Fidelity Go is designed with the young investor in mind and has a very simple user interface. The all-digital service lets you manage a single goal and is the introductory level for Fidelity’s various managed products. As the product has evolved since its launch in 2016, the focus has been on helping young and emerging investors overcome hesitations around investing. A new client can open an account without making a deposit, but you’ll need at least $10 to make any investments.
In addition to our review of Fidelity Go, we've also reviewed Fidelity's traditional brokerage services.
New and Notable Updates
- The fee structure for Fidelity Go was changed in mid-2020 from a flat percentage of assets under management to three tiers. There is no fee for accounts holding less than $10,000.
- Accounts with balances of $10,000-$49,999 pay a flat subscription of $3 per month. Larger accounts switch to 0.35% per year of assets under management.
- Fidelity Spire, launched in mid-2020, is a free app aimed at young investors to help them plan for financial goals. It links to Fidelity Go for long-term goals and to a cash management account for short-term goals. Users can also link to a Fidelity brokerage account.
- Fidelity Go is an all-digital service that lets you manage a single goal and is the introductory level for Fidelity’s various managed products.
- Fidelity Go charges no management fee for accounts under $10,000.
- Fidelity Spire, a separate app, works with Fidelity Go accounts to help users plan for and prioritize goals.
As your financial life grows more complex, you can choose one of the advisory offerings that include personal guidance from a financial advisor. Fidelity launched Personalized Planning and Advice in 2019, with a minimum of $25,000. Beyond that, there are managed accounts for investors with over $250,000 through Fidelity Wealth Services.
Opening an account is simple and straightforward.
Platform requires just $10 to start investing.
Monthly costs are described in detail up front.
Accounts under $10,000 pay no management fee.
Managing multiple goals requires a separate app, Fidelity Spire.
Portfolio contains only proprietary mutual funds.
No socially responsible portfolio options.
No tax-loss harvesting.
Fidelity Go has an easy and straightforward account setup process. After answering five simple questions, such as the year you were born and your annual taxable income, you are presented with an overview of your proposed portfolio. You can tweak the assumptions at this point or choose a different risk level. You are shown, clearly, what costs are associated with a Fidelity Go account, which is a much-appreciated feature.
The portfolios are invested solely in proprietary Fidelity mutual funds. Most of the robo-advisories invest funds in ETFs, but Fidelity uses its own zero-fee proprietary funds.
Once you choose to go forward, you open an investing account and connect a bank account so the Fidelity Go portfolio can be funded. You’re encouraged to set up regular deposits during this step. Unfortunately, you can’t transfer assets in from other accounts or brokers – you can only fund a Fidelity Go account with cash. However, it is possible to roll over cash from a 401(k) account to a Fidelity Go Rollover IRA account.
Fidelity Go has the advantage of being part of the Fidelity ecosystem. You can only track a single goal using Fidelity Go, but you can open multiple accounts if you want to dedicate funds to separate goals. Alternatively, you can use the Fidelity Spire mobile app, designed for young investors just starting out but usable by anyone planning for a financial goal, to define and track progress towards your goals. If you have multiple goals, the app has a decision tool built in to help prioritize, showing the potential impact of which goal should be attended to first. Note that this is a mobile-only tool. Fidelity Spire also makes it possible to link Fidelity workplace retirement savings accounts, such as 401(k) or 403(b), to help track progress towards retirement goals.
Once the account has been funded and invested, you can choose a dollar amount you're trying to reach along with your target date. Fidelity then estimates the likelihood of reaching your dollar goal by your target date, based on your initial deposit and planned monthly additions. If it looks like you may not reach your goal, Fidelity offers some suggestions of things you can do that could improve your likelihood of success. If you set your Fidelity Go account up as an IRA, you’ll be shown the likelihood of reaching your retirement goal.
If you have other Fidelity accounts, you can see how they are all doing on a single screen. Selecting the Fidelity Go account from the list brings up an asset allocation graph and a performance summary.
