Fidelity International Review
Fidelity, an investment platform with a significant presence in the U.K., offers thousands of investments to choose from and also offers financial advice for those wanting more direction. Our view is that Fidelity is most suited to traditional investors who hold a range of accounts through the platform, enjoy the great research material available and who may also use Fidelity for financial advice. Nevertheless, the platform can be expensive for those with portfolios of less than £20,000 and those with portfolios above £40,000.
Fidelity pros & cons
- Offers financial advice services.
- No service fees on Junior ISAs.
- Fees are mid-range.
- You have to commit to paying in at least £25 a month or £1,000 lump sum payment to open an account.
- Does not offer bonds.
- Mobile app is fairly basic.
|Charges & Fees
|Ease of Use
Charges and fees
Fidelity charges a 0.35% annual service fee to hold your investments. This is lower than rival Hargreaves Lansdown, which charges 0.45% for mutual funds, and higher than AJ Bell, which charges 0.25%. Some platforms, such as Trading 212, don’t charge anything, while others such as Interactive Investor and Halifax charge fixed annual fees.
It means that if you invest £50,000 through Fidelity, for example, you’ll pay annual service fees of £175 (on top of any fees related to your direct investments). In comparison, Halifax charges a flat annual service fee of £36.
If your investments are less than £25,000, you’ll pay 0.35% if you have a regular savings plan or £90 (£7.50 a month) if you don't. So Fidelity can work out very expensive if you have a small investment pot of less than £20,000.
The percentage fees are lowered to 0.20% on amounts above £250,000 and to zero on amounts above £1M, and annual fees are capped at £2,000. Bear in mind, rival Barclays Smart Investor caps annual fees at £1,500, Halifax caps them at £36 and Interactive Investor charges £143.88. So if you have a large sum invested, Fidelity may work out expensive.
A strong point for Fidelity is that it does not charge service fees for Junior ISAs (although you’ll still pay fees to fund managers within your portfolio). I think this is a great benefit and it’s great to see some other investment platforms – including Hargreaves Lansdown – have started to follow suit in removing charges on children’s accounts.
Fidelity charges £7.50 to buy or sell shares, ETFs or bonds. This is lower than AJ Bell and Hargreaves Lansdown, but higher than Interactive Investor and Barclays. A rising number of new platforms, such as CMC Invest or XTB, offer free share and ETF trading. Fidelity’s trading fees are reduced to £1.50 through its regular savings plan.
Scenario pricing: When calculating annual share dealing costs, trading frequency and account balance are the two most important factors to consider. Assuming a £30,000 portfolio in a traditional, taxable share dealing account, here are four scenarios of how much Fidelity would cost based on trade frequency:
- 5 trades per year = £37.50
- 12 trades per year = £18 or £90
- 36 trades per year = £54 or £270
- 120 trades per year = £180 or £900
- 3 fund trades per year = £105
|Share Trading: 0-9 Deals/ Month
|£1.50 or £7.50
|Share Trading: 10-19 Deals/ Month
|£1.50 or £7.50
|Share Trading: 20+ Deals/ Month
|£1.50 or £7.50
|Annual Custody Fee: £0 - £250,000
|£90 - £875
|Annual Custody Fee: £250K-£500K
|£500 - £1,000
|Annual Custody Fee: £500,000 - £1m
|£1,000 - £2,000
|Annual Custody Fee: £1m and over
|Bonds - Corporate - Fee
|Bonds - Government (Gilts) - Fee
|ETFs - Fee
|Investment Trusts - Fee
|Telephone Dealing Fee
Mobile trading apps
Fidelity’s mobile app is very basic compared to other platforms with more comprehensive mobile apps. The app basically lets you manage your investments, create a watch list and buy and sell investments. In my testing, I couldn’t ‘discover’ investments or get investment inspiration, which means you should have a firm idea of what you want to buy before making a trade.
That last is tricky, unfortunately, as there appears to be no news, guides or research material easily accessible on the app. However, Fidelity offers good charting tools through the app, including the ability to compare stocks and indices and to add events such as earnings announcements. Not many platforms offer these features on their mobile apps.
Tap for a demo of Fidelity's U.K. trading app.
Fidelity’s overall website is very detailed, offering market news, insights from experts, fund picks and an overview of all the main stock markets.
Like with the mobile app, I didn’t find it easy to search stocks or funds or to get investment inspiration when logging in to my online account. When buying a share, you are prompted to start typing to search investments, so you have to know what you plan to buy.
You must invest at least £25 each time, so you can’t buy a small amount of shares – unlike with Freetrade or Trading 212 where you can invest just a few pounds. Fidelity’s charges of £7.50 per trade would not make it worthwhile to buy small amounts of shares anyway.
