Charles Schwab Review

Charles Schwab Review

6 min read

Considering fees & commissions keep changing, you’ll want to read this Charles Schwab Review. Let’s take a look at the pioneer of the discount brokerage business. We’ll cover the primary considerations self-directed investors look for in an online broker. In fact, in this Charles Schwab review brokerage accounts have long been popular with long-term investors; for good reason. This San Francisco based publicly traded company (NYSE: SCHW) has been around since the early ’70s.

SCHW stock chart by TradingView

As a new trader, one of the first decisions you make is which broker to open an account with. Experienced traders may consider switching brokers to save on fees and commissions. Or simply for a more adequate trading platform.

Fortunately, there are many well established, trustworthy brokers to choose from. Charles Schwab is undoubtedly one of them. In fact, they’re a leader in the online brokerage world.

Let’s find answers to the commonly asked questions about Schwab. What is Charles Schwab about? How much money do you need to open an account? Does Schwab have hidden fees?

Is Charles Schwab Any Good for Beginners?

Charles Schwab is a good broker for beginners but traders are waiting with baited breath to see what happens with their take over of TD Ameritrade. We will see if their take over of the ThinkorSwim platform will make them one of the best brokers in the industry and become the trading broker of the future

Today, it’s not only one of the largest banks in the United States but one of the largest brokerage firms. A Charles Schwab Brokerage Account is an attractive option for short-term traders also.

Mobile trading apps like Robinhood and Webull offer commission-free trades. As a result, traditional brokers have to compete in more ways than just slashing fees. In fact, Charles Schwab has excellent customer service with over 300 local branches in 46 state. Also offering value-added services and incentives targeting retail traders. For example:

  • No minimum for funding your account — Schwab eliminated this requirement for a retail brokerage account.
  • Access to an extensive list of mutual funds and ETFs you can buy without paying transaction fees and commissions.
  • Can be your online bank with ATM access from around the world.
  • Ability to trade stocks in a dozen foreign markets.

Note in this Charles Schwab review, a Schwab brokerage account isn’t the same as a Schwab bank account. Schwab Intelligent Portfolios invest in Schwab ETFs. Cash deposits held at Schwab Bank are FDIC insured. However, brokerage products such as ETFs, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and money market funds are not FDIC insured.

Platforms & Tools

OptionsXpress: In 2011, Charles Schwab acquired optionsXpress. It’s now fully integrated with the Charles Schwab platform. As the name implies, optionsXpress is an electronic trading platform specializing in options trading.

Options Traders enjoy easy-order entries from the former optionsXpress all-in-one trade ticket. The ‘Probability Calculator’ is another great tool carried over. This makes it easy to analyze potential positions.

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios & Schwab Intelligent Advisory: In 2015, Charles Schwab launched a “Robo-advisor” service. It provides algorithm-driven financial planning with little human supervision. Just in case you don’t believe an AI robot can do a better job than a human, Schwab also offers discounted advisory services.

StreetSmart Edge (desktop based) and StreetSmart Central (web-based): A new trading platform will always be a little confusing and overwhelming; particularly to new day traders. Even if you’ve been using a trading software for a while, switching to a new one has its learning curves.

However, the essential tools needed are pretty much the same from one trading interface to another. StreetSmart Edge’s ease of use may surprise you. What you display on your screen is also significantly based on your preferences.

A good platform should allow you to customize it as you see fit. Charles Schwab StreetSmart Edge station is no exception. To me, the interface looked clear and clean, (seriously, their charts look so “crisp” on all time frames). 

SCHW Research Report by Stock Rover 4/23


If you’re familiar with ThinkorSwim (TOS) from TD Ameritrade or the Trader Workstation (TWS) from Interactive Brokers, you may find the Charles Schwab StreetSmart Edge desktop software simpler. It has fewer features than TWS and misses the advanced technical indicators of TOS.

However, most trading pros will tell you that simplicity is what they strive for. You’ll find all the basics you’ll probably ever need to succeed in Charles Schwab’s StreetSmart Edge. Take a look at this Schwab trading tools demo.

Not the Right Broker for Forex Traders

The Charles Schwab brokerage account does have its limits. For example, no Forex trading at the time of this writing. Some customization options have limits compared to other programs. The mobile app doesn’t support some advanced order types. However, that’s true for many mobile trading apps.

For social sentiment, stick to applications like StockTwits and Twitter. The learning center may be confusing for new traders as well. However, I’m biased toward Bullish Bears trading courses.

We’re focused on giving our community members clear, realistic, affordable education. The goal is to help shorten the learning curve while avoiding the stock market pitfalls.  You’ll see other Charles Schwab reviews say they aren’t good for forex.

What Are Charles Schwab Fees and Commissions? (Pricing Review)

  1. Charles Schwab fees: $0 online stock, etf and options commissions
  2. $0 – $5 service charge for automated phone trades
  3. $0 – $25 service chart for broker-assisted trades
  4. $0.65 per options contract
  5. $1.50 per contract for futures and futures options

Schwab, like many of many of its peers in recent years, have been aggressively slashing fees to compete with brokers like E*Trade, Fidelity and TD Ameritrade. In the past year alone, Schwab online equity trade commissions went from $8.95 to $6.95. Now they are free. Check out a list of the top trading companies.

Charles Schwab’s Stock Price and Symbol: Are They Publicly Traded?

Charles Schwab is a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: SCHW).

Charles Schwab Review Final Thoughts

If you’re shopping for a new broker to switch to, there’s a lot to like about a Charles Schwab Brokerage Account:

  • Low commissions – $4.95 per stock.
  • No account minimums – (PDT rule still applies)
  • Global markets access – with real-time quotes during market hours.
  • Excellent customer support – even face to face if you live close to one of their 340 branches in the US.
  • Free, easy to use, well-designed StreetSmart Edge desktop software.

US residents can’t go wrong by opening a Charles Schwab Brokerage Account. They come with a satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not satisfied for any reason, they’ll refund the previous quarter’s program fee.

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