Vanguard vs. Fidelity Investments

Constancy and Vanguard are two of the biggest funding corporations on the planet. Constancy boasts 40 million particular person buyers and $9.9 trillion in belongings underneath administration (AUM). In the meantime, Vanguard has greater than 30 million buyers and $8.5 trillion in belongings underneath administration. Each brokers have stable business reputations and provide a big number of low-cost mutual funds, ETFs, recommendation, and associated companies.

Based in 1946, Constancy gives a sturdy buying and selling platform, wonderful analysis and asset screeners, and terrific commerce executions. Vanguard was launched in 1975 and gives a formidable lineup of low-cost mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) aimed toward buy-and-hold buyers. Whereas Vanguard and Constancy have a number of similarities, we’ll evaluate the 2 that will help you decide which dealer may be a greater match on your investing wants.


New and Notable

On October 25, 2022, Vanguard introduced that it’s broadening its fractional share buying and selling providing, permitting retail shoppers to purchase and promote Vanguard ETFs in {dollars} by a brand new commerce path.

  • Account Minimal: $0
  • Charges: $0 for inventory/ETF trades, $0 plus $0.65/contract for choices commerce

Get $100 whenever you open a brand new, eligible Constancy account with $50 or extra. Use code FIDELITY100. Restricted time provide. Phrases apply. Provide Disclosure.

  • Account Minimal: $0
  • Charges: $0/inventory and ETF commerce, $0 plus $1 per contract for choices


You’ll be able to open and fund a Vanguard account on-line, however there’s a several-day delay earlier than you may log in and begin investing. It is simpler (and sooner) to get began at Constancy. With both dealer, you have to signal extra paperwork—and wait a bit longer on your software to be accepted—if you wish to commerce choices or have entry to margin.

Vanguard’s web site has (lastly) been up to date and is now extra user-friendly and modern-looking. Nonetheless, there’s nonetheless work to be achieved to make the web site simpler to navigate, and you may’t get very far except you log into your account. Constancy’s web site gives much more instruments and sources to help a broader vary of investor sorts.  

General, we discovered Vanguard is a wonderful selection for long-term and retirement buyers—particularly those that need entry to skilled recommendation and a number of the lowest-cost funds within the business. On the identical time, Constancy is healthier for informal buyers and merchants who want to entry extra instruments, charting, and technical evaluation. 

Commerce Expertise

Desktop Commerce Expertise

Vanguard’s platform is geared towards buy-and-hold buyers, not lively merchants. Whereas the platform will get the job achieved (i.e., you may enter orders), there are not any bells and whistles. The order entry course of is clunky and never significantly intuitive, and there is not any real-time information till you open a commerce ticket. General, the buying and selling platform is sufficient for passive buyers, nevertheless it falls predictably brief for merchants and buyers who need a responsive and customizable expertise. After all, remember that Vanguard is, by design, not supposed for frequent merchants or short-term buyers, so this shouldn’t be considered as a shortcoming for the corporate.   

Constancy gives a greater buying and selling expertise for each sort of investor. Purchase-and-hold buyers ought to discover Constancy’s web-based platform greater than sufficient. Nonetheless, quotes are delayed by quarter-hour except you join real-time quotes. Extra lively and technical merchants will recognize Lively Dealer Professional’s charts, technical indicators, screeners, superior order sorts, and extra. As well as, latest dashboard enhancements, new thematic baskets, customized indexing, and strong rebalancing options make Constancy a stable selection for extra subtle buyers. General, when in comparison with Vanguard, Constancy is the clear winner by way of buying and selling expertise.

Cell Expertise

Vanguard’s cellular app is a bit outdated and lightweight by way of options. There isn’t any charting, and the quotes are delayed till you open an order ticket. Nonetheless, you may monitor your positions, analyze your portfolio, learn the information, and place primary orders—albeit for restricted asset courses—as a buy-and-hold investor.

Constancy’s cellular app is straightforward to navigate, and you may handle orders, verify pending transactions, and place trades. The place the app falls brief is in its elementary analysis and charting, that are very restricted. Cell watchlists sync with desktop and internet purposes, and you need to use a lot of the identical order sorts on cellular as on the net or desktop platforms. 

