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Our Take

J.P. Morgan’s (J.P. Morgan) more than 200-year history makes them a solid presence in the financial industry. J.P. Morgan shines bright in not making their Self-Directed Investing platform overly complicated for customers, which is good for new investors. Average investors who prefer DIY investing may find that J.P. Morgan’s Self-Directed Investing platform is a pleasant resource in managing their investments. J.P. Morgan’s Self-Directed Investing platform has many features, but the platform lacks more advanced features that some competitors’ self-directed platforms have, such as access to robust third-party research. J.P. Morgan’s main goal is to provide exceptional customer service by putting the needs of their customer’s first and seeing things from the customer’s perspective. 

Introduction

J.P. Morgan’s history began over two centuries ago in 1799 when Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton formed The Manhattan Company in the state of New York. J.P. Morgan’s mission is to “build and maintain the best and most respected financial services company in the world, serving our clients and growing our communities globally”. 

In 2021, J.P. Morgan announced several achievements including being the number one underwriter of green bonds and ESG-labeled bonds. On September 21, 2021, J.P. Morgan Chase launched a digital Chase Bank in the United Kingdom. On October 26, 2021, J.P. Morgan reported that they have paid over $13 billion of the $30 billion they pledged toward closing the racial wealth gap. On January 25, 2022, J.P. Morgan Chase announced an agreement to acquire 49% ownership in Viva Wallet, a cloud-based payments fintech company based in Europe. 

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. is the overarching financial entity including the Chase banking side. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. owns broker-dealer J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (JPMS) which, in turn, runs the J.P. Morgan Wealth Management business with its full-service broker that provides various financial products and services. JP Morgan Wealth Management has a discount broker with commission-free stocks and ETFs buried inside it known as J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing (formerly “You Invest”). 

What J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing does well is to provide user-friendly platforms, tools, and resources to customers. However, a lack of advanced trading tools and other key features may cause more active traders to choose one of J.P. Morgan’s competitors. 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • User-friendly interface

  • Platforms integrate with all Chase accounts

  • Commission-free mutual funds

Cons
  • No direct crypto trading

  • No futures and forex trading

  • Limited research tools

Pros Explained 

  • J.P. Morgan offers a user-friendly, self-directed investing platform on both the website and the mobile app. The website and mobile app platforms have a similar design, and the process to complete trades is similar on both platforms. Customers can easily find the sections they are looking for when they log into their account.
  • The platform integrates with all Chase accounts. Chase customers who have a Self-Directed Investing account can see all their Chase accounts in the mobile app as well.
  • J.P. Morgan's self-direct investing platform offers commission-free online mutual fund trading. This is a rarity among brokers. Some of J.P. Morgan’s competitors either do not offer online mutual fund trading or they charge commissions and other transactional fees to trade mutual funds online. Customers should be aware that there are still normal expenses associated with owning mutual funds such as annual operating fees, management fees, and more. 

Cons Explained 

  • There is no direct cryptocurrency trading in the Self-Directed Investing platform. Investors seeking crypto investments will have to find other options.
  • There are no futures and forex trading options in the Self-Directed Investing platform. Investors seeking to trade a wider range of assets will have to look elsewhere.
  • There are limited research resources and tools in J.P. Morgan’s Self-Directed Investing platform in comparison to other brokers. J.P. Morgan gives customers access to proprietary research, but there is limited access to third-party research tools. Although there is not a diverse offering of third-party resources, investors do have access to research from Morningstar.

Usability

J.P. Morgan is one of the oldest and most well-known brokers, and has been a leader across the financial services sector. One of the benefits of being a J.P. Morgan customer is that all your accounts are integrated into the website and mobile app platforms. Self-Directed Investing customers can view all their Chase accounts in the mobile app. Both the website and mobile platforms are user-friendly and easy for customers to navigate, whether you’re a new investor or an experienced investor. Self-Directed Investing customers have access to various tools and resources on the website and mobile platforms.

The platforms include:

  • The www.Chase.com website
  • The Chase Mobile app

Customers can customize the layout of the Self-Directed Investing platform on both the website and in the mobile app. Customers have the capability to view their Self-Directed Investing account information on multiple platforms and devices simultaneously as long as they are logged through each platform and device. Self-Directed Investing customers can make trades with the same order types and asset classes, access charting tools, view market research reports, and more in both the mobile app and on the website.

