Charles Schwab is an internationally recognized online trading brokerage offering traders from around the world the opportunity to trade stocks, ETFs, options and futures. The brokerage was first established in 1973 and has since grown tremendously. Charles Schwab now serves over 10 million active trader accounts and has $3.18 trillion in client assets. The Charles Schwab broker is headquartered in San Francisco, California, United States and has over 300 branches in the United States. Charles Schwab is a renowned broker that is highly trusted and dependable.
- One of the largest and most reputable trading brokerages in the world.
- Features sophisticated trading tools and platforms.
- Phenomenal customer support and investor resources.
- Highly regulated by two of the most reputable financial regulatory authorities in the world, the SEC and FINRA.
- 1. 1) Futures Broker Trading Offer: A Broker that Serves Everyone
- 2. 2) Futures Trading Cost: Low Commissions for Trading Futures
- 3. 3) Accounts: An Account for Every Type of Trader
- 4. 4) Trading Platform: Sophisticated Technology & Easy to Use Trading Tools
- 5. 5) Usability of the Website: Easy on the Eyes and Easy to Use
- 6. 6) Customer Support: Exceptional Customer Care & Support
- 7. 7) Methods of Payment: A Payment Method for You
- 8. 8) Additional Offers: A Comprehensive Education Centre
- 9. 9) Regulation & Deposit Protection: Highly Regulated Trading Brokerage
- 10. 10) Awards: Highly Ranked & Awarded Broker
- 11. Conclusion: A Globally Recognized Online Trading Broker
Trader Rating Total
Yes, Charting tools, virtual money, indicators,
1) Futures Broker Trading Offer: A Broker that Serves Everyone
The Charles Schwab futures trading brokerage is one of the largest and most respected brokers in the world. They offer traders the ability to trade stocks, ETFs, options and futures on a wide array of financial assets across the global markets. The brokerage primarily serves traders from the United States but has investment and trading services for international clients as well.
Charles Schwab keeps things simple by providing traders with only a small selection of accounts to choose from. For instance, Charles Schwab offers traders an Individual or Joint brokerage account or a Retirement account including Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, and Rollover IRA accounts. These trading accounts offer traders Charles Schwab’s best trading tools and services with no trade minimum and no account or platform fees. Therefore, Charles Schwab primarily caters to the average retail investor rather than professional active traders.
- An account type for every type of investor or trader, no matter if they’re just starting out, are ready to retire, or are a professional active trader.
- Trade stocks, ETFs, options and futures on a wide array of financial assets across the global markets.
- Favourable trading conditions with no trade minimums and no account or platform fees.
2) Futures Trading Cost: Low Commissions for Trading Futures
Charles Schwab offers traders very low commissions for the trading of futures. In fact, they are very competitive and even lower than the industry standards. Traders can trade both futures and futures options for a $1.50 per contract, per side. Also, there are no additional fees for a broker assisted trades when trading futures, and traders receive free live assistance from futures specialists. As well, traders are not charged any account or trading platform fees. Therefore, beginner traders can appreciate the low costs when they’re just getting started.
Additional fees traders will incur when trading futures include the National Futures Association (NFA) and exchange fees. These fees are very miniscule and vary between exchanges but are generally around $0.01. As for the NFA fees, they are dependent on the rates set by the NFA. Another fee a trader may incur includes a futures delivery fee of $100 per contract to offset costs associated with client transactions to make or take delivery of a physically deliverable commodity.
- Very low and competitive futures trading fees of just $1.50 per contract, per side.
- No monthly or annual account maintenance or platform fees.
- Free broker assisted futures trades and live assistance from futures specialists.
3) Accounts: An Account for Every Type of Trader
To open a Charles Schwab brokerage account, all a trader needs to do is fill out the necessary paper work and make an initial deposit of $1000 for a standard brokerage account or $100 for a retirement brokerage account. The minimum deposit can be waived if you open a linked Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking account or establish an incoming monthly transfer of at least $100 through direct deposit or Schwab MoneyLink. Now that you know how to open an account and the minimum deposit requirements at Charles Schwab, what types of accounts do they offer. See the account types overviewed below.
Individual Brokerage Account
Trade stocks, bonds, ETFs, options and futures with this trading account.
Joint Brokerage Account
This trading account has the same features and aspects of an Individual account, only two or more people own the account.
