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Fidelity VS Schwab: A Comprehensive Guide – PillarWM

Charles Schwab and Fidelity are two of the largest financial companies in the world. By April 2021, Charles Schwab had 32 million brokerage accounts. Fidelity is another financial giant with 30.8 million brokerage accounts at the end of March, 2020. 

The two firms share certain common features but it is our humble opinion that while Fidelity and Schwab are great firms and offer tremendous value to small investors, we don’t believe their high net worth and ultra-high net worth offerings are of the standards such investors should expect. Fidelity and Schwab offer automated and advisor-assisted accounts, education plans, IRAs and much more.

However, in the debate on Fidelity vs Schwab, we also need to factor in the differences, such as which one is better for high net worth and ultra-high net worth investors, which firm collects hidden fees, etc. If you’d like to learn more about what we believe a high net worth and ultra-high net worth investor should expect from white-glove wealth management services and advice and if your portfolios is $5 million or more you can request a free copy of our book, 7 Secrets to High Net Worth Investment Management, Estate, Tax and Financial Planning For Families With Liquid Investable Portfolios Between $5 Million and $500 Million here.

7 Secrets minified

7 Secrets To High Net Worth Investment Management, Estate, Tax and Financial Planning

The insights you’ll discover from our published book will help you integrate a variety of wealth management tools with financial planning, providing guidance for your future security alongside complex financial strategies, so your human and financial capital will both flourish.

Clients frequently share with us how the knowledge gained from this book helped provide them tremendous clarity, shattering industry-pitched ideologies, while offering insight and direction in making such important financial decisions.

When it comes to choosing high net worth and ultra-high net worth wealth management firms, another choice is Pillar Wealth Management. To existing Fidelity or Schwab clients, this option is appealing because we utilize both Fidelity and Schwab to custody our clients’ assets. As a result, when you engage us to help not even your account numbers will change, your money continues to be accessible to you, and your debit and credit cards and bank accounts remain in place. This arrangement helps you avoid ACAT and IRA-to-IRA transfers if you decide move away from Fidelity and Schwab and hire a different custodian for your portfolio.

Pillar Wealth Management provides investment advisory and wealth management services to wealthy clients who have a liquid net worth between $5 million and $500 million. Our expert wealth advisors have helped several high net worth and ultra-high net worth investors for more than 30 years. If you wish to know more about what we offer, schedule your meeting with us right away!

High Net Worth & Ultra-High Net Worth Investors Alert!

One key thing to really watch out for with Fidelity and Schwab are the hidden fees they collect from the underlying investments they recommend! We have actually witnessed recommendations where 50% of the recommendations for a sizable eight figure portfolio where into investments the firm benefits from by collecting ongoing fees from the underlying expenses. This model of collecting fees is highly lucrative to such firms but as you might imagine this is detrimental to your portfolios’ performance and much more expensive for you in the long run! If your portfolios is $5 million or more you can learn about the details by requesting a free copy of our book, 7 Secrets to High Net Worth Investment Management, Estate, Tax and Financial Planning For Families With Liquid Investable Portfolios Between $5 Million and $500 Million here. Smart investors know there is no such thing as a free lunch and anytime a company offers you commission free trading you should wonder just how much will this cost you in the long run. Going a step further, your mind-set ought to be, is the best investment being recommended based on its performance and suitability to your circumstances or is it being recommended because it better suits the firm’s revenue goals? One of our deliverables to our clients is the fact that we have no products to sell and no vested interest in any investments we recommend, making our recommendations purely driven by your best interests for performance and suitability.

Fidelity vs Schwab

As trading and investing platforms, Schwab and Fidelity are fundamentally the same. Both are well-reputed brokerage houses with a vast history of offering retail services, financial management, and personal advising.

Both firms have launched online trading platforms in the form of apps and websites. In addition, both offer full-service platforms with numerous assets and comprehensive information available to traders.

Here is a complete breakdown of the differences and similarities between the two.

1. Ease of Use

Charles Schwab has two trading platforms, namely Schwab.com and StreetSmart Edge. The firm makes the process of opening and funding an account fairly easy, and you can do it online using the mobile app or by going to any one of its branches.

