Comparing brokers side by side is no easy task. For our annual broker review, we assess over a dozen brokers on hundreds of different variables to find the best online broker
. Yielding a database of over 5,000 data points, let's compare Charles Schwab vs Lightspeed Trading.
To start this comparison, first, we will take a look at the online broker commission rates for placing regular stock and options trades. Charles Schwab charges more than Lightspeed Trading for placing regular stock trades ($4.95 and $4.50, respectively). Looking at trading options, Lightspeed Trading's base fee is $0 while Charles Schwab's is $4.95. Each option contract then costs $0.65 at Charles Schwab and $0.60 at Lightspeed Trading. It's important to note that not all brokers charge a flat fee per trade. Thus, it is important to read the full commission notes for each broker, which we include with each online broker review
Next to commission rates, being able to trade what you want is important. Lightspeed Trading offers clients Stock Trading, Options Trading and Futures Trading while Charles Schwab offers Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading. Looking at mutual funds, Charles Schwab boasts an offering of 5509 mutual funds compared to Lightspeed Trading's 0 available funds. Commission free ETFs can also be valuable for customers, Charles Schwab offers 244 commission free ETFs versus Lightspeed Trading's total of 0.
Trading access aside, by comparing popular features and functionality, we can break down relevant differences between both brokers. Lightspeed Trading offers virtual trading while Charles Schwab does not. Taking a look at mobile trading, Charles Schwab and Lightspeed Trading 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. 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 comes out on top with 4.50 stars over Lightspeed Trading's 3.00 stars.