Fidelity Go clients can access all the planning tools that Fidelity offers, which focus on major milestones that include having or adopting a baby, getting married, managing estate planning, getting divorced, starting a business, and other goals. These planning tools are available on the Fidelity Planning and Guidance Center rather than being built into Fidelity Go but they are still an incredible resource.
The Fidelity Go account does not offer margin, loan, or banking capabilities, although you can access those services with other accounts at Fidelity. If a customer changes his or her risk measurement and decides to move to a different portfolio, the account is reinvested as needed. Any cash in the account is swept into a money market fund.
Fidelity Go accounts are designed to have a regular annual review in addition to the monthly progress updates. These annuals reviews are meant to ensure that the strategy you are using and the goals you are working towards are still relevant. This is a nice touch, as the hands-off nature of robo-advisories may lead investors to take a set-and-forget approach to their portfolio otherwise.
- Fidelity zero-fee mutual funds
Fidelity Go draws on Fidelity’s team of investment professionals to create portfolios using Fidelity Flex zero-fee mutual funds exclusively. These funds are not available to investors outside managed accounts. Fidelity’s investment pros take care of monitoring and rebalancing the portfolios. So Fidelity Go doesn’t give you access to human financial advisors, but the humans are behind the portfolios that are matched up to your investment profile. Because Fidelity Go only offers access and exposure to Fidelity's own mutual funds, they received a significantly lower ranking than might otherwise be the case.
As mentioned, the portfolios are made up of funds managed by Fidelity itself. Approximately 0.5% is held in cash. Fidelity Go does not offer tax-loss harvesting, most likely due to using its proprietary mutual funds rather than ETFs that can be used to minimize the taxes due on a taxable account. It should be noted, however, that Fidelity Go taxable accounts may contain tax-advantaged investments like municipal bonds. This is a tax-minimization/performance-enhancement strategy, but it isn’t equivalent to tax-loss harvesting.
Portfolio rebalancing happens when cash in the account hits an internal limit (around 1%), drifts significantly from the target allocation, or semi-annually. Fidelity Go portfolios are continuously monitored, so if markets move significantly in either direction and the portfolio strays significantly from the selected investment strategy, a rebalance could be triggered.
If you want a complete picture of all of your assets, you can consolidate outside accounts on the Fidelity platform so you can see them all in one place and do some overall portfolio analysis. However, the Fidelity Go goal-setting process does not consider these external accounts in its calculations.
Fidelity Go is built into Fidelity’s mobile app. You can open an account via a mobile device on the responsive web experience. Once the account is opened, it can be viewed in the native mobile app. Tap on the “Fidelity Go” account in the Portfolios list to see the activity in the account. The Fidelity Spire app pairs with Fidelity Go to provide goal setting and progress features.
There is a separate web address for Fidelity Go, but that just gets you to the landing page to open an account. Once your account is open and funded, it shows up within the standard Fidelity web platform. Each Fidelity Go account is dedicated to a single goal, so those with multiple goals should be sure to use the account settings tool to give each goal its own name. Otherwise, the list can be confusing.
Fidelity Go is a digital-only offering, so almost all support is online. You can use the chat function 24/7. The FAQs are somewhat brief, so if you have a question that requires more assistance to answer, you’ll end up in a long phone queue. Once an agent picks up the line, however, we found that our questions were answered in depth by a knowledgeable representative.
Education & Security
When it comes to education and security, Fidelity Go is once again able to benefit from the larger Fidelity ecosystem. The Fidelity Go website and mobile app both employ very high-security features. The website has 128-bit, two-way data encryption, fraud detection, and all the other standard offerings for sites handling financial information. Mobile apps can be unlocked with a fingerprint or with facial recognition technology. Fidelity Go also offers two-factor authentication, money transfer lockdown, security text alerts, and voice recognition technology on calls to customer service.
