Charles Schwab Review

Sophisticated Online Brokerage Trading Platform

Charles Schwab is a company that combines the knowledge, research capacity and resources of an established bank with the customizability, flexibility and affordability of an online brokerage. Charles Schwab’s core competency is in their trading platform. They have invested their time and effort into making the platform as advanced as possible, with sophisticated tools the most active stock, option and ETF traders can use, yet still easy enough for inexperienced investors to operate. Charles Schwab offers a large assortment of industry expert research reports, tools, and portfolio guidance that make it an attractive option for a wide range of investors.  

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Best For:

Best for advanced stock, option and ETF traders

Charles Schwab Highlights 

  • Sophisticated trading platforms that are designed to fit the criteria of any stock, ETF and options trader
  • Several portfolio guidance options that can meet the needs of investors of any experience level
  • Access to professionals in 300+ brick-and-mortar locations, and online 24/7


  • No fee ETFs available
  • Built-in analysis tools
  • Advanced trade execution strategies possible
  • Mobile trading platform


  • Do not host actively managed funds
  • No access to fixed income assets

Security Research

Charles Schwab Equity Ratings is Schwab’s proprietary research system that gives grades A-F on over 3,000 US-traded stocks. These reports offer in-depth analysis so that investors can use expert research to make stock picking decisions. Additionally, Charles Schwab offers customers another research platform called Market Edge, which has built-in buy/hold/sell ratings on over 5,000 stocks. Analysis for this platform comes from top of the industry 3rd party research firms such as Credit Suisse, Morningstar,, and others. Lastly, Charles Schwab hosts a blog on its website with proprietary research on everything from stock specific advice to broad investing strategy ideas. 

Portfolio Guidance Tools

Trade Source is Charles Schwab’s proprietary trading software tool designed to help clients get the most out of their trading strategy. This system sends custom information relevant to the specific holdings in the user’s portfolio and provides trade ideas that match the criteria of an investor’s trading strategy.

Charles Schwab offers clients a dedicated Financial Consultant that offers services to help set financial goals and preferences, and create a plan to achieve them. These services include portfolio management, retirement planning, trading, insurance, annuities, banking with Charles Schwab Bank and more. A consultant will help an investor create a holistic plan with specific investment recommendations and a clear explanation of the benefits and risks. Theses consultants also have access to experienced specialists in areas like fixed income, global investing, charitable giving, and tax, trust, and estate planning. Portfolio management fees range from 0.2% - 0.9% depending on the amount of assets managed.

Lastly Charles Schwab offers users their free Schwab Intelligent Portfolios service. This software program provides sophisticated investment advice, building an ETF portfolio of up to 20 asset classes to help customers set, track, and work toward savings and income goals. This solution automatically works to reduce taxes with their tax-loss harvesting feature, and can be accessed from any device. Schwab offers an array of portfolio guidance that can meet the needs of almost any investor. 

Market Analysis Tools

Charles Schwab’s Trade Source tool provides broad market analysis with market movers, and a full suite of built-in trading tools to help traders with their fundamental and technical analysis. Investors can use sophisticated tools such as: overlapping charts, built-in crosshairs, built-in pattern recognition software and more. Charles Schwab also offers users its StreetSmart Edge trading platform to clients. Users have access to stock screeners and ETF screeners so that they can discover the perfect holdings for their portfolio that will fit their individual investing style. 


Charles Schwab offers its customers flat pricing of $8.95 per executed online trade of stocks andnon-Charles Schwab OneSource ETFs. Options can be purchased for $8.95 and $0.75 per contract. Charles Schwab’s OneSource ETFs are free for customers.

Quote Data

Charles Schwab offers customers an advanced yet intuitive quote system and trading platform designed to execute the trades of investors of any activity level. Their platform hosts the All-In-One Trade Ticket, which conveniently populates the symbol and displays current market information when you are ready to take action. Advanced traders can set up brackets on orders such as: take-profit exit, trailing stop exit and stop-loss exit. They can also place special trade conditions such that up to three different orders can be triggered using the same conditional criteria at the same time. 


Charles Schwab offers investors the tools they need to meet their financial goals. Where Charles Schwab really shines is in the access users have to 200+ no-fee ETFs. Schwab’s options trading platform is second to none. For investors who want portfolio guidance solutions, free ETF trades and the ability to make sophisticated derivative trades, Charles Schwab is a terrific choice.

About Charles Schwab

Charles R. "Chuck" Schwab founded Charles Schwab in 1971 as a traditional brick and mortar brokerage firm and investment newsletter publisher. Charles Schwab has grown into a bank and online brokerage service with over 300 offices in the U.S, one office in Puerto Rico, and one branch in London. Charles Schwab employs 12,500 people, and has $2.5 trillion in assets under management. For all their hard work, Charles Schwab has finished third overall in the Online Broker Review. They have also won Best Banking Services, #1 for Retirement Services, #1 Phone Support, #1 Live Chat Support, #1 Client Dashboard, and #1 Broker Innovation.

Industry: Online Brokerage
Founded: 1971
CEO: Walter W. Bettinger
Founder:  Charles R. Schwab

Geos: International
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