Comparing brokers side by side is no easy task. For our 2017 Broker Review
, we factored in 308 different variables to assess 16 different brokers. So when taking a look at Charles Schwab vs E*TRADE, there is a huge database of information available to us.
To start this comparison, first we will take a look at the broker commission rates for placing regular stock and options trades. E*TRADE charges more than Charles Schwab for placing regular stock trades ($6.95 and $4.95, respectively). With options, the base fees charged are $6.95 (E*TRADE) and $4.95 (Charles Schwab). Each contract then costs $0.75 at E*TRADE and $0.65 at Charles Schwab for a difference in price of $0.10 per contract. Not all brokers charge a flat rate fee per trade though, so it is important to read the full commission notes to know the complete breakdown (go to any online broker review
page, then scroll to the "Commissions Notes" section).
Next to commission rates, being able to trade the instrument you want is important. Charles Schwab and E*TRADE provide clients with Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading. Looking at mutual funds, E*TRADE offers its clients access to 8652 different mutual funds while Charles Schwab has 5165 available funds, a difference of 3,487.00. Commission free ETFs also should not be forgotten, Charles Schwab offers 229 versus E*TRADE's total of 133.
Lastly, taking a look at popular features and functionality, we can go a bit deeper to really break down the difference of both brokers. Neither Charles Schwab and E*TRADE have virtual trading. Taking a look at mobile trading, Charles Schwab and E*TRADE both have a iPhone App, iPad App and Android App. Not to be left out, online banking is also a nice benefit for many investors, and some brokerages provide these services to clients. Checking Accounts and Debit Cards are offered by E*TRADE while Charles Schwab offers Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans. On the whole, when it comes to tools, research, and trading on the go, E*TRADE was rated for Best in Class - Research and Best in Class - Mobile Trading in 2014, while Charles Schwab was rated for Best in Class - Platforms & Tools and Best in Class - Research.
Overall, Charles Schwab takes the upper hand with 4.50 stars over E*TRADE's 4.00 stars.