Charles Schwab is one of the largest stock brokers in the country with $2.55 trillion in total client assets. The brokerage offers a wide selection of investment products available online and in person at 325 offices in 45 U.S. states. Schwab has 9.6 million active brokerage accounts.
Charles Schwab Trading Commissions Review
Stock and exchange traded funds (ETFs) will cost clients $8.95 per transaction. Options will cost $8.95 + 0.75 per contract. To compare, the industry average is about $7 per transaction, which is what Scottrade is now charging. Optionshouse's rate is even lower: $4.95 per trade, plus $0.50 per contract for options.
There is a surcharge of $5.00 for automated phone stock and ETFs trades, and a fee of $25.00 for broker assisted trades.
OneSource® Mutual Funds are offered at no cost. At first glance it looks like an appealing option to add these funds to one's portfolio with little to no fees, but after researching you'll find that some of the more common and better performing funds are not on the list of no-fee trades. If you choose to invest in one of the funds not on Charles Schwab no-fee list, you will be charged the highest commission of Optionshouse - $20, and Tradeking - $10 for the same transactions.
Charles Schwab Minimum Requirements And Account Fees Review
$1,000 is a minimum opening deposit for the Charles Schwab brokerage or IRA accounts. The minimum investment deposit can be waived if investors set up an automatic minimum monthly transfer of $100 through direct deposit or Schwab MoneyLink, or open a Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking account linked to a brokerage account.
There are no maintenance or inactivity fees. Setting up an Individual Retirement Account is also free of charge.
Charles Schwab Customer Support Review
Charles Schwab has a great customer support. Investment professionals can be reached via email, phone or an online chat system 24/7/365.
For one-on-one help specialists are available at over 300 branches across the country. Scottrade is the only brokerage company in the country which has larger network of local offices than Charles Schwab. Clients who are interested in improving their knowledge in finance and investing can attend free workshops at Schwab's offices.
Investors can also ask questions or get experts' advice through Schwab's online trading community.
Schwab Research and Education
Charles Schwab provides outstanding research. All customers have free access to a broad range of advanced analysis tools and research. Along with firm's proprietary research Schwab offers third-party professional research from Morningstar®, Credit Suisse, Ned Davis, and Standard & Poor's.
U.S. and international market research, market activity, news and analysis are available to all Schwab's clients. Trading Services customers get access to a commercial-free live stream CNBC TV.
Live educational events and workshops are offered daily at local Schwab's offices. A vast selection of educational videos, lectures and tutorials are available online to all firm's customers.
Charles Schwab offers web-based trading, mobile trading and StreetSmart Edge platform. StreetSmart Edge is well-designed, intuitive trading software, though it's as highly rated as an absolute industry leader thinkorswim platform by TD Ameritrade.
Schwab Mobile is available on iPhone, iPad or Android. With this app customers can check their accounts, monitor market, watch news, transfer funds, research and trade equities.
|Trading Platforms||StreetSmart Edge®, Trade Source®, Schwab Mobile|
|Phone:||866-855-9102, 800-435-4000, 888-245-6864|
|Address:||San Francisco, California, U.S.|
I noticed today, May 6, 2015, that the volume figures being reported are not accurate. The Schwab numbers were compared to a Bloomberg system down the hall and for some stocks the Schwab volumes were highly inflated. A call to technical support passed the blame on to a third party vendor feed. TechSuppot did not care that the system was reporting improper numbers. When I asked how I could verify the accuracy of the bid and ask prices I was told to compare the prices to an online stock quoting website. I also felt that there was no sense of urgency to fix the problem. I no longer have confidence in the reliability of the data reported on their systems.  Richard   2016/10/10 11:47
I love Schwab. I am a struggling working person with only tiny regular amounts to invest. Every time I call, I am treated as though I have six figures sitting in Schwab's accounts earning them large fee income. They always take the time to answer any questions I have. In contrast, TROW and Fidelity reps have both told me I am not worth even opening an account for, (yes, in so many words and in TROW's case, literally). Last year, I lost my job and had to relocate to help care for my parents, who are elderly. A financial emergency forced me to withdraw money from my IRA. The guy I spoke to acted like I was his brother who was in trouble. Schwab waived all the fees that could have applied to the withdraw, and I had the money the next day. $100 to open any of their funds. People to talk to who really care. I will be staying with Schwab.  Handel   2016/10/10 11:47
