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One of the most powerful financial combinations is the ability to invest and bank through the same financial institution. But J.P. Morgan isn’t just any financial institution. It’s the largest bank in the U.S., and it also offers the ability to engage in self-directed trading--commission-free. There are many brokerage firms you can invest with, but this is the only one with the power of J.P. Morgan behind it!
If you’re already a J.P. Morgan customer or client–either with a deposit account or through one of their many top-of-the-line credit cards–you should know that you can also invest through the company. J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing offers commission-free trades for self-directed investors, as well as a low-cost managed portfolio option. You can open an account with no money, and handle all your trading and account monitoring through the mobile app. And if you’re not already a J.P. Morgan customer or client, you may be interested in investing through the largest banking organization in the U.S., with all the advantages and benefits that provides.
What is J. P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing?
J.P. Morgan is the largest bank in the United States and the sixth-largest bank in the world, with assets of nearly $2.7 trillion. Founded all the way back in 1799, the bank currently has more than 5,000 branches operating in 36 states. J.P. Morgan is also one of the leading providers of credit cards.
But while the company is best known as a bank, it’s also one of the largest asset managers in the world. J.P. Morgan’s asset management arm has nearly $3 trillion in assets under management (AUM), while its investment and corporate banking arm has more than $25 trillion in AUM.
Given the company’s experience in managing investments for individual and business clients, as well as its massive banking footprint across the U.S., it’s only natural that J.P. Morgan would eventually roll out a retail brokerage platform for individual investors. That platform is J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing. Originally launched as You Invest in 2018, J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing is already showing plenty of promise with innovative investment options.
J. P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing Product Features
J. P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing offers two different investment programs. Self-Directed Investing (SDI) is a self-directed investment platform, while SDI portfolios offers several fully managed investment plans for those who want to turn the investing job over to the professionals.
This is the trading account offered by J. P. Morgan. There is no minimum initial investment required to open an account. Available accounts include individual and joint taxable brokerage accounts, and traditional and Roth IRA accounts. There, you can trade individual stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), options, fixed income securities, and mutual funds.
Self-Directed Investing offers commission-free trades in thousands of securities. You can manage your portfolio online or on the go from your mobile device.
The platform also has resource pages that can help with basic investing, investing strategies, planning, and market insights.
This tool helps create an asset allocation based on your investment goals, time horizon, and risk tolerance. This tool requires a minimum account balance of $500. It can be used to select securities within the designated portfolio allocations, and even places trades for you.
Self-Directed Investing Portfolios
If you prefer to have your investment portfolio professionally managed–or if you want to add managed portfolios to your self-directed investing–you can take advantage of SDI Portfolios.
You’ll need a minimum of $500 to open an account, and the account will be managed for a single annual percentage fee, regardless of account size (see J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing Pricing & Fees below).
The specific mix in your portfolio will depend on your investor profile, which may be Conservative, Moderate, Growth, or Aggressive. A Conservative portfolio will be more heavily invested in fixed income and cash investments, while Growth and Aggressive will be slanted towards stocks. The Moderate portfolio will use an equal mix of both.
After you open an account, you’ll determine your asset allocation and your portfolio is put in place--it will be rebalanced as necessary. At that point, all you’ll need to do is fund your account, and all aspects of your portfolio will be fully managed for you.
If self-directed investing isn’t for you, you can work with a J.P. Morgan advisor, or schedule a check-up to see if you’re on track to meeting your investment goals.
Self-Directed Investing Portfolios Glide Path
Your portfolio allocation doesn’t remain static. SDI Portfolios employs a Glide Path, adjusting your portfolio as you age. Your portfolio will be gradually reallocated toward a more conservative mix as you approach retirement and have less time available to recover from losses that may occur in a down market.
J. P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing Pricing & Fees
Self-Directed Investing Trade
There are no fees to open and maintain a SDI Trade account. Trading commissions are as follows:
Stocks and ETFs: You’ll have unlimited commission-free trading online with stocks and ETFs. However, if you make representative-assisted trades there is a fee of $25 per trade.
Option: Also commission-free, but there is a charge of $0.65 per contract. And similarly, there will be a $25 commission for any representative-assisted trade.
