Charles Schwab vs Robinhood 2021

Is Robinhood Better or Charles Schwab?

If you head on over to the websites of our two Robinhood vs Schwab contenders, they can initially appear very different. However, what they have in common – and what makes our Charles Schwab vs Robinhood comparison so interesting – is their dedication to providing the best possible investment apps/platforms possible. And in their own ways, we’d say they come out looking like the absolute best in the respected fields.

You’ll need to read more to find out how we came to such positive conclusions, but rest assured, the real winners out of Robinhood v Charles Schwab – whether you prefer Robinhood or Charles Schwab – are the users.

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Broker of the Month – M1 Finance

While Robinhood and Charles Schwab are both good provider for many traders and investors, we would also recommend taking a look at M1 Finance. Here at we often talk about having a long term investment plan. M1 Finance offers both that and good conditions for shorter term trading on top. This is why we’ve selected them as our Broker of the Month. Read more about them in our M1 Finance review, or check them out by clicking the link below.

Introduction to Robinhood

Pros & Cons of Robinhood
  • An ideal introduction to trading
  • Perfect for anyone who prefers to use mobile
  • Explains itself really well in exceptional Help/FAQ section
  • Member of FINRA
  • Cash management scheme has a waiting list

Before we get into our Charles Schwab vs Robinhood comparison properly, we’re going to be talking about each of them individually. That way, you’ll have some idea of where they’re coming from. The Robinhood apps have gained great fame for introducing newcomers to the world of trading. They also offer a little extra versatility with additional research being provided through their $5 a month Gold service as well as their cash management service, although our understanding is there is a waiting list for the latter.

Plus, how else can we begin our Robinhood vs Charles Schwab review, other than by saying they’re very formidable opponents with beautifully designed, simple to use apps. They may be too simple for some, but that’s why it’s great there’s so much variety out there.

Introduction to Charles Schwab

Pros & Cons of Charles Schwab
  • Two great platforms available
  • Excellent and extensive research
  • Broke the mould with no fees
  • Great customer service
  • Website can be a bit confusing due to sheer amount of content

A huge name like Robinhood needs a serious opponent for this to be any kind of a match up, and we’re happy to say with the fantastic Charles Schwab, that our Robinhood vs Charles Schwab review should make for a very tough outing indeed. They also have ease of use at the forefront of their mind – including retirement investment options – but are closer to a more advanced level than Robinhood. That means you get more variety but some newcomers may be initially confused.

It’s that classic double-edged sword when it comes to these kinds of trading apps. For something that’s really trying to be a jack-of-all-trades though, it’s astonishing the level of balance that Charles Schwab achieves here.

Robinhood vs Charles Schwab: Usability, Look & Feel

The difference in the feel of the websites is rather startling. It certainly suggests that this part of our Robinhood vs Schwab review will be an interesting one. We don’t know if it’s the font or the reputation, but something about Charles Schwab gives us the feeling of being the financial equivalent of sitting back in a fine mahogany chair. When we turn to the latter contender in the Charles Schwab vs Robinhood contest, they feel much more new and fresh. Both are nice ambiences: it’s just interesting to see the differences here.

With that said, something they do have in common is a focus on useability. In pretty much every Robinhood comparison – including our eToro vs Robinhood and Vanguard vs Robinhood reviews – we inevitably have to mention just how great they are in this regard. They’re built with ease of use in mind and they deliver to an exceptional standard.

Charles Schwab also performs admirably in this role, with two great mobile apps to choose from, which are available on the Google Play and Apple store, just like Robinhood. The only area they struggle is in packing everything they want to say into their website, but to be fair, considering how much they offer, that’s understandable. It’s a home run here for both sides of our Robinhood vs Schwab analysis.

Robinhood vs Charles Schwab: Payments

Before we get into this part of our Robinhood vs Schwab review, there’s an important footnote to acknowledge, which is that both of these – especially Schwab – are responsible for normalising zero fees. It’s another part of this Robinhood vs Charles Schwab standoff where they come out looking very similar.

In terms of payment options, Robinhood is all about simplicity, asking you to link existing accounts. Once all that has been verified, both of these options naturally require you to give them relevant information to prevent fraud and to stop minors from using the site. You have an instant deposit amount of $1000, and can also transfer up to $50,000 a day. Instant deposits take a few hours, and others take roughly five days.

Schwab is similar with wire transfer, but also allows you to transfer accounts and send checks. Once again, it’s trading simplicity for more options: a common thread with Robinhood vs Charles Schwab. Checks should be deposited that day, which is very good, but we couldn’t find concrete times otherwise. We believe this is an oversight in this regard, but once again highlights that struggle to get all the information on the site.

Robinhood vs Charles Schwab: Customer Service

We talked in the previous section of this Robinhood vs Charles Schwab review about how the latter has so much going on, they sometimes seem to struggle to fit it all on their website. Well, Robinhood doesn’t have that problem. As Robinhood has a stripped-back approach in terms of what it offers, it means it can have a very comprehensive Help/FAQ section. To be fair to them, for this part of our Robinhood vs Schwab analysis, it’s also because they do such a terrific job.

