Features
  • Vibrant Trading Community of over 10,000 traders
  • Rated 5 star from SmartMoney for Research
  • #1 in Online Brokerage Customer Satisfaction 3 years in a Row by American Customer Satisfaction Index.
  • Around 300+ retail offices across US
  • Virtual Trading Account available
Mobile Interface
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Charles Schwab User Review Author: 13 February 2013

Overall Rating

Recommends Charles Schwab for:

  • International Trading
  • Long Term Investing

Traders looking specifically for \"Quality customer service, professional planning for the future, fantastic research, and making the most out of their retirement are highly recommended to use Charles Schwab. They have access to a large selection of 3rd party research and in-house analysis; the acquisition of OptionsXpress has added to the overall quality of research. While navigating Charles Schwab\'s site, I was impressed with the easily available and conversant information. Charles Schwab definitely is one of the top brokerage houses in the country.

For detailed information, browse through our detailed Charles Schwab Review below.

Charles Schwab Trading Account Types

The most popular investment accounts a trader can open with Charles Schwab are Individual, Joint, and IRA's. The brokerage accounts available are "Individual and Join accounts. With a Charles Schwab Trading account, the trader gets the access to professional-level third-party research and excellent tools, expert perspective on everyday's markets, easy access to money transfer with a Visa check card, checks, online bill pay, and fund transfers, and a 24/7 service and support.

The list of all accounts that one can start with Charles Schwab is:

  1. Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs): Traditional IRA | Roth IRA | Rollover IRA |
  2. Schwab Global Account
  3. Small Business Retirement Accounts: Individual 401(k) | SEP IRA |
  4. Trust and Estate Accounts
  5. College Savings Accounts
  6. Organization Accounts
  7. Personal Choice Retirement Accounts (PCRAs)

Charles Schwab brokerage offers an impressive selection of investing products:

  1. Stocks
  2. Options
  3. ETF's
  4. Futures
  5. Mutual Funds
  6. CD's and Money Market Funds
  7. Bonds and Fixed Income
  8. Annuities
Although, they offer a number of products, such as CDs, insurance annuities, ADRs, WEBs and Canadian foreign orders, which other discount brokers don't offer, most of the users don't invest in them.

Charles Schwab Fees & Commissions

Charles Schwab was the first discount brokerage company in the US. Though, Schwab offers many funds that are commission free, they can't be considered in the league of cheap brokers.

Firm's $8.95 rate per stock trade is higher than the market average, and $49.95 rate per mutual fund transaction is one of the most expensive. They have a flat fee commission structure and there are no limits on total trade size. The trader is charged a $5 fee when the trader uses the Schwab automated phone system to place a trade, and $25 for broker assisted trades. The $0 Schwab ETF online trade are available.

CharlesSchwab Tools and Platform Performance

All of Schwab's platforms are meant for Active traders as there is penalty for inactivity. Schwab has a good quality of independent research besides Schwab's own in-house research. Schwab provides with Earnings reports and breaking news from Reuters, Briefing.com; Daily and weekly commentaries from Credit Suisse, Ned Davis, J.P. Morgan, and Standard & Poor's. Due to high quality of Research, Schwab has received a 5 star rating for Research from Smart Money. Charting tools are effective with over 30 different indicators available.

Charles Schwab has the following trading platforms available for its clients:

  1. Software Based: StreetSmart Edge is a customizable software based platform,(can be used on PC or Mac) which enables linking of multiple sets of tools to follow the same security. As trader's skills/strategies change, the trader can add or modify the tool features to fit his evolving needs. StreetSmart Edge is an advanced yet easy to use trading platform that has Charts, News, Order Entry, Live Data, Options Chains, Technical, and Fundamental Research all in a single window. Traders can also view data for stock, options, and other instruments on different screens simultaneously. But, only those customers who execute 3 or more trades per month will get access to StreetSmart Edge.

  2. Web Based:Schwab has two platforms if a trader is interested in using a browser to access his account, namely Simplified and Enhanced Web Trading. StreetSmart.com (the web based platform) is recommended for traders looking for not so advanced features. The ease to use interface will impress all the traders.

  3. You can use the web based platform, but i would certainly recommend going for StreetSmart Edge for easier and better execution of your trades.

