Charles Schwab StockBroker Review. Many online stock broker services promise to have something for everyone, but few deliver on that promise. An exception is Charles Schwab. Schwab has been on the scene for nearly 50 years now, but that doesn’t mean this brokerage has gone stodgy. Instead, the service offers features that should appeal to even the most tech-savvy investors.
Whether you’re a newbie investor looking for helpful tools or more advanced traders who need sophisticated trading platforms, chances are you’ll be satisfied with Charles Schwab. We took an in-depth look at this stockbroker, and this is what we found.
Charles Schwab is the Nordstrom of the investment world, and customers virtually always leave happy. As a customer, you’ll get access to virtually all the investment services that come standard at any major brokerage. However, if you’re an active trader, you might find other firms with better options.
Charles Schwab Features Review
|Investment Types||Stocks, OTC/Penny Stocks, ETFs, Mutual Funds, Bonds, Options|
|Accounts||Taxable, Joint, Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, Rollover IRA, SEP IRA, SIMPLE IRA, Trusts, Coverdell, 529, Custodial, Checking, Savings|
|Access||Web-Based, iPhone App, Apple Watch, Android App|
|Broker Assisted Trade||$25|
|No Fee ETFs||200|
|Customer Service||Phone: 24/7; Live Chat: 24/7; Email; Branch Offices|
- Nationwide branches — Charles Schwab operates more than 300 local branch offices across the United States. It’s a nice option to have if you ever need face-to-face help with your investing needs.
- One-on-one portfolio consultation — If you have at least $25,000 in your account, you are eligible for one-on-one portfolio consultation, even if you aren’t participating in the Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Robo advisor.
- Charles Schwab Bank — Charles Schwab offers banking to go along with your investment account. Through Charles Schwab Bank, you can have checking and savings accounts, as well as getting home financing. This includes a Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking Account, which pays interest, has no monthly fees, no minimum account balance and unlimited fee rebates from ATMs worldwide. It works with the mobile app, offers mobile deposits and can be linked to Apple Pay.
- Investments available — Just about every asset type you can think of, including options. Schwab also offers more than 3,000 no-load, no transaction fee mutual funds.
- Account protection — Cash on deposit with Charles Schwab Bank is FDIC insured for up to $250,000 per depositor. Investment accounts are protected by SIPC for accounts of up to $500,000 in cash and securities, including up to $250,000 in cash.
Review What Is Charles Schwab?
Charles Schwab was founded in 1971 by its namesake chairman, Charles R. Schwab. The full-service investment firm is headquartered in San Francisco, California. Schwab manages $3.56 trillion in investments for more than 11 million clients. It has 345 locations in the United States where you can meet with an advisor face to face, or you can easily reach your designated consultant by phone or email.
When it comes to portfolio management with Schwab, you can go the do-it-yourself route, but if you’d like some help, you can always get it at no cost by calling customer service.
However, Charles Schwab offers full management services through various products and offers fully managed accounts, as well. As we mentioned at the beginning of this review, there’s something for everyone here.
Review How Does Charles Schwab Work?
Charles Schwab used to require a minimum investment of $1,000, but recently the brokerage removed this for all domestic retail brokerage and retirement accounts. Clearly, Schwab wants to stay competitive with the number of upstart platforms that have done away with minimums altogether (think Robinhood). However, keep in mind that these newer services lack all of the bells and whistles and special features and products that you’ll find with Schwab.
We find Schwab’s roster of nearly 250 commission-free ETFs and literally thousands of transaction fee-free mutual funds impressive. The selection of available investments is truly outstanding.
However, don’t let this huge menu of options intimidate you. Schwab offers filtering and sorting tools that can help you narrow down a manageable shortlist of investments that suit your needs. The brokerage also offers a feature called the ETF Portfolio Builder, which helps you build a properly diversified portfolio of ETFs to suit your risk tolerance. Schwab’s proprietary funds are comparable to those offered by Vanguard and Fidelity.
Research is also a spot where Schwab shines. Users can access reports from the likes of Morningstar and Market Edge, along with Schwab’s own comprehensive equity ratings, real-time news updates and market commentary.
Popular tools include screeners that can help you pinpoint the best investments for your portfolio. But you can also take advantage of quarterly lists put together by Schwab experts that highlight the best mutual funds and ETFs.
Schwab offers a handful of trading platforms that should appeal to users of all skill levels. In addition to the user-friendly website, the company offers StreetStmart.com, a simple web platform, and StreetSmart Edge, a more comprehensive platform that is available both as a Windows download and as cloud-based software. There’s also StreetSmart Central, the options-trading platform, and a mobile platform so you can trade wherever you are.
Review Current Charles Schwab Promotions
Charles Schwab is currently paying a cash bonus of up to $500 when you become a client. You can do this by opening an eligible brokerage or IRA account and making a qualifying net deposit into the account within 45 days.
The cash bonus pays on a sliding scale, based on the amount of the net deposit as follows:
- $10,000 to $24,999 — $100
- $25,000 to $49,999 — $200
- $50,000 to $99,999 — $300
- $100,000 and up — $500
Review Charles Schwab Pros & Cons
- First-Rate Customer Service — 24/7 customer service, 365 days per year, including answers to just about any question you have.
- No-Fee Professional Portfolio Management — You can take advantage of Schwab Intelligent Portfolios, which gives you professional investment management free of charge on accounts as small as $5,000.
- Investing and Banking With the Same Company — Charles Schwab Bank enables you to move money seamlessly between your investment and bank accounts and gives you fee-free ATM access at thousands of ATMs across the country and worldwide.
- No Minimum — While Schwab used to require a hefty $1,000 minimum to invest, you can now start with zero dollars.
- Commissions on Transaction-Fee Fund — In the event that you’d like to purchase a transaction-fee fund not included in Schwab’s no-load fund list, you may have to pay as much as $49.95.
Charles Schwab Review Summary
We highly recommend Charles Schwab as a full-service brokerage firm. We have only good things to say about every interaction we’ve had with the company and its staff. They are the Nordstrom of the investment world, and customers virtually always leave happy.