Mutual funds: Commission-free for online trades, with a $20 per transaction commission if representative-assisted.
Fixed income/bonds: There are no commissions or fees charged for trades of U.S. Treasury bills, notes and bonds, or new issues of corporate bonds, municipal bonds, government agency bonds or brokered certificates of deposit.
However, trading of secondary market corporate bonds, municipal bonds, government agency bonds and brokered CDs have the following fees:
- Online – $10 per trade, plus $1 per bond over 10 bonds, up to a maximum of $250.
- Representative-assisted – $30 per trade, plus $1 per bond over 10 bonds, up to a maximum of $270.
Self-Directed Investing Portfolios
SDI Portfolios come with a low percentage annual advisory fee of 0.35% of your account balance, paid monthly. There are no other fees involved in the management of your account.
J. P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing Sign-up Bonus
J.P. Morgan is currently offering a bonus of between $50 and $700 if you open an account with at least $5,000. The bonus is structured as follows:
- $700 when you fund with $250,000 or more
- $325 when you fund with $100,000-$249,999
- $150 when you fund with $25,000-$99,999
- $50 when you fund with $5,000-$24,999
(All accounts must be funded at these levels in the first 45 days and remain in the account for at least 90 days)
Disclosure: INVESTMENT AND INSURANCE PRODUCTS ARE: NOT A DEPOSIT • NOT FDIC INSURED • NO BANK GUARANTEE • MAY LOSE VALUE
How to Sign Up with J. P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing
To open a SDI account you must be at least 18 years old, have a valid Social Security number, and a U.S. home address. You’ll be asked to provide a valid driver’s license or state-issued ID for identity verification purposes.
You can open the account from YouInvest.com. There you can choose a Self-Directed Investing Trade or Self-Directed Investing Portfolios option, either as a taxable brokerage account or an IRA. If you choose to open a SDI Portfolios account, you’ll need to complete a questionnaire that will help determine your investment goals, time horizon, and risk tolerance.
If you are an existing Chase account holder, much of your application information will be transferred over from in-house records.
When completing the application, you’ll first be asked if you are an existing Chase customer. If you are, you can simply enter your username and password, and your application will be populated from information already on file with Chase.
If you are not an existing Chase customer, you’ll need to complete the online application. You’ll then need to manually supply the following information:
- Your full name
- Country or citizenship
- Date of birth
- Social Security number
- The type of ID (driver’s license or state-issued ID), as well as the ID number, expiration date, and the issuing state
- Your home address
- Your email and phone number
Funding your account
You can fund your account either through an existing Chase account or from an external financial institution. If you already have a Chase account, you can transfer funds into your Self-Directed Investing Account by choosing Pay & transfer, then Transfer money.
If you are linking an external account, you can simply choose “Add new external account”, then enter the routing number and personal account number from your institution. You can set up either a one-time transfer or recurring transfers.
J. P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing Security
All investment accounts are protected against broker failure by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). Your account is covered for up to $500,000 in cash and securities, including up to $250,000 in cash.
J. P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing Mobile App
You can invest with SDI using the Chase Mobile App, which is available at The App Store for iOS devices, 11.0 and later. The app is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Its also available at Google Play for Android devices, 6.0 and up.
You can use the mobile app to manage all your accounts with J.P. Morgan including your Self-Directed Investment accounts. That includes trading securities and funds and taking advantage of all the tools and research information available on the platform.
J. P. Morgan Customer Service
Customer service is available by phone Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm, Eastern time. However, you can place online trades anytime between 6:00 am and 2:00 am Eastern time.
Do I need to be an existing Chase account holder to open a Self-Directed Investing account?
No. There is no requirement for you to be a current Chase account to participate in the service, nor is there a requirement for you to open a Chase bank or credit card account as a condition of your SDI account.
Can I open a Self-Directed Investing account in the name of my business?
No. SDI accounts are only available to individuals and joint personal account holders. The platform is not designed for business customers.
I like that Self-Directed Investing offers commission-free trades on stocks, options, and ETFs. But why do they charge such high fees for representative-assisted trades?