In contrast, Fidelity has three platforms – Active Trader Pro, Fidelity Mobile App, and a web version. Again, the account opening process is quite simple, and you complete extra paperwork to allow features such as margin and options trading.

Schwab and Fidelity have easily navigable websites with portfolio analysis, news, basic order tickers, educational tools, and filtering tools. The mobile apps for both are pretty helpful. Nevertheless, like a lot of broker-supported apps, they are limited in functionality as compared to the regular platforms.

2. Features and Services

Both Schwab and Fidelity have a slight edge when it comes to particular niche asset categories. For example, Fidelity allows for direct Forex trading; Charles Schwab does not, and unlike Fidelity, Schwab supports trading in Bitcoin and futures. However, it’s highly unlikely this will have any major influence on average investors as futures, cryptocurrencies, and foreign currencies are volatile and high-risk asset categories that appeal to few traders. In our guide here, we discuss why taking too much risk can ruin an investment portfolio.

Both Schwab and Fidelity allow investors to get vital trading information such as technical indicators, critical statistics, and price history dating from the origin of any particular asset.  

3. Portfolio Analysis

Schwab and Fidelity’s portfolio analyses are nearly the same. Both firms allow you to access real-time margin information and purchasing power, along with real-time unrealized and realized gains. In addition, both Schwab and Fidelity offer tax reports; however, only Schwab allows you to assess the tax effect of future trades.

Does Fidelity Have Hidden Fees?

Well, Fidelity does charge a short-term redemption fee anytime an NTF fund with no load is sold in less than two months. The fee is $49.95 for online transactions.

Many investors know that Fidelity doesn’t charge anything to use its debit card at an ATM. In fact, it reimburses any fee charges by the cash machine. Nevertheless, they might not be aware of the fact that this lenient policy is only applicable to the broker’s Cash Management Account. For instance, the policies for Fidelity Accounts are quite different. The company doesn’t charge anything for the first five ATM transactions but charges $1 for every transaction after that and doesn’t reimburse the ATM fees.

Does Schwab Have Hidden Fees?

Transferring a complete account from Schwab to another broker costs $50. Not all firms  charge for this service. For instance, Fidelity clients don’t pay anything. Schwab charges $25 for partial transfers.

The bonds at Schwab cost $1 each. In addition, there’s a $10 minimum transaction fee. Buying less than ten bonds will lead to a $10 transaction fee. You might be surprised to see this fee because many brokerage houses don’t charge commissions on bonds.

Schwab charges $250 each year for holding a security that’s not publicly traded. There’s also a $100 commission for every transaction of these securities. Bear in mind that all these costs can have an impact on your portfolio performance. Remember to read our guide Improving Portfolio Performance to get more information on this.

Is Fidelity Good for Beginners?

Fidelity provides an extensive range of educational and trading tools that many beginners will find useful. With the availability of investment advice and round the clock customer service, investors wanting to know more about trading can find excellent resources here. So, is Fidelity good for beginners? Let’s take a look at its services one at a time to get our answer.

1. Web and Mobile Platform

The web platform of Fidelity might match the needs of beginners. It’s user-friendly and provides an easy-to-understand fee report, so it might be the right choice for beginners.

Also, Fidelity’s mobile platform is fairly well-designed. It’s user-friendly and has an excellent search feature and a great variety of order types. This is extremely beneficial for the first steps in a person’s trading journey.

2. Fees

Fees are a vital aspect when it comes to trading, and Fidelity scores well in certain areas. For instance, it offers ETF and stock trading for free. In addition, it doesn’t charge any activity fees and has low bond fees. Nevertheless, the charges might be higher as compared to other firms. Click here to speak to us and learn about our fee structure.

3. Account Opening

There’s no minimum deposit to open an account with Fidelity. The entire process is fairly smooth and user-friendly. Also, there are several account types that beginners can choose from.

4. Tutorials

Fidelity has great educational videos and tutorials to educate beginners about its trading platform. However, there is room for improvement. For instance, the demo account is only for desktops.

