In an effort to give retail investors more accessibility, selectivity, and diversity when it comes to buying and trading fixed-income securities, Fidelity Investments has not only enhanced its online trading platform, but also significantly expanded its inventory of bonds through a new joint venture with TheMuniCenter LLC.

The Web-based marketplace for live trading of fixed-income securities recently became the third resource - along with BondDesk Group LLC, another electronic trading platform, and Fidelity Capital Markets Services - that provides Fidelity Investments with appropriate fixed-income inventory for its online product,

After filtering and screening over 40,000 fixed-income securities on a daily basis from the three securities providers, Fidelity Investments selects bonds that meet its internal price, credit quality, and yield criteria.

It then makes available approximately 14,000 of those fixed-income securities at for retail customers that link to the online brokerage firm's Open Bond Market resource.

The figure represents a 40% increase in inventory, the firm said in a press release.

"Investors interested in individual bonds need a broad choice of fixed-income inventory and innovative trading tools that will enable them to buy bonds with the same simplicity available for equity trading," said James C. Burton, senior vice president of Fidelity personal and workplace investing, in a press release.

The firm said having TheMuniCenter onboard helps make the fixed-income markets even more accessible and transparent for retail customers who want to design and manage their own bond portfolios.

The Open Bond Market resource has been available since 2004 and offers a full line of fixed-income securities, including U.S. Treasuries from one-month Treasury bills to 30-year Treasury bonds, inflation-protected notes, certificates of deposit, as well as a variety of bonds, such as municipals, corporates, government agency, and principal-protected notes.

Fidelity recently lowered its online transparent bond concessions to $1 per bond, subject to an $8 minimum.


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