Self Direct Investment by JP Morgan Review

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J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing is the retail brokerage arm of JP Morgan, the largest bank in the United States. While most of the firm’s products are targeted toward wealthy clientele, Self-Directed Investing gives novice investors a chance to learn about markets, select the best securities and plan for future goals like retirement. No futures, forex, or margin trading is available, so the only way for traders to find leverage is through options. 

Not all investors will appreciate the basic setup and simplistic trading suggestions, but plenty more want to learn about markets but just don’t know where to get started. J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing provides that starting point, even if most clients eventually grow out of it.

Best For

  • Investors using Chase banking products
  • Mobile traders
  • Retirement savers


  • Easy to navigate
  • Functional mobile app


  • No forex or futures trading
  • Limited account types
  • No margin offered
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Why J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing Over Others? 

J.P. Morgan is the largest bank in the U.S. and has a reputation for serving only the wealthiest and most connected investors. But high-rolling investment banks like Goldman Sachs have been launching products like Marcus geared toward retail clients, and J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing is Morgan’s offering for the retail crowd. There’s nothing stopping you from testing out Self-Directed Investing. J.P. Morgan makes it simple, and the bank allows you to keep a standard checking or savings account at the same time.

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing is a DIY brokerage account offering commission-free equities, affordable options trading and access to fixed-income securities like corporate and government bonds. Advanced traders won’t find the simplicity of the platform appealing, nor will they appreciate the lack of futures and forex. But J.P. Morgan has plenty of alternatives for the expert traders — this is its first venture for beginners. 

Here’s why you should consider J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing:

  • Easy onboarding for current customers: If you’re a current banking client with Chase, you’ll find the onboarding experience to be a breeze. Applications can be vetted quickly and brokerage accounts can be accessed from the same app used for banking. In fact, you can streamline your entire financial process — pay bills, deposit checks and buy stocks all while using the same app. And if you’re already familiar with Chase’s platform and mobile app, you won’t have much of a learning curve when it comes to its trading software.
  • Investor education/portfolio builder: J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing does a great job breaking down the basics and helping new investors find the right investments. The Learning and Insights section provides easy-to-digest market commentary and helpful guides on understanding different types of securities. Topics like retirement planning, tax filing and budgeting for stocks are also fleshed out for novice investors.
  • Affordable professional portfolio management: Self directed investment portfolios might not be the cheapest managed investment account among DIY brokers (Vanguard only charges 0.30%), but the combination of affordability and minimum required is solid. The 0.35% fee on assets under management is cheaper than Merrill Edge and the $500 minimum is far lower than TD Ameritrade, Fidelity and Vanguard.

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing Quick Summary

You only get the basics with J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing. The investment options are limited to equities and fixed income, the platform is simple and straightforward, and only cash accounts and IRAs are available. To find futures, currencies, margin, or specialized accounts like 529s or HSAs, you’ll need to look elsewhere. 

Asset Classes Stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, options, bonds, crypto
PlatformStandard desktop and mobile app platform
Mobile AppAccessed through Chase Mobile for iOS and Android
Account Minimum$0 for general investment and IRA accounts
Available Account TypesIndividual cash account
Joint cash account
Traditional IRARoth IRA

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing Fees

Like most DIY online brokerages, J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing includes $0 commissions on all equity trades and no minimum account balance to get started. Stocks, ETFs, fixed income and most mutual funds all trade completely free of charge. Options are $0.65 per contract, but there’s no cost to exercise. 

StocksOnline: FREE
Representative-Assisted: $25/trade
ETFsOnline: FREE
Representative-Assisted: $25/trade
Mutual FundsOnline: FREE
Representative-Assisted: $20/transaction
OptionsOnline: $0/trade + $0.65/contract
Representative-Assisted: $25/trade + $0.65/contract
Managed Portfolios0.35% fee on assets (min. $500)

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing Usability

Getting the hang of the J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing platform takes very little time. You’ll get an easy transition from desktop to mobile and plenty of guidance on managing your accounts and making trades. Here are a few of the best features:

  • Seamless desktop to mobile experience: One of the benefits of keeping it simple is the integration and similarity between J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing’s desktop and mobile platforms. The layout is the same and trade execution is nearly identical. 
  • Easy trade execution: Trades on the J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing platform are completed on a single tab. After locating a security using the stock or ETF screeners, you’ll be directed to a page where you can complete your trade in 4 steps. Choose whether to buy or sell, select your order type (market, limit, stop loss or stop limit), enter a share quantity and the time you want the order to be enforced. You can preview your trade after entering this info and submit when you’re ready.
  • How-to guides with step-by-step directions: Still don’t have a grasp on the trading execution? As you research the platform, J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing has an illustrative guide with very detailed instructions. In fact, they have several guides with clearly labeled steps and visual aids to help new clients open new accounts, contribute to IRAs, make trades or simply update your address and contact info. 