Whereas each apps are well-rated on the App Retailer, Constancy has much more opinions. Vanguard has 4.7 stars from about 170,000 opinions, whereas Constancy has a 4.8-star ranking from some 1.9 million opinions. General, we discovered that Constancy’s app gives extra performance and will likely be priceless to a larger vary of buyers.

Vary of Choices

In comparison with some massive brokers, Vanguard and Constancy have a restricted vary of choices. Each brokers provide equities, bonds, choices, ETFs, and hundreds of no-load, no-fee mutual funds. Nonetheless, neither helps futures, choices on futures, or cryptocurrency buying and selling, and solely Constancy gives Foreign exchange, valuable metals, OTCBB, and fractional shares for buy.

Order Varieties

Predictably, Vanguard helps solely the order sorts that buy-and-hold buyers sometimes use, together with market, restrict, and stop-limit orders. You’ll be able to’t stage orders for later entry (you may with Constancy), however each brokers let you choose particular tax tons earlier than putting orders. Constancy’s internet platform and Lively Dealer Professional help a greater number of order sorts, together with conditional orders reminiscent of one-cancels-the-other (OCO) and one-triggers-the-other (OTO).

Buying and selling Expertise

Vanguard doesn’t use good order routing know-how, and clients cannot route their very own orders. Nonetheless, the dealer reviews a mean web value enchancment of $2.31 per 100-share lot for eligible marketable orders. We didn’t discover any prepared particulars about Vanguard’s execution velocity, which isn’t stunning contemplating the dealer’s goal buyer is enjoying the lengthy sport. Though its method to routing is primary in comparison with many different brokers, it scores factors for not accepting cost for order movement.

In the meantime, Constancy’s good order routing know-how seeks the most effective value obtainable and might entry all sorts of market venues, together with darkish swimming pools, exchanges, and market makers. The corporate reviews a web value enchancment of $19.24 per 1000-share fairness order and a mean execution velocity of 0.05 seconds. Like Vanguard, it doesn’t settle for cost for order movement for shares or ETFs.

General, Constancy wins within the buying and selling know-how division resulting from its good order routing know-how, superior value enchancment, and clear execution velocity statistics.


Vanguard and Constancy cost $0 commissions for on-line fairness, choices, and ETF trades for U.S.-based clients. Constancy has a $0.65 per contract choice charge; it is $1 at Vanguard.

Constancy will set you again extra for broker-assisted inventory trades ($32.95 versus Vanguard’s $25. Constancy prices $49.95 for mutual fund trades that fall outdoors the no-transaction-fee household. At Vanguard, you will pay $0 to $20 per commerce, relying in your account steadiness. The margin charges at each brokers are shut, with Vanguard charging 10.75% for $10,000 and Constancy charging 10.575% for a similar. General, you may lower your expenses at Constancy should you commerce choices, however Vanguard will likely be cheaper if mutual funds are your focus.

Account and Analysis Facilities

Vanguard gives primary screeners for shares, ETFs, and mutual funds. You may discover information offered by MT Newswires and the Related Press, and there are a number of instruments targeted on retirement planning. Charting is proscribed, and no technical evaluation is offered—once more, not stunning for a buy-and-hold-centric dealer.

Constancy comes out forward on this class. Its analysis choices on the web site embrace versatile screeners for shares, ETFs, mutual funds, and glued revenue, in addition to a wide variety of instruments, calculators, and information sources. Its web-based and Lively Dealer Professional platforms provide customizable charting with technical indicators, drawing instruments, and historic information. One other plus: Constancy gives portfolio margining.

Portfolio Evaluation

Vanguard and Constancy each present entry to real-time shopping for energy and margin info, inside price of return, and unrealized and realized beneficial properties. Each provide tax reviews, and you may mix holdings from outdoors your account to get an total monetary image. One thing lacking from each brokers is the choice to calculate the tax affect of future trades. General, the portfolio evaluation choices are too much like decide a transparent winner.


The main focus of Vanguard’s academic content material is that will help you set and attain your monetary objectives. A lot of the content material is within the type of articles. Nonetheless, you will additionally discover commentary and analysis papers, movies, and webcasts on funding merchandise, retirement, business information, monetary planning, and the economic system.

