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Fidelity IRA Review

Dayana Yochim

Written by Dayana Yochim
Edited by Carolyn Kimball
Fact-checked by Sam Levine, CFA, CMT
Reviewed by Blain Reinkensmeyer

May 14, 2024

There’s one thing you can do in a Fidelity IRA that you can’t do at any other brokerage: create a completely fee-free diversified retirement portfolio. I’m not just talking about paying $0 in trading commissions or avoiding IRA account fees, either.

Savers who invest in Fidelity ZERO index mutual funds pay nothing at all in management fees. Not even Vanguard, the king of low-cost index investments, can compete with Fidelity’s unheard-of 0% management fees and rock-bottom $0 minimum investment requirement.

Because ZERO funds are only available at Fidelity and aren’t transferable to another broker, investing in them will shackle you to your Fido account until you’re ready to sell your shares. But I’m willing to bet most investors won’t be bothered by those golden handcuffs. Fidelity offers everything you could possibly need to manage your investments for life, and much of it is completely free.

5/5 Stars Overall
  • Minimum Deposit: $0.00
  • ETF Trading: Yes
  • Advisor Services: Yes

Fidelity IRA pros & cons

thumb_up_off_alt Pros

  • Access to Fidelity’s zero-fee index mutual funds with no minimum investment requirement.
  • Offers an army of on-call IRA specialists, including one-on-one help handling rollover and other tricky IRAs.
  • $0 fee retirement portfolio management if your account balance is less than $25K.

thumb_down_off_alt Cons

  • The 0.35%-0.70% managed portfolio fees are higher than at some competitors.
  • No dedicated mobile app for active traders.
  • Zero-fee Fidelity funds require maintaining a Fidelity account (aka “golden handcuffs”).

Retirement account types

Fidelity offers the full gamut of IRAs — from the standard Roth and traditional types to ones designed for the self-employed (SEP IRAs), small-business owners (SIMPLE IRA), and even minors who have earned income (Fidelity Roth IRA for Kids, which is a custodial IRA). The $0 account minimum means anyone can set up an IRA at Fidelity and pad a nest egg at their leisure.

IRA customer service is Fidelity’s specialty. Instead of merely sending me to an FAQ page for answers (ahem, Robinhood), the broker practically begged me to contact them.

Fidelity experts are — quite literally — a phone call away with free help on even complex IRA flavors with knotty tax rules. And unlike some companies that make you excavate the entire site to find its digits (one of our reviewer’s frustrations with Vanguard), Fidelity plasters its 800 number all over the site. There’s even a team of Fidelity reps fielding questions on Reddit.

This level of service can help customers avoid costly missteps. Dealing with an inherited IRA? A Fidelity inheritance specialist will guide you through the process of handling an account left to multiple beneficiaries, and even assist with setting up required minimum distributions. Same deal with handling Fidelity Roth IRA conversion, and backdoor Roth IRAs, or setting up a Fidelity SIMPLE IRA.

Feature Fidelity logoFidelity
Traditional IRAs Yes
Roth IRAs Yes
Rollover IRAs Yes
Inherited IRAs Yes
Custodial IRAs Yes
Spousal IRA Yes

» See our primer on types of IRAs and a fun flow chart to help you choose between a Roth IRA vs. a traditional IRA.

Fidelity IRA fees

The skinny on IRA fees at Fidelity is this: There are none. Unless you hire Fidelity to manage your portfolio, you’ll pay no IRA maintenance, closure, or even IRA transfer fees. For comparison, Charles Schwab, E*TRADE and Merrill Edge customers pay a $50-$75 transfer-out fee when they dare to move their money to another brokerage.

All trading commissions on stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are $0 at Fidelity with a few exceptions: Transaction-fee mutual funds carry a $49.95 fee, which is easily avoidable by purchasing any of the thousands of no-transaction-fee (NTF) mutual funds available from Fidelity and other companies. (It’s $74.95 at Schwab.) A $49.95 short-term trading fee also applies if you sell a non-Fidelity NTF mutual fund less than 60 days after buying it, which is in line with industry standards.

» Dive deeper: See more on how much it costs to open an IRA.

