Charles Schwab Review

Founded in April 1971, Charles Schwab is a financial services enterprise that provides brokerage, advisory, investment and banking services. It has more than 10 million customer base of active traders and investors. Schwab provides web-based, pro-level and mobile trading platform to its customers to research, purchase and sell various instruments such as ETFs, mutual funds, stocks, options and many more. This makes Charles Schwab one of the biggest brokerage firms in the United States. They also provide advisory services for the traders or individuals looking for help on matters pertaining planning, computerized investment and portfolio building and management

charles schwab main page


No Commission Products

  • Offers an array of zero -commission ETFs and thousands of zero -load, zero-transaction-fee mutual funds

Third-Party Research & Analysis

  • Extensive educational library by Schwab and third party experts

Schwab AI Portfolios

  • AI service with zero advisory fees, account service fees, or commissions

Wide-Range of Platforms

  • Auto-syncing of account activity across various channels (web, desktop, and mobile); which is also available on the Apple Watch.

Robust Customer Support

  • 24/7 accessibility, safe messaging via live chat and other social channels.

Sophisticated Trading

  • Features such as advanced charting and trading are available on StreetSmart Edge


Minimum Deposit Required

  • A minimum deposit of 1000 US dollars is mandatory to open a Charles Schwab trading account

Limited Product Offerings

  • Does not provide forex trading, and at the present is not opening new futures accounts

Educational Center

  • The material in the educational centre is limited and not well organized compared to some other competitors

High Mutual Fund Commissions

  • A commission of $76 is levied if you were to buy a mutual fund outside of Schwab’s OneSource Funds list

Product and Fees

As mentioned earlier, Charles Schwab has an array of financial instruments; forex and future are however missing from this line-up. Charles Schwab Investment traders also have the access to various annuities and IRAs; they have both variable and single-premium annuities. Schwab levies a commission on stock, ETF and options at flat $4.95, and additional $0.65 per contract. Broker-supported and phone trades have an additional charge of $5 and $25 in that order. ETF and Mutual Fund traders have the benefit ofpicking from Schwab’s 200+ zero commission ETFs and 3000+ zero load, zero transaction-fees mutual funds. It also has a provision to request for a refund on any commission for any reason. 


Schwab’s high reputation is backed up with various industry awards and accolades. It’s takes heavy measures to insure that its client’s are well protected. It’s a member of several regulatory bodies such as FINRA, FDIC and SIPC and adheres to the Customer Protection Rule. It also falls under National Business Coalition with regards to E-comm and privacy measures. Via its alliance with various regulatory bodies Schwab’s ensures its client’s funds are well protected.

Special Features

Charles Schwab is a full-service broker that provides trading options in multiple financial instruments. It caters to both the self-directed traders and those who are looking for financial assistance. Schwab’s Intelligent Portfolio is a robotic advisor which is available to all its traders without an advisory fee.This service helps build, monitor and automatically balance a diversified ETFs portfolio starting from as low as $5000. The traders can also access devoted financial advice (Schwab Private Client and Schwab Advisor Network) and portfolio management services that the Broker provides. In order to trade on on has to use StreetSmart Edge, the website provides basic functionality.

Desktop Experience

The traders at Schwab have three platforms that auto-sync with one another to offer a seamless trading experience. The three trading platforms are –, StreetSmart Edge and Schwab Mobile application. The web-based platform provides easy functionality for the traders who want basic functionality on a hassle-free layout. It allows the users to create watch lists and alerts and add basic indicators, studies and drawing tools to the charts for customization. Traders looking for more sophisticated functionality can turn to its proprietary StreetSmart Edge platform, which can be accessed at no minimum account or trade balance.

Mobile Experience

The advantage of using the Schwab Mobile is that you can access all the functionalities of the desktop version as well as also gain access to your Schwab Bank and other accounts on one platform. As all the platforms of Schwab automatically sync in with each other, it provides a seamless trading experience and you don’t miss out on crucial opportunities while on the go.

Customer Support

Charles Schwab’s client center offers a 24/7 support over calls and you can also get in touch via live chat, mail, fax, secure messaging and Facebook Messenger. On ground it is present in 339+ locations. Schwab is known to provide alternative services such as reader services, sign language interpreters, statement alternatives, web accessibility and telecommunication relay.


Charles Schwab provides ace banking services such as checking accounts, college banking, credit and debit cards, mortgage loans and savings account. These services can be accessed through any of their three platforms. It also has a provision to link your other accounts to Schwab’s banking account for easy transfer of funds. It also provides home equity lines of credit with interest discounts of up to 0.250%, which is provided by Quicken loans.

Bottom Line

Charles Schwab Office

Schwab traders get an edge as the broker provides the lowest commissions, making it one of the cheapest brokers in the US and worldwide. It provides both stock/ETF and Options at a flat rate of $4.95, plus 0.65 per contract on options. It also provides a variety of commission –free ETFs and no load, no transaction-fee mutual funds to its traders. Over and above the low spreads and commissions, it provides three robust trading platforms that automatically sync with one another. Its Intelligent Portfolio and other advisory tools are state-of-art, and combined with the banking services that Charles Schwab offers, it is quite safe to say that Charles Schab brokerage is a top destination for anyone looking for excellent service and trading experience.

By Ricardo Martinez

Ricardo Martinez has been active in the financial markets for around 10 years. In the early days in his career he was a trader and worked as market analyst in different online brokers advising clients on key decisions of trading instruments in foreign exchange and commodity markets. Ricardo is currently working as independent trader with diversified portfolio over different markets. His writing for LearnMarketonline is part of his commitment to share knowledge with traders.