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing Education

The Learning and Insight Center gives clients in-depth education and a taste of market commentary. Detailed research from J.P. Morgan is still reserved for upper-class clientele, but J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing clients aren’t really looking for sector rotation strategies or the SEC forms of corporate executives. Instead, the Learning and Insight area has 6 different sections:

  • Featured: Covering the top stories and issues of the day, such as dealing with retirement concerns during the coronavirus pandemic, how to get more out of financial literacy month and discussing finances with family.
  • Investing 101: Like the name suggests, you’re in the classroom here. Learn about the working nature of stocks, how to budget for investment, why 401(k) plans and IRAs are great retirement vehicles and more. Terms like dollar cost averaging and value vs. growth investing are broken down in simple language to give new clients a crash course on markets.
  • Investing Strategies: Here you’ll find plenty of actionable investment advice about tax-loss harvesting, using tax-advantaged accounts, and how to differentiate between short- and long-term thinking.
  • Planning: You won’t get just retirement saving tips here. Instead, you’ll learn about educational vehicles like 529 plans and how to keep your retirement vehicle open if you change jobs. This section runs through all the steps investors need to take to protect their capital as it grows.
  • Market Insight: What’s the Fed up to? Which companies have cut guidance? How are different sectors dealing with the coronavirus lockdown? You’ll get answers to these questions and more in Market Insights, which acts as the breaking news feed for J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing clients. These powerful tools and resources are designed to help you take control of your oney.
  • How to Start Investing: This is the last section on the list, but if you’re opening your first brokerage account, it’s the topic you should start with. You’ll get a quick 7-step list on how to save efficiently, develop investment goals, understand different securities and account types.

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing Customer Support

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing can be reached via secure message, phone, social media or in person. Phone calls and messages are received from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Facebook and Twitter messages usually receive a quicker response than the secure message system on the platform and phone volume is high on nights and weekends. J.P. Morgan also has physical locations in all but 11 states. 

EmailSecure message center on platform
PhoneCustomer Service: 800-935-9935
ChatContact on Twitter or send message on Facebook
In-person supportJ.P. Morgan currently has physical branches open in 39 states plus Washington, D.C.

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing Offerings

Thousands of securities can be traded with J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing, including various stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, options and bonds. Penny stocks can’t be purchased with a self directed investment account, nor can contracts on futures or currencies. Additionally, only securities trading on U.S. exchanges can be purchased, so you’ll need to use ADRs to get exposure to international stocks.

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing Stocks, ETFs, Mutual Funds and Crypto

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing clients can purchase a variety of equities — stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds — completely free of commission. The platform has screeners where investors can sort securities by Morningstar ratings, volume, costs and fees, and more. Thousands of securities are available, but clients will have difficulty getting exposure to companies outside the U.S.

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing also provides for limited purchasing into 5 crypto products: Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust, Bitcoin Cash Trust, Ethereum Cash Trust, Ethereum Classic Products and Osprey Funds Bitcoin Trust.

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing Options

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing clients can also trade options on their favorite securities, which is the only way to add on leverage on the platform since futures, forex, and margin accounts aren’t available. Options trades aren’t charged a commission, however there’s a $0.65 fee per contract, which means $1.30 on a round-trip trade. The Options layout is basic and since self directed investment clients are mostly beginners, there’s no need to put too much manpower into options trading. Cheaper options trading is available at other brokers.

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing Bonds

Self-Directed Investing clients can also purchase bonds, which are free on the primary market but come with fees on the secondary market. U.S. Treasuries and new issues of corporate, municipal and government agency bonds are free to trade. However, secondary market bond trades on non-Treasuries can carry fees up to $250.

Bonuses from J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing

Bonuses within the self-directed investing program start as soon as you fund your account. Get up to $625 when you open and fund your account with qualifying new money. Bonuses include:

  • $625 when you fund up to $250,000
  • $300 when you fund $100,000 – $249,999
  • $125 when you fund $25,000 – $99,999

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing Mobile App

The J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing mobile app isn’t really its own entity, but part of a larger network connected to the main J.P. Morgan banking app. There’s no separate download to be made when installing this app — it’s built right into the banking app and brokerage accounts can be open and funded at any time. 

Much like the desktop platform, trades are easily executed on the mobile app and account details aren’t hard to locate. You’ll get the same charting tools and screeners to locate the best stocks, plus the convenience of mobile banking right from the same menu. The mobile app and desktop platform have a functional harmony seen by few other brokers.

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing Overall Rating

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing is this banking behemoth’s entry into the retail investing space and the platform succeeds in what it sets out to accomplish. By using J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing, these products become a part of your daily, weekly and/or monthly routine. This is a simple way to consolidate all your financial dealings with one bank.

All the experienced traders and high net worth clients are focused on other J.P. Morgan programs, but the average investor just looking to save for retirement or trade a few stocks will find a home amongst this welcoming platform.

The brokerage isn’t without its share of issues — the research is light on deep financial analysis and the lack of futures or margin makes the use of leverage very difficult. If your goal is to become a day trader, you’ll probably want to seek a different broker. But if you’re new to the game and just want a straightforward broker to park your savings in, J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing will handle your needs.


Frequently Asked Questions


What are the benefits of using J.P. Morgan?

What are the benefits of using J.P. Morgan?

The advantages include it is easy to navigate and no minimum deposit.


What are the drawbacks of J.P. Morgan?

What are the drawbacks of J.P. Morgan?

The disadvantages include there is no margin or forex trading.


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