Feature Fidelity logoFidelity
IRA Annual Fee $0.00
IRA Closure Fee $0.00
Account Transfer Out (Full) $0.00
Account Transfer Out (Partial) $0.00
Stock Trades $0.00
ETF Trade Fee $0.00
Mutual Fund Trade Fee Varies info
Broker Assisted Trade Fee $32.95

Self-directed investment options

Investors who have only encountered Fidelity in their 401(k)s may assume the broker isn’t as nimble as the newer, flashier brokers on the block. Big mistake. In fact, Fidelity blows away the competition with one product that, I’d argue, could be the foundation for a self-directed IRA investor’s portfolio: Fidelity ZERO mutual funds.

Fidelity fee-free index mutual funds: We’re not just talking about $0 investment fees here. Fidelity’s ZERO mutual funds charge no management fees at all. For comparison, even Vanguard — the famed low-cost index fund pioneer — charges 0.04%-0.18% in management fees on comparable funds. Plus, Vanguard index funds require a $3,000 minimum investment versus no investment minimum at Fidelity.

The four Fidelity ZERO funds cover every asset class you need to build a diversified retirement portfolio. Each fund — Large Cap Index Fund (FNILX), Total Market Index Fund (FZROX), Extended Market Index Fund (FZIPX), International Index Fund (FZILX) — is designed to track underlying benchmark indices (think: S&P 500, total stock market index, etc.) and have done so with only slight variations since inception.

What’s the catch? Trust me, I’ve been looking for the gotchas since Fidelity rolled out ZERO funds in 2018. The only potential drawback (if you can call it that) is that ZERO funds must be held in a Fidelity account and are not transferable to another broker. If you ever decide to ditch your Fidelity IRA and move your money to another broker, you’ll be forced to liquidate your ZERO shares. The good news: Selling it in an IRA won’t trigger any tax consequences if you move the money to the same kind of IRA at another brokerage.

Fractional shares: Fidelity’s Stocks by the Slice lets IRA investors build a portfolio of stocks for as little as $1 at a time — and no trading commission — through the Fidelity Mobile app. Instead of coming up with the entire amount to buy a share of stock, you can buy a fraction of a share for a set dollar amount. (For example,, $50 gets you 1/10th of a share of a stock that trades for $500). Simply choose “dollars” instead of “shares” in the drop-down menu on the trading screen, add put your loose change to work.

Fidelity offers fractional shares in more than 7,000 U.S. stocks and ETFs, a number that’s exceeded only by Interactive Brokers’ lineup of 10,000-plus. For comparison, Schwab’s Stock Slices are limited to the 500 companies in the S&P 500 index (a $5 minimum applies), Vanguard allows it for Vanguard ETFs only) and Robinhood allows fractional purchases in stocks worth over $1 per share and a market capitalization of $25 million and higher. E*TRADE and Merrill Edge do not offer fractional share trading.

Other investments: Customers can trade stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for $0. Plus Fidelity offers thousands of no-commission mutual funds, and more than 500 $0 minimum funds (from Fidelity and other companies). Although crypto isn’t tradeable in a Fidelity IRA, you can invest in crypto-focused ETFs. For the fixed-income portion of your portfolio, Fidelity offers bonds, U.S. Treasury bills (including TIPS), and certificates of deposit with low fees.

Feature Fidelity logoFidelity
Stock Trading Yes
Fractional Shares Yes
ETF Trading Yes
Mutual Funds Yes
Bonds (US Treasury) Yes
Bonds (Corporate) Yes
Bonds (Municipal) Yes
Options Trading Yes
Crypto Trading Yes

Managed investment options

Fidelity has a slew of investment management services to serve every type of IRA investor based on how hands-on you want to be in choosing investments and if you want access to retirement planning help. Fees range from 0%-0.35% of assets under management for Fidelity’s basic Fidelity Go robo advisor service (my recommendation for those with smaller IRA balances), to FidFolios’ 0.4%-0.7% fee for a customizable portfolio of stocks and American depository receipts (ADRs).

Fidelity Go: Customers with balances less than $25,000 pay nothing ($0!) in management fees for Fidelity Go to build a set-it-and-forget-it IRA portfolio. Based on your savings goals and where you fall on the conservative-to-aggressive spectrum, Fidelity invests your money proportionally across asset classes (large companies, small ones, bonds, and international) using a mix of no-management-fee Fidelity Flex funds.