I WISH TO MAKE A RATING ABOUT SCHWAB. WE HAVE BEEN A SCHWAB CUSTOMER FORABOUT 20 YRS. THIS OUTFIT WAS FINE AT THE BEGINNING. FOR THE LAST 5+ YEARS WE HAVE NOTHING BUT TROUBLE WITH THERE INTERNET SITE. WE CANNOT RESEARCH ANYTHING. SCHWAB KEEPS FORWARDING OUR PROBLEM TO TECH WHICH KEEPS TELLING US OUR COMPUTER IS AT FAULT. WE HAVE TO USE DIALUP BUT OTHER SITES ARE FINE. WHEN WE SIGN IN TO SCHWAB WE GET THIS BIG CIRCLE GOING AND AFTER ABOUT 15MIN WE ARE TIMED OUT. I WOULD NOT ADVISE ANY PERSON WHICH HAS TO USE DIALUP TO DO SCHWAB-THERE MB ON PAGES ARE TOO LARGE.  Neil_YEAKEL   2016/10/10 11:47
Absolutely correct about the margin department. Clearly their computers know what the settled funds are, and they can clearly tell when the total amount of buy orders exceed that amount, but they just let all the buy orders execute, and then get mad at you. Would appear to have several relatively easy fixes, but this has gone on for years with no attempt to address it in any way.  DaveB   2016/10/10 11:47
responsive/professional service, low/no fees, and access to information all outstanding. I've been a client for over 20 years as well. Trade regularly if not often. Had a mortgage with Schwab as well - which was another great experience.  Andy   2016/10/10 11:47
Right - you can't state it was 98% of the profit they withheld because that is inaccurate. If you are such a big trader you should know that what they did was a requirement and they did nothing wrong. You need to apologize to them and you should continue using them if that was your only complaint. Maybe you should confirm that you are accurate before blaming them. I have had them for years and saved so much money because many of their services are free when Banks charge you for every little thing. I love, love, love Schwab. Amazing customer service and so helpful with all my needs. I am a very small account, but they treat me as if I have millions. They have my loyalty and gratitude.  KateP   2016/10/10 11:47
My refinance took 8 days from start to finish. They were excellent. I have had nothing but good experiences with them. Customer service is amazing and they have given me advice time and time again that saved me money. They are not perfect and I am sure they employ bad people once in a while like all companies do, but I have never had a bad experience. Since moving to them we know we will NEVER go back to a traditional bank because the good outweighs the bad you get with banks by thousands of dollars for us. I am in mortgage and have never heard of any transaction taking 9 months - maybe we are not getting the whole story because that is very extreme for any entity. I would like to see/hear their side before making a negative opinion about them.  DebbieS   2016/10/10 11:47
Today I chose Schwab over Zecco based on the comments I read on this site. I will add an update in the future.  DSch   2016/10/10 11:47
I had occasion to call Schwab twice recently to ask some fairly elementary questions about fees, for which I couldn't access on the site. Both times, the reps were very friendly and courteous, but seemed to have to fumble around for the answer, which they eventually provided. In one case, I think the rep. was a trainee because it was apparent that there was a trainer plugged in and prompting him. Otherwise, pretty satisfied with Schwab.  RPR   2016/10/10 11:47
Been with them for 20 years+ They have been brilliant, faultless (almost), fantastic. Excellent customer service and fault arbitration. Highly recommend them!  Tony   2016/10/10 11:47
This is why I can't see buying mutual funds from brokers. I buy them directly from the companies themselves; i.e., Vanguard, American Century, etc. This way you can go right to the source to get whatever information you need. Plus, it takes longer to sell mutual funds via brokerages and some charge a fee for the privilege. Are we getting the entire story here? I'm all for going over people's heads if one is not getting any satisfaction, but there are ways to go about it without a confrontational attitude. I would like to hear Schwab's side of the story.  RPR   2016/10/10 11:47
Without a proper w-9 on file EVERY brokerage house will withold 28% of the proceeds. It has nothing to do with the profit or loss on the trade. Its the law! Usually you can have these funds refunded if you sign and deliver a proper w-9 within 30 days of the sale. If not you will have to wait till you file your taxes to get any refund. Learn the rules and life will be easier for you.  RPR   2016/10/10 11:47
Schwab switched my banking account without telling me and when I called to get confirmation when one of my automatic withdrawals contacted me to see if I made a change, Schwab said they weren't responsible to tell me they changed banks. Then when I asked to get a letter documenting the change so I had the correct routing number they gave me someone else’s account information, compromising their security. I asked for a manager to call me since I had wasted multiple hours on the phone trying to gather information that should have been provided to me and never got a reply so I contacted FINRA. Schwab finally sent me a letter 10 days after the due date set by FINRA stating that their manager never changed the body of a letter that he sent to someone else with a similar problem regarding the change in banks and that is why I got the other person’s information. And that there was a miscommunication between their departments so that was why I had so many 1099s and that they weren't responsible for this and that. Never did I get an apology or a call. All I can say is poor customer service and terrible business practices.  Liz   2016/10/10 11:47
