J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing Review 2023: Pros, Cons and How It Compares

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing charges no commissions and offers a highly integrated app, which makes it a solid choice for individuals who want to trade their own investments — especially existing Chase customers.
Sam Taube
By Sam Taube 

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.


The investing information provided on this page is for educational purposes only. NerdWallet, Inc. does not offer advisory or brokerage services, nor does it recommend or advise investors to buy or sell particular stocks, securities or other investments.

Our Take

4.1

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line:

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing is a clear-cut investment platform that is great for beginners looking to learn how to buy and sell investments. More advanced investors, however, may find it lacking in terms of available assets and tools.

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing
Fees
$0
per trade
Account minimum
$0
Promotion
Get up to $700
when you open and fund a J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing account with qualifying new money.
Learn more

on J.P. Morgan's website

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Easy-to-use platform.

  • $0 commissions.

  • App connects all Chase accounts.

  • No account minimum.

Cons

  • Limited tools and research.

  • Portfolio Builder tool requires $2,500 balance.

  • Low interest rate on uninvested cash.

Compare to Similar Brokers

Current Product

NerdWallet rating 

4.1

/5
NerdWallet rating 

4.9

/5
NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
NerdWallet rating 

4.7

/5

Fees 

$0

per trade

Fees 

$0

per trade

Fees 

$0

per trade

Fees 

$0

per trade

Account minimum 

$0

Account minimum 

$0

Account minimum 

$0

Account minimum 

$0

Promotion 

Get up to $700

when you open and fund a J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing account with qualifying new money.

Promotion 

None

no promotion available at this time

Promotion 

None

no promotion available at this time

Promotion 

Get up to 70 free fractional shares (valued up to $3,000)

when you open and fund an account with Webull.

Learn more

on J.P. Morgan's website

Learn more

on Charles Schwab's website

Learn more

on Interactive Brokers' website

Learn more

on Webull's website

Get more smart money moves — straight to your inbox

Become a NerdWallet member, and we’ll send you tailored articles we think you’ll love.

Full Review

Where J.P. Morgan Self-Directed shines

Easy-to-use platform: With a single web trading platform, this is a straightforward way to get started investing in stocks and managing your portfolio.

App connects all Chase accounts: If you’re already a Chase customer, the ability to view all of your Chase accounts, from checking to investments, in one location may be very appealing to you.

No account minimum: With no account minimum, you can start saving and investing with whatever amount works for you.

Where J.P. Morgan Self-Directed falls short

Limited number of tools and research: While the research and data is from high-quality sources such as Morningstar, J.P. Morgan and global investment research firm CFRA, J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing doesn’t offer as wide of a selection of third-party research providers as other brokers.

Portfolio Builder tool requires $2,500 balance: The Portfolio Builder tool is extremely helpful, but the $2,500 requirement may keep it out of reach for some just starting out investing.

No cryptocurrencies, futures, forex or fractional shares: J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing has a more limited investment selection than some other brokers. It offers stocks (full shares), bonds, funds (including some exchange-traded cryptocurrency funds) and options — but if you want to trade actual cryptocurrencies, fractional shares or other assets, you're out of luck.


J.P. Morgan Self-Directed is best for:

  • Mobile users.

  • New investors.

  • Free trading.

  • Existing Chase customers.

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed at a glance

Account minimum

$0.

Stock trading costs

$0.

Options trades

$0 per trade + $0.65 per-contract fee.

Account fees (annual, transfer, closing, inactivity)

No annual or inactivity fees; $75 full transfer fee.

Tradable securities

  • Stocks.

  • ETFs.

  • Options.

  • Bonds. (Treasuries, corporates, agency & municipal bonds and bond ETFs.)

  • Mutual funds.

Interest rate on uninvested cash

0.01%.

Number of no-transaction-fee mutual funds

About 3,000.

Trading platform

Web trading platform meets most investor needs. Some limitations in investment selection.

Mobile app

Mobile app seamlessly integrates platform with all Chase products (including credit cards and bank accounts).

