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Charles Schwab vs Lightspeed 2021

Is Charles Schwab better than Lightspeed? After testing 11 of the best online brokers over three months, Charles Schwab (95.87%) is better than Lightspeed (61.3%). With more than $6 trillion in client assets, Charles Schwab understands how to consistently deliver value to its customers. Highlights include $0 trades, excellent stock research, a diverse selection of trading tools, and an industry-leading offering of financial planning services.


Overall Rating

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
Overall 5 3
Commissions & Fees 4.5 2.5
Offering of Investments 5 3
Platforms & Tools 4.5 3
Mobile Trading 4 3
Research 5 2
Education 4.5 3
Ease of Use 5 3
Charles Schwab Review Lightspeed Review
Winner check_circle

Trading Fees

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
Minimum Deposit $0.00 $10,000.00
Stock Trades $0.00 $4.50
ETF Trade Fee $0.00 $4.50
Mutual Fund Trade Fee $49.95 N/A
Options (Base Fee) $0.00 $0.00
Options (Per Contract) $0.65 $0.60
Futures (Per Contract) $2.25 $1.29
Broker Assisted Trade Fee $25.00 $25.00

Margin Rates

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
Under $24,999.99 8.33% 7.50%
$25,000.00 to $49,999.99 7.83% 7.50%
$50,000.00 to $99,999.99 6.88% 6.50%
$100,000.00 to $249,999.99 6.83% 6.50%
$250,000.00 to $499,999.99 6.58% 5.75%
$500,000.00 to $999,999.99 5.08% 5.25%
Above $1,000,000.00 4.75% 5.00%

Account Fees

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
IRA Annual Fee $0.00 $35.00
IRA Closure Fee $0.00 $95.00
Account Transfer Out (Partial)
$25.00 $95.00
Account Transfer Out (Full)
$50.00 $95.00

Investment Options

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
Stock Trading
Yes Yes
Fractional Shares
Yes No
OTCBB / Pink Sheets
Yes Yes
Options Trading
Yes Yes
Complex Options Max Legs
4 4
Futures Trading
Yes Yes
Forex Trading
No No
Crypto Trading
No No
Crypto Trading - Total Coins
0 0
Mutual Funds (No Load)
7537 0
Mutual Funds (Total)
10228 0
Bonds (US Treasury)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Corporate)
Yes No
Bonds (Municipal)
Yes No
Advisor Services
Yes No
International Trading
Yes No

Order Types

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
Order Type - Market
Yes Yes
Order Type - Limit
Yes Yes
Order Type - After-Hours
Yes Yes
Order Type - Stop
Yes Yes
Order Type - Trailing Stop
Yes Yes
Order Type - OCO
Yes Yes
Order Type - OTO
Yes Yes
Order Type - Broker Assisted
Yes Yes

Beginners

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
Education (Stocks)
Yes Yes
Education (ETFs)
Yes No
Education (Options)
Yes Yes
Education (Mutual Funds)
Yes No
Education (Bonds)
Yes No
Education (Retirement)
Yes No
Retirement Calculator
Yes No
Investor Dictionary
Yes Yes
Paper Trading
No Yes
Videos
Yes Yes
Webinars (Monthly Avg)
100 1
Webinars (Archived)
Yes Yes
Progress Tracking
No No
Interactive Learning - Quizzes
No No

Stock Trading Apps

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
iPhone App
Yes Yes
Android App
Yes Yes
Apple Watch App
Yes No
Trading - Stocks
Yes Yes
Trading - After-Hours
Yes No
Trading - Simple Options
Yes Yes
Trading - Complex Options
Yes Yes
Order Ticket RT Quotes
Yes Yes
Order Ticket SRT Quotes
No Yes

Stock App Features

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
Market Movers (Top Gainers)
Yes Yes
Stream Live TV
Yes No
Videos on Demand
Yes No
Stock Alerts
No Yes
Option Chains Viewable
Yes Yes
Watch List (Real-time)
Yes Yes
Watch List (Streaming)
No Yes
Watch Lists - Create & Manage
Yes Yes
Watch Lists - Column Customization
No No
Watch List - Column Filtering
No Yes

Stock App Charting

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
Charting - After-Hours
No No
Charting - Can Turn Horizontally
Yes Yes
Charting - Multiple Time Frames
Yes Yes
Charting - Technical Studies
32 0
Charting - Study Customizations
Yes No
Charting - Stock Comparisons
Yes No

Trading Platforms

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
Desktop Trading Platform
Yes Yes
Web Trading Platform
Yes Yes
Paper Trading
No Yes
Trade Journal
Yes No
Watch Lists - Total Fields
130 141

Stock Chart Features

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
Charting - Adjust Trades on Chart
Yes Yes
Charting - Indicators / Studies
41 20
Charting - Drawing Tools
15 8
Charting - Notes
Yes No
Charting - Index Overlays
Yes Yes
Charting - Historical Trades
No Yes
Charting - Corporate Events
Yes No
Charting - Custom Date Range
Yes No
Charting - Custom Time Bars
Yes No
Charting - Automated Analysis
Yes No
Charting - Save Profiles
Yes Yes
Trade Ideas - Technical Analysis
Yes No
Charting - Study Customizations
7 4
Charting - Custom Studies
No No

Day Trading

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
Streaming Time & Sales
Yes Yes
Streaming TV
Yes No
Direct Market Routing - Stocks
Yes Yes
Ladder Trading
No No
Trade Hot Keys
Yes Yes
Level 2 Quotes - Stocks
Yes Yes
Trade Ideas - Backtesting
Yes No
Trade Ideas - Backtesting Adv
No No
Short Locator
Yes Yes
Order Liquidity Rebates
No Yes

