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Fidelity Investments is one of the worlds largest privately owned asset management organisations. It opened its research office in London in 1973 and six years later offered funds to UK investors. It is now a leading provider of ISA's and also one of the leading fund managing houses. It also hosts a fund supermarket under the name of Fidelity FundsNetwork.
My experience: I have found investing through fidelity useful in many ways. The most important being that I can put my finger in several different pies in the four corners of the investment world, and all from the comfort of my drawing room.
ISA: If you are a UK tax payer you would definitely be welcome to the fact that you can invest some money that you squirrel away, without the worry that the taxman can eat a chunk of your profit/ gains. Here at fidelity, they offer you a wide variety of funds to choose from, which can be placed under the ISA umbrella. Dont despair that you have to do it with only Fidelity's funds. Their FundsNetwork ensures that you can take a sip of the tea offered by various other companies and compare them all side by side before you decide which you are going to go for. You can easily invest in the growing economies from around the world and there is no need to limit yourself to the slowing British equity market.
Ease of use: After the initial registration bit, everything can be handled from the comfort of your home. For redemption there is a time lag to when you recieve the money of about 7-10 days. But I would not be worried about that as this is after all not a current account. You can login to your account and view your investments and track their growth.You can also research other funds while logged in and otherwise. I have found their contact system to be effective and prompt. Once you start using Fidelity you start to trust them more as they are very proffessional and quick. No sitting around wondering what is happening to your redemption/purchase--they keep you informed by email as well as post.
Security: I've found Fidelity to be secure till date. They have a very effective secure messaging system that feels very safe when they have to message you. They send you an email to log into you secure messaging facility and then you can read your message, so even if your email is hacked into, your details arent divulged.
Charges: Charges have seemed fair to me. Most of the funds I've seen do not have exit fees. The management and service fees varies. They are generally cheaper for fidelity funds than for the funds in fundsnetwork. But carefull research would enable you to pick the best combination. There are sometimes discounts to the fees so its a good idea to keep a look out. They keep you informed of these kinds of things through the post.
Conclusion: I find using fidelity very convenient and easy to use. I am impressed by my returns, but that again would depend on the funds you buy. The provision for the ISA umbrella is great, especially as you can invest in Funds from other companies and track them all at the same place. I would recommend this to anyone, in particular to novices like me. Its safe and easy to use!!! Hot Tip: Gartmores China Oppurtunities is Hot Hot Hot!!!
That is useful to know - I've been pondering over investing with Fidelity and have been inpressed by both the range of funds and the user-friendly nature of the website (so many investment places don't have that!).