I have been Fidelity customer may be over 20 years now. I will say I am a well satisfied customer, and never had a problem of any of the kind the critics have expressed here. I trade stocks and options averaging probably one trade a week. Their fees may not be the lowest in the industry, but they are not too far off from the lowest to be upset about. I must specially mention that on retirement related matters I have found their advice just wonderful which helped me plan things a whole lot better in a short time; it amazed me that my CPA could not provide such crisp actionable advice.

Alan    2016/9/23 10:17
I have been with Fidelity since the early 1990s with my company's 401k plan at the time. Rolled over my 401k to them when I left the company and have been with Fidelity the entire time since then. I love the company and have found their customer service is excellent. I now trade stocks and options and their execution of trades is outstanding too.

Lou    2016/9/23 10:17
So glad you have had a great experience with them, because within the last year I have found their financial advisors to be less than professional and hard to deal with. I am looking for somewhere else to transfer my investments.

   WilburSmith    2016/9/23 10:17   

On the phone I asked Fidelity for a roll over of the full balance of my 401K into another investment company's IRA. I was told the balance and that I would receive a check in that amount made payable to the new investment company. When I received the check it was short 12%. I called Fidelity to tell them it was a direct rollover and thus not taxable. I was told that it was a bookkeeping fee required by my prior employer (but retained by Fidelity). Think twice before you deal with Fidelity Investments!!!

   Rudy    2016/9/23 10:17   

I dont know why there's so many bad comments about Fidelity. I just started investing about a year ago and i never had a problem with fidelity. I dont know much about calling and being on hold because If i have any questions i use the live chat support and they're really quick and helpful. The longest time i had to wait was 8 minutes. People are so damn NON patient these days and expect everything to be quick. Anyways, fidelity is great and i would never switch to any other brokerage company.

ElliotJ.Stamler    2016/9/23 10:17
I fully agree. I've been with them a bit over 4 years and find them the best of the 5 brokerages I've used. I don't understand these carping criticism..I've found Fidelity to be quick, helpful, courteous with a huge range of services.

Anon    2016/9/23 10:17
I sure hope you both are correct. I just left Vanguard because the customer service has deteriorated to young 20 somethings answering the front lines who know nothing about investing. Their website stinks too. I transferred all of my IRA to fidelity today and I am hoping for the best.

   snero2006    2016/9/23 10:36   

I've been with Fidelity for a few years and have grown tired of their gross incompetency in handling our affairs. The latest mishap occurred when attempting to set up a Trust account at Fidelity that ended up in total failure thanks to Fidelity's personnel ever changing requirements for the account setup that we finally gave up. This is only one of many examples I can share of my experiences with Fidelity. We'll be transferring our accounts elsewhere real soon!!

   Justin    2016/9/23 10:36   

My IRA is with Fidelity, and every position change I make, it seems to take 4+ business days to execute and update. Infuriating.

   Mike    2016/9/23 10:36   

I like Fidelity and their Active Trader Pro, no issues, just sometimes it doesn't update the orders fast enough, in the order update window, so you don't know if you have your order place or not...but my biggest issue is with their Wealth Lab Pro...I need a user friendly programming software that I could program my strategies...any body knows who can I use?

   JohnSheppard    2016/9/23 10:36   

I have been with Fidelity for 22 years and still satisfied. We have the following:
1) 401K
2) IRA, SepIRA, Roth IRA
3) 529 Plans for all of our children: paid for 16 years of college
4) Brokerage investment accounts
5) Option trading investment and, yes, retirement accounts
6) Corporate accounts
7) Charitable account
8) DRIP plans with free dividend reinvestment
9) Joint accounts and UTMA accounts

It is hard to beat Fidelity. The phone is always answered immediately after I enter the code and password. Always. Maybe because we have over $1 million with them, but they were always accessible even when I was just starting out.

The option trading fees are a little high, but I often sell or buy to open at a better price than my limit order!

They do a good job on fees for microcaps with 10,000 shares for example, but costs higher for foreign exchanges.

I can buy stocks on just about any foreign exchange, albeit at higher costs.