Current Chase customers can set up a Self-Directed Investing account in the mobile app in less than five minutes. The application pre-fills some of your information using data from your existing account. Upon completing the application, it takes up to one business day to be processed and the account activated. 

Trade Experience

Whether using the website or the mobile app, Self-Directed Investing customers have similar trading experiences. The layouts in the mobile app and on the website are similar, and you can customize the layouts. Investors have access to real-time quote streams, but there is a 15-minute delay. You can screen stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs using the customizable screener tools. The screens can be based on technical indicators and can be saved for future use or converted to watchlists.

The Portfolio Builder tool is available to help investors with at least $2,500 in their account to generate ideas and determine how they want to set up their portfolio allocation. You can trade ETFs and stocks within Portfolio Builder, implementing the tool’s recommendations. The charting tool has limited features and does not have a drawing tool. 

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Mobile Trade Experience

J.P. Morgan’s Self-Directed Investing customers who use the website platform get an equally satisfying experience using the mobile app. Investors who prefer mobile investing will find that J.P. Morgan’s mobile app features are very similar to the website platform. You have access to all the same tools, resources, account types, order types, and asset classes through the mobile app.

The mobile app has charting tools, but drawing tools are not available. Investors can stream real-time quotes in the mobile app, but a customer service rep confirmed there is a 15-minute delay—this is likely a non-starter for traders. Additionally, the mobile app offers screeners for stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs, and customers can customize screens and convert screens to watchlists on the app. Mobile Self-Directed Investing customers have access to market news for the investments in their watchlists, J.P. Morgan Research, and market analysis.

The Portfolio Builder tool is also available in the mobile app. As with the web version, investors can create customized portfolios based on their asset allocation preferences and place stock and ETF trades within Portfolio Builder. Self-Directed Investing customers can obtain portfolio reports to conduct analysis of their portfolios in the mobile app. 

Range of Offerings

Self-Directed Investing customers have access to various types of investments, including:

  • Stocks
  • Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
  • Mutual funds (Over 3,000 mutual funds are available. JP Morgan only offers front-end load and back-end load mutual funds.) 
  • Options
  • Fixed income (J.P. Morgan offers new issued and secondary market corporate bonds, municipal bonds, government agency bonds and brokered certificates of deposit (CDs). They also offer U.S. Treasury bonds, bills, and notes.) 
  • Penny stocks (NOTE: J.P. Morgan doesn’t allow the purchase of OTCBB stocks trading below $5.) 

Order Types

J.P. Morgan offers four basic order types in the Self-Directed Investing platform: stop limit, market, limit, and stop order. The same order types are offered on the website and in the mobile app. J.P. Morgan doesn’t offer more advanced order types such as conditional orders like one-cancels-other (OCO). Conditional orders allow an investor to protect their profit and minimize their loss in the case a stock’s price declines. More experienced investors and active traders often depend on advanced order types for position management, so their omission makes this group less likely to choose J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing. 

Trading Technology

J.P. Morgan uses various types of processes to execute electronic orders. The processes include different trading systems, smart order routing (SOR) technology, and algorithmic trading approaches. For instance, SOR is used to split orders into smaller orders and route them to single dealers, securities exchanges, different trading systems, and internal matching systems. There is a specific routing logic used in this process. J.P. Morgan didn’t provide execution statistics. 

Customers must accept electronic trading agreements to use J.P. Morgan’s trading technology. The agreement essentially is that customers will comply with all applicable practices, rules, regulations, policies, and laws.

Costs 

J.P. Morgan makes the costs associated with the Self-Directed Investing account very clear to customers. 

  • No base commissions for U.S. online listed stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, and options.
  • $25 per trade transaction for broker-assisted trades. 
  • ETF and stock sales are subject to a transaction fee of $0.01 - $0.03 per $1,000 principal. 
  • $20 per trade transaction for broker-assisted mutual fund trades
  • Options are $0.65 per contract. The maximum number of legs possible in an equity options strategy is 4. 
  • 25 per trade plus $0.65 per contract for broker-assisted trades.
  • No fee to exercise or assign options. 
  • Options sales are subject to a regulatory transaction fee of $0.01 - $0.03 per $1,000 of principal. 
  • No base commission for U.S. Treasury bonds, notes, and bills (including auctions and secondary). 
  • No base commission for new issues of corporate bonds, government agency bonds, municipal bonds, and brokered CDs. 
  • $10 commission plus $1 per bond for secondary market corporate bonds, government agency bonds, municipal bonds, and brokered CDs ($250 maximum for 10 bonds). 
  • $75 to transfer and close a brokerage account or to close a retirement brokerage account.
  • Wire transfer fee of $25, but it does not apply to internal wire transfers.
  • No maintenance or inactivity fees.
  • No fees to make deposits or withdrawals.

