iShares® ETFs FAQs
About the offer
What is the offer?
Fidelity has teamed up with iShares®/BlackRock®, the leading ETF provider, to offer free online purchases of 70 commission-free iShares ETFs with broad and diverse asset classes. In addition, we will continue to offer the ability to trade Fidelity's own ETFs commission-free. We encourage you to use Fidelity's broad research and guidance capabilities when deciding which ETFs might be best for your investment portfolio.
Why were these 70 iShares® ETFs chosen?
iShares has done a great job of creating a selection of ETFs that cover a wide variety of asset classes, styles and market capitalizations. At the heart of this selection are the iShares core ETFs that most investors can use to build a strong portfolio with traditional equity and bond funds. Fidelity offers 15 iShares Core ETFs commission-free. In addition, given our vast customer base and their needs, we felt it was important to also offer the ability to expand on these products with different asset classes, such as real estate, commodities, and other strategic ETFs, like dividend-producing ETFs and minimum volatility funds.
Why did Fidelity add 5 new ETFs to the line up?
iShares continues to add valuable products that benefit customers of all types. The recent expansion of the Core iShares offering includes currently popular ETFs—dividend-focused ETFs and Europe, for instance—at low cost. The five funds that we have added to our line up can help provide Fidelity investors with greater diversification options and help contribute to a healthy overall portfolio allocation.
What are the benefits of investing in ETFs?
ETFs offer flexibility because you can trade them throughout the day, plus you have the ability to set stop and limit orders, as well as sell a security short. ETFs also allow you to invest in a slice of the market, since many ETFs track narrow market indexes. They may also be tax-efficient because they do not sell shares to meet redemptions and do not trade frequently, so year-end capital gains distributions may tend to be lower.
Is there a short-term trading fee?
Yes, if you sell a commission-free ETF within 30 days of purchase, you will be charged a short-term trading fee equal to a regular trade ($7.95). Even if you are charged this short-term trading fee, because you paid no commission on the buy, you end up being charged less than a regular round-trip trade ($15.90). On FAST®, Fidelity's automated phone system, the short-term trading fee is $12.95.
How do you determine whether a short-term trading fee will be assessed?
Shares held for 30 days or longer are not subject to the trading fee. If you have multiple lots that were acquired on different dates, the oldest shares will be depleted first, even if you've elected other shares to deplete for tax purposes.
Other important rules to note:
- Shares acquired via dividend reinvestment are immediately considered long-term and therefore are not subject to a short-term trading fee.
- Representative-assisted trades are subject to the standard equity/ETF commission of $32.95, but are not also subject to a short-term trading fee.
- Short sale and buy to cover trades are not subject to short-term trading fees.
- Good 'til canceled orders will be assessed a short-term trading fee based on how many days the shares have been held as of the trade execution date, not the order entry date.
Why did Fidelity choose BlackRock® as its ETF partner?
BlackRock® is a leader in investment management, risk management, and advisory services for institutional and retail clients worldwide. Its ETF division, iShares®, is the global product leader in exchange-traded funds with over 600 funds globally across equities, fixed income, and commodities, which trade on 20 exchanges worldwide.
Does the offer include any leveraged or inverse ETFs?
No, the offer does not include leveraged or inverse ETFs.
Are the expense ratios on the commission-free ETFs higher than if I were to buy them elsewhere?
No, expense ratios are the same at Fidelity as at any other firm. Expense ratios vary by ETF, but the 70 iShares® ETFs have an average expense ratio of .32%, compared to an industry average of .61%. It is easy to compare the expense ratios of any ETFs in Fidelity's ETF Center.
Are you still offering your own Fidelity ETFs for purchase commission-free?
Yes, all of Fidelity's ETFs are still available for purchase online commission-free.
Are you limiting access to the other ETFs on your platform?
No, these 70 iShares® ETFs are commission-free, but you still have access to nearly 1,400 other ETPs that you can buy and sell online for $7.95.
Are there any restrictions to qualify for the 70 commission-free iShares® ETFs?
