Disappointed with Fidelity's Online Interface

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memcpy
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Re: Disappointed with Fidelity's Online Interface

Post by memcpy »

I am happy with fidelity interface
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FIREchief
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Re: Disappointed with Fidelity's Online Interface

Post by FIREchief »

RetiredAL wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:04 pm
FIREchief wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:37 pm
RetiredAL wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:28 pm With WF, I'm convinced the goal of the user interface is to make people who don't understand finance and/or computers to give up as too difficult to do yourself, so just hire an WF Advisor.
That is a very interesting suggestion! I mentioned Fidelity's Net Benefits interface ranging from okay to awful and, at least with my former Megacorp, somebody was always trying to sell me "financial engines" advisor service at 0.5% AUM. I could never really figure out if this outfit was partnered with my Megacorp, both my Megacorp and Fidelity, or something else. I just suspected that something was going on behind the scenes. Since I knew what vanilla Fidelity was like, I never blamed them for something that my Megacorp set up with them. I knew who to blame.... :annoyed
That's interesting. I never once was approached by Fido or anyone else trying to sell management of my 401K while I worked.
I googled and apparently "financial engines" is a third party that Megacorps "hire" to offer financial guidance to their 401k participants. I never wanted any help and, unfortunately, they were given enough access to send me mailings containing personalized projections of where I was at and where I was heading. This drove me nuts, as our mailperson from time to time would stick things in the wrong mail boxes. I didn't want my neighbor to know that I was on a solid path to FIRE when I spent most of my time trying to convince neighbors and friends that I was about to lose the house.
As I was retiring, I did have a couple of meetings with a local Fido Advisor. I did not go with an advisor, but I do understand the tenacity of their selling job. I have never been contacted Fido Sales since then.
I've never experienced this. I do have an assigned Fido financial consultant, but I've never gotten a hard sell on anything.
I assume with your handle and icon, you are a fire person. My youngest son is a Wildland Fireman stationed this year in Idaho with a Helo Repelling group.
Nope. It's merely a refence to the term FIRE in the financial planning world. 8-)
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.
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FIREchief
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Re: Disappointed with Fidelity's Online Interface

Post by FIREchief »

wootwoot wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:31 pm Hating Fidelity here as well. Both my wife and I have Fidelity for our workplace 401k's and netbenefits is hot garbage, ugly with horrible navigation. It's the Myspace of 401k platforms.
Yes, I don't believe I've seen any post in this thread that suggests that the 401k "NetBenefits" interface is anything other than <reference pre-removed to save the moderators time>. That said, many of us find the regular Fidelity brokerage interface to be very user friendly. I've only used VG and Fidelity, and I would take Fidelity over VG any day of the week. To each their own. 8-)
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.
wootwoot
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Re: Disappointed with Fidelity's Online Interface

Post by wootwoot »

FIREchief wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:36 pm
wootwoot wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:31 pm Hating Fidelity here as well. Both my wife and I have Fidelity for our workplace 401k's and netbenefits is hot garbage, ugly with horrible navigation. It's the Myspace of 401k platforms.
Yes, I don't believe I've seen any post in this thread that suggests that the 401k "NetBenefits" interface is anything other than <reference pre-removed to save the moderators time>. That said, many of us find the regular Fidelity brokerage interface to be very user friendly. I've only used VG and Fidelity, and I would take Fidelity over VG any day of the week. To each their own. 8-)
I can appreciate that but at the same time Fidelity needs to realize that their poor representation on the netbenefits side hurts their business from individual investors. I've never used Fidelity outside of netbenefits but due to the poor experience I don't think I'll ever give them a shot with my money. Maybe that's at my own detriment but netbenefits has left such a bad taste in my mouth.
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FIREchief
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Re: Disappointed with Fidelity's Online Interface

Post by FIREchief »

