Fidelity clients may have seen a $0 account balance due to technical glitch

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Many investors started their day Wednesday in a state of shock

Fidelity Investments clients who logged into their accounts Wednesday morning may be breathing a little easier after a few anxious moments. Several say they were shocked when they accessed their accounts and found a zero balance.

Fidelity says it was all a mistake, attributed to a service outage that eliminated the balance for many 401(k) retirement accounts. In some cases, the glitch eliminated accounts altogether.

“Could you imagine if you went to bed last night with $1,000,000+ in your Fidelity accounts and woke up this morning to a total account balance of $0.00 with all Fidelity customer support methods down?” Adam Tutusko wrote in a Twitter posting. “So scary! I have brokerage accounts at 20 different firms for this reason.”

Fidelity used Twitter to reassure many customers, although some posted complaints that the company could have responded a lot sooner.

Intermittent technical issues

The company attributed the problems some customers were experiencing to intermittent technical issues. Those problems, Fidelity said, have been resolved. The company said no one lost any money as a result of the glitch.

Fidelity Investments is one of several online brokers that helps consumers manage their financial assets. It serves as many as 30 million investors who own more than 29 million brokerage accounts.

Fidelity reported this week that 401(k) balances moved sharply higher in the fourth quarter of 2019, led by an increase in savings by millennials.

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