Charles Schwab is the worst "discount" brokerage firm. They are expensive and provide poor customer service. They really do not know what they are doing. In general, the account executive talks a good game, trying to get bonuses by selling you all the so called helps to make you rebalance your account so they can make money. When things go wrong, they do not take any responsibility and just blame it on something else.  Tony   2016/10/10 11:47
Interesting to see all the disillusioned guys complaining about Schwab. I've been very happy with them over the past 5 years - especially after having one brokerage firm (TD Ameritrade) charge a freaking fortune for a muni fund that ended up being a big loser, and other high quarterly fees. The other firm (RBC) had virtually no real counseling, yet the brokerage fees for a $30k trade was over $2.5k. After becoming annoyed with a know-it-all broker in Schwab's private client program, I've been doing my own trades. As the private client program is a team approach, my own local broker is fabulous and very helpful - and I've had mixed luck online with Edge, but if you call their number and take their survey after, they will absolutely bend over backwards to make sure you're happy. I had three phone calls after leaving a comment that wasn't even all that bad and not at all angry. So, If you're unhappy, try again. Most of the employees seem very eager to please - it would be good if we could rate those who don't really care.  Linda   2016/10/10 11:47
I have been with Schwab for over 30 yrs. I know they are an OK company, no where near the top. On a recent refianance and HELOC transaction which my account executive recommended, it was a disaster and it took over 9 months. First of all, I did not need the refianance. He literally beg me so he can get his points and so Schwab can make more money out of me. In the end, I got so frustrated, I told them to forget it. With all my requests and complaints, no one contacted me. No name was given for me to review my case except excuses and "we will send you a letter of apology".................all Schwab representatives were invisible and non responsive. Now, I have a chance to look at other brokerage firm and there are many much better firms out there. Bottom line, move your account out and do not deal with Schwab! If you consider to open an account, go some where that you can get quality service.  Tony   2016/10/10 11:47
That is a very high fee. I believe that that is the total cost (purchase and sale), but again..high!  David   2016/10/10 11:47
I've had my IRA with Schwab for years and have been reasonably happy. However, as of Dec 2011 their fees for buying mutual funds have gone up beyond the ridiculous. Several days ago I tried to buy 100 shares of a $70+ no load fund and Schwab wanted to charge me over $75!!! Luckily I caught this before pressing "buy" and cancelled the buy. The rate increase was not disclosed to members and was only visible when checking their fee document. I am outraged and leaving! -  Silvia   2016/10/10 11:47
I have been with Schwab for 5 years now, and over the years, I have called them with many questions. I'm not really a trader (just investing for the future), and many of the Schwab funds are commission free anyway - so I don't worry about trading fees. I'm more of a beginner, but the thing I love about Schwab is the absolutely amazing customer service. Very few businesses I have ever called have such exceptional customer service reps! When I call Schwab, I get an articulate, intelligent, clear speaking individual, who knows the answers to all of my questions. Not only that, but they are patient, calm, and very polite. Even the manner with which these reps speak is soothing. They do not try to get me off the phone like reps at some other companies. I cannot say enough good things about the customer service. With regard to trading, I haven't done a lot of comparison shopping - but I suspect that their fees are reasonable.  Brian   2016/10/10 11:47
My experience so far -Adviser forgot to place trades then placed them weeks later when they remembered - Held all orders that were remembered till Fridays -Did not actively manage funds as described -Did not release all funds when I hired a new firm to manage my IRA, which i didn't find out about for a year when they did actually make a trade and called to tell me. -They send me holiday cards, but have so far been unable to send me the remaining funds and have sent 3 checks in a row to an address I haven't lived at in years despite saying they are sure its going to my real address every time. At this writing there will have to be a 4th check issued.  Dave   2016/10/10 11:47
