Free and unlimited trading is live via Fidelity Investments’ mobile app, Fidelity Spire, building on the custodian’s goals to capture young investor clientele during the early stages of their financial journey.
Fidelity Spire trading, which the firm has teased since Fidelity Spire’s launch last summer, lets users buy and sell stocks, exchange traded funds and mutual funds with no minimum on how many times a user can trade per day. The app is free for any user and does not require users to be Fidelity customers. Trading capabilities became officially available for users on March 11, said the company’s vice president of young investors Kelly Lannan.
Fidelity Spire is “goal-based” and enables users to track progress on their goals by linking one or multiple accounts, including non-Fidelity ones, according to the company’s website. The app also offers access to a number of other offerings including robo-adviser Fidelity Go, educational hubs, fractional shares and Fidelity cash management accounts.
While offering $0 commission trading is not anything new for Fidelity’s standard mobile app, it is new for Fidelity Spire. The difference is Fidelity Spire is focused on capturing the influx of young investors that are now seeking out financial planning advice as a result of the pandemic.
The larger goal is to establish long-term relationships with these prospects and move conversations toward proprietary products and services, said Lannan.
“When we launched Fidelity Spire last year, we were open with our plans to make trading available in a future version of the app — so this has been in motion for some time,” Lannan said. “Given customer feedback on needing help with prioritizing goals, it was important to lead with the app’s goal setting and educational features.”
The introduction to free trading launches about a month after Fidelity hosted a Reddit “AMA” or “Ask me Anything” board to engage with customers and answer live questions regarding retail trading. More than 1,300 comments from Redditors flooded the discussion, yet trading education was largely outshined by comments comparing Fidelity’s mobile app interface to Robinhood’s.
To be fair, Fidelity and Robinhood already have commonalities. Both trading platforms have zero account fees, no minimum balance, and $0 commissions for trading U.S. stocks, exchange-traded funds and options online. What’s notable is the way Reddit users expressed that Fidelity’s clunky user experience is the reason they opened Robinhood accounts.
Fidelity Spire is set to be the solution to a more user-friendly experience. AMA host Gregg Murphy, Fidelity Investments senior vice president of brokerage products, directed commenters to look to Fidelity Spire as a “good indication of how we’re trying to improve our UI (user interface) moving forward,” he wrote during the AMA.
Adding free trading is just the latest move by Fidelity to expand access to its services for young investors. In addition to launching Fidelity Spire for free, Fidelity’s robo-adviser, Fidelity Go, announced in August it dropped its advisory fee to zero on accounts with less than $10,000.
As our second lead editor, Cindy Hamilton covers health, fitness and other wellness topics. She is also instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. Cindy received a BA and an MA from NYU.