    Trading Tools provided at Schwab:

    1. Chart Pattern Recognition: Traders can scan the market in real-time for bullish or bearish technical signals. In addition, they can see a wide range of chartn patterns and create pattern-based alerts to monitor positions or watch lists.
    2. Symbol Hub: Trader certainly should use this tool which gives a consolidated view of charts, news, order entry and live data, and access to technical research. Traders can keep track of multiple stock symbols at the same time.
    3. Risk Management Features: Traders can place brackets and multi-leg orders in the same order ticket, order and position icons gives more ways to manage risk.
    4. Stocks and Options Screeners: Traders have access to multiple pre-defined screeners deliver gainers, decliners, and highs and lows.

Charles Schwab Mobile Platform

They have developed special applications for iPad, iPhone, and Smartphones. I would suggest that you use mobile based platform only if you are away, as the tools and the data are limited. You can access quotes, charts, news, watch list, trade orders, order status, account summary, and history.

Charles Schwab Customer Service and Support?

Offering 24/7 support, Charles Schwab delivers a consistent and often memorable experience. The web is awash with comments from the customers found the service to be excellent. On many occasions I have called with questions and found a very knowledgeable person on the other end who answered my questions in great detail.

Charles Schwab Education & Training for Traders

They offer an Investor Community, where clients could learn and interact with each other with more than 10,000 active members. If you want to learn before trying your hands on actual trading, you can find videos and latest workshops in the "Resource Center". Schwab also has pre-recorded and live seminars, articles, and guides. Traders can also use virtual trading platform to invest with virtual money to hone their skills to minimize losses.

Miscellaneous information about CharlesSchwab

Charles Schwab bought one of the best brokerage firms in the industry, OptionsXpress ( Editorial Review and Ratings of OptionsXpress ). OptionsXpress still functions as a separate company, though it is in process of integrating with Schwab. OptionsXpress provides much better set of trading tools, great selection of free services, simulated trading environment, and $100 bonus for opening new non-IRA account.

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Your Ratings:


  • Overall

  • Types Of Accounts

  • Trading Fees

  • Technology

  • Mobile Platform

  • Customer Service

  • Education

  • Miscellaneous

*

 

 

25 March 2013

Overall Rating

  • Types Of Accounts

  • Trading Fees

  • Technology

  • Mobile Platform

  • Customer Service

  • Education

bool(false)

I have been using Charles Schwab for a couple of years now. I am a heavy trader so I don\'t mind paying a one time $8.95, but recently I have noticed the customer service reps not to answer questions and the holding time has increased. But, the research is good and the platform is awesome. Too much to loose if I let Schwab go.


22 February 2013

Overall Rating

  • Types Of Accounts

  • Trading Fees

  • Technology

  • Mobile Platform

  • Customer Service

  • Education

bool(true)

I have used Charles Schwab for 3 years and have learned a great deal from them. I find the customer service to be excellent. On many occasions I have called with questions about many aspects of the market in general and about their systems and have had extensive conversations with them. For example I wanted an explanation of level2 quotes and spent 25 minutes on the phone learning about them. I think they are worth the fees they charge for trades. I have also had several good experiences going to their free seminars held at the local office once a month.


18 October 2012

Overall Rating

  • Types Of Accounts

  • Trading Fees

  • Technology

  • Mobile Platform

  • Customer Service

  • Education

bool(true)

I recommend everyone to check out Schwab, there is a good chance it will fit with your requirements for investing and trading. I have been their loyal customer for past 30 years and cannot be more happy. Mind it it was before discount brokers and online trading came into fashion. Their trading platforms are very stable and well supported by their friendly customer service and tech support guys.

Recently I decided to give it a spin to their Street Smart Edge [SSE]. If you have ever used thinkorswim or anything similar, you will know the power of such platforms. SSE is along the similar lines, it has got a user friendly trading environment for day traders. It actually has got similar functionalists as the Trade Architect from TD Ameritrade. I know this because I have got trading accounts both at both brokerages.

Vanguard is the best at providing the great selection of Mutual Funds, I feel Schwab & Ameritrade also have decent selection and also have MUCH lower expense ratio.


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