Charles Schwab has a terrible Margin department. Yes, you get a warning message when you buy a stock or a mutual fund with the proceeds from a sell in an IRA account, but they do not stop you to place a trade if you do not have settled fund in your account. The margin department will then send you a nasty letter declaring, " your account has been restricted to trade without having settled fund in your account". Funny thing is , after that happens they will stop you to buy or sell if you do not have settled funds available in your account. Their trading department is no better either. Sometimes you place an order to buy a stock or a fund and try to cancel that trade after a few minutes,If you do so, you get the message " the order was not placed", but later you discover by the end of the day that your order was actually executed. If you ask them how it it happened, they will tell you that you did not request to cancel. They just don't believe you. How on the earth you can trust such a brokerage company where you would be keeping your whole life-savings!  KrishnaKundu   2016/10/10 11:47
STAY AWAY FROM THIS BROKERAGE FIRM!!!!!!!!  MrGerbek   2016/10/10 11:47
"We are not your service team" "We are not your service team" These are the words that ring out from my conversation with the female manager of the Client Advocacy Team on Monday August, 29, 2011. In trying get a letter to respond to a government form I spoke with a member of the team earlier on Monday. Then after sending a fax I got an angry, petty, and retributive call back from the female manager over the apparently inappropriately named "Client Advocacy Team." It was basically a call that said "don't call us - we are not here to help you - shut up and go away." It was also condescending. When I needed a similar letter from Ally Bank, they were happy to help. Their executive escalations group didn't tell me I could not speak to them or that I had to jump through hoops to reach out to them for help. But the wrongly-named "Client Advocacy Team" at Schwab apparently is so caught up in their own self importance that they now don't appreciate phone calls from their customers. Their female manager prefers to treat customers rather like lowly employees that are required to follow her process before reaching out to them, where customers are to be treated either like lowly employees of this woman, or like pawns. Prior to contacting that group I had spoken with several other managers. And I had also been lied to by two employees who told me the letter would be done - then nothing happened. Then I got a denial. And only then did I escalate the issue. Then I DID speak to someone at the Client Advocacy Team. Then after sending a supplementary fax, that's when I got an angry call back from this woman manager of that team telling me "we are not your service team," and basically to F-off and go away. The FDIC and the Comptroller of the Currency will be hearing about the details. We are not your service team. We are not your service team. This was the message from Schwab's "Client Advocacy Team" on Monday August 29.  Jonathan   2016/10/10 11:47
Charles Schwab — I purchased stock at a total investment of $92,305.90 and sold for $130,000 yielding a profit of $37,694.10. From my brokerage acctount, Schwab withheld $36,400 for the IRS! Further, this amounted to a withholding of 96.5% of the profit! Note the withholding actually amounted to exactly 28% of the total amount of the transaction - an obvious mistake. The customer representatives blamed it on me and insisted they had not received a W9 - I had over 30 transactions in 10 years and this never came up. I resent the W9 info. and they still insisted they had not received it. I took it to a schwab location personally the third time. What brokerage withholds over 96% of any profit and tries to conceal it? According to my tax attorney they make a clerical error. Luckily the money was returned as a tax refund after I submitted my 2010 1040. These people could have admitted their mistake and kept my business.  goyoyax   2016/10/10 11:47
I agree. On some things, they have great commissions, by the way - some ETF trades are free, for example. Also, a buy-write with Schwab is under $10. Same thing at Scottrade is over $15. Same thing at Trade King is about $10.50.  guest   2016/10/10 11:47
I've dealt with Schwab for well over 20 years and while they have a few drawbacks, they have consistently ranked one of the best out there. Their web site is great, their stock analysis tools are great and their customer service is above average. They can overwhelm you with reports and paper work sometimes, but they are the best overall. Sure, they charge $8.95 per trade but the service is excellent and I would not trust any brokerage that does all this for FREE because in the end, as you all smart investors know perfectly well, you get what you pay for. With some of the gripes posted above, e.g., Dave, you wonder if Dave is telling us the entire story. I have dealt with the Schwab teams from CA, WA, SC, and AZ and they have been very good with Customer Service and follow through. My wife and I split our IRA into 2 accts., i.e., one by Schwab and the other Self DIrected. One Schwab office wanted a POA so I could make trades on behalf of my spouse (she was "Primary" on the acct.) and the other office in AZ said I didn't need another POA since they already had one on file. So round and around I went and sent them an additional POA and all was well. That's the only SNAFU I've had with them in 20 years.  Murrayhill   2016/10/10 11:47
