Trading with Fidelity:
Your questions answered

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Due to recent market activity, we're experiencing higher than normal wait times. We've collected the most asked questions to help you self-serve online. We'll be updating this page as we continue to monitor current events and understand where our customers need help.

What happens if Fidelity lends securities from my account?
If securities are on loan, you maintain full economic ownership of the securities and may sell the securities at any time. However, your voting rights are relinquished, and you may receive substitute cash payments in lieu of distributions such as interest or dividend payments, which could be taxed at different rates than shares not on loan.

Are there scenarios when shares can't be lent from my account?
If you do not have a margin debit balance in a margin account, we will not lend your shares. View more details based on account type.

How do I vote in a shareholder meeting?
Once the voting window has opened, visit proxy votingLog In Required and you’ll see your specific security and the related due date. You’ll also be able to access additional details and documents.

What's the fastest way to transfer money to Fidelity so I can start trading?

The fastest way to get money into a Fidelity account is to send it via bank wire. You'll need to start the bank wire with your current institution. Bank wires typically process same day and the money is immediately available for trading at Fidelity. Your bank may charge a fee to send a wire, but Fidelity doesn't charge a fee to receive one. You can start this process with your current financial institution using this information to wire to Fidelity.

As an alternative, you could choose to transfer money from your financial institution via EFT. For more information, see how to choose between an electronic funds transfer (EFT) or a bank wire.

How do I add money to my account?

How do I get started with trading?

How do I get started with proxy voting?

  • How will I be notified about my shares held at Fidelity?

    If eDeliveryLog In Required is enabled prior to the record date, you’ll receive an email with a link where you can vote. Once eDelivery has been completed, you can view the campaign at our proxy pageLog In Required.

    If US Mail is selected as your delivery preference, you'll receive your notification and proxy materials by regular mail, but you won't be able to view the campaign on our website until delivery for all security holders has been completed.

    Please note: The corporation you're invested in (also known as the issuer) can choose to send proxy communications exclusively via US mail, regardless of individual client preferences at any given brokerage firm.

  • When will I be able to vote?

    You'll be able to vote when you see the campaign posted on our proxy pageLog In Required or by mail once you've received your materials.

  • Why don't I see a campaign for my security?

    These campaigns are record-date driven, meaning you had to have purchased and settled the securities in your account as of the issuer's cutoff date in order to be eligible.

    If you bought and settled the shares outside of Fidelity by the record date but didn't transfer them here until later, your former broker should contact you with information about how to vote.

  • How can I know that my vote represents all of my impacted holdings at Fidelity?

    If you have two or more accounts that hold the same security, you'll see one line item for each account. If your shares for each account were settled and/or held at Fidelity by the record date in cash (or in margin with no debit balance), then your vote represents all of your eligible shares for that account.

  • Why can't I use my control number to vote directly at the issuer's website or referenced proxy site?

    When you hold shares in any given brokerage account, your broker is responsible for providing the method by which you can participate in a campaign. The control number we issue is intended for use solely on the independent Fidelity-affiliated website we link to from the email notification or on the proxy pageLog In Required.

How do I add trading features to my account?

  • How do I apply for options trading?

    To apply for options, complete an options applicationLog In Required. Your investment objective, risk tolerance, investing experience, and income will be considered to determine what options strategies/level you will be able to use when trading. Learn more

  • How does margin work?

    A margin account lets you leverage securities you already own as collateral for a loan to buy additional securities.

    Here’s an example: Suppose you use $5,000 in cash and borrow $5,000 on margin to buy a total of $10,000 in stock. If the stock rises in value to $11,000 and you sell it, you would pay back the $5,000 borrowed on margin and realize a profit of $1,000. That’s a 20% return on your $5,000 investment.

    If you didn’t use a margin loan, you would have paid $10,000 in cash for the stock. Not only would you have tied up an additional $5,000, but you would have realized only a 10% return on your investment. The 10% difference in the return is the result of leveraging your assets.

    However, leverage works as dramatically when stock prices fall as when they rise. For example, let’s say you use $5,000 in cash and borrow $5,000 on margin to purchase a total of $10,000 in stock. Suppose the market value of the stock you’ve purchased for $10,000 drops to $9,000. Your equity would fall to $4,000, which is the market value minus the loan balance of $5,000. In this instance, you could suffer a loss of 20% due to a 10% decrease in market value.

    When ready to start trading on margin, it's important to understand how to read your margin balances. View a video to learn more (1:15)

    This example does not account for any fees, commissions, interest, or taxes you may be required to pay.

  • How do I add margin to my account?

    To add margin to your account, you must first have an eligible Fidelity brokerage account. Then, you submit an applicationLog In Required to trade on margin. Want to learn more? Start here

  • How do I track the status of my margin and/or options application?

    Our Universal TrackerLog In Required makes it easy to monitor the status of your application. You can also check on the status of your application on the Activity & Orders tabLog In Required in your account.

  • Can I place orders before the market opens and after it closes?

    Yes, orders in the premarket session can be entered and executed between 7:00 a.m. and 9:28 a.m. ET, and orders in the after-hours session can be entered and executed between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. ET. However, your order may be executed in whole or in part, or you may not receive as favorable a price as when the market is open because of the lack of liquidity in extended-hours trading.

  • How do I take advantage of extended-hour trading on my account?

    We make using extended-hour trading easy as this privilege is automatically granted as part of the account opening agreement at Fidelity.

The Fidelity Learning Center brings together all of Fidelity's best thinking in one place, including Fidelity Viewpoints®. It's your source for timely insights, education, and perspectives.