JPMorganGetty/Andrew Burton

  • There’s a race to the bottom in stock trading fees right now, and JPMorgan is the latest entrant.
  • You Invest, the bank’s new zero-fee brokerage platform, offers 100 free trades for all customers, with options up to unlimited trades for premium consumers.
  • We took the new platform for a spin to see how it compared to digital-only start-ups like Robinhood.
  • The bottom line: it’s not the most easy-to-use interface, but it works perfectly and comes with the backing of the US’ largest bank.

JPMorgan‘s new You Invest product has a major competitor in its sights: Robinhood.

The zero-fee trading app has caused headaches among traditional brokerages ranging from Wall Street banks to online trading sites like TDAmeritrade or Fidelity, all of which have been forced to lower their commissions in response to the pricing war among platforms. 

JPMorgan’s latest retort has come in the form of 100 commission-free trades for all customers, with a sliding scale up to unlimited trading if you’re a “Chase Private Client” customer.

I took the new brokerage offering for a spin to see how it compared to other platforms — and the results aren’t looking good for JPMorgan as it tries to compete with the encroaching, digitally-native competitors. The service has all the functionality needed to hold its own as a brokerage account, but it falls significantly short in other areas.

There is no ability to trade on margin — aka buying stocks on a loan from the bank and not secured by your own cash — and it doesn’t support any complex strategies, like call and put options. Still, it’s a convenient place to manage your investments alongside a checking, debit, or credit account, rather than migrating between sites or apps.

Here’s how the service works: