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.
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