What is Charles Schwab?

Charles Schwab is a broker with a lot of investment options such as stocks, options, bonds, mutual funds, and ETFs. This is one of the increasing number of brokers that allow you to trade stocks, options, and ETFs without charging any commissions. You also get advanced tools and resources to make trading a lot easier.

They offer multiple ways to invest your money, which are managing and trading your own investments, automated investing and professional guidance, and planning and investing with an advisor.

The Charles Schwab Corporation is an old bank and a stock brokerage firm that was founded by Charles R. Schwab. This company has been around since the year 1971, and it is one of the largest brokerages in the United States.


  • No Commissions: You can trade stocks, options, and ETFs without any commissions. You are charged $1.50 per futures contract, which is fine.
  • Amazing Support: Their support is there to help you whenever you need it. You may have to wait a while if you don’t qualify for Premier support, but it might be worth it.
  • Detailed Research: Their research is going to help you gain valuable insights that might increase your chances of making a winning trade. The perspectives from third-party research providers will prove to be very valuable.
  • No Account Minimum: No account minimum is always a plus, but you need to remember that there are plenty of brokerages that offer this advantage.
  • Exceptional Trading Platforms: Their trading platforms are great at meeting your requirements, whether you are experienced or beginner.


  • Customer Issues: There are plenty of customers that complain about bad treatment, and there are cases where people lose money because of the issues with this platform. They offer a satisfaction guarantee to address these issues, but it won’t help you in all cases.

How does Charles Schwab work?

Let us take a look at the exciting features of this brokerage.

Trading Platforms: You get to choose from three trading platforms, which are Schwab.com web trader, StreetSmart Edge, and Schwab Mobile.

The web trader comes with features such as monitoring major domestic and international indices, watch lists, fundamental company data, options chains, screeners, and more. The basic order types are available, but people who are looking for advanced order types will be disappointed.

You can get expert insights and benefit from the research of Schwab and independent firms. I have to admit that the web trader is not very advanced, but the truth is that it is not meant to be advanced. It has the basic features that you need, and it will make the execution a lot easier.

StreetSmart Edge is for those who are looking for advanced tools and executing complex strategies. It allows you to customize the layouts and utilize multiple monitors. You won’t struggle to find the right opportunities because of the stock and ETF screeners. News, live analysis, and commentary will help you stay up-to-date. A commercial-free live stream of CNBC broadcast is available as well.

The best part is that you can access StreetSmart Edge through your desktop or over the web. It is indeed the best trading platform that they offer.

Schwab Mobile brings the trading tools and performance monitoring to your tablet or smartphone. It shares a lot of features with the above two platforms. You can get news, view market data in real-time, use interactive charts, place trades, and more through the mobile platform.

Research: They are very good at providing research because of all the different perspectives that they offer. They will provide you their own guidance as well as reports from Morningstar, Credit Suisse, Ned Davis, Market Edge, Argus, and others.

Their customizable screeners will come in handy when you are trying to find opportunities that fit your criteria. You also get advanced charts, fundamental metrics, watch lists, and momentum indicators. When it comes to research, they are one of the best.

Support: They provide support through live chat or phone calls 24/7. The support will be provided by trading specialists, who will help you make trading decisions and get started.

Education: They not only provide you access to online education through seminars, articles, or guides, but they also conduct local workshops in more than 300 locations. You can learn a lot from their trading community, which has more than 10,000 traders.

How much does Charles Schwab cost?

Here are the various fees and commissions that are charged by this broker.

Stocks and ETFs: $0 for online trades, $5 service charge for automated phone trades, and $25 service charge for broker-assisted trades

Mutual Funds: $0 for Schwab Funds or other funds through Schwab Mutual Fund OneSource and up to $49.95 per purchase for all of the other funds (plus $25 service charge for broker-assisted trades)

Options: no base commission plus $0.65 per contract (service charges are similar to stocks and ETFs)

Futures: $1.50 per contract

I have only mentioned the fees and commissions related to some securities here, and you can learn more about the fees and commissions by visiting their pricing page. I don’t think that you will be troubled by their prices as they are very competitive.

What do the customers think about Charles Schwab?

I can’t pretend that there aren’t a lot of reviews that complain particularly about their customer service. However, some reviews praise their customer service as well. It seems that their customer service is either hit or miss. Besides that, people are leaving plenty of good reviews, and a lot of people have been happily using them for several years.

Final Thoughts

Charles Schwab is one of the most reliable and efficient brokerages with the potential to satisfy advanced as well as beginner traders. You can trade almost any security on their platform for free or low fees. They even allow you to sit back and relax as they manage your investment for you. With such diversity in securities, tools, and research, you will love this brokerage for sure.