Charles Schwab Review
Investing has become a very hot topic nowadays. However, finding a reliable broker is not always easy. For example, more and more people are using Charles Schwab – but how reliable is this platform?
What does it have to offer? If you’re also interested in this service, you’ve come to the right place. Read our Charles Schwab review and find out more.
Who Is Charles Schwab For?
Charles Schwab is the best option for beginner and advanced traders alike that need an extra edge of research and education for their trades. If you need more advice from professionals, this broker is just what you’re looking for.
It is also the best option for those who need an overall smooth experience. The app is very easy to navigate while offering numerous investment opportunities.
The customer support is also quick to answer, and it can be contacted day and night, 24/7. This makes it the perfect choice for beginners who might have questions on how to use the platform.
Things We Like
We liked the fact that the broker takes no commission for the trades, making it a highly accessible broker option. Plus, it brings investments and banking all in the same place, making it much easier for you to manage your finances.
The mutual fund access is quite robust, and you also have a well-made ETF screener on its platform. This not only allows you to trade with ease, but you may also customize everything for your needs. You’ll be able to go through the operations much easier.
Things We Don’t Like
We didn’t like the fact that, unlike other similar brokers, Charles Schwab does not allow you to trade cryptocurrency. They also have a low base interest rate, and there aren’t any automatic cash sweeps. You have to sweep the uninvested money yourself into the market fund.
We also did not like the fact that while it can be used in multiple corners of the world, you may only choose investments from the U.S. or Canadian markets. It would have been nice if people had other markets to choose from as well.
Pros / Cons
- No commission for the trades
- Easier to manage your finances
- Everything can be customized everything according to needs
- Does not allow you to trade cryptocurrency
- Low base interest rate
- Only investments from the U.S. or Canadian markets can be chosen
Before trusting a certain broker, you might want to find out as much as you can about it. Here are some extra details on the company so that you know whom you’ll be collaborating with:
Who Is Charles Schwab?
Charles Schwab is a discount broker from the United States that caters to a variety of investors. Founded in 1971, the broker made it on the New York Stock Exchange list and is at the top for free ETF and stock trading.
Is Charles Schwab Regulated?
Charles Schwab is regulated by multiple authorities throughout the entire world. Clients are protected up to $500,000 ($250,000 cash limit) by the following regulators:
- Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
- Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
- Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
- Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)
With Charles Schwab, you get high-level investor protection throughout the whole globe.
Is Charles Schwab Safe?
Charles Schwab is covered by Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), meaning that your money is completely safe and secured. The $500,000 limit ($250,000 for cash) is higher than most brokers, and the platform they use is also secured. Thus, there should be no safety issues when using Charles Schwab.
Countries It Accepts Clients From
Charles Schwab is a U.S. broker that tackles the U.S. market. However, even if it was made with the U.S. in mind, other countries around the world have access to it as well.
It accepts clients from over 40 countries, including the U.K., Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, China, India, Singapore, Malaysia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Bear in mind that the services you can access may vary from one country to another. For example, if you are from Hong Kong or the U.K., you won’t be able to trade mutual funds or futures. Your only options here would be stocks, bonds, options, and ETFs.
Charles Schwab has been with us for a long time, meaning that it had enough time to gather quite a few awards. This includes the following: World’s Most Admired Companies in 2021 by FORTUNE, Most Trusted Financial Companies in 2020 by Investor’s Business Daily, and Best Broker for IRA Investing in 2021 by NerdWallet.
These are just a few examples, as Charles Schwab managed to earn quite a significant number of awards.
Range of Offerings and Products
Charles Schwab offers a variety of assets that you may choose to invest in. At the moment, you may not be able to trade cryptocurrency, but you may still use CBOE Bitcoin futures on separate accounts for trade.
With that in mind, here are some of the products and offerings that you may choose to trade with:
- Long and short stocks
- Penny stocks (OTCBB)
- Mutual funds
- Futures options
- International trading
- Single and multi-legged options
- Fractional shares
- Forex trading (7 currencies)
All of these offerings may be accessed from both the desktop platform and the mobile apps. Futures trades, as well as Bitcoin futures, will be handled from a different account.
Charles Schwab has three platforms from which you can choose. You have the web platform, the desktop platform, and the mobile platform. The web-based platform, while not very customizable, is very clean in its design and provides a clear fee report.
