J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing review 2023
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J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing: Best for
- J.P. Morgan Chase customers
- Mutual fund investors
- Mobile traders
J.P. Morgan’s Self-Directed Investing platform should meet the needs of most investors. You won’t pay commissions on stock, ETF or mutual fund trades. If you’re an existing Chase customer, you’ll easily be able to track all your finances using the mobile app. But some investors might be disappointed by the limited account types that the bank offers, or that fractional shares are only available on reinvested dividends. More experienced traders who are interested in forex, futures or crypto trading will need to turn to a different broker.
If you’re looking for additional account types, a greater number of securities to trade or a more complete brokerage experience in general, Charles Schwab and Fidelity are good choices to consider. Otherwise, J.P Morgan Self-Directed Investing should be able to handle the basics for most investors.
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing: In the details
Pros: Where J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing stands out
The well-laid-out and smooth mobile app makes it easy to find, research and trade stocks and funds. So it’s little surprise that it was named one of the best wealth management apps in overall customer satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2022 survey.
You’ll find J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing integrated into the Chase Mobile app, so if you already have that installed, you’re halfway to getting your trade on. You’ll be able to create watchlists, and each stock listed links off to its own page, with charts, basic financial statistics, earnings estimates and a trade button that gets you ready to buy or sell.
A research tab provides the latest market news as well as news specifically on your watchlist stocks. From there you can access J.P. Morgan research reports and economic commentary. And you’ll be able to screen for mutual funds, ETFs and stocks using pre-prepared screens or you can define your own to sift through thousands of investment options. Click on one and you’re taken to a fund or stock page, where you can peruse the finer details and highlights. You’ll also be able to access educational resources here so you can learn about investing.
Integration with Chase accounts
Like other brokers that are part of larger financial institutions (Merrill and Bank of America, or even Fidelity), your Self-Directed Investing account appears on your Chase dashboard along with credit card accounts, bank accounts and any other account you have with Chase.
That’s an attractive feature if you’re looking to consolidate accounts, one of the biggest appeals of the brokerage service here. You’ll have quick transfers between brokerage and bank accounts, and you won’t have to guess whether your money is in limbo.
If you’re already familiar with the Chase dashboard, it’s simple to navigate with a generally clean interface, so you can get where you want to go easily. And if you’re opening a J.P. Morgan Automated Investing account, the broker’s robo-advisory, you’ll have that in the same place, too.
Commissions on stocks, ETFs and options
J.P. Morgan hits the sweet spot on commissions for stocks, ETFs and options – three of the most popular investment types. Here’s how much it will cost you to trade them:
- Stock commissions: $0
- ETF commissions: $0
- Option commissions: $0.65 per contract
Those numbers are solidly good, but the industry is so competitive that the figures are also merely in line with most of the top players such as Fidelity Investments and Charles Schwab, though Robinhood and Webull both offer no-cost options trades, too. No matter, J.P. Morgan delivers on one of the most important areas for investors: cost.
If you need to make a broker-assisted trade, however, it will run you $25 a pop.
No mutual fund commissions
When it comes to no commissions, J.P. Morgan takes it a step further than many brokers. The broker charges no commissions on mutual funds. And that pricing outdoes many rivals, some of whom offer no transaction fees on only the buy or sell, or minimize their commissions only on their in-house mutual funds or other no-transaction-fee funds.
The broker’s pricing puts it squarely among the best brokers for mutual funds, and it should appeal to mutual-fund investors, including new investors and retirement investors. This is one place where J.P. Morgan competes well with apps such as Webull and Robinhood and even tastyworks – none of which offers access to mutual funds, let alone no commissions on them.
No account minimum
Beginning investors will be able to get started with no account minimum, which admittedly is pretty much the industry standard these days. But it’s still good to see.
Cons: Where J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing could improve
No advanced types of investments
If you’re looking to trade anything off the beaten path with your self-directed investing account, you can forget about it. About the most exotic thing you’ll get here is options, which should be plenty of excitement for most investors. That means no futures, no foreign exchange, and no cryptocurrency.
The thing is, that shouldn’t be a deal-breaker for most investors. Stocks, options, ETFs, mutual funds and bonds should cover the investment needs of virtually everyone, and more esoteric products such as forex can be left to the pros. But if one of these things is a vital necessity, then you’ll have to turn elsewhere. Robinhood and Webull both offer crypto if that’s your thing and you like mobile trading, while forex speculators should turn to one of the best forex brokers.
Limited account types
The J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing account comes in four types: individual and joint taxable accounts, and traditional and Roth IRA accounts. While this certainly covers a wide range of investors, it won’t cover a number of popular but more niche accounts such as trusts, custodial accounts, SEP IRAs, 529 accounts, estates and more.
And that’s too bad, because a number of other rivals, including at the big banks, offer a much wider variety of account types. Merrill Edge, for example, offers each of those other account types as well as business accounts and many more. And it’s a similar story with Fidelity, Interactive Brokers, Charles Schwab and more.
So if you want the basic account types, you’re fine. Otherwise, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
No fractional shares
One of the more popular features at many brokerage firms is the ability to own fractional shares. This feature allows investors with less money to put all their money to work. Don’t have enough money to buy a full share of Amazon? Buy a partial share and enjoy the benefits. Some brokers even let you reinvest dividends into fractional shares, allowing you to put that cash to work.
