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.
Pros & Cons
- Easy-to-use platform.
- $0 commissions.
- App connects all Chase accounts.
- No account minimum.
- Limited tools and research.
- Portfolio Builder tool requires $2,500 balance.
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J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing offers a do-it-yourself trading platform that integrates with Chase’s existing mobile banking app. J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing is especially well-suited for beginners, offering educational tools and resources to help first-time investors build a diversified portfolio while learning about risk.
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing's robo-advisor counterpart, Automated Investing, offers an alternative for investors who want their portfolio managed for them.
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing is best for:
Existing Chase customers.
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing at a glance
Stock trading costs
$0 per trade + $0.65 per-contract fee.
Account fees (annual, transfer, closing, inactivity)
No annual or inactivity fees; $75 account transfer fee.
Number of commission-free ETFs
All available ETFs trade commission-free.
Number of no-transaction-fee mutual funds
Web trading platform meets basic investor needs.
Mobile app seamlessly integrates platform with all Chase products (including credit cards and bank accounts).
Research and data
Seven research offerings from J.P. Morgan and Morningstar, available free to all clients
Customer support options (includes website transparency)
Phone, email, in-person, and social media. M-F, 8am to 9pm EST and Sat. 9am-5pm EST. In-person meetings at branches during bank hours.
Where J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing shines
Education and safeguards. Self-Directed Investing helps first-time investors understand the risks of advanced investing practices, such as options trading, and even has safeguards in place that prevent investors from accidentally getting in over their heads. For options trading, this includes a rigorous approval process, only offering level 1 and level 2 options strategies and liquidating options positions automatically on expiration day. They also block trading of some highly speculative investments, such as leveraged ETFs and penny stocks.
» Want more options? Explore other $0 commission brokers.
Account minimum. 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.
Integrated app. 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.
Ease of use. 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.
Where J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing falls short
Investment selection. 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, forex or alternative investments like cryptocurrency.
High minimum for Portfolio Builder tool. The Portfolio Builder tool is one of Self-Directed Investing’s bigger selling points. Unfortunately, you will need to have at least $2,500 in your account to use it.
Limited tools and access to research. 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 J.P. Morgan equity research and Morningstar analysis (which are likely sufficient for most Self-Directed Investing users), but the number of third-party research providers isn't as high as similar brokers.
Transfer fees. Regardless if it’s a full account closure or you’re just transferring funds out of your account to a non-Chase account, you’ll pay a $75 fee. Similar brokers, like Fidelity and Vanguard, charge $0 for any kind of transfer.
Is J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing 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.
Disclosure: The author held no positions in the aforementioned securities at the original time of publication.
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