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Charles Schwab Review & Rating USA 2024

Is Charles Schwab Scam or Legit?

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Charles Schwab was established in 1971, and it is an online discount brokerage based in the United States. According to our Charles Schwab review USA, the firm is listed on the NYSE and has numerous high-level regulatory bodies monitoring their activities such as SEC, FiNRA, and FCA.

The Charles Schwab open account is ideal for a wide range of active traders and investors who can manage their investments. It’s also excellent for individuals searching for the best investment advice and management of portfolios.

From our Charles Schwab review USA, if you are searching for high-quality research, low fees, and excellent customer service, Charles Schwab may be the best fit for you.

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Charles Schwab Pro and Con
  • Excellent customer support
  • Trading in ETFs and stocks are free
  • High quality and extensive research
  • The StreetSmart Edge provides a highly durable ETF screener
  • Some of the mutual funds come with high fees
SIPC - Securities Investor Protection Corporation (USA - not governmental)
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  • New Customer Offers
  • Usability
  • Available Account Types
  • Trading Platforms
  • Payments
  • Customer Service
  • Regulation & Deposit Insurance
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Last Updated on 09/05/2024

Is Charles Schwab Scam Or Legit?

Two highly-respected organizations in the United States ensure that the securities markets follow stringent rules and avoid unfair practices. These are the SEC and FINRA, and Charles Schwab is a member of both organizations. So you don’t need to worry if they are legit or not. They are.

The FINRA number for Schwab is 5393, and you can verify its authenticity at The profile for Charles Schwab shows that the initial brokerage registration was in 1971. They have a total of 281 disclosures on their profile. Even though it’s plenty, it’s normal for brokers to have regulatory events. And besides, they’ve been around since 1971.

According to our Charles Schwab review USA, other insurance regulatory bodies offer $500,000 of insurance to every trader (not for every account) at firms registered under SIPC. And Schwab is part of the SIPC, which means your Charles Schwab open account is secured.

Aside from the protection SIPC provides, the company also provides Lloyd’s of London back-up policy. It’s widely referred to as “excess SIPC” in the trading industry, and the purpose of the system is to provide you with a maximum of $600 million after your SIPC cover runs out. Lloyd’s of London has a maximum cap of $150 million per client.

From our Charles Schwab review, the company has a bank that comes with FDIC insurance. There’s no partnership with other banks, which means they have just $250,000 million as their limit. For free cash balances, it comes with FDIC protection, not SIPC insurance. But generally, Schwab is not FDIC insured.

Charles Schwab Open Account Offers And Account Change

There are fantastic opportunities you can partake in in the investment market, especially if you’re a beginner. Some of them are promotions and bonuses various online brokerages offer to new clients.

However, you usually have to deposit some minimum funds before you qualify for the bonus. Some don’t require any minimum deposit. But it would be best if you check the terms and conditions of each firm before you take up their bonuses and various offers.

If you create a Charles Schwab open account, you can qualify for various bonuses and promotions, such as referrals. Here’s how the referrals work: simply get referred to a friend, open an account with your referral code, and earn up to $500. But you have to make a deposit first before you can qualify. Here is the breakdown:

  • Deposit $1,000 to $24,000 = $100
  • Deposit $25,000 to $49,999 = $200
  • Deposit $50,000 to $99,999 = $300
  • Deposit $100,000+ = $500

After the deposit, you’ll get your bonus reward within a week. However, take note that it will be after the qualification period, which is 45 days.

Aside from the referral promotion, the firm provides a maximum of 500 commission-free trades when you create a Charles Schwab open account and deposit $100,000. You earn the trades once you make the required deposit.

Here is how it works:

  • Open a personal Charles Schwab open account.
  • Make a $100,000 initial deposit into your account.
  • The qualifying deposit must be within 45 days.

Changing Different Brokerage Account To Charles Schwab

Sometimes, you may prefer to make changes with regards to brokerage firms due to numerous reasons. Whatever your goal is, Charles Schwab USA allows you to transfer your other accounts to their account.

You can transfer securities, funds from other financial institutions such as banks, insurance companies, brokerage firms, etc. According to our Charles Schwab USA review, you can begin the process by filling in a form.