wootwoot wrote: Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:07 am
FIREchief wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:36 pm
wootwoot wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:31 pm Hating Fidelity here as well. Both my wife and I have Fidelity for our workplace 401k's and netbenefits is hot garbage, ugly with horrible navigation. It's the Myspace of 401k platforms.
Yes, I don't believe I've seen any post in this thread that suggests that the 401k "NetBenefits" interface is anything other than <reference pre-removed to save the moderators time>. That said, many of us find the regular Fidelity brokerage interface to be very user friendly. I've only used VG and Fidelity, and I would take Fidelity over VG any day of the week. To each their own. 8-)
I can appreciate that but at the same time Fidelity needs to realize that their poor representation on the netbenefits side hurts their business from individual investors. I've never used Fidelity outside of netbenefits but due to the poor experience I don't think I'll ever give them a shot with my money. Maybe that's at my own detriment but netbenefits has left such a bad taste in my mouth.
I don't believe that Fidelity is to blame for the NetBenefits crap. When it comes to 401k plan hosting, Megacorp is the customer and Fidelity is the one selling/profiting. I've seen ample evidence that it is not Fidelity, but Megacorp, that is to blame for these awful 401k interfaces. I only have three data points, but even with that limited sample I have seen that each Megacorp's NetBenefits version is unique and likely of their own choosing. You can blame Fidelity if you want, but your real gripe is likely with your company's corporate HR function. Of course, if you choose to conclude that Fidelity's "real" brokerage interface is just as bad without ever giving it a chance (despite what many folks here on the forum say to the contrary), than that is certainly your right. 8-)
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.
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AerialWombat
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Re: Disappointed with Fidelity's Online Interface

Post by AerialWombat »

FIREchief wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:36 pm That said, many of us find the regular Fidelity brokerage interface to be very user friendly. I've only used VG and Fidelity, and I would take Fidelity over VG any day of the week. To each their own. 8-)
Too funny. I am the polar opposite. As somebody upthread said, “hot garbage” is what I would call the Fido interface. It’s bad enough that it prevents me from rolling everything over and doing the one stop shop. The Vanguard site is simpler to navigate, easier to find things, and runs faster. I also like the E*Trade website, and fear what the merger will do to it.

UI is an interesting topic. I’m co-founder of a small software company, and I despise my own SaaS product’s UI with a passion. It uses “flat” design, which is ugly as sin. The navigation is horrid. It’s built as a “single page app” (whatever that means) which makes it slower than dirt in my experience. I hate it, and refuse to use my own product in my other business, despite being my own ideal customer.

But, my opinion doesn’t matter. The people that pay us money matter, and they love it.

So Mr. Web 1.0 will go sit in his corner and sulk, while cashing the checks...
student
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Re: Disappointed with Fidelity's Online Interface

Post by student »

FIREchief wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:33 pm I didn't want my neighbor to know that I was on a solid path to FIRE when I spent most of my time trying to convince neighbors and friends that I was about to lose the house.
Why are you convincing your friends and neighbors that you are about to lose your house?
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Re: Disappointed with Fidelity's Online Interface

Post by MathIsMyWayr »

Nobody mentioned the online interface of Morgan Stanley or UBS. If Fidelity interface is Windows, theirs are MS/DOS. It took me a while for me to know and get familiar with the difference and relationship of Fidelity 401k.com and fidelity.com. Now, I like Fidelity interfaces. Any software is not perfect and many apparent shortcomings are due to the lack of knowledge of a user. I hope they have good "User's Manuals." Fidelity's main job is to take care of investing and record keeping. Anything else is a bonus at cost which investors pay ultimately. Supermarkets do not have to advice, select, deliver, cook, and clean up foods.
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ClevrChico
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Re: Disappointed with Fidelity's Online Interface

Post by ClevrChico »

arf30 wrote: Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:15 pm To be fair to the OP brokerage and banking websites are pretty terrible across the board, it's like a rite of passage in the financial industry. Fidelity has had the same wacky web interface for at least 10 years and it's very clearly 4 or so different sites glued together.
+1 to this! I churned a brokerage bonus for TastyWorks, and the interface is video-game like. Check it out. :shock:

I'll take Vanguard's simple interface any day over that. I also do not like Fidelity's website or app.

I once interviewed at a UX design consulting firm. They had one of the most complicated, worst websites I've seen. Go figure!
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FIREchief
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Re: Disappointed with Fidelity's Online Interface

Post by FIREchief »

student wrote: Sat Aug 01, 2020 5:56 am
FIREchief wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:33 pm I didn't want my neighbor to know that I was on a solid path to FIRE when I spent most of my time trying to convince neighbors and friends that I was about to lose the house.
Why are you convincing your friends and neighbors that you are about to lose your house?
Well, there was a bit of hyperbole in that comment. :P The point being that I'm the antithesis of a "keep up with the Jones'" personality. Some want their friends, neighbors and extended families to think that they are "prospering" in this world. I would rather they think I'm on the brink of bankruptcy (I'm not talking about a truly close friend or immediate family member who would actually care). It's just easier that way. Nobody asks for money or expects me to kick in to some silly cause that they are supporting (I'm not talking about true charity). We solidified this when we sold the 5 bdrm house and downsized to a 2 bdrm appartment. Best move we've made in years. 8-)