Constancy’s on-line Studying Heart has articles, movies, webinars, and infographics masking numerous investing subjects. There are common webinars and on-line teaching periods for extra superior subjects, and studying packages aimed toward starting buyers on the app. General, Constancy takes the lead right here by providing content material that appeals to a bigger investor inhabitants.

Buyer Service

Vanguard gives cellphone help from 8 a.m. to eight p.m. (Japanese) Monday by Friday. Stay chat is not supported, however you may ship a safe message through the web site. Constancy has a 24/7 cellphone line, a web-based chat characteristic (restricted hours), and a safe e mail portal. General, Constancy’s customer support is extra versatile, however you may depend on dependable assist from both dealer.


The safety at Vanguard and Constancy is as much as business requirements. You’ll be able to log into both dealer’s app along with your fingerprint, each brokers mean you can activate voice recognition know-how for calls, and each brokers shield towards account losses resulting from unauthorized or fraudulent exercise.

Funds in brokerage accounts at each brokers are lined by Securities Investor Safety Company (SIPC) insurance coverage which offers as much as $500,000 protection for securities with a $250,000 restrict on money. Consider it as being just like the FDIC for brokers. Each Constancy and Vanguard carry insurance coverage that protects shoppers past the bounds of the SIPC protection. Vanguard doesn’t disclose the main points of their protection. Constancy’s extra of SIPC insurance coverage coverage has a per-customer restrict of $1.9 million on uninvested money and a complete mixture restrict of $1 billion. General, buyers might be assured within the safety requirements of both dealer.

Account Varieties

Constancy and Vanguard each provide the total vary of generally used account sorts. This contains:

  • Taxable brokerage accounts
  • Conventional, Roth, inherited, SIMPLE, and simplified worker pension (SEP) particular person retirement accounts (IRAs)
  • Company accounts
  • Custodial accounts
  • 529 school financial savings accounts
  • Trusts

Though each brokers provide all the usual accounts and extra, Constancy has some extra choices like well being financial savings accounts (HSA) and a brand new providing known as the Constancy Youth Account. It will, after all, solely matter should you intend to utilize these explicit account sorts.

Last Verdict

In our 2022 Greatest On-line Brokers opinions, Constancy earned greater scores than Vanguard in each class we ranked. To be truthful, it is not simple to match two brokers which have distinct enterprise fashions and completely different goal clients. General, nevertheless, Constancy is a greater match for buyers and merchants who need a extra high-tech expertise, technical evaluation instruments, superior charting, and entry to a broader vary of choices. In reality, Constancy is our total decide for the most effective on-line dealer in 2022, so it is rather onerous to beat. All that mentioned, Vanguard nonetheless gives a number of the lowest-cost funds within the business and can attraction to buy-and-hold buyers, retirement savers, and buyers who need entry to skilled recommendation.

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Investopedia is devoted to offering buyers with unbiased, complete opinions and rankings of on-line brokers. This 12 months, we revamped the evaluate course of by conducting an intensive survey of shoppers which can be actively seeking to begin buying and selling and investing with a web-based dealer. We then mixed this invaluable info with our material experience to develop the framework for a quantitative rankings mannequin that’s on the core of how we compiled our checklist of the most effective on-line dealer and buying and selling platform corporations.

This mannequin weighs key components like buying and selling know-how, vary of choices, cellular app usability, analysis facilities, academic content material, portfolio evaluation options, buyer help, prices, account facilities, and total buying and selling expertise in response to their significance. Our staff of researchers gathered 2425 information factors and weighted 66 standards primarily based on information collected throughout intensive analysis for every of the 25 corporations we reviewed. 

Most of the brokers we reviewed additionally gave us reside demonstrations of their platforms and companies, both at their New York Metropolis places of work or through video conferencing strategies. Stay brokerage accounts have been additionally obtained for a lot of the platforms we reviewed, which our staff of skilled writers and editors used to carry out hands-on testing as a way to lend their qualitative viewpoint. 

Learn our full Methodology for reviewing on-line brokers.

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