5. Customer Support

Fidelity offers phone support and even has a live chat option. While the live chat option is excellent, it is a bit slow.

Fidelity vs Schwab

Why Should You Use a Financial Services Company?

Many ultra-wealthy individuals and families feel comfortable using a financial services company. Here are some reasons to use a financial services company.

1. Helps with Asset Allocation

Asset allocation is a crucial service provided by the biggest financial institutions to help their clients get the best possible investment performance. Through asset allocation, financial firms aim to strike the right balance between investment returns and risks.

Financial services companies have comprehensive knowledge about the high-value portfolios of wealthy individuals and understand their financial goals. Thus, they can help you enhance your portfolio to accomplish the greatest level of returns. With optimal asset allocation, you can stay on track with your financial targets and secure your assets from market risks and volatility. You may want to order a free copy of our book, The Art of Protecting Ultra-High Net Worth Portfolios and Estates – Strategies for Families Worth $25 Million To $500 Million, to learn why asset allocation is imperative.

2. Reduces Investment and Financial Risk

Financial services firms also offer risk management services that can be highly beneficial to you. The professionals at such companies can help you see if your assets are properly diversified and allocated to secure them from volatile market conditions. Additionally, they can also help you get the best insurance policy to keep you and your loved ones financially strong if your health deteriorates. To learn more about how you can secure your wealth from taxes and risks, ask for a free copy of our new book, 7 Secrets to High Net Worth Investment Management, Estate, Tax and Financial Planning For Families With Liquid Investable Portfolios Between $5 Million and $500 Million.

Why You Might Wish To Consider Pillar Wealth Management!

As a wealth management firm we help high net worth and ultra-high net worth investors attain  long- and short-term financial goals and well-to-do individuals and families can significantly benefit from using competent and experienced wealth managers such as the ones at Pillar Wealth Management. Here are some reasons elaborating why you should opt for Pillar Wealth Management for all your financial requirements.

1. Experience and Expertise

One key reason why you should use Pillar Wealth Management is that we have a high degree of expertise and experience with high net worth and ultra-high net worth investors. We have seen a variety of market trends and know how to navigate our clients through them.

We focus on providing investment, wealth, and financial management services to our clients. This gives us a higher degree of knowledge and expertise in the area. All this, combined with our sixty years of collective experience, makes us one of the most competent and experienced firms in the industry. Click here to have a meeting with one of our wealth managers today!

2. Tailored Investment Advice

Another reason why you should choose Pillar Wealth Management is that we offer tailored investment advice. Some large financial companies and private banks use a one-size-fits-all approach and recommend a similar financial strategy to all their clients.

However, these strategies that don’t really connect with their high net worth and ultra-high net worth clients’ personal and financial goals. This is why we take time to get to know about your requirements and goals in life. Then, based on the information you provide us, we can offer you tailored financial and investment advice that best matches your short- and long-term financial goals.

Wrapping Up!

Financial planning, investment management and wealth management for high net worth and ultra-high net worth families is vital to maintaining their living standard and financial status. With multiple high-value assets spread across numerous investment products, it can be challenging to track your investment results. Getting advice from experts allows you to see the bigger picture so you can make the best decisions to attain your goals.

The financial advisors at Pillar Wealth Management have been offering financial recommendations to families and individuals for more than thirty years. We have the knowledge, skill-set, and experience you need! Schedule a meeting with us today to start your journey to financial serenity.

To be 100% transparent, we published this page to help filter through the mass influx of prospects, who come to us through our website and referrals, to gain only a handful of the right types of new clients who wish to engage us.

We enjoy working with high net worth and ultra-high net worth investors and families who want what we call financial serenity – the feeling that comes when you know your finances and the lifestyle you desire have been secured for life, and that you don’t have to do any of the work to manage and maintain it because you hired a trusted advisor to take care of everything.

You see, our goal is to only accept 17 new clients this year. Clients who have from $5 million to $500 million in liquid investable assets to entrust us with on a 100% fee basis. No commissions and no products for sale.

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