To be commission-free, the 70 iShares® ETFs must be traded online at Fidelity.com, using Active Trader Pro® tools, Wealth-Lab Pro®, or Fidelity Mobile® (iPhone®/iPod Touch®, iPad®, and AndroidTM apps). The trades can be buy or sell orders. A short-term trading fee of $7.95 will be charged if a customer sells the ETF within 30 days of purchase. Due to the nature of the relationship, all iShares ETFs are not margin eligible for 30 days from settlement, similar to mutual funds. For margin customers, positions will automatically become margin eligible in their account after 30 days.
ETF research and tools
What tools does Fidelity offer a self-directed investor?
We have an industry-leading ETF Research Center that offers:
- An ETF Screener that allows you to search for ETFs using various criteria. The tool does not make recommendations, but supplies results based on published criteria about each ETF. You can view results using your choice of different views and you can sort results in the way most useful to you. You can choose the no commission criteria to limit your search to only commission-free ETFs.
- The Fidelity ETF Portfolio Builder can help you easily build a customized portfolio of ETFs. The tool allows you to build a portfolio of ETFs from scratch, or build a portfolio using a predefined model based on a widely known index. You can adjust the weightings of the holdings in your ETF portfolio and compare it to a broad market index.
- The ETF Market Tracker tool is a heat map that lists all available ETFs in the market and gives you the ability to see trends on a broad-based level, as well as the ability to drill into deeper parts of the market.
- ETF research snapshot pages that detail expenses and fees, top 10 holdings, performance, real-time net asset values (NAVs), and more. You can also get important insight into an ETP's underlying holdings, whether it's the mix of maturity or credit grades in a fixed income ETP, commodity ETPs sector exposure, or even an equity ETPs industry-level breakout. Fidelity currently offers a complete list of all underlying securities, not just the top 10, for most ETFs.
- A compare tool that allows you to compare up to five ETFs at one time on trading and investing criteria or to select one ETF and see similar ETFs.
- A robust amount of daily, weekly, and monthly ETF/ETP Commentary focused on the ETF market and individual ETFs from well-known firms such as ETF.com, Morningstar, Blackrock, and more.
- Real-time ETF news and detailed educational content covering the spectrum from ETF basics to complex strategies.
- Research ratings and reports from up to five independent research firms such as Morningstar and S&P.
How does the ETF Screener work and does it provide objective recommendations?
Our ETF Screener allows you to search for ETFs by sponsor, sector, region, style, capitalization, performance, Morningstar rating, and more. The tool does not make recommendations, but supplies results based on published criteria about each ETF. You can use a variety of different views and sort results in the way that is most useful to you.
Can I buy these iShares® ETFs on margin?
No, due to the nature of the relationship with BlackRock®, Fidelity receives compensation for marketing of iShares. As a result, all iShares® ETFs cannot be margined for 30 days, similar to the handling of the new purchase of mutual funds. Shares of iShares ETFs will automatically journal to margin after 30 days from settlement. Investors choosing to buy on margin might want to consider selecting other non-iShares ETFs that have a similar objective to the iShares ETFs.
What options do I have if I want to buy ETFs on margin?
If you would like to buy ETFs on margin, you can locate them using our ETF Screener.
Will the iShares® ETFs generate margin buying power and cash available after I purchase them?
If the order is entered in a margin account, the security will not be marginable for 30 days from settlement and your order will be placed in the cash side of your account. After 30 days, the shares will automatically journal to your margin account. Margin buying power and cash available will be adjusted when the position is marginable. Therefore, all purchases of iShares® ETFs will require 100% of the purchase amount on settlement date.
Can I borrow against my margin borrowing ability in my portfolio to buy an iShares ETF instead of depositing cash?
Yes, you are able to use your margin borrowing power to purchase marginable securities, withdraw cash like a loan against your account, or use that borrowed money to purchase nonmarginable securities (subject to certain limits). However, purchasing shares of an iShares® ETF in this manner will not generate any additional margin borrowing ability until the shares have been owned for 30 days.
I already trade some of these ETFs on margin. Can you grant me an exception?
No, unfortunately there is no exception to the margin rule.