How This Broker Makes Money From You and for You

J.P. Morgan makes customers aware that they will have various types of costs and expenses that are associated with investing. Like many of their competitors, J.P. Morgan offers commission-free investments. However, the company must have another option to earn income by providing products and services.

  • Interest on idle cash: J.P. Morgan investors can earn 0.01% on uninvested cash. Higher rates of interest are available through a money market fund sweep. 
  • Price improvement: J.P. Morgan discloses that they work to obtain the best execution of orders to meet customers' guaranteed price orders. They also state that they are committed to providing transparency about their order execution process, which sometimes includes hedging to minimize their market risk. Sometimes, this process may impact the order execution price. To comply with regulations, J.P. Morgan is careful to determine which markets are best for investments and execute orders in those markets at the best price based on current market conditions. J.P. Morgan doesn’t publish execution statistics in an easy-to-digest format. 
  • Payment for order flow (PFOF): J.P. Morgan discloses that it may make money from receiving payments for order flow such as credits, rebates, discounts, and lower fees. J.P. Morgan discloses these payments in their quarterly Rule 606 reports. In the most recent filing, J.P. Morgan did not receive any payment for order flow. 

Account and Research Amenities

J.P. Morgan provides the most common offerings in the Self-Directed Investing platform. Their free research tools are limited in comparison to other brokers’ extensive research amenities. 

Stock Screener

J.P. Morgan’s Self-Directed Investing platform has a stock screener that customers can access on the mobile app and the website. Customers can screen stocks based on technical indicators and Morningstar ratings, save screens for future use, and convert screens into watchlists.

ETF and Mutual Fund Screener

The Self-Directed Investing platform has a screener for ETFs and mutual funds, and it is available on the mobile app and the website. Customers can screen mutual funds and ETFs based on technical indicators and Morningstar ratings, save screens for future use, and convert screens into watchlists.

Options Screener

Screening for options is not available in the Self-Directed Investing platform. 

Fixed Income Screener

Screening for fixed income securities is not a feature made available to Self-Directed Investing platform customers. 

Tools and Calculators

J.P. Morgan’s Self-Directed Investing customers have access to various tools, but the range is somewhat limited compared to some of the more advanced tools available on competing platforms. For instance, available tools simply include the Portfolio Builder, portfolio reports, and real-time quote streams.

Charting

J.P. Morgan’s Self-Directed Investing platform has a limited selection of charting tools that are available on the web platform and in the mobile app. Unfortunately, there is not a drawing feature included in the charting tool. Customers have access to technical indicators to customize charts. 

Trading Idea Generators

Self-Directed Investing customers have access to the Portfolio Builder tool. They can use the tool to generate ideas about various investments and determine how they want to set up their portfolio allocation. 

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News

Mobile Self-Directed Investing customers have access to market news for the investments in their watchlists. Customers can subscribe to the biweekly The Know Newsletter to receive news about investing trends, strategy recommendations, and market analysis. Additionally, customers can subscribe to The Know: In Focus, which covers informative and educational articles and videos emailed biweekly on various financial topics. 

Third-Party Research

The only third-party research available to Self-Directed Investing customers is Morningstar ratings included in the screeners. However, customers still have access to the company’s proprietary J.P. Morgan Markets, DataQuery, and Global Index Research platforms. J.P. Morgan Research contains research on over 1,200 companies.

Cash Management

If Self-Directed Investing customers have cash balances in their accounts, J.P. Morgan places the cash into a deposit account. Customers can choose to have the funds automatically swept into a bank deposit sweep account at 0.01% or a money market fund sweep account with yields up to 2.0%. 

Fractional Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP)

J.P. Morgan offers customers the option to make fractional share investments, including dividend reinvestments. 

SRI/ESG Research Amenities

There is a section called Find Investments in the Self-Directed Investing platform, where customers can search for mutual funds, stocks, and ETFs. There is a filter option to only search for socially responsible investments (SRI) in the mutual funds and ETFs search sections. Customers can view individual quotes, track the investment’s performance, view Morningstar’s ratings, and more. 

