Fisher Investments vs. Fidelity Investments: Which is Better for Your Portfolio in 2023?

Choosing the right investment firm to manage your portfolio is one of the most important financial decisions you can make. But with so many options like Fisher Investments and Fidelity Investments, how do you decide which is best suited for your needs?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare Fisher Investments vs. Fidelity Investments and other major players to help you determine the ideal firm for your investment style and goals in 2023.

Overview of Fisher Investments

Founded in 1979 by finance guru Ken Fisher, Fisher Investments is one of the world’s largest independent fee-only investment advisers. They primarily serve high-net-worth investors, with a minimum of $500,000 in investable assets required to access their services.

Fisher Investments takes a personalized, tailored approach to portfolio management. Each client works with a dedicated Investment Counselor to create a customized investment strategy based on their specific goals, time horizon, and risk tolerance. Portfolios typically include a diverse mix of domestic and foreign stocks, bonds, ETFs, and other securities.

Fisher Investments vs. Fidelity Investments: How Fisher Investments Compares to Fidelity Investments

Fisher Investments vs. Fidelity Investments
Fisher Investments vs. Fidelity Investments

While both are leading investment firms, Fisher Investments and Fidelity Investments serve different core demographics.

Fidelity caters to a wider range of individual investors, from beginners to sophisticated traders managing their own portfolios. They offer a broad selection of investment and retirement accounts with lower balance minimums.

Fidelity is also well-known for their suite of low-cost index funds and automated digital advising platforms like Fidelity Go, which provides free portfolio management for balances under $10,000.

Comparatively, Fisher Investments focuses solely on high-net-worth investors who want personalized advice and portfolios tailored to their needs. Their minimum account balance is significantly higher than Fidelity’s.

So while Fisher offers bespoke services from human advisors, Fidelity provides digital tools for more hands-on investors seeking minimal fees.

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Key Differences Between Fisher Investments and Merrill Lynch

Merrill Lynch is another large wealth management firm that competes with Fisher Investments. Here are some of the main distinctions:

  • Clientele – Merrill serves a diverse investor base, while Fisher focuses on high-net-worth individuals.
  • Ownership – Merrill Lynch is owned by Bank of America, giving clients access to integrated banking services. Fisher Investments is independently operated.
  • Products – Merrill provides a vast array of financial products, including lending solutions. Fisher offers solely investment management services.
  • Fees – Merrill’s fees vary based on services used. Fisher charges an annual % of assets under management.

Overall, Merrill caters to a broader audience and provides a wider breadth of services beyond just investments. Fisher offers more tailored portfolios but fewer additional offerings.

How Fisher Investments Stacks Up Against TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade primarily serves self-directed investors through their inexpensive online trading platform. They offer a large selection of investment products to pick and choose from, including stocks, ETFs, options, mutual funds, and fixed income.

Conversely, Fisher Investments provides personalized guidance from dedicated advisors who actively manage portfolios aligned to each client’s financial life goals. They offer a more comprehensive type of investment management.

So TD Ameritrade is better suited for hands-on investors who enjoy researching and picking their own investments. Fisher gives investors who want holistic guidance a full-service experience.

Is Fisher Investments the Right Choice for Portfolio Management?

When it comes to portfolio management, Fisher Investments offers some beneficial services but also has potential drawbacks to consider.


  • Personalized advice from knowledgeable Investment Counselors
  • Custom-tailored portfolios designed around your goals
  • Access to a wide variety of security types, including foreign stocks


  • High annual asset-based fees ranging from 1-1.5%
  • $500,000 minimum investment eliminates many retail investors
  • Mixed reviews on customer service and performance

Ultimately, Fisher Investments is best for high-net-worth investors who want hands-on advising and tailored portfolios. Investors with fewer assets may prefer a robo-advisor with lower fees.

How Fisher Investments Constructs Client Portfolios

Fisher Investments’ portfolio managers take a personalized, customized approach to building each client’s investment portfolio. Here are some details on how they construct tailored portfolios:

  • Clients are assigned an Investment Counselor who serves as the main point of contact for portfolio guidance.
  • The counselor works with Fisher’s Portfolio Strategists to create an IPS based on the client’s unique goals, risk appetite, and preferences.
  • Fisher’s Investment Policy Committee oversees the investment process, providing top-down guidance.
  • Portfolios typically include a diverse mix of stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, and other products tailored to the client’s needs.
  • Ongoing performance monitoring and rebalancing helps ensure continued alignment with the client’s investment plan.

