Tuesday January 19, 1:25 pm Eastern Time
BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 19, 1999-- Fidelity Investments today announced that it has reached 3 million online accounts, more than triple the number of online accounts it had as of the end of 1997. This figure represents approximately 2 million Personal Investing accounts and 1 million accounts through employer-sponsored retirement plans.
Additionally, Personal Investing assets grew from $44 billion to $128 billion during the 12 months ending November 30, 1998 and 70 percent of Fidelity's commissionable trades are currently made via the Web, compared to just seven percent in January 1997. Moreover, the number of new accounts generated via the Web doubled in 1998.
"As more investors choose the Web to conduct their personal finances, Fidelity continues to advance its Web channel to provide the convenience and control that customers demand," said Paul Ciriello, president of Fidelity Interactive Company. "Fidelity wants to meet investors' needs by developing the destination for personal investing online - whether they want to place trades, research college savings strategies or plan for retirement."
"Fidelity experienced remarkable growth, with 800,000 retirement plan participants in 401(k), 403(b) and 457 plans turning to the Web in 1998," said Peter J. Smail, president of Fidelity Institutional Retirement Services Company, the nation's number one provider of 401(k) plans. "For the first time, more investors now use the Web to monitor and manage their workplace savings plans than speak to a representative over the phone."
These investors made more than 11 million Internet log-ins last year to their workplace retirement plans, with the Internet channel accounting for 25 percent of all account contacts in December.
Continuing its efforts to provide greater value, ease-of-use and convenience, Fidelity has announced three new Internet services: Fidelity BillPaySM, a convenient Web bill payment service; advanced online charting; and online access to variable annuity balances and positions.
Fidelity BillPay Now Delivers Web Convenience to Customers
Fidelity BillPay enables Ultra Service Account(R) customers with non-retirement brokerage accounts with at least $10,000 in assets to schedule bill payments to nearly any individual or business in the United States 24-hours a day, seven days a week, via touch-tone telephone and the Internet. These payments include recurring, fixed amount expenses, such as rent or mortgage payments, and variable expenses such as credit card bills, which are all recorded on customers' monthly account statements.(1)
Fidelity offers BillPay to new customers at no charge for the first three months. Thereafter, the charge will be $4.95 per month for customers with assets above $100,000 and $9.95 per month for all other customers.(2) Customers can access a Fidelity BillPay demo and download an enrollment application at www.fidelity.com.
"Fidelity's site delivers the latest products and services to help investors with both their basic and more complex personal finances," Ciriello said. "Fidelity's BillPay service provides a convenient way for customers to fulfill an essential task while our new charting capabilities offer sophisticated analysis."
Improved Charting Capability Brings More Information to Customers Researching Securities
The integration of BigCharts, an easy-to-use online charting tool, provides customers with improved capability to chart different time ranges and frequencies, compare up to 10 symbols on a single chart and track more securities than ever before.
Fidelity customers can access charts on more than 52,000 symbols covering all NYSE, NASDAQ and AMEX stocks, all NASDAQ quoted mutual funds (8,300+) and major U.S. financial indexes (400+). They can also chart more than 30 popular Technical Indicators including Stochastics, Relative Strength Index, Bollinger Bands, Moving Average Convergence/Divergence, Price Channels, Money Flow, On Balance Volume and Volume by Price.
"These new technologies, including new technical analysis tools, are an integral part of the architectural framework to take Fidelity's online offerings to the next level," said Ciriello. "Fidelity customers don't need to wade through the overload of financial information on the Internet to track, manage and research their investments regularly. They can make one stop to Fidelity's site for all of the reliable research tools they need to make informed investment decisions."
Annuity Values Integrated with Customers' Online Accounts
Fidelity Investments Life Insurance Company(3) now provides variable annuity customers with 24-hour access to their balances over the Internet or through Fidelity's AnnuityLink(SM) automated telephone system. A single Fidelity Personal Identification Number (PIN) permits access to both services.
For the first time, Fidelity's customers are able to view the value of their annuities along with other accounts, such as mutual fund and brokerage accounts, through the "My Portfolio" portion of Fidelity's Web site.
"We're taking Fidelity's service commitment to the next step by integrating access to annuity contract balances with customers' mutual fund and brokerage accounts," said Farrell J. Dolan, senior vice president, Fidelity Investments Life Insurance Company. "This reflects our ongoing plan to serve customers by whichever avenue of access best fits their personal needs - Web, phone or in-person."
Fidelity Investments is the nation's largest mutual fund company and a leading provider of financial services. Fidelity offers investment management, retirement, brokerage and shareholder services directly to individuals and institutions, and through financial intermediaries. The firm also is the No. 1 provider of 401(k) retirement savings plans, the second largest discount brokerage firm and the third largest provider of 403(b) retirement plans for not-for-profit institutions in the United States. At November 30, 1998, Fidelity had total managed assets of $715.9 billion.
Fidelity Brokerage Services, Inc., Member NYSE, SIPC, 82 Devonshire Street, Boston, MA Fidelity Investments Institutional Services Company, Inc.
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