That said, I know we've had folks start threads in the forum almost begging for our "blessings" for them to share their good fortune with their family and friends. To each their own! :D
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.
student
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Re: Disappointed with Fidelity's Online Interface

Post by student »

FIREchief wrote: Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:08 am
student wrote: Sat Aug 01, 2020 5:56 am
FIREchief wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:33 pm I didn't want my neighbor to know that I was on a solid path to FIRE when I spent most of my time trying to convince neighbors and friends that I was about to lose the house.
Why are you convincing your friends and neighbors that you are about to lose your house?
Well, there was a bit of hyperbole in that comment. :P The point being that I'm the antithesis of a "keep up with the Jones'" personality. Some want their friends, neighbors and extended families to think that they are "prospering" in this world. I would rather they think I'm on the brink of bankruptcy (I'm not talking about a truly close friend or immediate family member who would actually care). It's just easier that way. Nobody asks for money or expects me to kick in to some silly cause that they are supporting (I'm not talking about true charity). We solidified this when we sold the 5 bdrm house and downsized to a 2 bdrm appartment. Best move we've made in years. 8-)

That said, I know we've had folks start threads in the forum almost begging for our "blessings" for them to share their good fortune with their family and friends. To each their own! :D
Thanks for the explanation.
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btq96r
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Re: Disappointed with Fidelity's Online Interface

Post by btq96r »

FIREchief wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:22 pm I explained that earlier in the thread. The regular fidelity interface is great. I have extensive experience with two net benefits interfaces. They are highly “customized”, most likely at the direction of the sponsoring company’s benefits folks. Just one man’s opinion and it doesn’t need to be anybody else’s. 8-)
If Fidelity lets a company dictate how their net benefits UI gets laid out, that comes back to it being Fidelity's responsibility overall. It's just a horrible user experience. Making sure my paycheck allocation processed, and checking my investments on there every month so I can update my personal tracking spreadsheet is a chore compared to Vanguard.
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FIREchief
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Re: Disappointed with Fidelity's Online Interface

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btq96r wrote: Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:15 pm
FIREchief wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:22 pm I explained that earlier in the thread. The regular fidelity interface is great. I have extensive experience with two net benefits interfaces. They are highly “customized”, most likely at the direction of the sponsoring company’s benefits folks. Just one man’s opinion and it doesn’t need to be anybody else’s. 8-)
If Fidelity lets a company dictate how their net benefits UI gets laid out, that comes back to it being Fidelity's responsibility overall. It's just a horrible user experience. Making sure my paycheck allocation processed, and checking my investments on there every month so I can update my personal tracking spreadsheet is a chore compared to Vanguard.
You missed my point. As they say in the IT world, "it's a feature, not a glitch." Fidelity makes profits from selling their 401k services to Megacorps. Once they choose Fidelity, their employees are a captive audience. It's not about what is easiest for the employees. It's about selling to some out of touch corporate do-nothings who want something really "neat and unique." Keep in mind, my comments are based upon decades of experience at Megacorp, and extensive experience with two different NetBenefits deployments. My own Megacorp kept the "tailoring" to a minimum. While still clunkier than the standard Fidelity Brokerage interface, it dovetailed fairly well and I never had any problems finding information or conducting transactions. That said, I've helped another person with their Megacorp's NetBenefits rendition and it is awful (sounds like your experience). Megacorp HR has been funny about 401k benefits since they rolled them out in the 80's. They always seem to want some angle that makes it look like more than it is (i.e. primarily an employee funded retirement benefit). That's Megacorp HR for you. Not all NetBenefits renditions are created equal. Since the only real variable is that they're deployed for different companies, I attribute the specific features (or lack of features) to the company (who is the direct customer), not to Fidelity. If Fidelity's approach keeps the companies lining up to partner with Fidelity (which they are, look at how many in this thread have become victims of NetBenefits), isn't this just good business? Again, I'm just offering one person's opinion based upon what I just wrote. You are certainly free to disagree. 8-)
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Re: Disappointed with Fidelity's Online Interface

Post by CardinalRule »

For retirement accounts, Fidelity is, at the end of the day, a service provider. The megacorps do own the experience and layout to a large degree. Both DW and I are on NetBenefits, with two different employers, and the look and feel of the two are completely different. Both acceptable, but neither that great, in our view. :wink:

Interesting to read the different opinions regarding brokerage websites. Setting aside the retirement sites, I much prefer Fidelity's interface to that of Vanguard, Schwab and TD Ameritrade. I just find it easier to use and more helpful than the others. But a lot of this is just personal preference, I guess. I was not a fan at all of the Vanguard 401(k) site I used previously - it was quite primitive, although again, that may have the result of employer decisions.

