Comparing brokers side by side is no easy task. For our 2017 Broker Review, we assessed 16 brokers on 308 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). With options, the base fees charged are $4.95 (Charles Schwab) and $0 (Lightspeed Trading). Option contracts are pricier at Charles Schwab, costing $0.65 versus $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 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. Looking at mutual funds, Charles Schwab boasts an offering of 5165 mutual funds compared to Lightspeed Trading's 0 available funds. Commission free ETFs can also be valuable for customers, with Lightspeed Trading falling behind Charles Schwab, offering 0 commission free ETFs compared to Charles Schwab's 229.
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 offers the iPhone App, iPad App and Android App while Lightspeed Trading offers the none of these. 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, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans are offered by Charles Schwab while Lightspeed Trading offers none of these. On the whole, when it comes to tools, research, and mobile trading, Charles Schwab finished with awards Best in Class - Platforms & Tools and Best in Class - Research in 2017, while Lightspeed Trading came up with none of these.
Overall, Charles Schwab comes out on top with 4.50 stars over Lightspeed Trading's 2.50 stars.