True, you could invest directly in ZERO funds on your own through your Fidelity IRA account. (Flex Funds are only available through Fidelity’s managed portfolio services.) But Fidelity Go’s algorithm automatically rebalances your holdings over time to stay in line with your chosen investment strategy, saving you the hassle of figuring it out on your own. (See What Is a Robo Advisor? for more on how that works.) The low $10 investment minimum beats Vanguard Digital Advisor’s $3,000 minimum. Plus, it’s hard to beat the low, low price of $0 expense ratios.

Fidelity Go is less of a slam dunk once your IRA balance exceeds $25K. That’s when a 0.35% annual advisory fee (and access to one-on-one financial coaching) kicks in, which is higher than similar automated portfolio services at Vanguard (0.15%-0.20%), E*TRADE (0.30%), Wealthfront (0.25%) and Betterment (0.25%). Account minimums and additional services vary across advisors.

Fidelity Managed FidFolios: FidFolios ($5,000 minimum) are best for investors who want a professionally managed IRA portfolio of 85-350 holdings with the choice between a direct indexing strategy (0.40% management fee, or an actively managed strategy (0.70%) that seeks to beat a benchmark.

Two notable ways that FidFolios differ from Fidelity Go:

  1. Customization: FidFolios allow customers can exclude up to five individual stocks or two industries from their FidFolios. It also gives savers an eco-friendlier ESG portfolio option.
  2. Advisor access: FidFolios don’t include it, whereas Fidelity Go customers with $25,000 or more are eligible for unlimited one-on-one financial coaching on topics like budgeting, debt and retirement planning. If you want an actively managed portfolio and retirement planning input, you must upgrade to Fidelity Advisory Services, which carries a 1.10% management fee.
Feature Fidelity logoFidelity
Advisor Services Yes
Robo Advisor Yes

Retirement planning tools

Please clear your calendar: You’re going to want to spend some quality time playing with Fidelity’s retirement planning tools. Some of my personal favorites, all of which are free even if you don’t have Fidelity account:

Calculate your retirement savings factor: This simple tool shows what multiple of your salary you should aim to have saved based on your age, aka the answer to the key question on every IRA saver’s mind: "Am I saving enough for retirement?”

Fidelity Retirement Score: This tool provides a numerical grade and gentle judgment (from “Needs Attention” to “On Target”) based on your age, income, current savings, desired standard of living, investment style and planned retirement age. Note: The free public calculator is cool/terrifying on its own. The turbo-charged version Fidelity customers can access automatically incorporates your Fidelity account balances and lets you account for savings outside of Fidelity. Plus it includes other factors (say, additional income you expect to earn in your dotage) and more.

Roth IRA conversion calculator: If you’re considering converting a traditional, rollover, SEP or SIMPLE IRA to a Roth IRA, Fidelity will estimate the tax impact today and in the future. (Pro tip: Have your recent federal and state income tax returns handy.)

Doing an IRA rollover with Fidelity

What strikes me about Fidelity’s IRA rollover support is how extra it is. Fidelity’s step-by-step rollover instructions anticipate any possible glitch a customer might encounter when transferring an old 401(k) into an IRA.

Wondering what exactly to request from your old plan administrator when you call them? Fidelity provides a list of questions or you can request a rollover specialist to make the call with you. Thwarted by slight discrepancies in the name listed on your old account and the new one you set up at Fidelity? Oh, hey, there’s a form for that.

Some notable extras Fidelity provides IRA customers:

Rollover phone-a-friend: If you need a rollover buddy, a Fidelity specialist will hop on the line with you and your old 401(k) or 403(b) plan administrator to ensure a smooth rollover. This is especially helpful if you have shares of company stock in your old 401(k). (FYI: The direct line to Fidelity’s rollover specialists is 800-343-3548.)

Transfer status tracker: Rollovers can take time, anywhere from days (if your old 401(k) was with Fidelity) to three to five weeks (e.g., if your old account administrator doesn’t accept electronic transfer requests). Fidelity’s transfer status tracker gives you something to maniacally click on while you wait. Don’t worry, you’ll be notified when the transfer is complete.

Fidelity may reimburse IRA closeout fees charged by your old account. Fidelity will cover the Transfer of Assets (TOA) fee some workplace retirement plans hits ex-customers with as a parting shot for new clients who transfer $25,000 or more into a Fidelity account. Fidelity will also foot the bill for existing customers, decided on a case-by-case basis. My advice: Call and ask.