Research Overview

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
Research - Stocks
Yes Yes
Research - ETFs
Yes Yes
Research - Mutual Funds
Yes No
Research - Pink Sheets / OTCBB
Yes No
Research - Bonds
Yes No
Screener - Stocks
Yes Yes
Screener - ETFs
Yes No
Screener - Mutual Funds
Yes No
Screener - Options
Yes No
Screener - Bonds
Yes No
Misc - Portfolio Builder
Yes No
Misc - Portfolio Allocation
Yes No

Stock Research

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
Stock Research - PDF Reports
8 0
Stock Research - Earnings
Yes No
Stock Research - Insiders
Yes Yes
Stock Research - SEC Filings
Yes No
Stock Research - Social
Yes Yes
Stock Research - Balance Sheet
Yes No
Stock Research - Cash Flows
Yes No
Stock Research - News
Yes Yes
Stock Research - ESG
No No

ETF Research

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
ETFs - Strategy Overview
Yes No
ETF Fund Facts - Inception Date
Yes No
ETF Fund Facts - Expense Ratio
Yes No
ETF Fund Facts - Net Assets
Yes No
ETF Fund Facts - Total Holdings
Yes No
ETFs - Top 10 Holdings
Yes No
ETFs - Performance Analysis
Yes No
ETFs - Sector Exposure
Yes No
ETFs - Risk Analysis
Yes No
ETFs - Ratings
Yes No
ETFs - Morningstar StyleMap
Yes No
ETFs - PDF Reports
Yes No

Mutual Fund Research

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
Mutual Funds - Strategy Overview
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Performance Chart
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Performance Analysis
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Prospectus
Yes No
Mutual Funds - PDF Reports
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Fees Breakdown
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Top 10 Holdings
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Asset Allocation
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Sector Allocation
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Country Allocation
Yes No
Mutual Funds - StyleMap
Yes No
Mutual Funds - 3rd Party Ratings
Yes No

Options Trading

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
Option Chains - Basic View
Yes Yes
Option Chains - Strategy View
Yes No
Option Chains - Streaming
Yes Yes
Option Chains - Total Columns
44 60
Option Chains - Greeks
5 5
Option Positions - Greeks Streaming
Yes Yes
Option Chains - Quick Analysis
Yes Yes
Option Analysis - P&L Charts
Yes Yes
Option Probability Analysis
Yes No
Option Probability Analysis Adv
Yes No
Option Positions - Greeks
Yes Yes
Option Positions - Adv Analysis
Yes No
Option Positions - Rolling
Yes Yes
Option Positions - Grouping
Yes Yes

Banking

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
Bank (Member FDIC)
Yes No
Checking Accounts
Yes No
Savings Accounts
Yes No
Credit Cards
Yes No
Debit Cards
Yes No
Mortgage Loans
Yes No

Customer Service

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
Phone Support (Prospect Customers)
Yes Yes
Phone Support (Current Customers)
Yes Yes
Email Support
Yes Yes
Live Chat (Prospect Customers)
No No
Live Chat (Current Customers)
Yes No
24/7 Support
Yes No

Overall

Feature Charles Schwab Lightspeed
Overall 5 3
Commissions & Fees 4.5 2.5
Offering of Investments 5 3
Platforms & Tools 4.5 3
Mobile Trading 4 3
Research 5 2
Education 4.5 3
Ease of Use 5 3
Charles Schwab Review Lightspeed Review
Winner check_circle

Comparing brokers side by side is no easy task. For our 2021 annual broker review, we spent hundreds of hours assessing 11 brokerages to find the best online broker. Let's compare Charles Schwab vs Lightspeed.

Is Charles Schwab or Lightspeed better for beginners?
Charles Schwab is better for beginner investors than Lightspeed. Charles Schwab offers investors access to Videos, Education (Stocks), Education (ETFs), Education (Options), Education (Mutual Funds), Education (Bonds) and Education (Retirement).

What about Charles Schwab vs Lightspeed pricing?
Lightspeed charges $4.50 per stock trade which is $4.50 more than Charles Schwab which charges customers $0 per trade. Looking at options, the base fees charged are the same for both brokers, $0. Each option contract then costs $0.65 at Charles Schwab and $0.60 at Lightspeed. For a complete commissions summary, see our best discount brokers guide.

Does Charles Schwab or Lightspeed offer a wider range of investment options?
Charles Schwab offers a more diverse selection of investment options than Lightspeed. Charles Schwab offers investors access to Stock Trading, Fractional Shares, OTCBB / Pink Sheets, Options Trading, Mutual Funds, Futures Trading, Advisor Services and International Trading. Looking at Mutual Funds, Charles Schwab offers its clients access to 10228 different mutual funds while Lightspeed has 0 available funds, a difference of 10,228.

Which trading platform is better: Charles Schwab or Lightspeed?
To compare the trading platforms of both Charles Schwab and Lightspeed, we tested each broker's trading tools, research capabilities, and mobile apps. For trading tools, Charles Schwab offers a better experience. With research, Charles Schwab offers superior market research. Finally, we found Charles Schwab to provide better mobile trading apps.

Does either broker offer banking?
Online banking can be a benefit for investors, and some brokerages do provide banking services to customers. Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans are available to clients of Charles Schwab while Lightspeed offers customers none of these.

Overall winner: Charles Schwab

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All pricing data was obtained from a published web site as of 01/19/2021 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. For stock trade rates, advertised pricing is for a standard order size of 500 shares of stock priced at $30 per share. For options orders, an options regulatory fee per contract may apply.

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