But before you get a Charles Schwab USA account, we recommend that you read the terms and conditions. It will give you a more comprehensive perspective into what you’re venturing into and help you to make a better-informed decision. But there are other brokerage alternatives you can check out, such as our Ellevest review and Gain Capital review.

Charles Schwab Website Usability

From our Charles Schwab USA review, the firm’s site’s usability is right on point. Its navigation is intuitive and straightforward to find items on the website. They made the site reasonably easy for anyone to find its way through and find what they’re searching for. You can get legal information and terms and conditions at the bottom of the screen.

The design of the site in terms of the color scheme, layout, special features are adequately done, making it attractive and more intuitive. The website looks plain and pretty straightforward, so if you’re searching for captivating designs, you won’t find it. It’s understandable because the focus is to help you find what you need.

The loading speed of the Charles Schwab USA site is above average, and it’s compatible with various devices. In all, it offers a reliable online service.

Charles Schwab Open Account

To create a Charles Schwab open account, you need the following items:

  • Your driver’s license
  • SSN or TIN
  • Your employer’s address, if applicable
  •  Details on your bank to deposit funds to your account and prepare your assets

According to our Charles Schwab USA review, signing up or managing your account does not come with a fee, per se. However, you need an investment minimum of $1,000 to use your account. In other words, you can create an account for free, but you need to deposit money to start investing, and that minimum deposit is $1,000.

Another way is to set up a Charles Schwab USA account in such a way that there will be a $100 transfer from your bank account every month. The fee for the equity trade is $8.95 for each trade. According to the firm’s site, setting up the Charles Schwab USA account will take around 10 minutes of your time.

But from our Charles Schwab opinions, going through all the legalese and technical jargon will take more than 10 minutes. You can compare with other brokerages such as Fidelity review to know the difference between them. Check our online broker comparisons to see how Charles Schwab USA ranks.

Charles Schwab Trading Platforms

In this Charles Schwab review, we examined the web trading platform since it’s available in English, and it’s mostly the first point of contact for prospective traders and beginners.

Web Trading Platform

The web trading platform has an appealing design, and it’s user-friendly as well. On the downside, you can’t customize it. As a default, the brokerage offers a one-step login verification, but you can opt for the two-step authentication.

You can enable the two-step verification on a desktop application, mobile device, or a physical token. If you prefer the physical token, you can place an order via the Security Admin page or any of the brokerage’s advice center.

The alternatives for the mobile and desktop are through the use of Symantec VIP. What you do is install it on your desktop or smartphone device. After downloading, log in to “Schwab Advisor Center,” choose “Authentication Device” after you find your name. When done, open the Symantec VIP and enter your I.D. details and security code to finish the process.

Take note that if it’s a new device, you’ll have to sign in first to sign up the device, whether it’s a phone, tablet, etc. In the registration process, the firm will send you a code through your phone, email, or text message to sign up for the new device.

When you finish the entire registration process, you can log in to your account with the same password and I.D. combination.

Search Functions

From our Charles Schwab opinions, the search functions are good. You can look for the name of a company and an asset’s ticker by typing it into the search column.

Placing Orders

Some of the following initial order types are:

  •  Limit
  • Market
  • Stop Limit
  • Stop

There are other order time limits, including complex ones:

  • GTC
  • GTD
  • AON

Notifications and Alerts

There are different sorts of alerts you can set for yourself, including research alerts, price alerts, etc. Notifications come through text messages and emails. If you have the Charles Schwab USA trading app on your mobile, you set the push notifications.

When it comes to the reports and portfolio, you can have vivid portfolios and free reports. You can even download the reports, but it’s only available in CSV format. Remember that there are different brokerage firms out there, such as the eTrade review as an alternative. You can check their reviews to see if their trading goals fit you.

Charles Schwab Payment And Trading Fees

When you create a Charles Schwab open account, the charge for the deposit is free. That is a great advantage because the firm will not deduct any fee from your deposits. What you focus on is the bank charge and other third-parties through which you send the money.

The trading fees for Charles Schwab USA are low, making it possible for you to trade several times a week. Let’s sift through the trading fees according to the diverse asset classes the firm has.

