Ah Marketing…!

In case you haven’t heard, Fidelity and Schwab have a price war going on. Both seem intent on out doing the other. Both tout how different their services are from the other that they are so similar! That includes deceptive marketing as well, where the facts are buried in fine prints!

I’m not taking sides…

Here’s what Schwab has to say about Fidelity’s commissions…

schwab's deceptive marketing

Here’s what Fidelity has to say about Schwab’s commissions…

Fidelity's Deceptive Marketing

From Fidelity’s fine print:

†Cost Per Trade is the commission for iShares ETFs per each firm’s website on 1/28/2010. Online trades of Schwab proprietary ETFs are commission-free at Schwab

From Schwab’s fine print:

1. Commission data was obtained from the firms’ websites and verified as of 02/03/2010. For all firms, commissions for trades placed via phone or in person may be higher.
Fidelity’s $7.95 flat commission applies to online trades in all U.S. equity securities and does not apply to foreign stock transactions or restricted securities transactions. Additional fees may be charged on orders that require special handling. Commission schedules may vary for employee stock plan services transactions. A minimum deposit of $2,500 is required to open most Fidelity brokerage accounts. Waivers may apply.
E*Trade—Discounted pricing is available to clients who meet certain criteria regarding account balance and/or trading frequency.

2. Expense comparison data was obtained from the funds’ prospectuses as of 3/31/2010.

The truth is somewhere in between!
Fidelity in it’s fine print, does mention Schwab ETFs are commission free.

Schwab on the other hand seems more deceptive. Fidelity’s ETF commissions are commission-free for 25 selective iShares ETFs as of 02/03/2010. Yet, Schwab makes no mention of this even though the data was obtained on that day.

C’mon Chuck, talk to me!

2 thoughts on “Ah Marketing…!

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