I like that I can see my 401(k) balances and activity with my other Fidelity accounts, although I have to go to NetBenefits to conduct business (adjust contributions, etc.)
btq96r wrote: Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:15 pm
FIREchief wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:22 pm I explained that earlier in the thread. The regular fidelity interface is great. I have extensive experience with two net benefits interfaces. They are highly “customized”, most likely at the direction of the sponsoring company’s benefits folks. Just one man’s opinion and it doesn’t need to be anybody else’s. 8-)
If Fidelity lets a company dictate how their net benefits UI gets laid out, that comes back to it being Fidelity's responsibility overall. It's just a horrible user experience. Making sure my paycheck allocation processed, and checking my investments on there every month so I can update my personal tracking spreadsheet is a chore compared to Vanguard.
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Re: Disappointed with Fidelity's Online Interface

Post by brokendirtdart »

spm301 wrote: Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:20 am

Issue 4: The amount of excessive clicks/screens/methods it takes to accomplish simple things.
Ex1. Account history displays $1000 purchase of stock ABC, but you have to click down to see the price/quantity you received.
Ex2. Dividend re-investments need to be edited per security (no select all option)
I've been with Fidelity and Vanguard for about 20 years and they both have bad websites. I find the VG site easier to navigate though.

Fidelity definitely ignored the "2 click rule" when they designed their website. They instead use the click here, scroll there, click over there, scroll again, click this tab, , look around, click this link, and hopefully you're in the right place but probably not.
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Re: Disappointed with Fidelity's Online Interface

Post by RetiredAL »

CardinalRule wrote: Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:36 pm For retirement accounts, Fidelity is, at the end of the day, a service provider. The megacorps do own the experience and layout to a large degree. Both DW and I are on NetBenefits, with two different employers, and the look and feel of the two are completely different. Both acceptable, but neither that great, in our view. :wink:

Interesting to read the different opinions regarding brokerage websites. Setting aside the retirement sites, I much prefer Fidelity's interface to that of Vanguard, Schwab and TD Ameritrade. I just find it easier to use and more helpful than the others. But a lot of this is just personal preference, I guess. I was not a fan at all of the Vanguard 401(k) site I used previously - it was quite primitive, although again, that may have the result of employer decisions.

I like that I can see my 401(k) balances and activity with my other Fidelity accounts, although I have to go to NetBenefits to conduct business (adjust contributions, etc.)

My understanding from years ago is that separation was a legal requirement. When my company switched to Fidelity years and years ago, you had to logoff one to go to the to the other, each having its own unique logon-id. Sometime later the brokerage screen added the NetBenefits display with a unified logon-id and then finally they started allowing system toggles, but certain NetBenefits account screens were blocked when toggling from brokerage side.
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Re: Disappointed with Fidelity's Online Interface

Post by bondsr4me »

I have been with Fidelity many years and have had no issues using the website.

Can't really same the same for Vanguard over the years.

But, everybody sees things differently...which is fine.
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Re: Disappointed with Fidelity's Online Interface

Post by Katietsu »

I initially was annoyed by the latest redesign of a NetBenefits App. But I then found that the information was all there and with good presentation just not on the default tabs.

You might want to look at the design from the perspective that the average 401k participant finds this all overwhelming and does not want to deal with details. In fact, probably should just let things go to the default investment choices. The organization of the website, therefore, is unlikely to appeal to someone who would spend time on a forum called bogleheads. A boglehead is not the primary target audience.
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FIREchief
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Re: Disappointed with Fidelity's Online Interface

Post by FIREchief »

CardinalRule wrote: Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:36 pm For retirement accounts, Fidelity is, at the end of the day, a service provider. The megacorps do own the experience and layout to a large degree. Both DW and I are on NetBenefits, with two different employers, and the look and feel of the two are completely different. Both acceptable, but neither that great, in our view. :wink:
Thank you. :beer I was beginning to think that I was the only one who could see this. :annoyed
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Chip
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Re: Disappointed with Fidelity's Online Interface

Post by Chip »

FIREchief wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:36 pm <reference pre-removed to save the moderators time>
:D

I'm generally happy with the Fido website. There are MANY functions that I don't use, but they typically don't get in the way. I guess my biggest complaint is the search box, which usually turns up nothing remotely connected to what I'm searching for.
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