The stock and bond trading fees are low, including options, and futures. But the fund fees are high.

For traders looking for a low cost portfolio check out our Vanguard review. Here, you’ll also find lots of resources for the newcomer.

Non-trading fees

The non-trading charges for the brokerage firm are low. That means, the fees for activities that are not part of trading are small, such as, inactivity fees, account fees, etc.

Deposit Fees

Charles Schwab USA charges for deposit fees when there is a transfer of money from your bank account to your investment account. Most online brokers don’t charge a price, and Charles Schwab is no different.

Customer Service

From our Charles Schwab review, the company provides traders numerous ways to seek assistance from them. Here they are:

Phone Call

If you have any problems, you can call the customer support 24/7, and they have unique lines for Vietnamese, Spanish, Cantonese, and Chinese.

Live Chat

There’s a live chat available 24/7 at the brokerage’s site. All you have to do is click on the chat icon, sign in to your account, and have a pop-up window where you can start your conversation.

Talk To A Person

There are numerous physical locations in the U.S. where you can talk to customer care. If you have any issues, visit Charles Schwab’s Branch Locator page and find customer care near you by entering your location.

There are many positive Charles Schwab opinions about the brand’s customer support. This means that you’ll get an easy way to make the most of the Charles Schwab USA service. But remember to check out other options like our eOption review.

Physical Mail

You can also try the oldest method by sending a physical approved letter to any of their operation centers. To do this, visit the customer service page on the website, you’ll find services from which you can select your state from the drop-down.



Regulation And Deposit Insurance

Charles Schwab USA has a bank, which means they have FDIC insurance. They have regulatory bodies such as FINRA and SEC monitoring their affairs to ensure that they strictly follow the rules and regulations.

There were some allegations against Charles Schwab USA, and in the charges, they were accused of failing to do something about a suspicious activity as stipulated by the government. They did not also inform their clients of risks involved when they invested in some specific assets, and also not following investment theories.

Even though the company did not accept or deny, they paid the due penalty for such acts. These accusations are unsettling, but it does not mean the brokerage is not safe to trade with. It only shows that they can deviate from the standard rules and regulations, just like other firms.

But they are registered with SEC and also a member of CBOE and Nasdaq, which means your money is safe, even if they go bankrupt. Since Charles Schwab is registered with the SEC, it is automatically registered in every state in the United States.

Additional Offers

According to our Charles Schwab review, the brokerage firm provides an in-depth educational experience helpful for beginner traders and investors. The firm’s Learning Center covers all topics on investing, from trading in stock to retirement. You can have access to a minimum of 50 webinars for free every month available to Charles Schwab open account clients.

You can also view the webinars on-demand. There’s a lot more you can like about their educational offers. However, we found in our Charles Schwab review that the main drawback of Charles Schwab is that they don’t have improved learning functionality.

You can’t track your educational progress, for example, which informative course you’ve finished or where you reached last time. Charles Schwab doesn’t also provide interactive tools for learning like short quizzes. Some of the topics they cover includes

  • How to save for retirement
  • How to pick your attorney
  • Basics on how to save for college

From our Charles Schwab review, the Insights and Ideas section that the company provides includes breaking news on the financial market. They have experts who have extensive articles on almost everything, such as market volatility, tax laws changes, tips for buying a house, etc.

The brokerage also produces educational podcasts on various investing and saving topics.

The Charles Schwab USA account is only designed for U.S. citizens. However, if you are a resident of another country, you can try other alternatives such as Interactive Brokers review.

Charles Schwab Bonds

Charles Schwab Bond Trading

Charles Schwab offers you over 80,000 bonds, which you can trade at a cost-effective price. New bond issues are for free, and the secondary trades incur a cost of only $1. However, the treasury bonds come with a free charge, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a new issue or secondary trades.

Charles Schwab USA has an advanced screener tool for bonds to help you select the top-quality bonds for your trades. They also provide fixed income professionals who can provide you with personal advice. There are tons of comprehensive bond market reports from the brokerage firm’s experts. You’ll have to be a U.S. resident before you can trade in bonds, including the educational videos that come with it.

