For all your banking, investment, retirement and online stock trading requirements, Charles Schwab is the best option out there. It is best suited for frequent traders because of the decent price and impressive services. Charles Schwab also offers a lot of no-load mutual funds. One can find a huge spread of various investment products in Charles Schwab that are not offered in any of the other major online brokerage firms.
The excellent customer support is one of the main highlights of this online brokerage company. While Charles Schwab brokerage welcomes also beginners and middle class investors, it is more oriented on wealthiest investors with its business strategy. However, if a complete investment package is what you are seeking, then you can count on Charles Schwab's services. You can also personally visit any one of the 300 Charles Schwab's offices if you have any problems that need to be solved. In a nutshell Charles Schwab has great service.
Fees & Commissions
There is a minimum charge required for opening an account with Charles Schwab, i.e. $1000. However there are no inactivity fees or account maintenance fees, so that is one plus point. Besides, a thousand dollars isn't that high of a price to pay for opening an account, it is quite reasonable considering the quality services that you would be getting in return.
Charles Schwab has changed lowered and simplified their entire commission structure about a year ago. The rate for an online trade for any Schwab client is only $8.95, unlimited. Additionally, there is no fee at all for trading Schwab ETFs! For option trades the charge is $8.95 and an additional $0.75 per contract. For automated phone trades they charge additional service fee of $5 and for broker assisted trades additional service fee of $25.
If you open a High Yield Checking Account with Charles Schwab Bank, it comes with a Schwab One brokerage account with no minimum balance. Other benefits of the HY Investor Checking Account include no ATM fees (Schwab Bank will reimburse you for any fees charged by other banks), no minimum balance requirement or monthly service charges.
With Charles Schwab the online broker, you can invest in just about everything you want to, be it the basic investments like mutual funds, options, stocks, futures and exchange-traded funds or fixed income investments such as bonds, CDs, treasury issues, etc. An astonishing 2000 no-load mutual funds are also offered along with other options like annuities, margin loans and money market funds. With Charles Schwab you can also have access to securities that are not from the US namely WEBs, Canadian foreign orders, ADRs and the like.
Fairly easy to use tools are provided by Charles Schwab's trading platforms. It might be a bit confusing for new traders though, and hence a bit of research before jumping in is recommended in order to master using these powerful and useful trading tools.
When you choose Charles Schwab brokerage, you will be getting the option to customize your desktop with the things that suits your trading style, be it alerts, screeners, charts, graphs, watch lists, level I and II quotes or options chains. You can also get educational resources like streaming news, weekly and daily market commentaries, analyst research reports, etc that would help you make wise investments. You can also join online workshops for further help. However, there is no cell phone application, which means that you cannot trade anytime and anywhere you want.
To provide assistance with your investing needs, there are 300 nationwide offices of Charles Schwab and you can visit any one of them. If personally visiting an office to get the answers for a few questions is not your cup of tea then you can contact the customer support representative through the phone or email. Departments like active trader, brokerage services and new client services are available round the clock for providing assistance.
The investment package offered by Charles Schwab brokerage is all-inclusive. This is what makes it suitable for long-term retirement investors or regular traders. The 24x7 customer service is also quite commendable and so are the seminars that are provided in order to aid the new traders and experience traders alike.
Availability of traditional banking features like checking accounts and credit card facility.
Huge network of local branch offices ready for personal visit and face to face interaction.
Great deep research, also offering access to a variety of 3rd party research.
Huge range of available investment products.
The minimum balance requirement is only $1000, which is among lowest.
Offering to reinvest dividends for free.
No-transaction-fee network of almost 400 no-load fund families.
Disadvantages/Customers don't like
Relatively high commissions on trading stocks, ETFs, mutual funds and options.
Quality of trading tools is rather average than impressive.
Website is not always up to date and somewhat difficult to navigate.
Trading of multi-leg options is not available via website.
Here is how the most trustworthy external sources rate this broker. Best rating is marked with 5 orange stars, worst rating is marked with 5 grey stars, and if any feature is not rated you will see white stars with grey border.
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Commissions & Fees
Research & Analysis
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Real-Time quotes and charts found anywhere on this site and makred with Dukascopy sign in the top right corner are based on CFD quotes provided from Dukascopy Free Web Products. Dukascopy is Swiss forex broker, which provides marketplace and highest liquidity for on-line forex trading.