Research and data

Clients have free access to Morningstar analyst ratings, CFRA reports, and news feeds from Benzinga, Midnight Trader and Comtex.

Customer support options (includes how easy it is to find key details on the website)

  • Email 24/7.

  • Phone and in person Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Eastern, and Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

  • Social media Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-11 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

  • In-person meetings at branches.

More details about J.P. Morgan Self-Directed's ratings

Account minimum: 5 out of 5 stars

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing has a $0 account minimum, making any amount of money you’ve saved enough to start investing. According to J.P. Morgan, you can invest as little as $1 in no-load mutual funds with no transaction fees.

However, the Portfolio Builder tool is one of Self-Directed Investing’s bigger selling points, and you will need to have at least $2,500 in your account to use it. (More about this tool below.)

Stock trading costs: 5 out of 5 stars

Like most online brokers today, J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing doesn’t charge a commission for buying or selling stocks. Although this is a common practice now, it was only a few years ago that buying stocks meant paying a commission on every trade. The decline of stock commissions likely had a hand in the major increase in retail trading activity that started in 2020 and continues to this day.

Options trades: 4 out of 5 stars

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing’s options pricing is pretty standard; just like with stock trading, you won’t pay a per-trade commission. However, you will pay $0.65 per contract. (Options are typically grouped into contracts made up of 100 shares of the underlying stock.)

Account fees: 4 out of 5 stars

You'll pay a $75 fee for full account transfers (i.e. account closure). Some brokers, such as Fidelity and Vanguard, don't charge this fee, but among those that do, $50 to $75 is fairly standard.

Interest rate on uninvested cash: 1 out of 5 stars

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing barely pays any interest on cash — just 0.01% per year, regardless of account balance.

Tradable securities: 3 out of 5 stars

While Self-Directed Investing may be an excellent choice for the beginner investor, more advanced investors may find its offerings limited. Self-Directed Investing doesn’t support investing in futures or forex, nor does it offer fractional shares, a growing feature among brokers that allows investors to purchase a part of a stock rather than a full share.

Self-Directed Investing users can buy Treasury bonds and bond ETFs for no additional fee, while corporate bonds, municipal bonds and government agency bonds are available for an additional commission of $10 per trade plus $1 per bond, capped at $250.

When it comes to margin rates, the high-end of J.P. Morgan's range — the Prime rate plus 4.75%, or about 13.25% at the time of writing — is fairly standard among comparable brokers. However, users with higher account balances can get rates as low as 7.16% (technically the SOFR rate plus 1.85%).

Number of no-transaction-fee mutual funds: 4 out of 5 stars

With roughly 3,000 no-transaction-fee mutual funds available from J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing, you shouldn’t have a problem finding a mutual fund that fits your investing goals while still avoiding paying a transaction fee for it.

Trading platform: 3 out of 5 stars

Existing Chase customers will be happy to know that they don’t need to download another app to access Self-Directed Investing accounts. All of Self-Directed Investing’s offerings are available on the Chase mobile app, where users can research, trade and manage investments, in addition to accessing any other Chase accounts, such as credit cards or bank accounts.

If you’re not an existing Chase bank customer, you can still open a Self-Directed Investing account.

The user experience is generally quite smooth, although it can take a while to fund an account. J.P. Morgan does not have an "instant deposit" feature like some other brokers, so newly-deposited funds can sometimes take the better part of a week to become available for trading.

For some new investors, the prospect of building an entire portfolio from scratch may be overwhelming enough to turn them off from investing altogether. The Self-Directed Investing Portfolio Builder tool makes the process less intimidating and easy to do.

To use the Portfolio Builder tool, you take a quiz that determines how your assets should be allocated based on your risk tolerance and goals. You can then use that asset allocation as a framework when you search, compare and choose investments. While Self-Directed Investing accounts give investors access to other investment types, including bonds and mutual funds, the Portfolio Builder tool allows you to choose and trade only ETFs and stocks.

