Fidelity Go 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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Fidelity Go Logo

Best For

  • Beginning investors
  • Cost-conscious investors
  • Fidelity customers

Like brokerage rival Charles Schwab, Fidelity Investments has thrown its hat into the robo-advisor ring, with its Fidelity Go service. Fidelity Go offers core robo-advisor features (portfolio management, rebalancing) and combines them with Fidelity’s investor-friendly reputation. So you’ll get funds with no fees and excellent customer service at any hour of the day. Fidelity is a better pick for those who already have a relationship with the company or those getting started. 

If you need more advanced features such as tax-loss harvesting or human advisors, you’ll want to check out a few rivals, including Wealthfront, Betterment and Schwab Intelligent Portfolios. If cost is your only objective, then it may be worth checking out SoFi Automated Investing.

Fidelity Go at a glance

Star Rating

4
  • Cost: 4.5 of 5
  • Investments and Portfolios: 3.5 of 5
  • Account Types: 4 of 5
  • Features and Tools: 4 of 5
  • Customer Experience: 4 of 5
  • Account Minimum:
    $0 to open; $10 to invest
  • Management Fee:
    $0-$10,000 -- Free; $10,000-$50,000 -- $3 per month; Above $50k: 0.35 percent
  • Account fees:
    None
  • Portfolio Mix:
    9 Fidelity Flex funds across 8 asset classes
  • Fund Expense Ratio:
    0 percent
  • Account Types:
    Individual and joint taxable, plus Roth IRA, traditional IRA, and rollover IRA
  • Cash Management Account:
    Yes, through a Fidelity bank account, which offers: no account fees, debit card, ATM reimbursements, check-writing, billpay, ability to buy CDs, $1.25 million FDIC insurance.
  • Customer service:
    Phone 24/7; chat 8 a.m.- 6 p.m. ET; email
  • Tax Strategy:
    Municipal bond funds used in taxable accounts
  • Rebalancing:
    Free, but done by humans, not algorithms
  • Tools:
    Basic goal tracker, debt payoff, and dozens of Fidelity’s educational tools, planning guides and more
  • Promotion:
    None, though first $10,000 is managed free

Pros: Where Fidelity Go stands out

Low cost for beginners

Fidelity has a three-tiered pricing system, with fees that increase as your balance increases. The structure is somewhat unusual in this space and works as follows: 

  • If your account has $0 to $9,999, you’ll pay no fees at all.
  • If your account has $10,000 to $49,999, you’ll pay a flat $3 per month.
  • If your account has more than $50,000, you’ll pay 0.35 percent annually.

This pricing structure may create some weird incentives for customers, even as it allows beginning investors with less than $10,000 to get started with no management fee. 

For example, if you bring $10,000 to your Fidelity Go account and you’re no longer receiving free benefits. Instead, you’re paying $36 a year for that balance, or about 0.36 percent annually. Contrast that with a balance of just below $50,000, where you’re still paying that $36 annually. It’s not a bad deal to have five times the money managed at the same flat rate. In fact, you’re being charged 0.072 percent of assets each year. 

But things shift as soon as you bring $50,000 to Fidelity, because then your fee jumps to 0.35 percent, basically becoming five times as expensive right at $50,000. And from there, of course, the fee remains proportional to your assets. (So you might have a perverse incentive to open up multiple accounts below that $50,000 threshold and avoid further incremental fees.) 

It’s also important to point out that Fidelity’s advisory fee includes the cost of the funds. So unlike at most other robo-advisors (Personal Capital is a notable exception), you won’t pay an additional fee for the funds you invest in, regardless of your pricing tier.

So while Fidelity’s headline rate of 0.35 percent looks higher than those offered by Wealthfront and Betterment, for example, on an “all-in” cost including funds, they’re all highly competitive. 

Low-cost mutual funds

Fidelity Go uses mutual funds instead of ETFs, unlike most robo-advisors. That difference is somewhat academic, since Fidelity’s mutual funds offer low costs, one of the major appeals of ETFs. All the funds used in the program are Fidelity Flex funds and charge no expense ratio. That is, they don’t charge ongoing fees for holding them, unlike most ETFs and mutual funds.

That’s a little advantage if you’re going with Fidelity, especially if you’re just starting out. At other robo-advisors your funds might typically cost you about 0.1 percent annually, or about $10 for every $10,000 you have invested. So that’s additional savings that gets rolled into your funds.

Smooth sign-up

The process for signing up for a Fidelity Go account is easy. You’ll input your birth year, select a savings goal (retirement or something else), estimate your risk tolerance and provide how much you’re bringing to the table. Fidelity provides you a model portfolio and details the funds you’ll be investing in. Another plus, you can see it all before you actually have to create your account.

