Commitment to Execution Quality

There's more to the market price than meets the eye. While everyone sees the same quote, it's up to your broker to get you a quality execution price on your trades. Fidelity has been recognized by the industry for being #1 in price improvement1 on trades and #1 in overall execution quality.2


Performance and value

Price improvement

Fidelity's industry-leading price improvement can save you money when you buy and sell.1

The averages shown here for a 1,000-share order show what a difference it can make!

Average Price Improvement3

Execution insight

We're proud to be the only firm to share order-level price improvement;4 clearly shown on both your Order Status and Trading Profile.

Order flow management

Our Order Flow Management Team ensures that your order goes to the top-performing market centers, seeking the best execution price.

What defines execution quality?

Our pricing excellence in the news


Fidelity named top online broker for second straight year

Fidelity repeats at top of Investor's Business Daily annual online brokerage survey.5

Fidelity tops Barron's online broker list

Fidelity made it to the top due to our execution quality and the variety of our trading and investing tools.2

Percentage of shares that are price-improved: 92.37%

Q4 2016

How it's measured: Percentage of shares executed at prices better than the prevailing National Best Bid or Offer (NBBO), i.e., either below the best offer for buys or above the best bid for sells.

Fidelity Q3 2016 and Q4 2016 Statistics on Price Improvement

Month Overall listed Overall NASDAQ
December 2016 93.3% 90.5%
November 2016 93.2% 90.3%
October 2016 92.9% 91.2%
September 2016 90.9% 89.0%
August 2016 92.8% 91.8%
July 2016 92.8% 91.5%

Percentage of shares that fall within the NBBO: 96.30%

Q4 2016

How it's measured: Percentage of shares executed at or within the National Best Bid or Offer (NBBO), which is a consolidated quote representing the highest bid and lowest offer for a security across all exchanges and/or market makers. It is updated continuously during market hours.

Fidelity Q3 2016 and Q4 2016 Statistics on Execution Price

Month Overall listed Overall NASDAQ
December 2016 97.2% 95.7%
November 2016 96.2% 95.0%
October 2016 96.5% 96.1%
September 2016 96.2% 95.8%
August 2016 97.0% 96.9%
July 2016 97.3% 96.7%

Average execution speed: 0.14 of a second

Q4 2016

How it's measured: Average period between the time Fidelity receives an order and the time of order execution.


Execution speed: percentage of shares
Q4 2016

National Financial Services (NFS) is an affiliated broker-dealer of Fidelity Brokerage Services.

NFS Listed

Execution speed: percentage of shares
Q4 2016

National Financial Services (NFS) is an affiliated broker-dealer of Fidelity Brokerage Services.

Average effective spread: $0.0057

Q4 2016

How it's measured: The distance from the midpoint of the market at the time when your order is entered to the execution price you receive. This value is doubled to capture the whole bid/offer spread. This amount captures both how often, and by how much, a broker-dealer improves the price of a share.

Overall NASDAQ

Overall Listed

Example: A stock is quoted with a bid of $10.00 and an ask of $10.04 at the time your order is entered. The quoted spread is $0.04. The midpoint price is $10.02 and your buy order is executed at $10.03. The difference between the midpoint ($10.02) and your execution price ($10.03) is $0.01. This value is doubled, so the effective spread on your order is $0.02. The lower the effective spread value, the better. Effective spread calculates how much above the midpoint price you paid on a buy order and how much below the midpoint price you received on a sell order.

Financial Information Forum (FIF) industry comparison

In order to provide investors with a more consistent way of comparing order execution statistics across the financial industry, we are proud to display our execution statistics as a member of the Financial Information Forum (FIF). FIF—a voluntary financial industry group composed of member firms such as broker-dealers, exchanges, and vendors—serves as a central resource for objective commentary and analysis on industry initiatives and informs regulators about the impact of proposed regulation and other market structure changes.

As part of the FIF Rule 605/606 working group, we have volunteered to provide a standard set of quarterly execution statistics so that you can easily compare execution quality across firms. Current firms participating in the working group are Fidelity, Charles Schwab, and Scottrade. All discount brokerage firms were asked by the FIF to participate in this working group, but others chose not to.

View RegOne's latest FIF Rule 605/606 Working Group report (PDF)

SEC Rule 605

The SEC's customer disclosure rule, SEC Rule 605, requires market centers to disclose monthly data about the quality of their trade executions. Each monthly report will disclose execution-quality data based on the previous month's trading activity.

Pursuant to the "Joint Industry Plan, Order Approving Plan Establishing Procedures Under Rule 605 by American Stock Exchange, Boston Stock Exchange, Chicago Stock Exchange, Cincinnati Stock Exchange, National Association of Securities Dealers, New York Stock Exchange, Pacific Exchange, and Philadelphia Stock Exchange" (Joint Industry Plan) the execution-quality data provided in the reports must be in a standard format.

Report for Fidelity's market centers
SEC Rule 605 monthly data

More information
SEC's Joint Industry Plan
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA): SEC Rule 605
Quality measurement definitions (PDF)

SEC Rule 606

Under SEC Rule 606, broker-dealers that route orders on behalf of customers are required to prepare quarterly reports that disclose the following information:

  • The percentage of total customer orders that were nondirected orders, and the percentages of total nondirected orders (defined as any order that a customer has not specifically instructed to be routed to a particular venue for execution) that were market orders, limit orders, or other orders
  • The identity of the venues to which a significant percentage of total nondirected orders were routed for execution
  • The percentage of total nondirected orders routed to the venue, and the percentages of total nondirected market orders, nondirected limit orders, and nondirected other orders that were routed to the venue
  • Terms of the material aspects of the broker-dealer's relationship with each venue identified above, including a description of any arrangement for payment for order flow and any profit-sharing relationship

The reports are to be made public for each calendar quarter and published no later than one month after the end of the quarter. Another section of this rule requires annual public notification that this information is available.

Read the Fidelity SEC Rule 606 report for this quarter (PDF)

Pursuant to the rule, customers can request details on the identity of the venue, time of execution, and whether the order was directed to a specific venue per customer request in the six months prior to the request. Through a Fidelity representative, a customer may also request up to six months of this information in hard copy on all orders for a specific time period and/or on individual securities. The collection period for this information began on July 2, 2001. This information is available online although it is not required by SEC rules.

Additional information

Are Investors Getting the Biggest Bang for Their Brokerage Buck?
Read the latest study finding from Corporate Insight and learn why comparison shopping for brokerage firms is so important to your bottom line.