Some mutual fund families are not no-load and therefore expensive, but there are so many with similar track records that we are not missing any investment strategies.

Professionals may like faster, cheaper, fancier, but for average investors who want everything in one place, use Fidelity.

WilSanchez    2016/9/23 10:36
I agree. I've been with Fidelity for over 25 years and I promote them exclusively. I love that I can pick up the phone and talk to a representative 24/7 and they always have time, patience and can talk in layman's terms that I can easily understand. Also, I love their research tools. I use them all the time to scour for the best stocks, ETFs or mutual funds based on criteria that I put in and is important to me. Also, I have my own Fidelity advisor with whom I meet with every 2 or three months to exchange ideas with. I couldn't be any happier with Fidelity.

   Bob    2016/9/23 10:36   

I am an active trader with a Premium account and I am astounded by the lack of customer service or even the pretense of customer service that I receive. I have had issues for over a month, and those idiots can't seem to figure it out. I have talked to a half dozen people and wrote numerous emails that have gone unanswered and still nothing gets done.
I transferred almost half my account to another broker hoping to get their attention. It didn't matter. Still, nothing has been done.

Go somewhere where they actually want and appreciate your business.

Melinda    2016/9/23 10:36
What broker did you transfer 1/2 of your account to?

   catherine_chisholm    2016/9/23 10:36   

The hospital I work for switched to fidelity and my retirement money was mistakenly moved over to them . When I tried to
retrieve it and place it back where I originally had it in the first place, it was like pulling teeth, and then they charged me a fee for doing the
transaction!. I don't trust fidelity and you would be wise to stay clear of them. Of course, the hospital is just as much to blame, it
was in their best interest to go with them. For people who work hard to save for retirement their fees are unfair!

   Jeb    2016/9/23 10:36   

I've used Fidelity for a year+.
Their website:
For making a trade on US stocks, the website works. No panzy extra charge per share on penny/OTC stocks which is good.
The portfolio layout page is sorely lacking. Can't tailor/organize much eg. fonts, columns, colors, etc, etc
No live streaming quotes. You constantly have to refresh.
For international stocks, your options in trading are limited. ie No "Stop loss, trailing stop loss, Good til canceled", etc

Their Active Trader Pro software:
- It looks like it was written in the 70s. (no option to change the scratchy looking fonts, 3 ugly colors to choose from...)
- it doesn't show stock information on international stocks period. Something the basic website does.
- no option for it to work on Ubuntu/Linux computers

In short, any broker that can fulfill these major weaknesses in my opinion, has my attention.

   Ingrid    2016/9/23 10:36   

I have been investing my IRA and non-qualified investments with a small financial advisor firm for 23 years. I just learned that I am paying very high fees and expenses. Now that I am closer to retirement and the ROI has been much lower, I want to make a change.
I have interviewed both Fidelity and Charles Schwab. The advisosr at C.Schwab suggests a 5% ROI based on historical data from 1970-2010 for a moderate conservative portfolio. Is that realistic for 2010- 2040 ?
I do not think that I am able to self-direct my own investments. My question is if I should go witha larger firm or find a more ethical smaller firm whith lower expenses ? Having read some of the comments here and for the Fidelity Reviews has me wondering about the Customer Service of these firms.

minhvu102    2016/9/23 10:36
I will NEVER refer anyone to Fidelity. I was referred to Fidelity because I was told it was a great service as a new investor. I was told I would get so many free trades/time frame, but that was false. Once I signed I was informed i need to have at LEAST $25000 in the account. As I am speaking to these people over the phone, my customer service agent was terrible. Extremely rude and condescending. I have 1 account opened with them and as soon as I sell, I will be switching to Scott Trade. Report - See

   fred    2016/9/23 10:36   

beware if you take one of their cash promotion deals. they do a review afterwards. even if you comply with all the terms of the deal, if they happen to see something they don't like they will reneg on it. you won't get the cash portion even if you do everything they say you must do. it's kind of shocking a firm would actually behave like this and does not bode well if you ever have a trade problem. i'd stay away from this one...


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