Fidelity Investments is a multinational financial services company that's been in business for more than 70 years. The privately held company’s corporate headquarters are in Boston, and it has 10 regional offices and more than 190 investor centers located across the U.S. The company serves individuals, businesses and advisors.
Perhaps best known for its mutual funds, Fidelity offers a wide range of services, including retirement planning, life insurance services, investment management, portfolio guidance and brokerage services. Fidelity provides financial advisory services through its portfolio advisory and wealth management programs. The minimum for the firm's advisory services begins at $50,000, which makes it readily accessible to lower-level investors. For its wealth management services, Fidelity requires clients to invest at least $250,000 with Fidelity and have a total of $1 million or more in investable assets.
Fidelity was founded in 1946 by Edward C. Johnson. In 1969, Fidelity International Limited was formed to serve non-U.S. markets. Fidelity began offering investment management to investors in 1989, when it launched its portfolio advisory services division.
Fidelity Investments is privately held by FMR LLC, which is under the Johnson family's control. Abby Johnson is currently the chairperson of FMR LLC, making her the third generation to lead the company.
What Types of Client Does Fidelity Accept?
Fidelity’s wide range of account minimums makes it accessible for non-high-net-worth individuals and high-net-worth individuals alike. In addition to individual advisors, Fidelity works with businesses managing employee benefits and advisors in need of technology-related services.
Fidelity Minimum Account Sizes
Fidelity’s account minimums for its asset management services vary by program type. To be eligible for Fidelity® Wealth Services, clients must maintain a minimum account balance of $50,000. Clients who invest in a BlackRock® Diversified Income Portfolio or tax-sensitive program accounts are subject to a $200,000 minimum investment.
The highest account minimum is for the Fidelity Wealth Management Advisory program, which is offered through the firm's Private Wealth Management group and offers "highly personalized service." This option requires a minimum investment of $2 million and at least $10 million in investable assets.
Services Offered by Fidelity
Fidelity offers a wide range of services and products, including:
- Small business retirement plans
- Retirement products
- Retirement planning
- 529 plans
- Charitable giving
- Life insurance and long-term care
- Mutual fund management
- Investment management
- Wealth management
- Portfolio guidance
- Robo-advisory program
For advisory clients, Fidelity can provide advice on areas such as choosing investments, navigating certain life stages, making decisions during big life events and planning for retirement, taxes, insurance and estates.
Fidelity for High-Net-Worth Individuals
For affluent individuals, Fidelity offers wealth management and family office services. For its Private Wealth Management, clients must have a minimum of $2 million managed by Fidelity and $10 million or more in total investable assets to be eligible.
In addition, Fidelity offers Wealth Advisor Solutions, which provides clients access to specialized investment services. The firm provides custody, brokerage, investment and reporting services to single family offices, wealthy families and the advisors who serve them through Fidelity Family Office Services.
Fidelity says that its clients’ goals are its priority, whether that be saving for retirement or a major purchases. It will also more broadly help clients to grow their assets. The company takes into account clients' investment preferences, current portfolios and tax situations. The exact investments and strategies used in a portfolio depend largely on a client’s investment goals, which inform the program type they’re assigned.
Fidelity Portfolio Advisory Service portfolios, which require the lowest minimum investment, are comprised of an actively managed, diversified mix of funds. Fidelity Personalized Portfolios contain funds, ETFs and stocks, and are actively managed with specific focuses on a client's tax situation and long-term goals. Fidelity Separately Managed Accounts portfolios each focus on a single asset class or a certain investment objective. The most personalizable option is Fidelity Wealth Management Advisory, which offers a comprehensive set of strategies specifically designed to meet a client's individual needs.
Fees Under Fidelity
For Fidelity® Wealth Services, the company charges a gross advisory fee that covers the cost of access to Fidelity representatives, financial planning services and ongoing portfolio management, as well as expenses associated with brokerage, clearing and custody services. In an effort to offset potential conflicts of interest related to Fidelity earning money from the sale of certain investments, clients will get a credit. Gross advisory fees are reduced by the credit amount, which is applied each quarter.
If the total of a client's average account assets on a daily basis falls below $500,000, a client will pay a 1.50% annual gross advisory fee, minus the credit amount. The maximum fee will be $6,250. For accounts above $500,000, the following fee schedule applies:
|Annual Advisory Fee Schedule for Program Accounts|
|Average Daily Assets||Annual Gross Advisory Fee|
|More than $5,000,000||0.50%|
Keep in mind that the actual fee you pay will be the asset-based fee minus your credit amount.
What to Watch Out For
Prospective clients interested in Fidelity’s asset management services should note that only wealth management clients get a dedicated financial advisor. The other types of client account types are overseen by an investment team at Strategic Advisers, Inc., a Fidelity company. For certain Separately Managed Account portfolios, Strategic Advisors will work with other asset managers, including BlackRock Investment Management and Breckinridge Capital Advisors, Inc.
Additionally, Fidelity has disciplinary actions by government regulators on its record - see more below.
Fidelity does have disclosures, as is the case with many large financial service companies. In a more notable recent disclosure, in 2015 the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) fined Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC $500,000 and ordered it to pay $530,000 in restitution for oversight failures. Specifically, FINRA claimed that Fidelity had failed to detect or prevent the theft of more than $1 million from nine of its customers, which occurred after an individual posed as a Fidelity broker.
Opening an Account With Fidelity
To help prospective clients determine which account type best suits their individual investment goals, Fidelity has them answer a short questionnaire. Interested investors who want to talk to a financial advisor have the option of calling Fidelity at (800) 343-3548, filling out a form to have an advisor contact them or getting free in-person guidance at one of Fidelity’s branch locations.
To find an Investor Center near you, simply go to Fidelity's website, scroll down to the very bottom of the page and enter your zip code to find an Investor Center by zip code.
Where Is Fidelity Located?
Fidelity’s corporate headquarters is in downtown Boston. However, the firm has financial advisor branch offices located across the U.S. You can find a complete list of Fidelity’s numerous office locations on its website. In addition to its U.S. offices, Fidelity has a presence in eight other countries across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
Tips for Finding a Financial Advisor
- Finding the right financial advisor that fits your needs doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that will help you achieve your financial goals, get started here, or call 1-888-217-3971.
- In order to find a financial advisor who's right for you, you'll want to think carefully about your needs and long-term goals before starting the search process. Advisors often specialize in serving certain types of clients and in providing particular services. For instance, if you want a comprehensive financial plan, you might want to work with a certified financial planner. If it's tax planning help you're after, a certified public accountant might be a good fit.