Fidelity Go Review
Matt is a Certified Financial Planner® and investment advisor based in Columbia, South Carolina. He writes personal finance and investment advice, and in 2017 he received the SABEW Best in Business Award.
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For most of modern history, there were two main ways everyday Americans could invest money. You could open a brokerage account and choose your own stocks, bonds, or funds. Or you could hire a financial advisor to invest on your behalf.
In recent years, a third option has emerged -- the robo-advisor. This approach offers some of the best aspects of professional financial planning -- such as investments tailored to your risk tolerance and automatic rebalancing -- without the high cost of hiring a human financial planner.
Massive investment firm Fidelity's robo-advisor platform is Fidelity Go. In this review, we'll take a close look at how Fidelity Go works, its features and drawbacks, and how to know if it’s a good fit for you.
Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor.
Fidelity Go provides a simple, easy-to-understand pricing structure with access to financial planning tools and educational resources.
$0 per trade, all-inclusive management fee 0.35%
All-in fee structure: This is unique to Fidelity Go. At first glance, the 0.35% annual management fee might sound like it's on the higher end of robo-advisor fees -- and it is -- but this is an all-inclusive fee. In other words, the funds in your investment portfolio don't charge any fees whatsoever, so 0.35% is truly all you're paying to invest.
Easy to start: It is incredibly easy to get started on the Fidelity Go platform. Fidelity will ask you a short series of questions to determine your risk tolerance and ideal asset allocation. You can also try the questionnaire and see an example portfolio without actually applying. You can accept the recommended allocation or modify it to fit your preferences. Then you fund your account and Fidelity does the rest.
Automatic rebalancing: Virtually all robo-advisors offer automatic rebalancing. Many do it at set intervals, like twice a year. Fidelity Go continually monitors your account, and rebalances your asset allocation whenever it's needed.
No minimum initial deposit: Fidelity Go has no minimum investment requirement. You can start an account with $1. Fidelity will start investing your money with as little as $10 in your account, significantly lower than many of its competitors.
Customer support: Fidelity Go customer support is available by phone 24/7 or through live chat from 8a.m.-6p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.
Investor resources: Fidelity's platform is highly regarded for its financial planning tools and educational resources, and Fidelity Go clients have full access to them. Fidelity Go integrates with the rest of Fidelity's platform, which can be valuable if you have other accounts with the firm.
What could be improved
Tax strategies: Unlike some of its competitors, Fidelity doesn't offer tax-loss harvesting, a valuable strategy that can dramatically reduce investors' capital gains. This is most significant for investors who have large account balances or are otherwise in high tax brackets, but if you're in one of those categories and plan to invest in a standard (taxable) brokerage account, this is worth taking into consideration.
Human financial advisors: Most major brokerages with robo-advisor platforms don't offer access to human financial advisors, and Fidelity Go is no exception. There are some robo-advisors that do, however, so if getting financial advice beyond your automated investment portfolio is a priority, Fidelity Go might not be the best choice for you.
Few account types: Fidelity Go offers the standard account types that pretty much every robo-advisor has, including standard brokerage accounts (individual or joint), and individual retirement accounts, or IRAs. If you want to open a specialized account type, such as a UGMA/UTMA account or solo 401(k), you can't do it through Fidelity Go.
How Fidelity Go works
For the most part, robo-advisors are very user-friendly, especially when it comes to getting started. After all, the whole point of using a robo-advisor is to make investing as easy as possible.
Fidelity Go is one of the easiest robo-advisors to use. You answer a series of basic questions, such as your age, income, and financial goals, and Fidelity recommends an investment strategy. You can accept the initial recommendation or modify it. You fund the account and you’re all done.
Fidelity Go offers standard robo-advisor services such as automatic portfolio construction and automatic rebalancing (although it rebalances as needed, not at specified intervals like some competitors.
In addition, Fidelity Go offers access to Fidelity's full range of educational tools and financial planning resources, a nice value-adding differentiator. This isn't quite as valuable as getting financial advice from a human being, but it's certainly a useful perk.
Pricing and fees
Fidelity Go isn't the cheapest robo-advisor, but it has the easiest-to-understand cost structure of any of our favorites. Instead of charging a management fee and investing client assets in funds that have their own fees, Fidelity has an all-in-one fee of 0.35% of client assets per year.
|Service/Item||Fidelity Go Cost|
|Account management fee||0.35%|
|Investment fund fees||0%|
|Other account charges||None|
Customer service and support
There are two types of support that clients of a robo-advisor might need -- investment advice from a human being and help with technical issues.
Fidelity Go does not provide access to financial advisors. There are some competitors who allow robo-advisory clients to speak with financial advisors who offer guidance on everything from buying a home to retirement income strategies. Fidelity is a true robo-advisor, keeping human interaction entirely out of the equation.
On the other hand, Fidelity Go shines when it comes to customer support. The firm provides phone support 24 hours a day and has online chat available 8a.m.-6 p.m. on weekdays.
Alternatives to consider
There's no perfect robo-advisor for everyone, and there are alternatives that may be better for certain investors. The two main drawbacks to Fidelity Go are the lack of tax-loss harvesting and no access to financial advisors, so if either is important to you, take a look at Schwab Intelligent Portfolios, which offers free tax-loss harvesting for larger accounts as well as a premium version offering comprehensive financial planning services -- for significantly less than it would cost to hire a planner on your own. However, there are high minimum balance requirements for both, so it's not a great fit for everyone.
|Feature||Fidelity Go||Schwab Intelligent Portfolios|
|Tax-Loss Harvesting||No||Yes, with $50,000 or more in assets|
|Access to Financial Advisors||No||Yes, with premium membership|
|Account Minimum||$10 (to invest)||$5,000|
Fidelity Go may be right for you if:
- You want a simple, easy-to-understand pricing structure.
- You don't have a lot to invest.
- You want access to financial planning tools and educational resources.
- You want to open a standard brokerage account or an IRA.