Charles Schwab ETF

Charles Schwab’s ETFs

With a Charles Schwab open account, you get the full permission to access the United States stock market. With that, you can buy and sell more than 2,000 ETFs and 11,000 stocks with zero commissions. Schwab offers you a chance to trade ETFs for free.

Even though it’s free for online trading, you have to pay a service charge of $5 for automated phone trades. There’s also a service charge of $25 when the broker assists you in your trading. You’ll gain access to inexpensive ETFs selected by professional experts and Personalized Portfolio Builder to help you develop a diversified ETFs portfolio.

The SmartStreet Edge offered by Charles Schwab gives you various screening tools such as:

  • Average rates from an expert,
  • Daily movement,
  • Average trading volume for each day,
  •  Beta rating,
  •  Price, etc.

There’s also the opportunity to create a Schwab Global Account. With that account, you can trade stocks internationally in 12 foreign markets, which is a great way to increase your portfolio.

In addition to the equities from the U.S., there are 30 foreign markets you can invest in, which comes with different screening tools specifically made for developing and international markets. The company also offers more than 3,000 mutual funds, but only a few come with no commissions.

In general, Charles Schwab provides a competitive price, but the fee for some mutual funds is high. You can pay as high as $49.95 for each time you buy a transaction-fee fund. If you’re considering mutual funds as your primary investment approach, you may need to compare it with other online brokerages.

We’d suggest a look at our Wealthsimple review, a platform offering low fees and selections based on social responsibility.

Charles Schwab Futures

Charles Schwab Futures

The futures trading Charles Schwab offers starts with $1.50 per contract. In futures trading, you can trade for currencies, general indexes, housing indexes, etc. You can even trade in commodities such as cheese, grain, milk, and oil. They provide educational videos to help you have in-depth details on futures trading.

Charles Schwab Options

Charles Schwab Options

With a Charles Schwab open account, you can trade in major ETFs and stocks because the firm’s platforms support trading in options. The cost you’ll incur is only $0.65 per contract in your trades. There are numerous educational resources for trading in options, such as research tools, to aid you to thrive in the trading market.

Charles Schwab USA is a perfect fit for you if you are a beginner online trader interested in options trading. It’s suitable for beginners, intermediates, and advanced traders.

Charles Schwab Review Conclusion

Charles Schwab is one of the largest discount brokerages in the United States regulated by high-level financial regulators. With the introduction of zero commission trading, the firm charges no cost for trading in stock and ETFs.

From our Charles Schwab review, the research they provide is exceptional, and it covers different topics such as ideas for trading and extensive fundamental data. We found in our Charles Schwab review that the company has excellent customer support because they give you answers that are relevant in the shortest possible time.

However, Charles Schwab USA has some downsides. Trading in mutual funds comes with high fees, and their product portfolio is only for markets in the United States. You have to be in the U.S. with a valid SSN to access the brokerage firm fully.

Charles Schwab is excellent for you if you won’t deposit cash regularly and will not need a physical branch. The investment options available to you are numerous, and their trading charges are reasonable. All you need to do is to equip yourself to know more about the market before you proceed. Fortunately, they have educational tools to help you with that.

Even though they have extensive educational resources, the structure is not well done. The trading and non-trading charges are low, and their research tools are excellent. Creating an account with the brokerage firm is straightforward, and in all, it’s a superb brokerage to trade with.

However, if you want to be entirely sure whether Charles Schwab is the best fit, we recommend that you use our online broker reviews comparison tool. It will help you compare other online brokerages with Charles Schwab and the pros and cons of making a decision. For additional background check our our USAA Investments review, one of Charles Schwabs strategic providers.

Looking for a good alternative? Take a look at our TD Ameritrade open account review.

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Charles Schwab
Rating follows
  • Access to up to 80000 bonds
  • Secondary trades only cost $1
  • Treasury bonds are free
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Charles Schwab
Rating follows
  • Trade ETFs for free
  • Wide range of tools available
  • Simple access to professionals
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Charles Schwab
Rating follows
  • Charges start at $1.50 per contract
  • Range of trading opportunities available
  • Educational videos included
T&Cs apply, 18+
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Trading financial products carries a high risk to your capital, especially trading leverage products such as CFDs. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

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