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing does not accept payment for order flow (PFOF), a business model where customer orders are routed to trading firms for execution. Under some circumstances, PFOF brokers may have slower or less-price-efficient order execution than non-PFOF brokers. However, it's hard to say whether that's the case here, as J.P. Morgan doesn't share data about its order execution quality with NerdWallet.

Trading is only available during standard market hours (9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday). Some over-the-counter (OTC) stocks are available, although penny stocks are not. The broker does not allow access to initial public offerings (IPOs).

Mobile app: 5 out of 5 stars

For Chase users, the mobile app works well to integrate various Chase financial products, such as checking and savings accounts, credit cards and investments. Through the app, users can trade stocks, bonds, mutual funds and ETFs, as well as access charting tools, screeners, J.P. Morgan research, stock watch lists and more. The app is available for iOS and Android; both versions have good reviews from users.

Research and data: 2 out of 5 stars

The Portfolio Builder tool is exactly what a beginner investor needs, but those with more experience may miss having access to a thorough suite of robust tools that can assist with investing strategy, analysis and research. Investors do have access to Morningstar analysis and CFRA reports (which are likely sufficient for most Self-Directed Investing users), and news feeds from Benzinga, Midnight Trader and Comtex, but the number of third-party research providers isn't as high as similar brokers.

Customer support options: 4 out of 5 stars

J.P. Morgan customer support is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Users can also reach out via Facebook and Twitter Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern, and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. If you’d rather speak to someone in person, J.P. Morgan does have in-office visits during normal branch hours.

J.P Morgan Self-Directed IRAs

In addition to standard brokerage accounts, J.P. Morgan Self-Directed also offers both Roth and traditional IRAs, which are individual retirement accounts. Experts recommend using an IRA to save for retirement because doing so comes with significant tax benefits. You can have an IRA In addition to another brokerage account, as well as in addition to an employer retirement plan like a 401(k).

J.P. Morgan IRA

on J.P. Morgan's website

4.1

NerdWallet rating 

on J.P. Morgan's website

Fees

$0

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

Get $50

when you open & fund a new account with $5K on Chase.com or the Chase Mobile® app.

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing is a clear-cut investment platform that is great for beginners looking to learn how to buy and sell investments. More advanced investors, however, may find it lacking in terms of available assets, tools and research. INVESTMENT PRODUCTS: NOT A DEPOSIT • NOT FDIC INSURED • NO BANK GUARANTEE • MAY LOSE VALUE

Pros

  • Easy-to-use platform.
  • $0 commissions.
  • App connects all Chase accounts.
  • No account minimum.

Cons

  • Limited tools and research.
  • Portfolio Builder tool requires $2,500 balance.
  • Low interest rate on uninvested cash.
Read full review

Is J.P. Morgan Self-Directed right for you?

If you’re looking for a basic brokerage account that will teach you how to build a portfolio, help you start trading on your own, and protect you from speculative or high-risk investments, J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing is an affordable and comprehensive option. You’ll get the assistance and support you need and nothing to clutter your learning experience.

If you want to explore similar options, check out our review of the best brokers for beginners.

How do we review brokers?

NerdWallet’s comprehensive review process evaluates and ranks the largest U.S. brokers by assets under management, along with emerging industry players. Our aim is to provide an independent assessment of providers to help arm you with information to make sound, informed judgements on which ones will best meet your needs. We adhere to strict guidelines for editorial integrity.

We collect data directly from providers through detailed questionnaires, and conduct first-hand testing and observation through provider demonstrations. The questionnaire answers, combined with demonstrations, interviews of personnel at the providers and our specialists’ hands-on research, fuel our proprietary assessment process that scores each provider’s performance across more than 20 factors. The final output produces star ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars).

For more details about the categories considered when rating brokers and our process, read our full methodology.

Disclosure: The author held no positions in the aforementioned securities at the original time of publication.

INVESTMENT AND INSURANCE PRODUCTS ARE: NOT A DEPOSIT • NOT FDIC INSURED • NO BANK GUARANTEE • MAY LOSE VALUE

Learn more

on J.P. Morgan's website