Must-Read: Why American finance today is in substantial part a value-subtracting activity:
Fidelity Investments: Guess What Is Missing: "You might read the below gobbly-gook I found from Fidelity...:
...All the bolding is in the original document:
When we act as a broker for you, we also offer you investment education, research, planning assistance, and guidance designed to assist you in making decisions on the various products that you may wish to hold. No separate fees are charged for the investment education, research, planning assistance, and guidance that Fidelity offers you because they are part of, and considered to be incidental to, the brokerage services that we provide. Unless we specifically state otherwise, Fidelity is acting as a broker-dealer with respect to your account and as a broker-dealer and insurance agent with respect to any insurance product.
When we act in a brokerage or insurance agency capacity, we do not have a fiduciary or advisory relationship with you and our disclosure obligations are more limited than if we did. In general, unless we specifically inform you otherwise, the services offered by our representatives are services offered by FBS.
Get that? FBS is not in an ‘advisory relationship’ with you, even though it is offering ‘investment education, research, planning assistance, and guidance.’ This is so complicated that the lesson is simple. Don’t deal with anyone under these terms. Fidelity should add this to their index card.