I just switched from Bank of America to Schwab last week, and so far, so good. I really enjoy the freedom of using any ATM without fees (reimbursed). One issue to be aware of is the mobile checking deposit feature has a new-client probation period for 90 days, such that check deposits from your phone have a 5-business-day hold even if the check clears from the other bank. Same thing is true for online ACH transfers from an external bank except these are always 3 business days (no probation period). After 90 days, the checks should clear the same business day if deposited before 4pm. If you need it sooner, you can call them to request the hold removal (not sure what the approval criteria is as I haven't needed to do this myself). I'm not all that impressed with their web app or their mobile app, but they'll do. Their BillPay has a dismal interface and seems to be hosted on a different site (still Schwab theme though). However, if you can get past the ugliness of it, BillPay supports all the necessary features (including recurring payments). I use an online personal finance app that displays my bank transactions and balances, so it doesn't matter much that Schwab has average apps.  Tony   2016/10/10 11:47
I have been using Schwab for several years. Their mutual fund offerings (Schwab Funds specifically) are the best that I've found. Not only are the expense ratios very low compared with others in the same sector, but the minimum investment required for each fund is very low. Generally, it's $100 initial and $1 subsequent required, and no load or transaction fees. It's hard to find that anywhere else for the same quality fund and for similar expense ratios. Great for a small investor that wants to gain exposure to different funds.  Mike   2016/10/10 11:47
Schwab is tops to me. Competent professionals answer your investment questions 24 hours a day. Best customer service of any company I deal with or have dealt with.  barry   2016/10/10 11:47
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.  Nancy   2016/10/10 11:47
I have been with schwab for many years. I love the way I can see all accounts all the time. Also using their bank and Home equity line of credit. Can deposit checks to bank with IPHONE APP by taking photo of check. Home equity was easiest ever. They overnighted paperwork, I completed forms and got them witnesed and returned in supplied envelope and a few days later was approved. very easy and fast.  almost_retired   2016/10/10 11:47
Schwab's research is about 5-7 years behind the large investment advisory firms. If you want advice, you will be sold into a managed account. If you want one-on-one advice you will get it from a person over the phone and not in person. It does not matter if you have $20 Million or $200,000 in assets with them. You get the same advice, the same allocation and the same funds. They do not customize their advice and I was better off doing it on my own. Schwab is great if you want to keep a trading account or a small brokerage account. I needed advice and found a one-on-one relationship with an advisor at Merrill. It might just be me, but cheap does not mean good. I would rather pay more to get customized advice.  Better_things_elsewhere   2016/10/10 11:47
Ask Chuck is s joke for retirement.. Dont waste ur time.. They would rather talk then listen...  DonGeo   2016/10/10 11:47
Charles Schwab has no account maintenance or inactivity fees. There are no surcharges for large orders, penny stocks and after-hours trading. Having an option of opening a checking account or credit card with one's brokerage firm is always nice. Company is offering top-notch customer service.  BRC   2016/10/10 11:47
Execution is fine. However, in 2009, Schwab stopped dividend reinvestment on ALL ADRs. No consistent reason. This is a problem.  InvestorSam   2016/10/10 11:47
I recently moved to a new city and noticed that I was not able to pay for an online item with my credit card. Because I often travel, issues like this are very common-- however, this time when I called Charles Schwab to help me solve the problem I was told that there were discrepancies (and were not allowed to tell me what these were) and therefore they could not verify my identity and couldn't help me further. The representative suggested I go into my local branch to show a photo ID-- can't, am out of the country. Then suggested a phone number that only works on the weekdays-- problem is that I am now without a credit card for the next two days. While I appreciate that Charles Schwab is making an effort to prevent fraud, it is extremely frustrating that I cannot use my credit card during this time-- especially because these first few days of moving to a city are when I need it most. On the whole I have had very good experiences with Charles Schwab, however, an experience like this makes me very nervous to depend on Charles Schwab.  Michaela   2016/12/08 15:08
The process was simple and easy when I moved my employer 401k over to a Schwab IRA.  SteveC   2016/12/21 16:49