Time in The Market Beats Timing The Market

Alternative Firms to Consider for Portfolio Management

Fisher Investments offers many benefits but may not be the ideal choice for all investors. Here are a few leading alternatives to consider for portfolio management:

Vanguard – Well regarded for its low-cost index funds and ETFs. Caters to long-term, passive investors.

Fidelity – Offers a robust platform with automated advising options. Great for casual investors or those with low account minimums.

Charles Schwab – Provides a wide array of investment products and services. Better for investors who want some guidance from advisors.

Betterment – Top robo-advisor with automated portfolio management and low account minimums. Perfect for hands-off investors.

The Investment Products Fisher Offers

Fisher Investments provides customized portfolios tailored to each client’s needs and preferences. Here are some of the investment products commonly included in their portfolios:

  • Stocks – Domestic, foreign, large cap, mid cap, small cap stocks
  • Fixed Income – Government, corporate, municipal, global bonds
  • Mutual Funds – Actively managed mutual funds spanning various strategies
  • ETFs – Broad market, sector, commodity, and bond ETFs
  • Cash – Money market securities for liquidity and income

Portfolios are constructed holistically based on each client’s investment plan. Asset classes and securities are added to help diversify and reduce risk.

How Fisher Compares to Other Major Firms

Now that we’ve covered Fisher Investments’ offerings, how do they stack up against some other prominent investment firms? Here’s a quick overview:

How Fisher Investments Compares to Fidelity Investments
How Fisher Investments Compares to Fidelity Investments

Fisher – Personalized advice, $500k minimum, tailored portfolios, higher fees but high-touch service

Vanguard – Passive investing approach with index funds/ETFs, extremely low fees

Fidelity – Broad selection of investment products, robust digital platforms, low fees

Schwab – Full-service firm, wide array of financial services alongside investment management

TD Ameritrade – Focus on self-directed trading platform, large pool of investment choices

Fisher caters to those wanting dedicated guidance for substantial portfolios. The other firms serve varied needs – from passive investors to traders to comprehensive financial services.

Key Differences Between Fisher and Vanguard

Two of the most popular firms, Fisher Investments and Vanguard, take very different approaches. What sets them apart?

  • Minimum Investment – Fisher requires $500k minimum, Vanguard has low minimum investments.
  • Actively Managed – Fisher portfolios are actively managed, Vanguard uses passive management.
  • Fees – Fisher charges higher asset-based fees, Vanguard has extremely low expense ratios.
  • Investment Options – Fisher offers personalized portfolios, Vanguard focuses on index funds/ETFs.

The main takeaway is that Vanguard appeals to long-term, passive investors who want minimal fees. Fisher serves investors who value active management and advisor guidance.

Comparing Key Features of Fisher and Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab provides a wide range of financial services and investment options for clients. How does it differ from the specialized offerings of Fisher Investments?

  • Products – Schwab offers banking, mortgages, credit cards. Fisher solely provides investment management.
  • Investments – Schwab gives access to individual stocks and bonds. Fisher uses mainly mutual funds and ETFs.
  • Guidance – Both offer some financial advisor guidance for tailored support.
  • Fees – Fisher charges asset-based annual fees. Schwab has trade commissions and account fees.
  • Reviews – Fisher has mixed reviews. Schwab consistently earns high marks for customer satisfaction.

Schwab appeals to investors who want investment management coupled with other financial services. Fisher focuses purely on investing.

Conclusion: Which Firm is Right for You?

When comparing leading investment firms like Fisher Investments and Fidelity Investments, there are several factors to consider including account minimums, services provided, fees charged, and investment choices available.

Analyze your specific investing priorities and preferences to determine which firm best aligns. Seek an approach that provides the optimal experience based on your portfolio size, desire for guidance vs self-direction, preferred account features, and other needs.

With education and careful evaluation, you can make the ideal choice in investment firm to help you pursue your financial goals for 2023 and beyond.


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