Bottom line

A colleague of mine called Fidelity a “stockpicker paradise” for equity investors. I’ve come to a similar conclusion when assessing Fidelity’s IRA game. (“IRA Eden,” anyone?) Its garden of IRA delights offers everything a long-term investor should look for in a provider: low-cost, highly rated mutual funds and ETFs (from Fidelity and other providers), its own zero-management fee index funds, $0 commissions and account fees, and a level of customer service to help take an IRA from seedling to retirement income stream.


What is the 2024 IRA contribution limit for Fidelity?

The 2024 IRA contribution limit is $7,000 if you’re under age 50, and $8,000 for those 50 and older. The limit is set by the IRS and applies to the total annual amount of new money an investor is allowed to contribute to an IRA at any broker. If you invest in both a traditional and a Roth IRA in the same year, the total of your combined contributions still may not exceed that $7,000/$8,000 limit. (IRA rollovers aren't subject to these contribution limits.) See “What is an IRA?” for more on IRA contribution and withdrawal rules for 2024.

Are Fidelity IRA accounts FDIC insured?

Certain types of investments within an IRA are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 per depositor (account owner) per account type (if you have both a Fidelity Roth and regular IRA, they count as one account type). Covered assets include certificates of deposit issued by an FDIC-insured institution and certain types of cash sweep accounts. FDIC coverage in a Fidelity IRA does not apply to stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, bonds, annuities, U.S. Treasury Bills or crypto.

Fidelity’s FDIC Insured Deposit Sweep Program provides additional coverage by distributing amounts above the FDIC limit (up to $5 million, moneybags) across different FDIC-insured banks.

What do you need to open a Roth IRA with Fidelity?

All you need to open a Fidelity Roth IRA is a name, address, Social Security number, employment information and a few minutes to type it all into Fidelity’s forms online or in its mobile app. After you create a username and password, you’ll be able to transfer money into your account via an electronic funds transfer (EFT), mobile check deposit or direct transfer. Deposits are generally available to purchase investments within four business days, according to Fidelity.

Fidelity Roth IRAs have a $0 minimum account requirement, but the sooner you fund your account and choose investments (which start at as little as $1), the faster you can get your money working for your future.


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Our research team conducts thorough testing on a wide range of features, products, services, and tools for U.S. investors. We personally test all available trading platforms and tools for each broker and evaluate them based on multiple variables. All research, writing and data collection at is done by humans, for humans. Read our generative AI policy here.

For this review of individual retirement accounts, we thoroughly examined all retirement-related accounts and services available to U.S. customers at the broker in question and looked for features important to long-term savers, such as types of accounts available, fees and planning tools. Each broker’s IRA offerings are given a rating on a five-star scale based on this data collection and individual evaluation. Accuracy is of the utmost importance to, and our data is checked on a rolling basis year-round.

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About the Editorial Team

Dayana Yochim
Dayana Yochim

Dayana Yochim has been writing (articles, books, podcasts, stirring speeches) about personal finance and investing for more than two decades, focusing on bringing clarity and the occasional comedic aside to what is often a murky, humorless topic. She’s written for NerdWallet, The Motley Fool,, Woman’s Day, Forbes, Newsweek and others, and been a guest expert on "Today," "Good Morning America," CNN, NPR and wherever they’ll hand her a mic.

Carolyn Kimball
Carolyn Kimball

Carolyn Kimball is Managing Editor for Reink Media Group and the lead editor for content on Carolyn has more than 20 years of writing and editing experience at major media outlets including NerdWallet, the Los Angeles Times and the San Jose Mercury News. She specializes in coverage of personal financial products and services, wielding her editing skills to clarify complex (some might say befuddling) topics to help consumers make informed decisions about their money.

Sam Levine, CFA, CMT
Sam Levine, CFA, CMT

Sam Levine is a writer, investor and educator with nearly three decades of experience in the investing industry. His specialty is making even the most complicated investing concepts easy to understand for beginning and intermediate investors. He holds two of the most widely recognized certifications in the investment management industry, the Chartered Financial Analyst and the Chartered Market Technician designations. Previously, he was a contributing editor at BetterInvesting Magazine and a contributor to The Penny Hoarder and other media outlets.

Blain Reinkensmeyer
Blain Reinkensmeyer

Blain Reinkensmeyer has 20 years of trading experience with over 2,500 trades placed during that time. He heads research for all U.S.-based brokerages on and is respected by executives as the leading expert covering the online broker industry. Blain’s insights have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and the Chicago Tribune, among other media outlets.