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.
- Active traders
- Options traders
- Penny stock traders
- IRA investors
- Local branches
Review of: Charles Schwab
Reviewed by: Larry Ludwig
Last modified: November 14, 2018
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 stock broker, and this is what we found.
Charles Schwab Fees & Features
|Options Trades||$4.95/trade + $0.65/contract|
|Investment Types||Stocks, Penny Stocks, Options, ETFs, Mutual Funds, Bonds|
|Access||Website, iOS App, Apple Watch, Android App|
|Broker Assisted Trade|
|No Fee ETFs|
|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.
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.
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 specialty 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 short list 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 Charles Schwab Alternatives 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.
Stock Brokers Recommended Rating 9.5/10 8.5/10 9/10 Min. Investment $0 $500 $0 Stock Trades $4.95/trade $6.95/trade ($4.95/trade for 30+ trades/quarter) $6.95/trade Promotions None Join E*TRADE today! Trade Free for 60 Days + Get Up to $600 Cash Review — Read the Review Read the Review
Pros and Cons
Other Stock Broker Promotions
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.
|Stock Broker||Promotion||Visit Site|
|Trade Free for 60 Days + Get Up to $600 Cash||Learn More|
|Trade FREE for 60 Days + Get Up to $2,500 in Cash||Learn More|
|Up to $600 Cash Bonus||Learn More|