Portfolio Analysis

The platform’s Portfolio Builder tool is helpful in creating a diverse portfolio. However, customers must have a minimum cash balance of $2,500 to use this tool. While customers have access to a sector allocation monitor portfolio tracking feature, there are no trading journals or backtesting features in the platform. Real-time quote streams are also available to customers, but there is a 15-minute delay. 

Education

J.P. Morgan offers various free educational resources to Self-Directed Investing customers. Customers can subscribe to The Know: In Focus, which is a biweekly email of articles and videos that cover various topics. Topics include economic and market outlook, investing basics from a to z, information about retirement, and more. There is also a section on the website called The Know, which contains various articles and videos on various topics, market trends, research, and more. 

Customer Service

Customers have a variety of ways to contact customer service on the website and in the mobile app. On the website, there is an entire page dedicated to customer service and how and where all Chase customers can find help.

  • Customer service is available by phone or at a local branch during normal business hours.
  • There is no live chat option.
  • In the mobile app, customers have access to a 24/7 Chase Digital Assistant chat function.
  • Customers can contact customer service through Chase’s social media accounts.
  • Both the website and mobile app have Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) sections on various pages. 
  • The option to speak with a licensed advisor or broker during normal business hours is available to customers. 

Security and Reliability

J.P. Morgan takes their role to protect their customers’ information and accounts seriously. They use a variety of processes and procedures to secure information, including:

  • A multiple step authentication process when logging in from a device that isn’t recognized or for a first-time login. 
  • Biometric login features such as voice ID, touch ID, and face ID
  • J.P. Morgan is a member of Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) and the cash sweep is protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
  • J.P. Morgan Chase, the bank, has dealt with security breaches related to the Chase Mobile app, which is also the access point for J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing. However, J.P. Morgan Securities did not report any breaches or outages. 

Transparency

Throughout the website and in the mobile app, J.P. Morgan provides detailed information about their pricing and fee structure for the Self-Directed Investing platform. Customers can also find additional information about various terms, costs, fees, the risks of investing, and more in the footnotes that are normally located near the bottom of the company’s web pages. J.P. Morgan provides details about their order execution process and payments they receive according to regulatory requirements, but doesn’t make these as easy-to-understand as many other brokers. 

Available Account Types

J.P. Morgan offers just three Self-Directed Investing accounts: 

  • Individual taxable account 
  • Traditional individual retirement account (IRA)
  • Roth IRA

Final Verdict 

J.P. Morgan is a financial company with over two centuries of history. The heft of the J.P. Morgan brand helps their products and services succeed even when the offering itself is quite simple. Without a doubt, J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing is simple. It doesn’t have a lot of tools for analysis or reams of research for investors to go through. The trade interface is basic and the assets and account types are limited. With these limitations, J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing stops just short of posting a “no active traders allowed” sign on its brokerage. This fits with the whole J.P. Morgan Chase experience, of course, as it is very much tilted to professional and proven management of client accounts. 

Taken as a whole, J.P. Morgan’s Self-Directed Investing platform has more in common with Vanguard and T. Rowe Price as the design and selection of tools is meant to encourage buy and hold investing rather than active trading. In that regard, J.P. Morgan’s Self-Directed Investing product is competitive, with transparent pricing and just the necessary tools to find good assets and hold them. Whether that is enough for you depends on what type of investor you are and, quite honestly, how much weight the J.P. Morgan brand carries with you. 

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Investopedia is dedicated to providing investors with unbiased, comprehensive reviews and ratings of online brokers. This year, we revamped the review process by conducting an extensive survey of customers that are actively looking to start trading and investing with an online broker. We then combined this invaluable information with our subject matter expertise to develop the framework for a quantitative ratings model that is at the core of how we compiled our list of the best online broker and trading platform companies.

This model weighs key factors like trading technology, range of offerings, mobile app usability, research amenities, educational content, portfolio analysis features, customer support, costs, account amenities, and overall trading experience according to their importance. Our team of researchers gathered 2425 data points and weighted 66 criteria based on data collected during extensive research for each of the 25 companies we reviewed. 

Many of the brokers we reviewed also gave us live demonstrations of their platforms and services, either at their New York City offices or via video conferencing methods. Live brokerage accounts were also obtained for most of the platforms we reviewed, which our team of expert writers and editors used to perform hands-on testing in order to lend their qualitative point of view. 

Read our full Methodology for reviewing online brokers.