J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing review 2021

Bankrate senior reporter James F. Royal, Ph.D., covers investing and wealth management. His work has been cited by CNBC, the Washington Post, The New York Times and more.

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J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing Logo

Best For

  • Chase customers
  • Mutual fund investors
  • Mobile traders

Formerly known as YouInvest, J.P. Morgan’s online brokerage has gotten a makeover as J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing, a bulky re-christening that belies an actually solid brokerage experience. While it won’t solve all investing problems for all people, the broker gets the core parts right, with no-commission trading on stocks and ETFs, no mutual fund commissions and a surprisingly powerful mobile app. That’s not to say the offering isn’t without issues – no fractional shares and limited account types being two – but J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing is going to work well for many investors, especially those who are already customers of Chase Bank.

Those looking for a more fully featured broker should take a look at Fidelity Investments or Charles Schwab, while those looking to expand a relationship with Bank of America should look at its brokerage arm, Merrill. Each offers a more comprehensive experience than J.P. Morgan, but not necessarily one that you need if you’re looking to get the basics right.

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing at a glance

Star Rating

3
  • Cost: 4 of 5
  • Accounts and trading: 3 of 5
  • Research and Education: 4.5 of 5
  • Mobile: 3.5 of 5
  • Customer Experience: 3.5 of 5
  • Minimum Balance:
    $0
  • Cost per stock trade:
    $0
  • Cost per options trade:
    $0.65 per contract
  • Promotion:
    None
  • Commission-free mutual funds or ETFs:
    All
  • No-transaction-fee mutual funds:
    More than 3,000
  • Securities tradable:
    Stocks, ETFs, options, bonds, mutual funds
  • Customer service:
    Phone, email, social media M-F 8 a.m.-9 p.m., Sat 9 a.m.-5 p.m., in-branch during Chase's normal business hours
  • Account fees:
    $75 transfer-out fee, $75 IRA termination fee
  • Mobile app:
    J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing is available on the Chase mobile app on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Top features you’ll love

Mobile app

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 the best wealth management app in overall customer satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2020 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.

Pros: Where J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing stands out

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 more than 3,000 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.

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 and 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.

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.

Quick comparison of Brokerage options:
Brokerage Overall Rating Avg. Cost Per Trade Accounts and Trading
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing logo
$0 3 of 5
TD Ameritrade® review 2021 logo Read Our Review
$0 5 of 5
Fidelity® review 2021 logo Read Our Review
$0 5 of 5
Merrill Edge® review 2021 logo Read Our Review
$0 4 of 5

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 anyway. That means no futures, no foreign exchange, no cryptocurrency.

The thing is, that shouldn’t be a dealbreaker 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 doesn’t permit you to do either of these types of fractional share ownership. And that may turn away beginning investors who especially like this feature. 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.

Slow account opening

In an age where Robinhood can get you trading in 15 minutes – actual buying and selling, not just opening an account – J.P. Morgan could be a lot swifter about getting you in the game. After re-entering some personal information – most of which the company should have already had – I received an email that J.P. Morgan had received my request and that they would “be in touch within one business day.” Though the company did get back to me in a few hours, that’s not fast enough these days, and it seems out of character with other Chase experiences, where credit cards appear on your account dashboard immediately.

Bottom line

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing gets the basics mostly right, including an attractive mobile app that may appeal to younger, mobile-first investors.

  • The broker is a great fit if you’re already a Chase customer and are looking to test out investing yourself or even the company’s robo-advisor.
  • The no-commission model puts the broker in the running with other rivals, but commission-free trading on mutual funds is a small edge that many brokers don’t offer.
  • But the broker does present some drawbacks for newer investors (such as no fractional shares and limited account types).

Those who see fractional shares as a necessity may be drawn to Robinhood or Fidelity, while those who need a different account type can choose almost any other big online brokerage and have a shot at finding what they need (TD Ameritrade and E-Trade, for example).

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