Fidelity Warning!

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by Roscoe, May 19, 2015.

  1. Roscoe


    To anybody who still has an account with Fidelity, be warned: yesterday they froze my current account without any warning. No phone call, no email, nothing: they just froze it.

    Why? Because I asked, using their in-account chat service, if they could supply me with updated daily ASCII data for the ETF's that I am currently trading. The idiot who was chatting with me somehow determined that to be a phishing threat and froze the account. Now I am required to physically go, cap in hand, to a Fidelity center and basically beg to be allowed access to my own money.

    Bear in mind here that I am an authorized user, actually logged into the account, and this idiot that I am chatting with thinks that I am a phishing threat? WTF? I'm already logged in, what could I possibly be phishing for? How could any person who actually understands trading come to that conclusion from a simple request for data? To be fair: the guy was totally unhelpful so perhaps this is simply him covering his lack of knowledge with a spectacular offensive move.

    To date, and despite having spent several hours on the phone, including talking to the current idiot (the 5th successive idiot, this one claiming to be a supervisor), who is quite happy to tell me my current account balance but who will not do anything useful. Update: the current idiot has finally agreed to set things back to where they were, but without any form of apology or any offer of compensation. In what universe is this how you treat your customers?

    Fidelity seem determined to treat their customers very poorly at best and I find their behavior in this instance to be totally unacceptable. How many of you would accept this from your broker? I only found out that the account was frozen when checking my balance, imagine if you wanted to get in or out of trade and this pops up? What would you do then?

    I would strongly suggest that anybody with a Fidelity account, or anyone who is considering opening a Fidelity account: Run! Run as far away from Fidelity as quickly as you possibly can. There are plenty of brokers out there who will treat you with at least a modicum of respect: Schwab, Morgan Stanley, even E*Trade and many more.
  2. Baron

    Baron ET Founder

    Yeah, that makes no sense since phishing is typically the act of spoofing a login page to get your username and password. Sorry that happened to you. What a pain.
  3. I've had multiple accounts (401k, Roth, and personal) with Fidelity for years and never had any issues. Not saying you didn't have some weird experience, but that's hardly a reasonable sample size to say: "Everyone should avoid at all costs..."
  4. rmorse

    rmorse Sponsor

    I met recently with an old friend that works for Fidelity. I asked why they never became an FCM to offer futures. He told me they started the process, but the NFA/CFTC wanted too much personal information about the Johnson Family, so they declined. Funny that they have so much money they don't care about growing a futures business and would prefer to be more private.

    I have heard no bad experiences with them, except this post. However, I would thing their focus is on RIAs/Asset managers and their family of Mutual Funds rather than electronic trading for active traders.
  5. Roscoe


    What riled me up more than anything was the absolutist "we are right and you are wrong" attitude when confronted about their high-handed attitude in freezing my account without warning or notification. I did not enjoy being treated as an errant child.

    I have been a professional futures trader for longer than I care to think about and all of my futures brokers have been unfailingly helpful and professional, so to experience such an appallingly unprofessional attitude on this little ETF side-project was jarring in the extreme. Sadly my current broker only handles futures or I would never have had to even consider Fidelity in the first instance.

    Would anybody care to suggest a more civilized ETF broker for a self-managed account? Vanguard perhaps? TIA.
    Last edited: May 26, 2015
  6. xandman


    Futures is the attention starved step child of the securities world as retail forex is the your useless brother-in-law.

    I am shocked that an old line firm like Fidelity would treat a customer like that. Unfortunately, you tripped some alarms. It really is more trouble for them at than it is for you. (yeah, this will piss you off even more). But, this is obviously a vent thread.

    You can be assured of the white glove treatment at Vanguard. They have a very limited product offering, but then that is consistent with their bias to efficient market theory. Those few funds that are actively managed by contracted firms are usually top notch and only accessible to accredited investors. They have produced 2 multi-decade leading active funds under John Neff and Primecap Management. I am not sure who carries the flag these days.

    They provided me with free and courteous service to retrieve archived information years after I stopped being a customer. Put in enough money and they will walk your dog.
    marketsurfer likes this.
  7. hajimow


    Fidelity might be good for long term investments and 401K and IRA stuff which is usually buy and hold but for active trading is a big no.
  8. hajimow


    What not IB for trading ETF?
  9. Roscoe


    Thanks hajimow! The ETF project only has a few trades a year, so not really all that active. How are IB these days? I haven't looked at them in a decade or more so I am really out of touch with the state of play there.
  10. hajimow


    I have been with IB with 11 years and will not switch to any other brokers. I have tried about 10 brokers. IB suits my needs. For low accounts IB will not be good and also if you trade less than $30 commission per month , you need to pay $10 data fee. So basically it is for those who are a little active and have accounts at least over 10K (actually I wanted to say 25K) and don't need to be spoon fed. But you can have multiple accounts with IB and link them together so your trades add up together and make you eligible for free real time data. All things said, I still have a Fidelity account that I have auto purchase of short term bond funds and nothing else. I did 6 trades today with IB and my commission was $19. I paid 0.22 for trading 100 shares and between 0.22 to 0.72 for each option contracts.
    #10     Jun 1, 2015