The practice of charging fees for trading with live assistance is common in the brokerage industry, even now that most brokers have eliminated commissions for online trades. Self-Directed Investing representative-assisted trade fees are consistent with those charged by other brokerage firms. A major reason brokerage firms are able to offer commission-free trades is because they don’t require assistance from broker employees. Fewer assisted trades means lower payroll costs for the brokerage firm, enabling them to charge no fees for online trades.
If I use the Portfolio Builder, what kind of investments can I hold?
The Portfolio Builder tool enables you to invest through ETFs and stocks. This includes both U.S. and international equities, as well as core fixed income and commodities. However, the tool does not allow mutual funds in the portfolio.
Open to non-Chase customers — Self-Directed Investing is available to both Chase and non-Chase customers and investors.
Commission-free trades — This applies to stocks, ETFs, and options (though like most brokers, there is a per contract fee with options).
Generous sign-up bonus — These range from $50 to $700.
Both self-directed investing or professionally managed — Ability to choose either self-directed investing through Self-Directed Investing Trade or a professionally managed option through SDI Portfolios - or you can use a combination of both.
Tools to help create and manage a portfolio — The Portfolio Builder tool helps create and manage your portfolio, even as a self-directed investor.
Investment options are a bit limited — The platform doesn’t allow you to invest in real estate investment trusts (REITs) or penny stocks (stocks that either aren’t listed on a major exchange and have a price of less than $5).
Limited customer service hours — J.P. Morgan's customer service live support is limited to business days until 7:00 pm. This is substantially less than the 24/7 customer support available with most major competitors.
High Advisory fee — The advisory fee of 0.35% on SDI Portfolios is higher than the industry average of 0.25% for robo-advisors.
Alternatives to J. P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing
The investment brokerage field is a crowded one, and some of the alternatives you may want to consider include the following:
E*Trade operates similarly to J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing in that it has both commission-free self-directed trading, as well as managed portfolio options. But the platform offers a more comprehensive suite of investment tools, and also a wider range of investment options. For example, you can also trade futures and FOREX.
Ally Invest, with both self-directed investing and a managed portfolio option. And just as is the case with J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing, you can also take advantage of the banking services and high-yield savings accounts and CDs offered through Ally Bank. Much like E*TRADE, Ally Invest also offers more diverse investment options than J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing.
Tied in with TD Bank, TD Ameritrade also enables you to invest where you bank. They similarly offer no commission trading on stocks, ETFs, and options. And like most brokerage firms, they also offer managed portfolio options. Once again, TD Ameritrade offers something that J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing doesn’t, and that’s commission-free mutual fund trades. In fact, they offer more than 4,000 no transaction fee mutual funds to choose from.
Is J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing for You?
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investment will work best for existing customers and clients of J.P. Morgan. If you already have a banking relationship and/or a credit card through the company, investing with them will be a natural choice.
If you’re not an existing J.P. Morgan customer client, or even if you are, you should be aware that this is strictly for self-directed investors. It doesn’t have quite as many investment tools and resources as other major brokerage platforms. For that reason, it’s best suited to self-directed investors who have their own investment resources and tools.
However, the platform was launched less than two years ago and is still evolving. With J.P. Morgan behind it, we can expect better things to come.
If you’re not a self-directed investor, you can still invest through Automated Investing. This is a robo-advisor, and provides all the benefits that come with low-cost, professional investment management. However, the annual advisory fee of 0.35% is higher than the industry standard fee of 0.25%. Those are the fee levels you can expect from popular competitors, like Betterment and Wealthfront.
But if you’re looking to combine investing with banking, there’s no better place to do it than with J.P. Morgan. As the largest bank in the U.S., operating in 36 states--and determined to enter the remaining 14--they offer something for everyone.
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing is a solid investment platform for self-directed investors who have access to a reliable source of investment tools and research. The platform may expand those tools and resources going forward, but they’re not quite there yet. In the meantime, they offer commission-free trades, as well as a managed portfolio option if you’re not quite ready for self-directed trading.
Disclosure: INVESTMENT AND INSURANCE PRODUCTS ARE: NOT A DEPOSIT • NOT FDIC INSURED • NO BANK GUARANTEE • MAY LOSE VALUE