Traditional IRA Account
This retirement account has tax benefits and traders do not pay tax until they withdraw funds.
Roth IRA Account
This retirement account allows traders to make qualified withdrawals tax free.
Rollover IRA Account
This retirement account allows clients to consolidate their old 401(k) or other retirement plans to a Schwab Rollover IRA.
- Wide variety of account types for retail traders and retirement investments.
- Zero account fees and low minimum deposits of $1000 for standard accounts and $100 for some retirement accounts.
- Variety of account features unique to each account type.
4) Trading Platform: Sophisticated Technology & Easy to Use Trading Tools
During our review of Charles Schwab, we discovered a that they provide traders with an impressive proprietary futures trading platform called the StreetSmart trading platform. This platform combines advanced and sophisticated technology with easy to use trading tools. For instance, traders can choose from more than 40 trading tools including customizable features that help them curate and execute complex trading strategies. As well, traders have access to a sophisticated charting package complete with multiple, time frames, chart types, drawing and analysis tools, and technical indicators.
The platform also features real-time prices quotes, trading calculators, a market moving news section, and more. The trading platform is accessible via any web browser for desktop computers and is compatible with mobile devices through a free downloadable mobile trading application for both iOS and Android smart devices. Overall, the StreetSmart trading platform is intuitively designed to accommodate the needs of both novice traders and experienced professionals.
- An adaptive and customizable trading platform that accommodates the needs of every type of trader, regardless of their experience level.
- Advanced and sophisticated trading technology combined with easy to use trading tools.
- More than 40 trading tools available and a customizable charting package.
5) Usability of the Website: Easy on the Eyes and Easy to Use
In our Charles Schwab brokerage review, we tested out their website extensively and confidently say that it’s intuitively designed and provides extensive amounts of useful information. Charles Schwab trading is only a subset of the Charles Schwab financial services and thus the trading aspect does not have its own website, but rather a dedicated webpage. However, traders can easily learn and find everything they’re looking for from the trading page as the page feature multiple links to everything a trader needs to know about trading with the Charles Schwab brokerage.
The website features black and grey tones with some sections and text highlighted in blue. The overall design is easy on the eyes and easy to navigate. Within the Charles Schwab trading page are links to numerous other main pages that go into further details of the services and products the broker offers. The only complaint we have about the Charles Schwab website is that it is connected to all of Charles Schwab’s other financial services. Therefore, we feel that it could be better organized and presented if the trading portion was a site of its own.
- Great colour design with black, grey and blue tones.
- Packed with useful information that’s essential to know for trading with Charles Schwab.
- Combined with all the other Charles Schwab financial services.
6) Customer Support: Exceptional Customer Care & Support
During our review of Charles Schwab, we tested out the various customer support methods and can confidently say that the brokerage provides phenomenal customer support. Support representatives can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via email, telephone, and live chat. As well, during regular business hours, the brokerage can be reached via mail, fax and in person at over 300 branches across the United States. Support reps are quick to respond and professionally trained to provide helpful and informative support.
Additional methods of support include reaching out to the brokers various social media channels, receiving help from a professional investment advisor, and unlimited investment advice from the Schwab Intelligent Robo Advisor. Therefore, traders can always receive quality customer support in a variety of ways and from numerous sources. Also, the Charles Schwab website features an extensive FAQ page and helpful content on every page of the site.
- Professional and responsive customer support from a wide array of support methods.
- Support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in multiple languages.
- Get help from the Schwab Intelligent Robo Advisor or from a real a professional investment advisor.
7) Methods of Payment: A Payment Method for You
Our Charles Schwab brokerage review revealed that the brokerage features only three methods of payment. This limited number of payment options comes as no surprise as trading brokerages like Charles Schwab generally keep the payment options related to the banking industry. Therefore, payments can come directly from the Charles Schwab bank or another banking institution. See below, an overview of the available deposit and withdrawal methods.
Electronic Bank Deposit (ACH)
ACH payments are generally completed within 30 mins – 3 business days and the transfer limits are $50 – $250,000 per day. ACH payments are the most popular payment method used and can be done easily online.
Bank Wire Transfer
Wire transfers are generally completed within 1 business day and have no transfer limits. Traders can contact their bank to facilitate a bank transfer.
Payments by check are completed within 1 – 3 business days and have no transfer limits. Traders can deposit checks into their trading account by mailing them to one of the 300 Charles Schwab brokerage locations.
