Charles Schwab Review
Alyaziah Hayat | March 30, 2022
Table of Contents
Charles Schwab is a US brokerage offering a vast range of investment products, trading platforms, tools and educational resources. However, they do not offer MT4 nor Forex, CFD and Crypto trading. This makes them a limited choice of broker when compared to other online brokers.
Broker Pros / Cons
- Competitive fees
- Flexible trading platforms
- Advanced trading tools
- Educational resources
- No MetaTrader platform
- No Forex, CFDs or Cryptos
- Limited funding options
- Restricted leverage
Founded in 1971, Charles Schwab is one of the largest US online brokers with a proven track record and a range of investment services and options including the buying and selling of Stocks, Mutual Funds, Options, Bonds, ETFs and other financial products.
Charles Schwab offer a large selection of quality online research tools and educational materials to help clients evaluate investments and to formulate a trading plan. They provide flexible web based, desktop and mobile platforms to conveniently access and manage your trading account from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.
The brokerage account offers competitive fees and industry leading customer support, with dedicated account managers to help you through your investment journey. They are regulated by top authorities in the United States and the United Kingdom whilst also being listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
Charles Schwab are regulated in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Charles Schwab, U.K., Limited (Schwab UK) is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) with registration number 225116. Schwab UK is designated under U.S. regulations as a foreign branch office of. Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (Schwab).
Schwab is regulated under U.S. securities law, is registered with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) as a broker-dealer, and is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Whilst Charles Schwab is a US broker that is primarily geared towards US clients, they do welcome investors from other countries through their subsidiary companies. Other countries include the United Kingdom, Australia, United Arab Emirates, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and more. The services can differentiate between countries, including the products available to trade and account types.
Clients can choose between 3 flexible and powerful trading platforms; StreetSmart Edge web based, desktop and mobile for iOS and Android devices. The platforms are intuitive and user friendly with embedded innovative trading tools that enable you to analyse the markets for potential trading opportunities. Each platform includes free price streaming, real-time data, ability to create and save multiple layouts, customisable tools, expand the platform to multiple monitors, and more.
StreetSmart Edge Platform Features:
- Fully Customisable.
- Research & Analyse Various Markets.
- Find Trading Opportunities using integrated tools.
- Place & Manage Trades.
- Manage Risk.
- Monitor Multiple Accounts.
There is a range of premium trading tools available to clients that can enhance the overall trading experience for efficient market analysis and trade planning.
- Custom screeners to scan the markets according to your specific criteria.
- Idea Hub® can source options trade ideas based on the market sentiment and individual trading strategy.
- Schwab Equity Ratings® offers exclusive A-B-C-D-F scores on nearly 3,000 U.S. stocks.
- Trade & Probability Calculator can conduct risk versus reward scenarios.
- Built-in to the platform research tools provided by Charles Schwab and third parties
- All-In-One Trade Ticket™ for conveniently trading stocks, ETFs, and options in a single order entry window.
- Real-time streaming data helps to keep users informed of the latest market movements.
- Unique Gain/Loss Analyzer can help to analyse your past trading performance and see what you are doing well and where you can improve.
- Customised alerts and conditional orders help time your trades according to your strategy.
- Additional cutting-edge tools provided for trading options and futures.
Charles Schwab offer a variety of educational materials to help improve your trading skills and to learn new ones. There is a dedicated online learning centre, local workshops, seminars, webinars and live daily broadcasts from Schwab experts. The online community enables users to share with and gain insight from thousands of other Schwab traders.
With a Charles Schwab broker account, you have access to trade Stocks, Mutual Funds, Options, Bonds, CDs, Futures, ETFs and more.
Charles Schwab make investing available to everyone with $0 equity trades, no account minimum deposits, no fees to open or maintain your account and commission free online stock and ETF trading.
Whilst there is no minimum deposit required for US clients, non-US client are subject to a $25,000 minimum deposit which is much larger than the majority of other online brokers.
It is worth noting that $0 commission does not apply to all trades including large block transactions requiring special handling, restricted stock transactions, trades placed directly on a foreign exchange, transaction-fee mutual funds, futures, or fixed income investments.
Options trades will be subject to a $0.65 per-contract fee. Service charges apply for trades placed through Charles Schwab broker ($25) or by phone ($5).
Upon opening an account, you gain access to the Schwab Trading Services™ at no additional cost which provides access to all StreetSmart® trading platforms, educational materials and priority access to a dedicated trading specialist to assist you. Whilst there are no fees to use Schwab Trading Services, be aware that other charges may apply.
