BlackRock vs. Fidelity Investments: what’s the difference?

1 min readLast updated May 31, 2024by Unbiased team

Explore BlackRock's and Fidelity's investment strategies, fee structures, and customer services to make an informed choice that best suits your investment needs.

Summary 

  • BlackRock’s investment strategy integrates advanced technology and data analytics. 

  • Fidelity offers a mix of active and passive management options, with a strong emphasis on sector-specific funds. 

  • BlackRock’s Wrap Fee Schedule for various strategies starts at 2.50% for the first $500,000. 

  • Fidelity provides $0 commissions on U.S. stock, ETF, and options trades executed online. 

BlackRock vs. Fidelity Investments: what’s the difference? 

BlackRock is the world's largest asset management firm and is synonymous with innovation in investment management. The firm leverages advanced technology and data analytics to drive its strategies. BlackRock’s financial services serve a global clientele, including individuals, institutions, and governments, offering a wide range of financial services with a strong emphasis on investment strategy and portfolio management. 

Fidelity Investments has carved out a niche as a full-service brokerage and financial advisory firm. It provides comprehensive financial services, from retirement planning to brokerage services. Fidelity is particularly known for its customer-centric approach, extensive educational resources, and innovative trading tools, making it a favorite among retail investors. 

What are Fidelity Investments and BlackRock’s specific investment strategies? 

Fidelity financial services include both active and passive management options. Active management relies on in-house fund managers using detailed research to outperform the market. Fidelity is known for its sector-specific funds in technology, healthcare, and energy. For passive investors, Fidelity provides a broad selection of index funds and ETFs. 

BlackRock integrates advanced technology and data analytics in its investment strategy. Its Aladdin platform combines risk analytics, portfolio management, and trading. BlackRock's financial offerings also emphasize sustainable investing, incorporating Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria into its decisions. 

What fees can I expect from BlackRock and Fidelity? 

BlackRock fees depend on the type of investment product. Mutual funds and ETFs have expense ratios that cover management and operational costs, with iShares ETFs known for their competitive expense ratios. Managed accounts and alternative investments may have higher fees, including performance and advisory fees. 

For example, BlackRock’s Wrap Fee Schedule for various strategies starts at 2.50% for the first $500,000 and decreases as the balance increases. The SMA Program: Fixed-Income Investment Strategy fee starts at 0.35% for the first $1 million. These varying fee structures require careful review before investing. 

Fidelity is known for low-cost investment options, especially its index funds and ETFs, some with zero expense ratios. Brokerage services offer $0 commissions on U.S. stock, ETF, and options trades online. Other fees include $32.95 for broker-assisted trades and up to $49.95 for mutual fund trades.  

Fidelity fees for advisory services vary: Wealth Management requires a minimum of $250,000 with fees from 0.5% to 1.5%, while Private Wealth Management starts at $2 million with fees from 0.2% to 1.04%. 

Is BlackRock or Fidelity better? 

Choosing between BlackRock and Fidelity depends on your individual needs and preferences. Both firms have their strengths and weaknesses, which are outlined below. 

Pros of BlackRock 

  • Extensive range of investment products, including a vast selection of ETFs. 

  • Advanced technological tools for portfolio management and risk assessment. 

  • Strong commitment to sustainable and ESG investing. 

  • Global presence with a diverse client base.

Cons of BlackRock 

  • Higher fees for managed accounts and alternative investments. 

  • There is less emphasis on customer education and direct investor services. 

Pros of Fidelity Investments 

  • Comprehensive brokerage services with a focus on investor education. 

  • Low-cost index funds and ETFs, including zero-fee funds. 

  • Excellent retirement planning tools and resources. 

  • User-friendly trading platforms and mobile apps. 

Cons of Fidelity Investments 

  • Actively managed funds can have higher fees. 

  • There is less focus on institutional-level risk management tools compared to BlackRock. 

Fidelity or BlackRock: which should I choose? 

Deciding whether a BlackRock financial advisor or a Fidelity financial advisor is the right choice for you depends on several factors, including your investment goals, preferences, and financial situation.  

Here are some questions to consider when choosing between Fidelity and BlackRock. 

How do Fidelity and BlackRock remain competitive and adapt to changing market conditions? 

BlackRock stays ahead through its technological innovation. The Aladdin platform is central to its strategy, offering unparalleled risk management and data analytics capabilities. Additionally, BlackRock continuously expands its range of ESG products, addressing the growing demand for sustainable investing solutions. 

Fidelity remains competitive by enhancing customer experience and eliminating trading commissions on key products. The firm invests heavily in technology, regularly updating its trading platforms and mobile apps to provide a seamless user experience. Fidelity’s commitment to education and client support also helps it adapt to changing market conditions. 

Which platform provides better customer service and support? 

Fidelity customer service is known to be exceptional. It offers 24/7 phone support, live chat, and a vast network of physical branches. Fidelity financial advisors prioritize strong client relationships and provide extensive educational resources, ensuring that investors have access to the information and support they need. 

BlackRock customer service is primarily geared towards institutional clients and high-net-worth individuals. The firm offers a wealth of online resources, including research reports and market insights. However, personalized customer service for retail investors might not be as robust as Fidelity’s. 

Can I access my Fidelity or BlackRock accounts through their websites and mobile apps? 

BlackRock’s iShares website and mobile app offer comprehensive portfolio management tools. Users can view their portfolios, track performance, and access detailed research and market insights. The platform caters to both novice and experienced investors. 

Fidelity’s website and mobile app are renowned for their user-friendly design and functionality. Clients can execute trades, monitor investments, and utilize a wide range of financial planning tools. The mobile app also features advanced trading capabilities, real-time alerts, and personalized news feeds, making it a favorite among tech-savvy investors. 

Find an expert financial advisor 

Both BlackRock and Fidelity Investments offer unique strengths that can cater to different investor needs. By evaluating their offerings, fees, customer service, and technological capabilities, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your financial goals. 

Let Unbiased connect you with a professional SEC-regulated financial advisor who can guide you in making informed decisions that align with your unique circumstances. 

Writers

Unbiased team

Our team of writers, who have decades of experience writing about personal finance, including investing and retirement, are here to help you find out what you must know about life’s biggest financial decisions.