- ACH payments, Bank Wire Transfers, and Check deposit and withdrawals are supported.
- All deposits are free of charge, and withdrawals are subject to withdrawal fees.
- Safe and secure payment methods provided by the Charles Schwab bank.
8) Additional Offers: A Comprehensive Education Centre
Our review of the Charles Schwab futures broker showed us that this broker has many additional features in comparison with other online trading brokers. For instance, Charles Schwab provides their traders with an extensive education centre designed to enhance trading intelligence. Traders have access to robust educational resources including live seminars, classes and courses for every experience level, a trading community with over 10,000 traders, and access to over 300 trading videos explaining strategies, platform tools, and more. Overall, the Charles Schwab education centre is one of the most extensive and comprehensive educational resources we have seen by an online trading brokerage.
Another additional offer provided by Charles Schwab is the brokers research centre. Here, traders will find proprietary Schwab research consisting of stock ratings, fundamental research, custom screeners, and more. Also, traders will access to trading insights provided by industry professionals. Schwab trading specialists broadcast live and present traders with the latest market trends and news so that they can get an edge in today’s ever-changing financial markets.
- Access to an education centre filled with robust educational resources.
- Access to a research centre with proprietary Schwab research.
- Access to market insights from industry leading professionals.
9) Regulation & Deposit Protection: Highly Regulated Trading Brokerage
Charles Schwab is licensed and regulated by two of the most prominent regulatory authorities in the United States, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). These regulations ensure that Charles Schwab operates in a safe, secure, fair, and transparent manner by imposing strict rules and guidelines for the broker to follow. Also, in addition to these regulations, Charles Schwab is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). These memberships ensure the protection of client funds up to $25,500,000 in the event of broker insolvency or loss of funds due to fraudulent practices. Therefore, traders can rest assured that their funds and personal information are safe at the Charles Schwab brokerage.
Also, in addition to the memberships and regulation acquired by Charles Schwab, the broker implements the most advanced SSL (secure socket layer) encryption techniques on all transmitted data. As well, they feature extended validation certificates to provide a more secure website and information transmission process.
- Licensed and regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
- A member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
- Employs the latest and greatest encryption technology on all transmitted data.
10) Awards: Highly Ranked & Awarded Broker
Our review of Charles Schwab proved to us that the broker deserves every award that they have ever received, and they have received a lot. Their most recent brokerage reviews include the “2018 Best Online Brokers” award from Barron’s and the “2017 Best in Class” award from StockBrokers.com. These two awards alone are some of the most prominent awards in the industry and were won by Charles Schwab due to the brokers strive for excellence in the trading services they provide. Charles Schwab has won numerous other awards in their lifetime as well, as they were first founded in 1973. Therefore, the brokerage has built up years of experience and is highly recognized in the financial trading industry as a leading brokerage firm.
In addition to the notable awards from financial publications, Charles Schwab is highly rated among retail traders from around the world. For instance, out of 1547 user reviews on the Charles Schwab futures trading website, 1466 reviewers highly recommend this brokerage. The average user review rating is 4.6 out of 5. Therefore, not only do reputable financial publications score Charles Schwab highly, but their traders do as well.
To compare Charles Schwab with other best futures brokers, check out our futures broker comparison page to see which broker you should choose.
- “2018 Best Online Brokers” award from Barron’s
- “2017 Best in Class” award from StockBrokers.com
- 4.6 average user rating from Charles Schwab clients.
Conclusion: A Globally Recognized Online Trading Broker
Is Charles Schwab good? This is the question most of us ask when seeking a reputable online trading brokerage to deal with. We can confidently say that the Charles Schwab online trading brokerage is a very good trading broker that offers retail traders and investors a wide array of investment services across the global markets. The broker provides traders with a highly advanced and sophisticated trading platform that’s easy to use and understand.
They also feature extensive additional resources to help their clients trade better and succeed in the financial markets. The customer support and care provided by Charles Schwab support representatives is exceptional and traders have access to all of the trading tools and resources needed to succeed. Overall, Charles Schwab is a good trading broker that could be right for you. However, be sure to check our futures broker comparison page to select the best futures broker for you.
- Powerful platform and research tools
- Relatively low commission
- Free prefesional account management for account above USD 5,000
- USD 1,000 initial minimum deposit