They offer automated and managed portfolios where a robo-advisor can build, monitor, and automatically rebalance a diversified portfolio based on your specific requirements, risk preferences and investment goals. There are no advisory fees and no commissions although there is a one-off planning fee of $300, and a $30 a month advisory fee following on from that. Charles Intelligent Portfolios require a $5,000 minimum account balance whilst the Charles Intelligent Portfolios Premium have a $25,000 minimum requirement.
There is a vast range of accounts offered by Charles Schwab, these include:
- Individual Brokerage Account (for one individual).
- Joint Brokerage Account (for two or more individuals).
- Corporate Brokerage Account (for legal entities).
- Retirement Accounts (Roth IRA, Traditional IRA, Rollover IRA).
- Automated & Managed Portfolios (Schwab Intelligent Portfolios & Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium).
- Estate & Charitable Planning Accounts (Trust Account & Schwab Charitable).
- Banking Accounts (Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking® Account linked to Brokerage Account).
- Education & Custodial Accounts.
Charles Schwab provide 24/7 customer support via online chat, telephone and email. They have over 300+ branches and welcome visits. Their experienced financial experts are on hand to give you support, real time analysis and more, as and when you need it.
You can fund your Charles Schwab account using a variety of simple methods. This includes wire transfer, check and Electronic funds transfer (EFT) via Schwab MoneyLink® to transfer funds or assets from an external account. Clients are provided with detailed instructions and online funding tools once they have opened an account. The funding options are limited compared to other online brokers as some users may prefer the convenience of an online payment processor such as PayPal, Neteller or Skrill.
You can open a Charles Schwab brokerage account online or by visiting one of their 300 local branches. Telephone support is available to assist you if required. It takes approximately 10 minutes to complete the online account application by following these steps:
- Choosing the type of brokerage account (individual or joint)
- Provide detailed personal information
- Choose your required account features
- Create your own unique login credentials and provide account contact information
- Verify your identity with personal documents
- State how you are planning to fund the broker account
To open a Charles Schwab account, you will need to provide the following documents:
- Social security number(s)
- Driver’s license
- Employer’s name and address (if applicable)
- Statement information for any assets or cash you’d like to transfer
Charles Schwab accounts need to be approved and funded before you can commence trading. They have certain client requirements that must be met if you wish to trade options with one of four levels of approval based on your based on your objectives, experience, and financial position. This is to help protect investors from the risks involved.
Once your account is set up, you can deposit funds and place investment orders through your Charles Schwab brokerage account. Clients have the freedom to choose to invest in whatever they prefer whether it be stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and more. You will own all of the assets in your trading account.
|Broker Features||AvaTrade||IG||IC Markets|
|Regulated||ASIC, BVI, CBI, FFAJ, JFSA, FSCA, IIROC, ADGM FRSA||FCA, CFTC, NFA, BaFin, FINMA, ASIC, FMA, MAS, FSA, FSCA, DFSA, JFSA, METI, MAFF||ASIC, CySEC, FSA, SCB|
|Country||Australia, Ireland, South Africa, Japan, British Virgin Islands||Australia, UK, USA, Switzerland, UAE, Singapore, Japan||Australia, Seychelles, Bahamas, Cyprus|
|Min. Deposit||Min $250 Deposit||Min $100 Deposit||Min $200 Deposit|
|Commission||From $0||From $0||From $0|
|Instruments||Forex, Commodities, Cryptocurrency, Stocks, Shares, Indices, Metals, Energies, Options, Bonds, CFDs, ETFs||Forex, Commodities, Stocks, Shares, Indices, Cryptocurrencies, Metals, Energies, Options, Bonds, ETFs, CFDs||Forex, Commodities, Cryptocurrency, Stocks, Shares, Indices, Metals, Energies, Bonds, CFDs|
|Platforms||MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, AvaTradeGO, AvaOptions, AvaSocial, DupliTrade, ZuluTrade, Web, Mobile||MetaTrader 4, IG Platform, IG Progressive Web App, ProRealTime (PRT), L2 Dealer, FIX API, Web, Mobile||MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, cTrader, Web, Mobile|
|Type||Market Maker, STP||STP, ECN, DMA||ECN|
|Funding||Wire Transfer, Credit/Debit Card, Paypal, WebMoney, Neteller, Skrill||Wire Transfer, Credit/Debit Cards, PayPal||Wire Transfer, Credit Card, Debit Card, WebMoney, Neteller, PayPal, Skrill, FasaPay, UnionPay, Qiwi, Bpay, Poli|
|Visit Broker||Visit Broker||Visit Broker||Visit Broker|
Charles Schwab is one of the largest and longest serving US brokerages with strict regulation and a vast range of trading products and services offered. They offer competitive fees, flexible trading platforms, advanced trading tools, a good selection of educational materials and multiple account types. However, they do not have the popular MetaTrader platform nor do they offer Forex, CFD or Cryptocurrency trading. Funding options are also very limited.