Fidelity Go Review and Profile

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Ranked #1 for Best Overall Robo

Ranked #1 for Performance at a Low Cost

Ranked #1 for Best Robo from an Incumbent Financial Institution (2019 Summer Ranking)


Overview: 

Fidelity Go offers a compelling robo advisor with a history of strong performance at a low cost. In our most recent Robo Ranking, Fidelity Go placed first in three of the six categories that we use to rank robos: Best Overall Robo, Performance at a Low Cost, and Best Robo from an Incumbent Financial Institution. Fidelity Go’s performance has been consistently strong. In our latest Robo Report, Fidelity Go had the best two- and three-year trailing performance above/below the Normalized Benchmark, as well as the best equity performance over the same periods. Its portfolio is constructed entirely of proprietary Fidelity Flex mutual funds. 

Fidelity Go has two service levels; one is purely digital and the other is a hybrid offering with access to live advisors. It’s digital-only tier charges a 0.35% annual fee and the premium tier charges 0.50%.  While these management fees are slighter higher than some of Fidelity’s competitors, the Fidelity Flex funds have a 0.00% expense ratio, making Fidelity Go’s all-in costs competitive with those of other low-cost providers.

For investors looking for account-specific advice and financial planning, Fidelity’s hybrid robo solution, called Personalized Planning and Advice, combines Fidelity Go tools with live advisors.  Users who are comfortable working exclusively with online financial planning tools will benefit from Fidelity’s digital planner that can independently model different goals and consider multiple variables, such as retirement spending and college tuition costs.  Although it lacks some features like automated tax-loss harvesting, Fidelity has a quality and comprehensive platform, low all-in costs, and a history of strong returns.

Pros:

  • No account minimum for Digital plan
  • Access to advisor with Premium plan
  • Direct indexing offered
  • Robust digital financial planning tools

Cons:

  • Advisors are not CFP® certified
  • No dedicated advisor
  • Performance of investment 

Platform Facts:

Last updated: 09/30/2019

Account MinimumDigital Only: No Minimum;
Personalized Planning & Advice: $25,000
Advisory FeeDigital Only: 0.35%;
Personalized Planning & Advice: 0.50%
Average Weighted Expense Ratio0.00%
Accounts SupportedIndividual, Joint, Traditional IRA, Roth IRA

Performance Figures:

Last updated: 12/31/2019


2-YR (annualized)Sharpe Ratio
Fidelity Go Taxable6.62%.57
Fidelity Go IRA7.57%.51

Digital Advice Ratings:

Access to Advisors (2/5)

Access to advisors is not one of Fidelity Go’s strong suits.  Although access to advisors is available at its second tier, advisors are not required to hold a CFP® or relevant professional designation.  Even when upgrading to the “Personalized Planning and Advice” hybrid tier costing 0.50%, clients do not have a dedicated advisor. 

Financial Planning (4.5/5)

Fidelity scores very high in regards to financial planning tools.  Clients can independently model different goals and consider multiple variables, such as retirement spending and college tuition expenses.  Clients are only able to build single goal plans, which come with “what-if” scenario testing, and retirement plans do incorporate both Social Security assumptions and additional retirement income, such as a pension or annuity.

Transparency and Conflicts (3/5)

Fidelity provides access to both traditional and blended benchmarks to assess performance.  It does provide white papers detailing the investment strategy, but does not detail the performance of its models online.  Portfolio models are visible before account opening, based on the planning goal and results of the risk tolerance questionnaire.  Fidelity invests its clients’ portfolios in proprietary Fidelity Flex mutual funds. However, these funds do have 0.00% expense ratios, which keep costs to a minimum. 

Features and Customer Experience (3/5)

Fidelity is average in regards to features and customer experience.  It offers cash management features, invests in fractional shares, and allocates portions of a portfolio to tax-efficient investments.  It does not provide dividend reinvestment to rebalance the portfolio or offer tax-loss harvesting. When assessing customer experience, Fidelity does have a mobile app and educational material available for clients interested in financial planning and investment topics.  It also provides the ability to include outside accounts for a holistic financial picture but does not provide flexibility for clients with current positions that are concentrated or have unrealized taxable gains.

Costs (4/5)


Management Fee*Fund Expenses*Total Cost*
Digital Only Account$35$0$35
Personal Planning & Advice$50$0$50

*Per $10,000 invested. 

Fidelity has won the award for performance at a low cost, with investment management offered at just 0.35% (or $35 per $10,000 invested).  This is the all-in cost for investment management, as the underlying Fidelity Flex funds come with a 0.00% expense ratio. When considering their hybrid option with access to live advisors, they are slightly more expensive than competitors such as Vanguard, who offers access to CFP ® professionals for all-in costs of 0.37% in our portfolio.