Fidelity’s website is packed with investor education, although the assistance offered within Fidelity Go focuses on the robo-advisory itself. Once you have an account funded with Fidelity Go, all of the videos, articles, and classes published by Fidelity are available. Fidelity has also launched a site for new investors called MyMoney (https://www.fidelity.com/mymoney) aimed at guiding young people toward financial security.
Fidelity Spire, the aforementioned mobile app intended to help young adults on their journey towards achieving their financial goals, helps users set and prioritize goals, and figure out where to invest depending on the time frame. Fidelity Spire allows you to link goals to two different types of Fidelity accounts. For a short-term goal established in Fidelity Spire, the Fidelity Cash Management account is recommended, with no fees or minimum balances, and ATM fee reimbursement. For long-term goals, with the opportunity for investment growth over time, users can decide whether to invest on their own or enroll in a robo-advisory service such as Fidelity Go. A brokerage account can also be linked to the goals defined in the Spire app.
Commissions & Fees
The management fee for a Fidelity Go account is tiered, which was put into effect in July 2020. Accounts less than $10,000 are managed for no fee. Between $10,000 and $49,999, there is a flat subscription fee of $3 per month. At $50,000 and over, the fee is 0.35% per year, charged monthly. This doesn’t sound as competitive as it actually is because the underlying mutual funds in the account carry no additional fees. Some lower-fee robo-advisories may actually end up being more expensive than Fidelity Go when the average expense ratios of the underlying funds are added into the mix.
- Monthly cost to manage a $5,000 portfolio: $0
- Monthly cost to manage a $25,000 portfolio: $3
- Monthly cost to manage a $100,000 portfolio: $29.17
Is Fidelity Go a Good Fit for You?
It is easy to cast Fidelity Go as a defensive maneuver for the firm, designed to keep its clients’ cash from flowing out to other robo-advisories. Generating a financial plan can involve wading through information on Fidelity’s main website, and the tools needed for some goal planning are not built into the Go offering. It’s missing some key advantages of a robo-advisory such as tax-loss harvesting. However, this view overlooks the intended target for Fidelity Go.
Fidelity Go is aimed squarely at hands-off investors who are looking for a low-cost option that comes with professional human oversight for the portfolio, but not for the planning. Yes, you are giving up your ability to really customize a portfolio or grab ETFs that personally interest you.
The whole point of Fidelity Go is that you can put your money into a portfolio and Fidelity Go takes care of the rest – and they’ll even prompt you to review your investments once a year in case you’re not reading the monthly updates. If you want more control and want to be more actively involved, then this isn’t the robo-advisory for you. If, however, you want to invest with a well-established player on the cheap, then Fidelity Go is a very strong candidate.
Compare Fidelity Go
Fidelity Go features an easy-to-use interface and is geared to a newer investor. See how it compares against other robo-advisors we reviewed.
Investopedia Robo-Advisor Rating Methodology
Investopedia is dedicated to providing investors with unbiased, comprehensive reviews and ratings of robo-advisors. Our 2020 reviews are the result of in-depth evaluations of over 20 robo-advisor platforms, including the user experience, goal-setting capabilities, portfolio construction, costs and fees, security, mobile experience, and customer service. You can read our full robo-advisor rating methodology for a much more in-depth explanation than the summary below.
Overall Star Rating Explained
With the individual investor in mind, we took a critical look at the services and technology provided by robo-advisors. We organized our methodology into nine categories, scoring each advisor across multiple variables to rate performance in every applicable category. The score for the overall award is a weighted average of the categories.
|Education & Security||5%||6|
The Review Process
To evaluate these platforms, we sent questionnaires with over 100 queries to the participating robo-advisories. Most of the companies we reviewed gave us socially-distanced video demonstrations of their platforms and services during August 2020.
From the questionnaires, the hands-on testing of the platforms, and the platform demonstrations, we scored each category and then combined the category scores into an overall rating for each robo-advisor. Each category covers the critical elements users need to thoroughly evaluate a robo-advisor.