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I recently signed up for an ISA via Cavendish Online, which uses Fidelity/Funds Network as their platform.
Unfortunately the website slows to a crawl sometimes, to be point where I can't even view my holdings, let alone arrange any transactions. This does not bode well - in any period of high market flux the site would get even busier, meaning customers would be unable to buy/sell. They could stand to lose large sums of money because of this. For this reason, I cannot recommend Fidelity/Funds Network as a platform for investments.
Problem number 2 is that they were unable to verify my identity electronically, despite me having two credit cards and a debit card registered to the address I signed up with, as well as a Ltd company. In fairness to them, this is a problem at the Experian end rather than theirs, though it's worth mentioning as it has meant that...
(a) I can't withdraw/transfer any of the money I invested initially
(b) I can't make regular monthly investments until this is resolved
(c) I need to visit the British Consulate in the country I'm in, because I'm abroad and they only accept a passport as ID via post, which is not feasible because I'm abroad for 7 months
Not particularly happy so far, so I'd exercise caution before giving them your money.
For the record, I feel like pretty much every financial management company is a total ripoff. 90% of them couldn't pick stocks or bonds better than the average person and then they charge you a premium whether you make money or not.
I've been forced to be with Fidelity for about 10 years through a retirement plan with my employer and I have earned a return of about 2% per year over that time. Perhaps some of you might think this is good considering the economic times, but for me that is a terrible return on my money.
Even though my employer stopped contributing to this fund roughly 8 years ago and I have not put anything in the fund ever, they refuse to close my account until I quit my job so they basically have my money held prisoner to poor returns for the foreseeable future.
One thing that is nice about Fidelity though is that you have the choice of switching plans on your own accord. The problem though is that none of their funds have good returns over any significant period of time so it's pretty much a crap shoot if you make money with them or not.
Fidelity is basically a savings account for my money and should not be considered for anyone looking for a meaningful return on their money. If you want a safe place to store your money for a long period of time though then perhaps this is the place for you.
Fidelity has some top unit trusts! As at 30/8/2000, Fidelity American Special Situations , rated 4 stars by Micropal, is up 1296% over ten years, up 229% over 3 years, and up 87% over 1 year. Fidelity Managed International, a 'safe' trust rated 5 star by Micropal, is up 444% over 10 years, 106% over 3 years, and up 21% over 1 year. Also worth considering is Fidelity International which has more of its assets in Britain and Europe than Managed International. Fidelity has an excellent web site webxpress.fidelity.co.uk which makes it easy to set up an ISA and buy/sell/switch units. Your ISA with Fidelity can include units from companies like Henderson and Newton as well as Fidelity! The site gives masses of useful information and you can log in each day to see price changes and the value of your portfolio. Administration has so far proved efficient. If you want good results and a 'safe' unit trust, Fidelity managed international is a good bet. Assets are spread over the world's major markets- USA, Japan, Europe, UK.