Fidelity Go offers a low-cost investment option for people who want the feel of a hands-off robo-advisor paired with the personal oversight of human advisors. With a relatively low management fee and mostly fee-free mutual funds, Fidelity Go is a strong choice not only for current Fidelity customers but for anyone looking for a cost-conscious investment advisor that also makes the process easy from start to finish.
How It Works
Fidelity Go’s investments include a mix of mutual funds that are primarily made of Fidelity Flex mutual funds. Flex Funds can include an array of domestic stocks, foreign stocks, bonds, and short-term investments. The unique aspect of Fidelity Go is that rather than your account being subject to automatic monitoring as it would be with a robo-advisor, your account is instead managed by a team of real life advisors. Your actual investment portfolio is based on your unique situation and anticipated needs.
Start the signup process by answering a few questions, like whether you’re saving for retirement or something else (such as a house or car). Fidelity Go then suggests a mix of investments based on your responses. From there, you can accept or make changes to your proposed strategy, at least within Fidelity Go’s available offerings.
There’s no minimum balance to invest with Fidelity Go, but you need to deposit a low $10 to actually start investing. This is standard for the industry, since you need something to actually put in the market. The process to open your account is easy and you can set up auto-deposits each month so you don’t have to worry about remembering to make contributions. Alternatively, you can also make one-time contributions as you prefer.
All Fidelity Go Portfolios are monitored by a team of advisors who make all trades to keep your portfolio on track. This is where things start to stray from a normal robo-advisor. Those companies use automated algorithms that rebalance your portfolio when your target allocations are off by a certain percentage. There’s no human review element to the transaction.
As you continue investing with Fidelity Go, you’ll also receive a monthly report to track your progress and see a snapshot of what’s been happening in your account.
You can also make changes to your strategy either manually or by updating your information on file. In some cases, Fidelity Go may make different investment suggestions than your initial recommendation based on any changes in your life events or goals.
Wondering how you can invest with Fidelity Go? They offer the following types of accounts:
- Individual taxable accounts
- Joint taxable accounts
- Traditional IRAs
- Roth IRAs
- Rollover IRAs
The major missing piece, of course, is 401ks, which you can’t currently manage under your Fidelity Go account.
The Fidelity Go platform stands out in the way it charges expense ratio fees. Unlike most robo-advisors, you’ll pay no fees on the Flex Funds in your portfolio. On top of that, you won’t be charged for any other mutual fund expenses that would be paid to Fidelity. Any of those relevant fees are credited against your advisory fee, which can decrease the overall cost.
Your account management fee is calculated on a quarterly basis and payment is deducted automatically from your account.
Fidelity Go comes with an easy-to-use dashboard that allows you to track your investment progress, schedule deposits, and review other activities associated with your account. You can even access this information via the mobile app so you can stay connected on-the-go.
Also available to Fidelity Go customers is the Fidelity Planning and Guidance Center. A major bonus with this tool is that if you have more than one account with Fidelity, you can view all of your financials together on this platform. You’ll be able to get a detailed analysis of how all your accounts are contributing to each of your savings goals.
Even if you only have a Fidelity Go account, the Planning and Guidance Center is a useful resource. You can create a savings plan with Goal Pins, which help you track your progress for things like vacation or college. It also shows your Retirement Score, which helps you gauge if you’re on track to retire as planned or if you’re off the mark. Ideally, you’ll be on track, but you can see a strong visual of just how far off you are in case you need to make major changes.
Finally, Fidelity Go has customer service available by phone 24/7. The live online chat option can be accessed between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Pick your preference and have someone available to talk to at your own convenience.
One of the big perks of choosing Fidelity Go is the surprisingly low cost, especially considering you’re investing with a major brokerage. In fact, the management fee is comparable to (or only slightly above) many robo-advisors out there. And in reality, the 0.35% fee is counterbalanced by the fact that you don’t have to pay expense ratio fees on any Fidelity funds in your portfolio.
An additional benefit is that you’ll be prompted to complete an Annual Strategic Review each year. This makes sure your investment strategy is on track by giving you the opportunity to update any life changes that have occurred that could impact your account selection. From there, Fidelity Go advisors may suggest some changes to your current investments to keep you on track. It’s an impressive perk to take advantage of because, again, a real person will review your financial situation to ensure your portfolio is aligned with your goals.
Fidelity Go doesn’t offer any tax-loss harvesting feature like many robo-advisors do. If one of your goals is to minimize your taxable capital gains, you’ll miss out. Tax-loss harvesting essentially sells off stocks that have seen a loss and then replaces them with something comparable for that asset class. But because you took the loss, your total capital gains will be reduced for the year, resulting in lower tax liability. There are IRS rules that prevent you from abusing the system with wash sales in this way, so you might not miss this feature in your portfolio.
Another disadvantage of choosing Fidelity Go is that while your account is managed by a team of human advisors, there’s no option to actually talk to them for advice on your investment strategy. That seems reasonable based on the price, but it’s unfortunate there’s not even an option to add on this service. This can be especially frustrating if you want some expert guidance on a potential life change you’re thinking about or that happened unexpectedly.
You’ll also need to go elsewhere for your estate planning needs since Fidelity Go doesn’t offer trust or custodial accounts.
Who It’s Best For
While there are a few downsides to choosing Fidelity Go, there are a number of scenarios in which it could be the right choice for you. Fidelity Go is well-designed for those seeking a balance between the ease of using a robo-advisor and the oversight of having a team of human advisors checking your portfolio strategy.
Enjoy a hands-off approach not only with automatic rebalancing by the advisor team, but also with built-in features to keep your information up-to-date and your savings goals on track. All of the prompts to review and update your information, plus real-time dashboards make it incredibly easy to understand where your account stands as well as your progress. You can see the breakdown of each specific saving and investment goal without having to manually figure these things out on your own.
The platform is also ideal for current Fidelity customers because all of your accounts are integrated for holistic financial planning. Whether you’re looking to lower your fees or include a different type of account in your portfolio, Fidelity Go can help you achieve both outcomes in an easy-to-use fashion.
The Bottom Line
If you’re intrigued by the idea of a robo-advisor but don’t want to completely relinquish your investment strategy to an algorithm, consider Fidelity Go as a middle-of-the-road solution. You’ll get human oversight plus the ability to set and track your goals online or on your phone. Their digital tools hold up against their robo-advisor counterparts, giving you simplified control and access to all of your financials.
Fidelity Go provides a simple process for anyone who is either overwhelmed by the idea of investing or too busy to handle the long-term management of the funds selection process. Make things easy on yourself with an easy signup and deposit process so you can start or augment your investments beginning now.