JPMorgan Chase is a banking and financial services company that operates in over 100 countries. And with its self-directed investing account, Chase customers get commission-free trading and can open an account with just $0.
But while J. P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing is known for its commission-free mutual fund trading, it's not the best broker for every investor. That's why our review is covering its features, pros and cons, and pricing so you can decide if it's the right broker for you.
Pros & Cons
Who Is J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing For?
With no trading fees on all its mutual funds, J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing is a clear choice if mutual funds make up a significant part of your portfolio.
And since it integrates with Chase's mobile and web banking platform, this broker helps Chase customers consolidate all of their accounts.
What Makes J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing Great?
If you want a stock broker with all the trading tools under the sun, this isn't the right broker for you. But J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing has several features that make it worth considering, especially for mutual fund fans.
No Minimum Balance Requirement
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed investing has a $0 account balance requirement, so it's a viable way to begin investing with little money. This $0 requirement is also for all account types: individual taxable accounts and retirement accounts like a Traditional IRA or Roth IRA.
Commission-Free Trading Includes Mutual Funds
These days, most online brokers are commission-free. This means you can trade stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) without paying broker-charged fees. Most brokers also offer affordable options trading at $0.65 per contract.
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing is also commission free like the competition. But one of its main selling points is that it offers commission-free mutual fund trading. Many brokers offer some no-transaction fee mutual funds, but J.P. Morgan extends this to all mutual funds it supports.
This zero-fee structure makes it one of the best brokers for mutual funds out there. However, there's a reason many investors shy away from mutual funds: management fees are typically much higher than ETF fees and can reach over 1% annually in many cases. If you want mutual funds in your portfolio, J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing could be for you, but keep these fees in mind.
Portfolio Builder Research Tool
With the Portfolio Builder tool, you get a helping hand with building a portfolio that matches your level of risk tolerance and desired asset allocation. Once you know the framework you're in, you can view how different stock and ETF investments would impact your portfolio's composition.
The Portfolio Builder tool has a $2,500 minimum which is a slight downside. J.P. Morgan also stresses how it's not analyzing your investment portfolio or actually making recommendations on if you should buy, hold, or sell different securities. All-in-all, it's more of a guiding tool and not truly personalized financial advice like you'd get with a financial advisor.
Integrates With Chase Mobile
If you're a fan of mobile trading, J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing's integration with the Chase app is great news. This broker is hosted within the Chase app and ecosystem, so it's ideal for existing Chase bank customers. You can also trade through Chase.com so it's not just for mobile trading.
If you're already with Chase, consolidating all of your accounts under one roof can also help managing your finances that much easier.
New J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing customers can earn up to $625 for opening an account. How much you earn depends on how much you fund your account:
- Get $125 for funding an account with $25,000 – $99,000
- Get $300 for funding an account with $100,000 – $249,999
- Get $625 for funding an account with $250,000+
Granted, it takes some serious money to get the first bonus tier, but even a free $125 is a nice online broker promotion.
What Are J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing's Drawbacks?
Despite being great for mutual fund fans and existing Chase customers, J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing still has some significant drawbacks, especially when compared to its competitors.
No Advanced Trading Options
If you want to trade on margin or dabble in futures, J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing isn't for you. This broker sticks to the basics, and options trading is as advanced as it gets.
Limited Account Types
You can open taxable accounts or Traditional and Roth IRA accounts with J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing. But a lack of custodial, SEP IRA, 529, Solo 401(k), and other types of accounts is a downside.
Limited Research & Trading Tools
Compared to other brokers, J.P. Morgan doesn't provide a wealth of industry research to help educate investors. It does have stock screeners, and you can set-up watchlists to get price alerts about companies you're interested in. And J.P. Morgan provides its own research and market analysis content to its customers.
No Cryptocurrency Support
If you want to invest in cryptocurrency, J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing isn't the broker for you. It doesn't support cryptocurrencies unlike competitor brokers like eToro, which supports over 30 digital assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
No Fractional Shares
A $0 account minimum is nice, but customers can't invest in fractional shares which is a downside. This means expensive stocks from companies like Amazon and Tesla are off the table for investors with little capital.
Robo-Advisor Option Isn't Competitive
J.P. Morgan also offers a robo-advisor if you're more interested in automated investing. There's a $500 minimum investing requirement. Like other robo-advisors, you complete a questionnaire to help pick investments that match your risk tolerance and overall goals.
Portfolios are built with a variety of J.P. Morgan ETFs, and there are four options to choose from:
- Conservative: 75% fixed-income, 25% equity.
- Moderate: 50% fixed-income, 50% equity.
- Growth: 25% fixed-income, 75% equity.
- Aggressive: 10% fixed-income, 90% equity.
Having this option is nice, but you pay 0.35% in annual fees. That's 0.10% higher than what you get with robo-advisors like Betterment. And, Betterment has a $0 funding minimum and more portfolio variety. Robo-advisors like Wealthfront also charge just 0.25% annually and are better options for passive investors.
Overall, J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing is great if you want to invest in mutual funds and already bank with Chase. But its robo-advisor offering is lagging behind the competition currently.
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing Trading & Account Fees
As mentioned, J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing is commission-free for stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds. Options start at $0.65 per contract like many other brokers. For bonds, there aren't fees on new issue bonds. But you pay $1 per bond with a $10 minimum and $250 maximum per trade.
Other potential fees you can pay include:
- Brokerage Account Transfer And Termination: $75.
- Broker-Assisted Trades: $20 – $30
- Wire Transfer: $25.
- Stop Payments: $30
How to Contact J.P. Morgan
If you have questions about a self-directed investing account, you can call 1-800-392-5749. Hours are Monday to Friday from 8:00am to 9:00pm and Saturdays from 9:00am to 5:00pm ET.
You can also schedule a meeting at a local Chase branch, and Chase has over 5,000 locations nationwide. This is similar to Merrill Edge which allows you to schedule appointments at select Bank of America branches and is a nice difference from completely online brokers.
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing is one of the best brokers for mutual funds. And its easy integration with the Chase ecosystem can make it a natural choice if you're already with that bank.
However, other brokers might be superior if you're not investing in mutual funds because of better trading tools and more investment selection.
We like TD Ameritrade as an alternative if you want more trading tools and research offerings. This broker is also commission-free for stock and ETFs and also offers margin and futures trading unlike J.P. Morgan.
And if you want crypto exposure and fractional shares, we suggest using eToro. This broker supports over 30+ popular cryptos, has commission-free trading, and lets you invest in fractional shares which is useful if you're investing small amounts of money.
If you regularly invest in mutual funds, making the switch to J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing could save a significant amount in fees. And if you bank with Chase and want to keep life simple, you can consider trying out this broker.
That said, we prefer options like TD Ameritrade and eToro because you have more investing opportunities and trading tools. And if you're more interested in a robo-advisor, we suggest going with Betterment
Ultimately, picking the right broker means considering the fees, investing selection, account types, and tools that you get. J.P. Morgan has what beginner investors need, minus fractional shares. But more experienced individuals should likely look elsewhere.Advertiser Disclosure – This advertisement contains information and materials provided by Robinhood Financial LLC and its affiliates (“Robinhood”) and InvestorJunkie, a third party not affiliated with Robinhood. All investments involve risk and the past performance of a security, or financial product does not guarantee future results or returns. Securities offered through Robinhood Financial LLC and Robinhood Securities LLC, which are members of FINRA and SIPC. InvestorJunkie is not a member of FINRA or SIPC.”