Unfortunately, J.P. Morgan only allows you to purchase fractional shares using reinvested dividends, which may turn away beginning investors who have less to invest initially. If fractional shares are more of a “must have” feature for you, Fidelity, Charles Schwab and Robinhood all allow you to buy and reinvest in partial shares.
Firstrade4.0 Bankrate Score
Firstrade is a solid brokerage offering that may particularly appeal to options traders because of its commission-free options trades. You’ll also get access to quality research and its mobile app, but mutual fund investors may be disappointed by the small number of no-transaction fee funds available.
TD Ameritrade4.5 Bankrate Score
TD Ameritrade still offers strong platforms and a range of research for its clients, making it a very solid pick for more advanced traders, even as it is about to merge with Charles Schwab. A wide range of tradable securities and plenty of commission-free mutual funds make this broker interesting for both new and advanced traders, as do the competitive commissions.
WellsTrade2.5 Bankrate Score
WellsTrade handles most of the basics well and could be a good fit for existing Wells Fargo customers looking to consolidate accounts in one place. However, active traders should likely look elsewhere for their brokerage needs due to high options costs and a barebones trading platform.
Interactive Brokers5.0 Bankrate Score
Interactive Brokers keeps adding new features and improving its offerings year after year, and now has new mobile apps to pair with long-time strengths such as its wide number of tradable securities and access to global markets. Low margin rates, high interest rates on cash balances, and a leading number of no-transaction-fee mutual funds serve to make this broker a top pick.
E*Trade4.5 Bankrate Score
E-Trade is likely to be a suitable broker choice for many investors who will appreciate its low trading costs, high-quality research and education, and 24/7 access to customer service. However, if you’re starting small and looking to trade fractional shares, you’ll need to find a different option.
Ally Invest4.0 Bankrate Score
Ally Invest offers a solid brokerage with many of the features that investors have come to love, especially no-commission trades on stocks and ETFs, but it ups the game with low-cost options trades, too. All-hours customer support and an all-encompassing mobile app will make sure you get business done on your terms, though mutual fund investors may be a bit disappointed.
Merrill Edge4.5 Bankrate Score
Merrill Edge brings strong research and education to the investing space, offering a solid trading platform for stocks, bonds, options and funds. You’ll likely find some extra things to love here if you’re already a customer of parent Bank of America, with 24/7 phone support and in-branch service potentially making that relationship even more meaningful to clients.
Fidelity5.0 Bankrate Score
Fidelity Investments is back again with another blowout performance in Bankrate’s reviews. This broker seems to do it all right, from low costs to plenty of research to mutual funds to prompt and courteous customer service. And with so much under the Fidelity roof – banking, credit cards and more – you could capably run your financial life here.
Charles Schwab5.0 Bankrate Score
Charles Schwab is a great all-around broker, whether you’re just getting started investing or are more advanced, and it can bring the heat on almost anything you’re likely to need. Add on strong customer support, a wide investment selection, no-commission mutual funds, and tons of research, and you have the makings of a five-star broker.
Webull4.0 Bankrate Score
Webull offers a lot that investors will like such as commission-free trading, fractional shares and a slick mobile app that allows you to trade on the go or keep tabs on your favorite stocks. But only a few account types are offered and you won’t find the level of research that is available through other brokers.
Robinhood3.5 Bankrate Score
Robinhood has taken its game up a notch or two, pairing its traditional no-cost trading with new IRA accounts (and a special bonus match for clients) as well as improvements in customer service, including 24/7 chat. The mobile app remains an attractive place for options traders but is a no-go for those looking for mutual funds or a wide range of account types.
Vanguard3.0 Bankrate Score
Vanguard’s brokerage offering can handle the basics well and may be a good fit for long-term fund investors. But more active traders will be disappointed by the basic trading platform and high commissions for options trading.
TradeStation3.5 Bankrate Score
TradeStation’s brokerage offering is likely to suit active traders better than it does new investors or those just looking to save for retirement. Customers will get an advanced trading platform with low commissions, but you won’t find fractional shares and the mutual fund offering is limited.
SoFi Active Investing3.0 Bankrate Score
SoFi Active Investing is a low-cost broker that should meet the needs of new investors looking to only trade stocks and ETFs. More experienced investors may be disappointed by the lack of options or mutual fund trading and a limited research offering.
moomoo3.0 Bankrate Score
Moomoo joins a crowded field of discount brokerages with an appeal to individual traders, offering some atypical features, including access to U.S., Hong Kong and Chinese markets. Competitive pricing on stocks, ETFs and options will prove welcome with traders, though others may find the lack of account types, limited available securities and high transfer fees off-putting.
Zacks Trade3.5 Bankrate Score
Zacks Trade is a broker that should appeal to active traders with its advanced trading platform and ample research offering. New investors may be turned off by the high account minimum and fees for mutual fund trades.
Lightspeed3.0 Bankrate Score
Lightspeed is all about active traders who can deliver volume to the broker, and so everything is optimized around making the experience the best for them. That means discounted prices for high-volume trades and multiple high-power trading platforms, but it also means no concern for eliminating the nickel-and-dime costs that other brokers routinely slash.
tastytrade3.5 Bankrate Score
Tastytrade offers some of the lowest commissions around, whether you’re trading stocks, options or even cryptocurrency – and it actually caps your commissions on the latter two. Traders should find a lot to like here, among the commissions, trading platform and the variety of trading securities on offer, though long-term investors may bemoan the lack of mutual funds.