If you don’t like the model portfolio, you can change your risk tolerance and see how it’s allocated. Then you can create your account and get started. If you’re already a Fidelity client, you can log in and quickly sail through the account opening process in a few minutes. And even if you aren’t, you’ll still be able to get started in 15 minutes with the smooth sign-up process. 

Integrated with Fidelity

One positive of the Fidelity Go account is that it appears alongside your other Fidelity accounts, so you can quickly access all of it from your Fidelity dashboard. It will pull up your positions, projected value, your model portfolio and other relevant information. You can move quickly from one Fidelity account to another, and transfer money from a cash account to your brokerage accounts, Go account or others. 

This integration with Fidelity also means you’ll get access to its educational resources, including its retirement and planning tools, which are extensive. 

Cash management account

Fidelity offers a high-performing cash management account, though you’ll have to open it separately from the robo-advisor account. (And once your info is in the Fidelity system, account opening is a breeze anyway.) The cash management account charges no account fees and you’ll have FDIC coverage up to $1.25 million via Fidelity’s partner banks. You’ll also get mobile payments, billpay, debit card, check-writing and ATM fee reimbursements anywhere in the U.S.

While the account doesn’t pay interest, you can invest in CDs to increase your yield. 

Customer support

Fidelity has an excellent reputation for customer service, and Fidelity Go is an extension of that same ethos. Like its other accounts, Fidelity won’t nickel-and-dime you for every little thing, and it charges no extra fees for the standard account services (no transfer-out fee, for example). 

You’ll also have access to Fidelity’s customer service staff 24 hours a day seven days a week by phone. Or you can reach out via live chat between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m ET. Email is also an option.

Quick comparison of Robo-Advisor options:
Robo-Advisor Overall Rating Cost Rating Investments and Portfolios
Fidelity Go logo
4.5 3.5 of 5
Wealthfront review 2021 logo Read Our Review
5 5 of 5
Schwab Intelligent Portfolios review 2021 logo Read Our Review
5 4.5 of 5
Ellevest review 2021 logo Read Our Review
4.5 5 of 5

Cons: Where Fidelity Go could improve

Tax-loss harvesting

Fidelity Go doesn’t offer tax-loss harvesting on its accounts, and that’s a liability compared to other well-regarded robo-advisors that have made it a standard feature. Tax-loss harvesting involves selling a losing investment to score a tax break, a process that can save you money and improve your returns over time.

However, Fidelity does provide municipal bond funds in its taxable accounts in place of its regular bond allocations. That helps minimize the tax bite from these income investments. Still, it’s not the same as tax-loss harvesting and its potential benefits.

Comprehensive goal-based investing

Unlike other robo-advisors that may offer goal-based investing with multiple potential goals, you have to pick one option with Fidelity Go. You can opt for a retirement goal or some other goal (which is assumed to be in a taxable account). However, you won’t have the comprehensive financial plan and multiple goals that are key features of robo-advisors such as Wealthfront.

So Fidelity Go is fine for generalized investing, but it lacks this complete planning element that really rounds out the service and turns rivals into comprehensive financial planners. 

No human advisors

If you’re going with a robo-advisor portfolio, you probably don’t have a lot of expectations about receiving human help with your account. Robo-advisors are designed to manage the portfolio with no (or minimal) human intervention – that’s the point. And that’s the case with Fidelity Go, where it’s not even an add-on option for the account. It’s not necessarily a negative on Fidelity’s service, though other rivals do offer human advice, albeit usually with a higher or additional fee. 

If that’s critical to you, you could also decide to move to Fidelity’s Personalized Planning & Advice service, which provides portfolio management services as well. You’ll have to bring $25,000 to the relationship and the management fee rises to 0.5 percent of assets annually.

Conflicts of interest

Let’s not harp on this too much, because Fidelity’s funds charge no expense ratio, making them free for investors. But it’s worth pointing out (as Bankrate has done in other reviews) that Fidelity has a conflict of interest in recommending its own funds. It’s also worth considering whether Fidelity’s management fee would be lower if it otherwise were charging fees for its funds. 

Bottom line

Fidelity Go looks like a solid, but not outstanding, robo-advisor that offers many of the core robo-advisor features. It’s likely a good fit for those who are already Fidelity customers, and it piggybacks on the company’s excellent (and deserved) reputation for customer service. 

While Fidelity’s pricing structure gets beginners in the game, those with higher balances may find that other robo-advisors offer a higher level of service without charging any more. Wealthfront and Betterment are excellent picks in this regard, and Schwab Intelligent Portfolios brings a highly attractive flat-fee model with access to human advisors, too.

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