Fidelity Android App

Updated Friday, August 2, 2013
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Android App Grade: B

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Overview:

The Fidelity Investments Android app offers a very nice experience that has greatly improved in more recent releases. All of the basic features such as account information, quotes, market news and watch lists are here. More advanced account features such as funds transfers, check deposits and bill pay are also present. Trade alerts and news features are fantastically implemented. The charts are some of the best that you will find on a small form factor device. The stock and options trading interfaces have improved in recent releases but we are still slightly wary of potential limit price execution issues in extreme cases. Overall, the Fidelity Android app is now among the elite broker mobile trading platforms.

Google Play Facts:


Details:

When users open the Fidelity Investments Android app they are greeted with the home page, which shows the latest quotes for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, NASDAQ, S&P500, Russell 3000 as well as a log in button (click on images for larger views):

fidelity android app home page

Note that the application stores user names but will not store passwords.  This means that all passwords must be typed in.  Sessions are saved for an indeterminate amount of time though thus making multitasking possible.

Menu
The navigation menu is located at the top of the app and slides to reveal additional items with the flick of a finger.  Let's take a look at some of the more important menus and features.

Accounts
The accounts menu features separate tabs that show positions, balances, orders and activity history.  When we select a position this will bring up the detailed quote page:

fidelity android app account position menu

Transact
Fund transfers to and from outside accounts are available within the app.  This has become an increasingly popular feature found in most newer apps.

Deposit Checks
This menu offers the ability to deposit checks by taking a photo on the phone.  Enter this menu and then agree to the terms to instantly gain access.  Very cool feature.

Pay Bills
Bill pay is one of the newer app features and it is only available for certain account types.

Quote
The quote menu allows users to get stock or option prices by searching by symbol.  It also keeps track of search history for a quick reference of recent queries.  The quotes menu consists of detailed market information, charts and company relevant news articles.

Charts
Charts are accessed from the quote page.  One nice chart feature is that users can touch and drag across the chart to see the exact price for any period of time.  Here is a look at the quote screen chart  for Chevron (CVX):

fidelity android app basic chart

Chart style is limited to mountain charts only and time periods available are 1d, 1w, 1m, 3m, 1y, 3y and 5y. Turning the phone horizontally shows an enlarged chart.  In horizontal mode, two stocks can even be charted at once.  For example, here is a 1 year chart comparing the performance of Exxon Mobil (XOM) with Chevron (CVX):

fidelity android app comparison chart

Watch Lists
Watch lists are user customizable groups of stock quotes shown with their associated prices.  Viewing, creating and modifying lists is a breeze.

News
The News menu features articles covering US markets, international markets, technology, mergers & acquisitions, IPOs and more.  News articles are provided by Reuters, MarketWatch and CNNMoney.

Investor Centers
Use the Investor Centers menu to find the nearest Fidelity branch.

Alerts
Alerts are user customizable event notifications. There are two types of alerts: price triggers and trade notifications. The trade alerts can be configured within the app and are very well designed with a lot of useful trigger types.
Stock Trading
To trade stocks, select the trade icon from the top menu or open a quote page and select to trade from there.  Trading from quote pages simply opens up the trade ticket and populates the symbol.  It would be a lot more convenient if the limit price and other fields were populated as well.

Order types available are market, limit, stop loss, stop limit, trailing stop loss $ / % and trailing stop limit $ / %. This is quite an extensive list of order types but is limited when compared to the full web based Fidelity trading platform and the desktop application Fidelity Active Trader Pro.

Here is an order that we submitted to purchase 1 share of Exxon Mobil (XOM) at a limit price of $85.00 and a duration of Good 'til Canceled (GTC):

fidelity android app stock orders

When we were satisfied with our order we clicked on the Preview Order button.  A warning message appeared because our limit price was above the last trade price.  This warning is annoying as we regularly submit orders like this but thankfully the message can simply be ignored.  When everything looked OK we selected the Place Order button.  After that, a message appeared notifying us that our order was received.  We were also provided with an order confirmation number and a link to view the order status.

From the order status menu, open orders can be canceled but they cannot be modified.  Once orders execute, all positions can be viewed in the Account Positions menu.  Unfortunately, there is no functionality to close out holdings from this menu.

On a separate order, we attempted to submit a limit trade but the order was rejected.  The error message noted that the limit price cannot be more than 30% away from the last trade.  This is the same issue that is present in the standard web based Fidelity application.  In most circumstances, this is a reasonable safeguard but in a few cases, such as before the market opens on very volatile securities, this limit price rule could cause major issues for traders.  We really wish Fidelity would replace this restriction with a simple warning message that can be bypassed.

Options Trading
To trade options, select the trade icon from the top menu and select the Options tab or open the quotes page, select the options chain menu and then select the desired contract.  Trading from the options chain menu is far superior because the trade ticket does not help you determine the options contract name.

Selecting any contract brings up a detailed option contract quote page.  We found the contract that we were after so from this menu we selected to trade by clicking on the button at the top right.  This brought up the options trade ticket with the symbol populated.  Like with the stock trading functionality, it would be more convenient if the order type defaulted to limit and the most recent ask price was populated for us.  An updated quote for this contract is not viewable from the trade ticket so we had to go back to the options chain to find the proper limit price.  This is all a more of a hassle than it needs to be.

When we were all set, we clicked the Preview Order button.  This loaded the Preview Order menu wherein we selected the Place Order button. After that, a message appeared noting that our order was received.  We were also provided with an order confirmation number and a link to view the order status.  As with stock orders, open option orders can be canceled but they cannot be modified.

Once orders execute, all positions can be viewed in the Account Positions menu.  Unfortunately, there is no functionality to close out holdings from this menu.


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