The StockBrokers.com annual broker review assesses more than a dozen different brokers over six months, surfacing the best online stock brokers
. This review compares Charles Schwab vs Lightspeed Trading. Is Charles Schwab or Lightspeed Trading a better online broker?
First, we will make a comparison of the stock and option trading fees for trading with both brokers. Charles Schwab charges more than Lightspeed Trading for placing regular stock trades ($4.95 and $4.50, respectively). With options, the base fees charged are $4.95 (Charles Schwab) and $0 (Lightspeed Trading). Lightspeed Trading's per contract rate of $0.60 is less than Charles Schwab which charges $0.65. Note that some brokers charge a per-share fee instead of a flat-fee commission. For a full breakdown of commissions, read our online broker reviews
For our next comparison of these two brokers, being able to trade the way you want is a must. Lightspeed Trading provides its clients with Stock Trading, Options Trading and Futures Trading while Charles Schwab provides clients access to Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading. When it comes to mutual funds, Lightspeed Trading trails Charles Schwab by 5,509 total mutual funds, with Charles Schwab offering 5509 and Lightspeed Trading offering 0. Commission free ETFs can also be a nice plus, with Lightspeed Trading falling behind Charles Schwab, offering 0 commission free ETFs compared to Charles Schwab's 244.
Last but not least, by breaking down important features, tools, etc that each broker offers, we can really help to separate the two. Lightspeed Trading has virtual trading, Charles Schwab doesn't. For mobile trading, Charles Schwab along with Lightspeed Trading both support the iPhone App, iPad App and Android App. Furthermore, some investors like to bank online, and multiple brokerages provide these services to clients. Clients can have Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans at Charles Schwab while customers at Lightspeed Trading can have none of these. On the whole, when it comes to tools, research, and mobile trading, Charles Schwab posted awards Best in Class - Platforms & Tools and Best in Class - Research in 2018, while Lightspeed Trading found itself with none of these.
Overall, Charles Schwab boasts 4.50 stars versus Lightspeed Trading's 3.00 stars.