The main platform offered by Charles Schwab is StreetSmart Edge, which can be downloaded on your computer. You also have the StreetSmart Mobile option if you wish to take the trades on your phone. The platform is designed to be simple and efficient, allowing you to easily navigate through searches and trade at your own pace.
You have multiple account types to choose from on Charles Schwab, from individual and joint accounts to corporate accounts, trust accounts, IRA accounts, charitable accounts, saving accounts, and so on. You choose the account type based on what you intend to use the broker for.
Charles Schwab only allows you to deposit money utilizing checks or bank transfers (electronic ACH or wire). You do not have the option for credit or debit cards, nor can you use electronic wallets. That being said, you usually have no fees to pay for the bank transfer. Moreover, Charles Schwab by itself charges no deposit fees either.
The minimum Charles Schwab deposit depends on where you are from. For U.S. clients, there is no minimum deposit. However, if you are not from the United States, then you will have to add a minimum deposit of $25,000. This deposit might change depending on the type of account that you decide to use, to make sure you read the terms of the account.
Just like with deposits, you may also only withdraw money through wire transfers and electronic ACH. The ACH option is free of charge, but if you go for a wire transfer, you will have to pay a withdrawal fee of $25.
Before you download the StreetSmart Edge platform for Charles Schwab, you may try the demo version instead. This will not only give you a good idea of how to use the app, but it will also let you know whether the platform satisfies your needs or not.
Charles Schwab Promotions
Charles Schwab offers multiple promotions and bonuses for newcomers and loyal customers alike. It offers free online trades, signup bonuses, as well as referral offers going up to $500. Now and again, the broker may release different coupon codes, in which case you may want to keep an eye on their newsletter.
Client Support and Education
Charles Schwab shines the most when it comes to education, making it the preferable broker option compared to other similar options. First, you have the demo account, which will give you a good idea of how to use the platform and conduct trades. You also have a tutorial for the trading platform, which will teach you how to use the platform even better.
Moreover, you have a lot of educational videos and webinars to learn from. You get about 4-5 webinars every day, and they go over a variety of topics, from options to stock trading. They might want to do a little bit of extra work on the structuring, but information-wise, everything is there for you to learn from.
You also have a lot of educational articles to read, as the platform updates their information every day. You get quality reports every day and real-time news so that no trade is made without the appropriate information.
Customer support is also stellar, at least compared to other similar platforms. It’s available 24/7, and unlike other companies which mostly work on an AI system, Charles Schwab uses real staff to answer your queries.
You may contact them by the classic means: email, live chat, and telephone. However, if you require more personal assistance, then you have more than 300 Charles Schwab offices to go to. Not many online brokers offer this type of physical assistance, which makes this company stand out among its competition.
Verdict – Overall Rating
Charles Schwab is a great broker for those who wish to invest on a budget. It has great educational and research content, and you do not have to pay too much cash in advance in order to make a trade.
You have multiple offers to choose from, and the intuitive platform makes it easy for everyone to do so. It may have some drawbacks, but weighing against the good parts, it is worth giving this broker a try.
All brokers listed on our website are regulated by at least one financial regulator and have never been reported as a scam. Our reviews and overall scores are based on the key areas above, in a combination with our opinion and commentary.
The reviews are shared and discussed with the brokers, but the authors of our website always have the final word. Furthermore, we always strive to keep the information on our website updated and relevant for our readers.
What helps us stand out is that we always test our brokers with an anonymous live account, to ensure we deliver the most accurate information and experience to our readers. Finally, our reviews and evaluation are always independent of any financial compensation we may receive from the brokers.
There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities.
With respect to margin-based foreign exchange trading, off-exchange derivatives, and cryptocurrencies, there is considerable exposure to risk, including but not limited to, leverage, creditworthiness, limited regulatory protection, and market volatility that may substantially affect the price or liquidity of a currency or related instrument. It should not be assumed that the methods, techniques, or indicators presented in these products will be profitable, or that they will not result in losses. Learn more at Wikipedia.
All investments involve risks and are not suitable for every investor. The value of securities may fluctuate and as a result, clients may lose more than their original investment. The past performance of a security or financial product does not guarantee future results or returns. Keep in mind that while diversification may help spread risk it does not assure a profit, or protect against the loss, in a down market.
There is always the potential of losing money when you invest in securities or other financial products. Investors should consider their investment objectives and risks carefully before investing. More details here.
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