The reason we bring it up in this part of our Charles Schwab vs Robinhood comparison is because it’s a huge part of their customer service. With apps that are so simple and a Help section that’s so comprehensive, their email and social media contact options are likely rarely required.

Charles Schwab, on the other hand, has a more extensive choice of options available and it has the customer support to back it up, with an around the clock phone line, live chat and email support. This more than makes up for the difficulties they have had on their website. It’s a perfectly satisfying set of options for each, and another positive for both sides of our Robinhood vs Charles Schwab comparison.

Robinhood vs Charles Schwab: License & Security

There were plenty of areas during this process where we were really hoping to see things that distinguish these two. After all, it’s those differences which make the Robinhood vs Charles Schwab comparison interesting. However, this is not one of those places. Security is simply too important when it comes to this kind of service for it to be a matter of direction. There’s absolutely world-class standards for each, and we expect them to meet them. That means this part of our Charles Schwab vs Robinhood review is a little different, we suppose.

Well, it’s good news. We didn’t really think Robinhood vs Schwab would let us down here. Firstly, you can check out the background of Charles Schwab on FINRA’s brokercheck and Robinhood is also a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Essentially, this means they’re both strictly regulated. They also both utilise SIPC – Schwab, for instance, explain that SIPA protects up to half a million dollars in stocks and up to a quarter of a million in cash.

In addition, they both use things like encryption, two-factor authentication and even face/finger ID for your phone. All this has one really simple goal and that’s to ensure your data and finances are kept safe. As we said at the start of this section, there’s no part of our Robinhood vs Charles Schwab comparison more important than this – just as it was a crucial component in our Robinhood vs Betterment analysis and Robinhood review.

Robinhood vs Charles Schwab: Spread

Whenever we compare Robinhood to other options – just like we did with Robinhood vs eTrade – we have to mention that, by design, they do not have as wide a spread as some other. Now, the fact that is by design is vital in this part of our Charles Schwab vs Robinhood comparison. More options in something like the financial markets comes with complexity. What Robinhood have done is carefully select what they think they can include while still keeping this straightforward enough for newcomers – and we think they do an excellent job.

We mentioned earlier in our Robinhood vs Schwab review that the latter’s website seemed to sigh a little under the weight of all its information. That’s reflective of them having a much more in-depth spread, not just of tradable securities, but through its 3,500-plus no transaction fee mutual funds and extensive free research and data. Robinhood though, it has to be said, does have plenty to offer considering its conceptual make up, with stocks, ETFs, Options and Cryptocurrencies all available, just as they are on Charles Schwab.

It’s vital to understand at this point of our Charles Schwab vs Robinhood analysis that the latter is aimed at beginner to intermediate users, whereas Charles Schwab is aimed at intermediate to advanced. To outsiders, that may not sound like much but it means a whole lot of difference in the spread of tradable options. Regardless of which is right for you – Robinhood or Schwab – we’d say they both do an excellent job, which is a positive way to end our final point before concluding this Charles Schwab vs Robinhood contest.

Conclusion: Is Robinhood better or Charles Schwab?

We think that when you first look at Robinhood vs Schwab, the differences between them seem rather vast. Sure, they’re both in the same business, but the way they present themselves is as big a contrast as we believe we have come across in our vast experience of these comparisons.

However, what became immediately clear as we got into this Charles Schwab or Robinhood comparison is that they have a great deal more in common than they do to divide them. They’re both among the most respected in this industry, and each has a focus on ease of use. They are both pioneers in pushing fees down here and for many of their competitors. Their security credentials are the same, too.

The key differences do come in what’s actually offered because it’s here where you can really tell who they’re targeting. They fundamentally offer different things in some places, so really the question for which is right for you, Charles Schwab vs Robinhood, is about which of those things you intend to trade with and indeed, what interface you think you’ll be most comfortable with at your level of experience.

For more trading reviews and guides, take a look at our latest best futures broker in USA review or broker demo account guide.

Robinhood vs Charles Schwab FAQ

❓ Which should I use between Robinhood and Charles Schwab?

Knowing which trading platforms and apps to use and which are best for your level of experience is, for many, the first step in their investment journey or indeed the first step in making smarter investments. To help you on your way, we’ve put together a comprehensive analysis of how the Robinhood and Charles Schwab options square off against each other.

💵Is Robinhood or Charles Schwab better for newcomers to investing?

We all come into trading at different levels: some are more experienced and therefore require platforms that reflect those abilities. However, newcomers to the world of investment need something that’s tailored to them so they don’t get overwhelmed with what can often be a rather complicated practice. In our review, we’ll see how Robinhood and Charles Schwab offer wonderfully designed options and which may be the best choice for you.

💻Which is better for research between Robinhood and Charles Schwab?

One of the most important elements of any trading platform is the amount of research that is provided. This allows you to get a better understanding of the markets, and therefore make more informed investment decisions. If you want to find out which out of the highly respected Robinhood or Charles Schwab comes out best in this regard, then check out our comprehensive comparisons and analysis of these top online brokers in the US.

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