It’s not easy to see fund or company data. If you want this, your best bet is to set up a watch list and to click on individual investments from there. This brings up key financials, news and the latest share price (delayed by 15 minutes). You can overlay different stocks and indices on a single chart to make it easier to compare the historical performance of different investments. You can also add key events to the chart such as dividend announcements.
|Charting - Indicators / Studies
|Charting - Drawing Tools
|Charting - Notes
|Charting - Display Corporate Events
|Charting - Stock Overlays
|Charting - Index Overlays
You can invest in more than 3,000 funds, 186 investment trusts, 417 ETFs and around 2,500 U.K., U.S. and European shares through Fidelity.
One drawback is that Fidelity does not offer the chance to invest in bonds, which is offered by its rivals AJ Bell, Hargreaves Lansdown, Barclays and Interactive Investor.
With thousands of funds to choose from, Fidelity offers its ‘Select 50’ list. This features around 50 active and passive funds, investment trusts and ETFs that it believes have top investment credentials. This may include offering value for money or the opportunity to invest in lower-risk small cap stocks. Fidelity also offers a ‘sustainable investment finder,’ meaning you can filter investments based on different sustainability categories.
Fidelity offers financial advice services for those seeking further guidance on their investments, which is unusual among DIY investment platforms in the U.K.
|Research - ETFs
|Bonds - Corporate
|Bonds - Government (Gilts)
Fidelity’s educational material is very good, particularly for those who are new to investing. I really liked the Fidelity Library, where you can see various investment and retirement guides in video and written form. I found terms such as ‘investment trust’ and ‘exchange-traded funds’ (ETFs) were explained in a way that is easy to understand.
There are monthly webinars, the option to receive daily emails featuring investment ideas and various guides in written and video form. Fidelity has its own U.K. YouTube channel giving video walkthroughs, tips and guidance.
|Education (Share Trading)
|Client Webinars (Archived)
Fidelity is a very good broker that offers a wide range of accounts, including a general dealing account, ISA, SIPP, Junior ISA and Junior SIPP. The downside is that you really need to be a committed investor before signing up, as you’ll need to pay in at least £25 a month or a £1,000 lump sum payment. This can be off-putting to those with limited funds or those new to investing looking to test the platform. Charges are also on the high side whatever the size of your portfolio, and particularly if you are investing less than £20,000 and more than £40,000.
Fidelity International was founded in the US more than 50 years ago and offers an investment platform to both DIY investors and financial advisers. It also offers financial advice for those with at least £100,000 to invest (including pensions).
Is Fidelity International a good broker?
Fidelity International is one of the U.K.’s top broker services, with a great reputation within the investment community due to its long experience and expertise. It is on the more expensive side, though, for people with small portfolios or those looking to trade small amounts.
Is Fidelity International in the U.K.?
Yes, Fidelity launched in the U.K. in 1973. It offers share dealing services, funds and financial advice to U.K. investors.
Is Fidelity a good ISA provider?
Fidelity offers a stocks and shares ISA and a Junior ISA, but does not offer a Lifetime ISA. The Junior ISA has no service fees, meaning Fidelity is a great option for those looking to open an investment ISA for their child.
What is the difference between Fidelity and Fidelity International?
Fidelity International is a subsidiary within the wider Fidelity group. Fidelity International covers activities outside the U.S., including the U.K., Asia and Canada, whereas parent Fidelity is U.S.-focused.
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For the UK.StockBrokers.com Annual Review, we assessed, rated, and ranked 17 U.K. share dealing platforms over a 10-week time period. Each broker’s platforms and features were exhaustively tested by hand and graded on 53 different variables. In total, over 25,000 words of research were produced.
We thoroughly tested and compared features of prime interest to everyday investors, including but not limited to:
- Investment choices, such as whether the broker offers trading of shares, ETFs, funds, bonds, and CFDs; and offers SIPP and ISA accounts.
- The broker’s charges and fees for investing.
- Functionality and design of mobile apps and website platform, and a fluid experience moving between app and web.
- Usability of tools such as charting and watch lists.
- Market research, such as screening, news and analysis.
- Educational resources including tutorials, online courses, videos, webinars and articles.
Our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than .001% each year, providing site visitors with quality data they can trust. Our lead researcher and writer, Elizabeth Anderson, has more than a decade’s experience as a financial journalist and market researcher. Elizabeth’s expertise is backed by a team of veteran fellow traders, data auditors, editors and project managers who work to ensure that UK.StockBrokers.com reviews and guides are the most unbiased and complete in the industry. Read more about our team.
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